The weak and sick are borne on litters, and are protected against the attacks of the Sadducees; they must be provided with food, for witnesses are bound to journey even on the Sabbath (1:9). Others went along to identify the unknown (2:1). In olden times bonfire-signals on the mountains announced to all as far as Babylon that the month had been sanctified. The custom of having witnesses and messengers was introduced after the Sadducees had attempted to practise deception (2:2, 2:3, 2:4). The large court called Bet Ya'azeḳ was the assembly-place for the witnesses (2:5); bountiful repasts awaited them, and dispensations from the Law were granted to them (2:6); the first pair of witnesses was questioned separately concerning the appearance of the moon, but all other witnesses are questioned at least cursorily. The Mishnah makes the point that all witnesses must be made to feel their testimony is valued least witnesses to ensure witnesses continue to come to courts (2:7). Then the ab bet din (head of the Court) called out to a large assembly, "Sanctified!" all the people crying out aloud after him (2:8). Gamliel II had representations of the moon which he showed to the witnesses. Once there arose a dispute between him and Joshua regarding the Tishri moon; the latter, in obedience to the nasi, came on foot to Jamnia on the day which he had calculated to be the Day of Atonement, and the two scholars made peace (iii.). There were various obstacles to the sanctification of the months, as when time was lacking for the ceremony, or when there were no witnesses present before the bet din. In the first case the following day became the new moon; in the second case the bet din alone performed the sanctification.
General calendar for the year, i.1-4 = Tosef. i.1-13. Regulations concerning the months' witnesses, i.5-ii.1 (connecting with i.4) = Tosef. i.15-ii.1 (abbreviated). Historical matter regarding fire-signals and messengers and their reception on the Sabbath, ii.2-6 = Tosef. ii.2 (abbreviated). The continuation of the laws of ii.1 concerning witnesses (ii.7, 8), and the questioning of witnesses, and the sanctification of the months are entirely lacking in the Tosefta. Historical data concerning Gamaliel and the dispute with Joshua, ii.8-9 = Tosef. ii.3 (a mere final sentence). Continuation of the laws of ii.7 concerning witnesses, iii.1 = Tosef. iii.1, 2. Regulations regarding the shofar and its use, iii.2-5 = Tosef. iii.3-6a. Haggadic sentence on devotion = Tosef. iii.6b. Final remarks on the shofar and on its obligations, iii.6-end = Tosef. iv.1. Ordinances of Johanan ben Zakkai concerning Rosh ha-Shanah and the Sabbath, and other matters = Tosef. iv.2. Order of worship, iv.5-end = Tosef. iv.4-end.
Mishnah ii.7 seems to have been transposed according to Tosef. iv.3, but it belongs there according to its contents.
In quoting many of Gamaliel's ordinances the Mishnah emphasizes the authority of the patriarchal house by recounting the dispute between the patriarch and his deputy Joshua and showing how the latter was forced to yield. The Tosefta omits the ordinances of Gamaliel and of Johanan ben Zakkai, and the dispute of the two leaders of the school-house, nor does it mention anything of the power of any tannaitic dignitary; the Tosefta is here a product of the time of the Amoraim. The dignity of the nasi is not emphasized, because acumen and scholarship prevailed in the schoolhouse, and there was no desire to let old precedences (see Eduyot) come to the fore again. Even the Mishnah contains some additions from the time of the Amoraim (see, for example, iv.2, where a gap must be filled from the Tosefta).