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Sukah 23

SUKAH 21-25 - my brother Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored one month of Dafyomi publications for the benefit of Klal Yisrael


QUESTION: In the Beraisa, Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah argue about a Sukah built atop an animal. Rebbi Meir says that the Sukah is valid, and Rebbi Yehudah says that it is Pasul. RASHI explains that the case is referring to when one takes doors and places them flat on top of two horses, in order to serve as the floor of the Sukah.

Why does Rashi say that the case is talking about two horses? The Beraisa says that the Sukah was built "on top of *an animal*," and not two animals! (TOSFOS in fact discusses the case as a Sukah built on top of a single animal.) (ARUCH LA'NER)


(a) The ARUCH LA'NER answers that we find later on this Amud another argument between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah, concerning a case of an animal used as a wall for a Sukah. Rebbi Meir invalidates such a Sukah. Abaye suggests that Rebbi Meir's reason is because he holds that "we must be concerned for death;" that is, the Rabanan decreed that such a Sukah is invalid because we are afraid that the animal will die and then one will be left without a Sukah with which to perform the Mitzvah (Rashi, DH Gezeirah).

In the case of a Sukah built atop an animal, Rashi was bothered by Rebbi Meir's opinion that we are concerned that the animal might die. Why does Rebbi Meir permit such a Sukah? Maybe the animal will die and the Sukah will collapse! Therefore, Rashi explains that in this case, there are *two* horses. We are not afraid that *two* animals will die, as the Gemara in Yoma (13a) says, "for the death of one we are afraid, but for the death of two we are not afraid." If one of the two animals dies, then he will still be able to set the Sukah atop the animal that remains.

This answer is difficult, because in this case, even without the animal below, there is an entire Sukah. If the animal dies, one can simply take the Sukah and put it on the ground, and thus there is no reason to invalidate the Sukah just because of a fear that the animal will die. (And if the Sukah must be resting on an animal, he can find another animal in the barn and set the Sukah atop it.) Furthermore, the Mishnah (22b) says clearly that a Sukah upon "a [single] camel" is valid, and the Gemara says that the Mishnah is Rebbi Meir's opinion. Why, then, does Rashi say that the Beraisa is referring to a Sukah built on two animals?

(b) Perhaps Rashi was bothered by a different problem. The Mishnah discusses a Sukah built upon a *camel*. Why did it not use the same wording as the Beraisa, and discuss a Sukah built upon an *animal* ("Behemah")? Why did it specifically mention a camel?

The answer might be that a Sukah is only valid if its floor is strong enough to support the people and furnishings inside (Sukah 10a). An animal is not normally strong enough to support an entire four-walled Sukah, along with the Sechach, beds, table, and people. Usually, the only animal strong enough is a camel. The Mishnah emphasizes this point by mentioning a camel, in order to teach that the animal must be strong enough to support the Sukah.

If so, why does the Beraisa say "on top of an *animal*" and not on top of a camel? The answer is that other animals *are* valid, if one finds a way to support the Sukah and all that is in it on top of the animal's back. Rashi explains that this is feasible in a case where one uses two horses instead of a single horse. (The word "Behemah" is also used for the plural form, as in Yona 4, "Behemah Raba.") (M. Kornfeld)

QUESTION: Rebbi Yehudah maintains that a Sukah built on top of an animal is Pasul. The Gemara says that his reason is because of the principle derived from a verse that a Sukah must be fit for all seven days of the festival. A Sukah built on top of an animal is not fit for seven days.

We know that Rebbi Yehudah requires that a Sukah be a "Diras Keva" (7b, 21b), a permanent structure. A Sukah that moves, though, is not a "Diras Keva," as Rashi mentions (7b, DH b'Rosh; 21b, DH sh'Ein Lah Keva; and 22b, DH ha'Oseh). If so, why does the Gemara give a different reason for why Rebbi Yehudah invalidates a Sukah built atop an animal? The Gemara should say that his reason is because such a Sukah is not a "Diras Keva!" Why does he need the verse that teaches that a Sukah must be fit for all seven days?


(a) The RAMBAN (Milchamos, 21b) argues with Rashi and says that the fact that a Sukah moves does not make it into a "Diras Arai" and not a "Diras Keva." Wherever the animal goes, the entire Sukah goes with it, and thus it is considered "Kavu'a" in its place, atop the animal.

It could be that Rashi agrees that it is considered a "Diras Keva" even though it is moving (as Rashi implies on 7b, that it only *looks* like it is "Arai" but it is not actually "Arai"). Even though Rashi elsewhere (loc. cit.) states clearly that a moving Sukah is not considered "Keva," Rashi might hold that this is the subject of a Machlokes Amora'im. Two Amora'im argue (21b) concerning Rebbi Yehudah's reason for invalidating a Sukah built atop the legs of a bed. According to the first Amora, the reason is because such a Sukah is not a "Diras Keva" because it moves. The other Amora, who gives a different reason, perhaps holds that a moving Sukah *is* considered to be a "Diras Keva." The Gemara here is gives a different reason for Rebbi Yehudah (why a Sukah atop an animal is invalid) in order to satisfy that second opinion there.

(b) Alternatively, perhaps this verse itself is the source for Rebbi Yehudah's opinion that a Sukah must be a "Diras Keva." Since the Torah requires a Sukah to stand for seven days, we see that it must have a quality of permanence. (M. Kornfeld)

(c) TOSFOS (DH Al Gabei) suggests that the case of a Sukah atop an animal refers to when the Sechach is supported by poles that reach the floor. The animal is only supporting the floor and the walls of the Sukah. If the animal walks away (with the floor and walls of the Sukah), the Sechach of the Sukah will still remain in place, and thus there is no problem of the Sukah moving and being a "Diras Arai" (since the *Sechach* is stationary). Therefore, the Gemara gives another reason why it is Pasul according to Rebbi Yehudah.


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