The mishnah in Rosh Hashana 1:3 lists the months when they would send messengers to notify people which day Rosh Chodesh was:

  • Nisan because of Pesach
  • Av because of Tisha Be'av
  • Elul because of Rosh Hashana
  • Tishrei because of Yom Kippur and Sukkos
  • Kislev because of Chanuka
  • Adar because of Purim
  • When the Beis Hamikdash was standing: Iyar because of Pesach Sheini

Why weren't messengers also sent for Rosh Chodesh Shevat so that people knew the boundary between the maaser crops for fruit trees? If they didn't know the correct date by Tu Bishvat, I assume they had to maintain three separate piles of fruit until the Adar messengers came: definitely last year, definitely this year, and a small pile of doubtful fruits that ripened on the day that might be Tu Bishvat.

  • Is that small pile of fruit worth it? Can you ever tell with precision exactly what day a fruit ripened? Any fruit ripening around now should be treated as Safek anyway. – Double AA Jan 8 at 15:02
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    It's pretty much just citrus fruits that are an issue now. Everything else is summer. Tu Bishvat is in the winter because that's not the growing season. That's the point. – Double AA Jan 8 at 15:12
  • @DoubleAA what citrus fruits did they have besides esrogim? For esrogim the answer is easy, you just don't pick them on the safek day and you're fine. – Heshy Jan 8 at 17:02
  • Jaffa oranges? No clue. Even if they had some it's not a major communal issue. – Double AA Jan 8 at 17:21

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