Brachot 63 – Leap years

And so it is the penultimate daf of Masechet Brachot.

אמר רב ספרא, רבי אבהו הוה משתעי: כשירד חנינא בן אחי רבי יהושע לגולה היה מעבר שנים וקובע חדשים בחוצה לארץ

Rav Safra said: Rabbi Abahu would relate: When Hanina, son of Rabbi Yehoshua’s brother, went to the diaspora, [Babylonia], he would intercalate years and establish months outside of Eretz [Yisrael]. [Because Judaism in Eretz Yisrael had declined in the wake of the bar Kokheva rebellion, he considered it necessary to cultivate the Jewish community in Babylonia as the centre of the Jewish people. Among other things, he intercalated the years and established the months even though the halakha restricts those activities to Eretz Yisrael]

The Koren notes:


About bookabazza

I am an Osteopath and University Lecturer who is trying to keep up with the 7 year daf yomi cycle. I thought I would try and share a few small thought on the daf each week.
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2 Responses to Brachot 63 – Leap years

  1. Micah says:

    What I found really interesting in this daf was the politics and subterfuge…how the chachamim in Israel sent their deputies to bring the wayward R’ Chanina to heel because they didn’t like him doing something which potentially was undermining their authority; and how this played out. It is also interesting in that the centre of Judaism eventually switched from Eretz yisroel to Bavel and the disapora and I think what we see here is something which predated that and where Eretz Yisroel is trying to retain its authority for as long as possible.

  2. bookabazza says:

    Micah – just relearned this piece before closing the Masechta and am stuck by how hard the Rabbis wanted to establish Rabbinic Authority in the first book of the Talmud. They were certainly trying to hold onto a centralised ideal in Israel which is interesting when it was noted earlier (by my good friend and chavruta) that one of my earliest blogs was basically stating the 3 oaths found elsewhere in the Talmud. Maybe they had to give up on the ideal of Israel but pushed the future of Rabbinic as opposed to Templecentric Judaism.

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