There were enemies of the Jews who sought to harm the Jewish people by deceiving them into observing Rosh Hashana, and the ensuing holidays, at the wrong times. The Talmud tells of an attempt by the Boethusian sect, which one year bribed two witnesses to provide false testimony before the Great Sanhedrin, with the intention of causing the sages to err in their calculations of the new moon. One of the witnesses, however, proved to be a "double-agent," and revealed to the sages the bag containing two hundred pieces of silver that he had been provided in order to perjure himself. The illustration above shows him holding the bag of silver coins, while the man who had placed the bribe in his hands is being led away to receive his punishment: lashes.

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