This tractate discusses the holiday of Rosh Hashanah as well as related calendar issues—such as the Sanhedrin's sanctification of each lunar month and their establishment of leap years.

The tractate concludes with the special Rosh Hashanah prayers, and specifically the day's musaf prayer that includes three lengthy blessings – on the themes of royalty, remembrance, and shofars. Rabban Gamliel contends that individual congregants need not pray on their own (bear in mind that in ancient times prayer texts were rare and precious commodities, and most people prayed by heart), rather they are covered through listening to the prayer of the chazzan (cantor). Though this opinion is rendered with regards to Rosh Hashanah, it applies to the prayers all year long.

Rabbi Acha bar Avira said in the name of Rabbi Shimon the Pious: According to Rabban Gamiliel, the chazzan covers even for the people who are working in the fields—and certainly for those in the synagogue (listening to the chazzan's prayer).

The Talmud asks: To the contrary, those in the field are unable to pray due to circumstances beyond their control – and thus there is more reason to assume that they are covered by the chazzan's prayer – as opposed to those in the synagogue who have the ability to pray on their own!

To prove this point, the Talmud quotes Abba the son of Rabbi Benyamin bar Chiya: "The congregants standing behind the kohanim are not included in the Priestly Blessing." Although the people working in the fields are included in the blessing – because they don't have the option to attend the synagogue services – those in the synagogue who choose to stand behind the kohanim as they issue their blessing are not included—because they had the option of standing before the kohanim.

But when Ravin arrived from Israel he quoted Rabbi Shimon the Pious differently. Ravin said in the name of Rabbi Yaakov bar Iddi in the name of Rabbi Shimon the Pious: Even according to Rabban Gamliel, the chazzan only covers for the people in the fields – because they are unable to pray due to circumstances beyond their control – but not the people in the city (who are expected to come to the synagogue to personally pray or hear the chazzan's prayers).