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A Purple Galaxy: Continuation

Many years ago there was a big college basketball game where a player hit a clutch shot at the buzzer. Every single person in that building saw the ball go into the basket - except for the referees!! The basket was NOT COUNTED! Afterwards the commissioner of the league was interviewed and he said something to the effect of "I don't care if G-d Himself saw the ball go in the basket - if the referees don't see it go in, it doesn't count." That is the mashal. Now the nimshal.

Why is the new month sanctified? Because of the appearance of the new moon, one might say. If that were the case then we can say that it will have emerged that this twelve year old was really 13 at the time of testimony [if his testimony is accurate]. In such a case the beis din can receive him in order to verify the facts. HOWEVER THAT IS NOT CORRECT! The new month is sanctified because the beis din proclaims it as such. The beis din is the "referee". It is not enough for the new moon to appear - we also need the input of beis din. That being the case, when this twelve year old comes before beis din and wants to testify that he saw the new moon last night [which would make him bar mitzvah] the beis din should say "Sorry Charlie [if that is his name - it is in fact my middle name], but you are twelve years old because the new month hasn't started [even if there was really a moon last night - but we haven't proclaimed it Rosh Chodesh yet] and therefore we can't accept your testimony. Sorry. Enjoy your bar-mitzvah party later this week. Hope you get lots of very small presents" - [i.e. envelopes with a slip of paper inside with many zeros written on them. Zero is bad for school - great for checks].

So it is quite difficult to understand why the MC was in doubt about this question.

[Rav Eliyashiv Shlita]

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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