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Sukah 40

SUKA 36-56 (End of Maseches) have been dedicated by the wife and daughters of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will long be remembered.


QUESTION: The Gemara asks that it should not be permissible to purchase from an Am ha'Aretz a Lulav which is Kadosh with Kedushas Shevi'is, because the money that he receives in exchange for the Lulav becomes Kadosh with Kedushas Shevi'is. In what way is a Lulav Kadosh with Kedushas Shevi'is if it cannot be eaten? RASHI (DH Ta'ama) explains that if one exchanged a Lulav for money (which then acquires Kedushas Shevi'is), that money must be used to buy edible food and not a durable item such as a garment.

However, RASHI (39a, DH Ein Mosrin) writes that the only reason why Sechorah (commerce) of fruits of Shevi'is is forbidden is because one is required to consume them ("l'Ochlah") before the time of Bi'ur, and thus one is not allowed to leave them, or the money exchanged for them, past their time of Bi'ur. Similarly, the reason why one may not buy a garment with money that has Kedushas Shevi'is (i.e. money that was used to buy fruit of Shevi'is) is because the garment will remain past the time of Bi'ur of the fruit, as Rashi explains later (41a, DH u'Vikesh). This clearly implies that there is nothing wrong with conducting Sechorah, or purchasing garments, with an item of Shevi'is that has no time of Bi'ur.

Rashi later (40b, end of DH Shema Yigadel) writes that the time of Bi'ur of an item is determined by the time when that fruit no longer can be found naturally in the fields. A Lulav, though, always remains on the tree (it does not rot and fall off like fruit). Indeed, presumably for this reason Rashi here (40a, DH Ta'ama) does not write that Kedushah of Shevi'is affects the Lulav in the sense that the Lulav must be used up before its time of Bi'ur.

However, if the Lulav does not have any time of Bi'ur, then why is it prohibited to buy a garment with the money exchanged for a Lulav of Shevi'is? Since there is no time of Bi'ur for a Lulav itself, then something bought with its value should also be allowed to remain, and there should be no problem of using the money to buy a non-edible item according to Rashi! (TOSFOS 39a DH sh'Ein)

ANSWER: Rashi maintains that a Lulav *does* have a time of Bi'ur. Even though Lulav branches remain on the tree throughout the year, there are seasons during which no new sprouts are produced, and the older Lulav branches open up and their leaves spread out. When the leaves spread out, the Lulavim can no longer be used as a broom (the primary use of a Lulav, Rashi DH Yatz'u), and at that time it is considered no longer available in the natural environment.

If a Lulav has a time of Bi'ur, then why did Rashi not write that the practical application of Kedushas Shevi'is is that one must use up the Lulav before its time of Bi'ur? The answer is that Rashi is explaining why one may not give the value of a Lulav to an Am ha'Aretz. Rashi needs to show how the Am ha'Aretz will misuse the money obtained from the sale of the Lulav (see Rashi 39a, DH Ein Mosrin). Therefore, Rashi mentions a practical application with regard to the *value* of the Lulav.

We may add that according to Rashi, it is possible that money exchanged for fruits of Shevi'is becomes Kadosh with Kedushas Shevi'is *only* with regard to the requirement to consume them before the time of Bi'ur (but not for the other laws of Shevi'is). This explains why the Gemara is only concerned that the Am ha'Aretz will not finish the money before the time of Bi'ur, and it is not concerned with any of the other ways of abusing items of Shevi'is (such as wasting it -- Pesachim 52b, using it to make a bandage or feeding it to an animal -- Shevi'is 8:1, paying off one's debts with it -- Shevi'is 8:4 and Avodah Zarah 62a, cited by Rashi later 44b DH Amar Lei). Rashi holds the Kedushas Shevi'is is not transferred from the fruits onto the money ("Tofes Damav") with regard to those other Isurim, but only with regard to the requirement of Bi'ur, and the prohibition of giving more than three meals worth of it to an Am ha'Aretz, which is related to the laws of Bi'ur, according to Rashi. (M. Kornfeld)


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