Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. When the feast of new year happened on the Sabbath, they used to sound in the sanctuary, but not out of it. After the destruction of the temple, Rabban Jochanan, son of Zaccai, ordained that they should sound in every place in which there is a tribunal of justice [בית דין]. R. Eleazar says, "He only issued this ordinance in respect to Jamnia," but they [the other sages] said unto him, "It was the same for Jamnia as for any other place in which there is a permanent tribunal of justice."
§ 2. And in this respect also, was Jerusalem privileged above Jamnia, 1 viz. that every city from whence Jerusalem could be seen and the sounding heard, which was near enough, and to which it was allowed to go on the Sabbath, might sound; but in Jamnia it was only permitted to sound before the tribunal of justice.
§ 3. Formerly the loolab [palm-branch, &c] was taken seven days in the sanctuary, and only one day out of it. After the destruction of the temple, Rabban Jochanan, son of Zaccai ordained, "that the loolab should everywhere be taken for seven days, in commemoration of the sanctuary," also, "that the whole day of the waving [of the 'Omer' 2] it should be prohibited [to eat of the new corn]."
§ 4. Formerly evidence as to the appearance of the new moon was received the whole [of the thirtieth] day; but as it once happened that the witnesses delayed coming, which interrupted the Song of the Levites 3 [at the evening sacrifice], it was ordained that witnesses should be admitted till the time of Minchah only, and if any came after that time, that and the following day were kept as holy. After the destruction of the temple, Rabbon Jochanan, son of Zaccai ordained, "that evidence as to the appearance of the moon should be
received all day." R. Joshua, son of Korcha says, "This too did Rabban Jochanan, son of Zaccai ordain, viz. that wherever the chief of the tribunal might be, the witnesses need only go to the place of meeting [of the Sanhedrin 4]."
§ 5. The order of the blessings to be said on the feast of new year is as follows: the blessings אבות וגבורות וקדשת השם, 5 are said, with which are connected the מלכיות [or series of texts relative to the supreme rule of the Almighty] without sounding the shophar; then, concerning the holiness of the day, 6 after which the shophar is sounded; then follow the זכרונות [or texts relative to the kind remembrance of the Almighty to his creatures], after which the shophar is again sounded. Next follow the שופרות [or texts in which the sounding of the shophar is mentioned], and the shophar is sounded [the third time], he then says, עבודה, הודאה and ברכת כהנים. 7 Such is the opinion of R. Jochanan ben Nourrie: but R. Akivah objected, saying to him, "If the shophar is not to be sounded after the reading of the מלכיות, why are they to be mentioned?" But the proper order is the following:—אבות וגבורות וקדשת השם are said, with which the מלכיות are to be combined; after which, the shophar is to be sounded, then the זכרונות are to be read, and the shophar sounded; next שופרות, and the shophar is again sounded; after which עבודה, הודאה and ברכת בהנים 7 are said.
§ 6. Not less than ten texts of the Holy Scripture relative to מלכיות must be said, ten relating to זכרונות, and ten to שופרות. R. Jochanan ben Nourrie says, "The obligation [of reading these texts] will be duly fulfilled if three only of each [class] have been said, but no texts relating to either [class] containing predictions of punishment are to be used. The texts from the law are to be read first, and the concluding texts are to be from the prophets." But R. Jose says, "It is sufficient if the concluding verse be one from the law."
§ 7. The second of those who, on the feast of the new year, officiate at the reading desk [תיבה] as ministers of the congregation, 8 shall
cause another person to sound the shophar, and on days when the Hallel is read, the first minister 9 must read the Hallel.
§ 8. It is not permitted for the purpose of sounding the shophar on the feast of new year, to go beyond the תחום [Sabbatical limits] to remove a heap of stones, 10 mount a tree, ride on any animal, or swim over the waters [to get a shophar], nor may he cut it [thereon] with any thing that may not be used on account of transgression against the Sabbatical rest [שבות], nor on account of a direct negative commandment of the law; but a person may, if he choose, pour water or wine into the shophar. 11 Children may not be prevented to sound, but, on the contrary, it is lawful to be occupied in teaching them to sound; but he who thus teaches, as also other persons who listen to these sounds, cannot thereby become released from their obligation.
§ 9. The order of sounding the shophar is:—three sounds are blown thrice, 12 the time of duration of the sound of six tekeah's, is equal to that of three terooah's, and that of each tekeah as three sighs or moans. If a person has sounded the first tekeah, and prolonged the sound of the second, so as to be equal to two, it will only reckon as one sound. If a person, after having said all the blessings, 13 has at that moment only obtained a shophar, he shall sound three times tekeah, terooah, and tekeah; even as the minister of the congregation is bound [to say the amidah for himself 14], so is every individual bound to do so. But Rabbon Gamaliel says, "The minister of the congregation releases the public from their obligation."
164:1 Here is evidently a hiatus in the text of the Mishna, which the commentators have thus supplied from the context; "They used to sound in the whole city of Jerusalem till the sixth hour [i.e. as long as the Sanhedrin sat in the temple to teach], but in Jamnia, before the tribunal only, and not in the town. And in this respect also," &c.
164:2 See Leviticus xxii. 11–15.
164:3 For being doubtful whether the witnesses might yet come, and the day be sanctified as Rosh Hodesh, when the festive song of the feast of new moon was to be sung, or that which was used on weekdays, in case of the non-appearance of the witnesses; and, therefore, it appears that they did not sing at all on that occasion.
165:4 Who might pronounce the word "Mekoodash," although the chief Beth Din was absent.
165:5 The three first blessings of the Amidah and Moosaph Abboth is from the beginning till מגן אברהם, Guebooroth commences אתה גבור, and Kedushat Ashem is from thence till האל הקדוש.
165:6 Namely, that commencing אתה בחרתנו.
165:7 The three last blessings of the Amidah or Moosaph רצה, מודים and שים שלום.
165:8 The minister who reads the מוסף is thus called, in reference to the one who read שחרית, and had thus preceded him. It was the custom in the time of the p. 166 Mishna, that two ministers were employed each Sabbath, or festival, one to read שחרית and the other מוסף; the latter is not allowed here to sound the shophar, that it may not interrupt the reading, even as a minister who is a Cohen, is not allowed [for the same reason] to go to the דוכן to say the blessing of the priests when officiating as minister. Compare Treatise Berachoth, chap. V. § 4.
166:9 That is, he who has read שחרית, the first prayers.
166:10 Under which a shophar is buried.
166:11 in order to clear or improve its tone.
166:12 Namely, Tekeah, Terooah, and Tekeah.
166:13 Of the Moosaph.
166:14 And is not released from his obligation by this חזרה, or repetition, which he reads to the congregation.