During the time of the Great Sanhedrin, the new moon was sanctfied through the testimony of two witnesses who had seen the new moon. This was in accordance with the biblical commandment. In order to insure that the new moon, (rosh chodesh), offerings were prepared in time at the Holy Temple, (as well as the Rosh HaShana offerings on the new month of Tishrei), witnesses were allowed to violate the Shabbat restriction against traveling order to expedite the new moon proclamation. This picture depicts an ailing witness travelling on Shabbat toward Jerusalem, being aided by armed escorts and companions.

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