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Treatise VII. The New Year Chapter Iv, The Talmud

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The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878] 1. When the feast of New Year happened on the Sabbath, they used to sound the cornet in the Sanctuary; but not in the provinces. After the destruction of the Sanctuary, R. Jochanan, son of Zacai, decreed that they should sound it in every place in which there is a tribunal of justice. R. Eleazar says, "R. Jochanan, son of Zacai, decreed it only for Jamnia." But the Sages said to him, "it was all one for Jamnia, and all one for every place in which there is a tribunal of justice." 2. And again, 3 Jerusalem was privileged above Jamnia, because every city which could be seen, and the sounding heard, and which was near, and to which it was allowed to go, might sound the cornet; but in Jamnia they could only sound it before the tribunal of justice. 3. At first the palm-branch was taken seven days in the Sanctuary, and one day in the provinces. After the destruction of the Temple, R. Jochanan, son of Zacai, decreed, "that the palm-branch should be taken in the provinces for seven days, to commemorate the Sanctuary;" also "that the whole day of the waving 1 it should be forbidden (to eat new corn)." 4. At first they received evidence of the new moon during the whole (thirtieth) day; but once the witnesses delayed coming, and the Levites erred in the chant. They decreed, that they should receive evidence only till the time of the evening sacrifice; and if witnesses came after the evening sacrifice, that and the next day were kept holy. After the destruction of the sanctuary Rabban Jochanan, son of Zacai, decreed, "that they should receive evidence of the new moon during the whole day." R. Joshua, son of Korcha, says, "and again Rabban Jochanan, son of Zacai, decreed that wherever the chief of the Sanhedrin might be, the witnesses need only go to the place of its meeting." 5. The order of blessings to be said on the New Year is, "The Fathers," 2 and "The Mighty," and "Sanctification of the Name," and there are comprehended the "Kingdoms" without blowing the trumpet; "The Holiness of the Day," and he blows; "The Remembrances," and he blows; "The Trumpets," and he blows. And he says, "The Service," "The Confession," and "Blessing of the Priests." The words of R. Jochanan, son of Nourri. Said R. Akivah to him, "if the trumpet be not blown after 'The Kingdoms,' why are they mentioned?" But the order is, "The Fathers," and "The Mighty," and "Sanctification of the Name," and there are comprehended "The Kingdoms," with "Sanctification of the Day," and he blows; "The Remembrances," and he blows; "The Trumpets," and he blows. And he says, "The Service," "The Confession," and "Blessing of the Priests." 6. They cannot read less than ten (texts of Scripture) relating to "The Kingdom," ten relating to "Remembrances," and ten to "Trumpets." 1 R. Jochanan, son of Nourri, says, "if three be read from all of them, the duty is fulfilled, but they mention not the remembrance of the kingdom, and trumpet of vengeance. 2 They must begin with the Law and end with the Prophets." R. José says, "if they end with the Law, the duty is fulfilled." 7. (The minister of the congregation) must go over to the reading desk on the feast of the New Year. The second minister must blow the trumpet. But at the hour for the hymn the first must read the hymn. 8. For sounding the trumpet of the New Year they may, not transgress the Sabbatical limit, they may not remove for it a heap of stones, they may not climb a tree, and they may not ride a beast, or swim over water. Nor may they cut it 3 with anything that violates the Sabbatical rest, or violates a negative command. But if one wish he may pour into it water or wine. 4 They may not prevent children from blowing, but they may practise in teaching them. But he who practises blowing is not freed from his obligation, and he who listens to the practice is not freed from his obligation. 9. The order of blowing the trumpet is, three blasts blown thrice. The measure of the blast is as six alarms. The measure of the alarm is as three shrieks. If one blew the first and prolonged the blast for the second to be as two, it reckons but as one. He who has said the blessings, and afterwards a trumpet is given to him, must blow a blast, an alarm, and a blast three times. As the minister of the congregation is bound, so is each individual bound. R. Gamaliel says, "the minister of the congregation releases the public from their obligations." 155:3 There is a supposed hiatus in the Mishna text to the following effect: "In Jerusalem they sounded through the whole city during the session of the Sanhedrin (i.e. till noon); but in Jamnia they did not sound in the city, but only before the tribunal of justice. And again," etc. 156:1 i.e. Of the sheaf of the first-fruits, Lev. xxiii. 10. 156:2 The titles or the headings of the blessings which were used in the services of the Temple and of the synagogues out of Jerusalem. 157:1 Three were read from the law, three from the Psalms, and three from the Prophets,—such passages as Exod. xv. 18, Ps. xxiv., Ezek. xx. 33, Zech. xiv. 9, etc. 157:2 i.e. They would not read such passages as Ps. lxxviii. 39. 157:3 i.e. To improve its tone. 157:4 To clear its tone.

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1 Ahmed M = "Torah does not just command us to give to the poor but to advocate on their behalf."
2 Ahmed M = "Jew have a moral obligation to advocate for children, the elderly, the poor, the disenfranchised, the sick, and the disabled."
3 Ahmed M = "Jews take care of one another, not only when they lived in close proximity, but even when they become aware of Jews in distress in other locales."