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by Rabbi Ephraim Becker
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sukah 51

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.


(a) (R. Papa) This is a Machlokes Tanaim as follows:
1. (R. Meir) The Avadim of the Kohanim played.
2. (R. Yosi) Yisraelim of specific families played.
3. (R. Chanina b. Antignus) Levi'im played.
4. Seemingly, R. Meir (who allows Avadim to play) must hold that Shirah is with the mouth, while R. Chanina must hold that Shirah is primarily with a Keli (thus Levi'im would need to play).
(b) Question: Then what is R. Yosi's position?!
1. If Shirah is b'Feh, Avadim should be permitted!
2. If Shirah is b'Keli, Levi'im should be required!
(c) Answer: Shirah is with the mouth and the Machlokes is over what actually happened (who played).
(d) Question: What Halachic difference does it make?
(e) Answer: It will affect the assumptions we make about people on the Duchan regarding Ma'aser and Yuchsin.
1. If Avadim were on the Duchan, then no assumptions can be made regarding either Yuchsin or Ma'aser.
2. If Yisraelim, then infer Yuchsin but not Ma'aser.
3. If Levi'im, then infer both.
(a) (R. Yirmiyah b. Aba) They argued only whether the Chalil was Docheh Shabbos for Simchas Beis HaShoevah (R. Yosi b. Yehudah) or not (Rabanan).
(b) All would permit the Chalil for the Shir of the Korban, which is actually Avodah.
(c) Question (on R. Yosef who, on 50b, taught that R. Yosi concurs with Chachamim that Shir of Simchas Beis HaShoevah is not Docheh Shabbos [while the Shir of Korban is a Machlokes]): The Beraisa teaches that, according to R. Yosi b. Yehudah, the Shir of Simchas Beis HaShoevah *is* Docheh Shabbos!?
(d) Answer: This refutes R. Yosef.
(e) Question: We may infer from this Beraisa that the Machlokes is *only* regarding Shir of Beis HaShoevah, and that all agree to permit Shir of Korban (refuting the premise R. Yosef that this is a Machlokes)!?
(f) Answer: They argue regarding both Shir, but they single out Beis HaShoevah to teach the extent of R. Yosi's permission (even Beis HaShoevah is Docheh Shabbos).
(g) Question: But our Mishnah teaches that Chalil of *Beis HaShoevah* is not Docheh Shabbos (implying that the Shir of Korban *is* Docheh Shabbos)!?
1. The author of this statement cannot be R. Yosi b. Yehudah (who holds that Beis HaShoevah is Docheh.
2. It must be Rabanan, thus refuting R. Yosef!
(h) Answer: R. Yosef is thus refuted on two counts.
(i) The basis for Shira being primarily b'Keli is the Pasuk Vayomer Chizkiyahu... (Divrei HaYamim II:29).
(j) The basis for Shira b'Feh is Vayehi k'Echad (ibid:5).
1. Question: Then what of the Pasuk Vayomer...?
2. Answer: It is understood as Shirah starting b'Feh.
3. Question: How will Vayehi be understood by those who hold Shirah b'Keli?
4. Answer: The singers in the Pasuk are compared to the trumpeters in that they used Keilim.
(a) It was an incomparable Simchah.
(b) After the first YomTov the Kohanim and Levi'im would descend to the Ezras Nashim to make the Tikun Gadol.
(c) There were golden Menoros with four ladders reaching the four receptacles on top of each Menorah.
(d) Young Kohanim would bring 120 Lugim of oil into each Sefel, and worn Bigdei Kehunah would be cut for wicks.
(e) The light illuminated every courtyard in Yerushalayim

(f) Great men danced and juggled torches and sang praises.
(g) Levi'im played all manner of instruments while standing on the 15 steps down to the Ezras Nashim (representing the 15 Shir HaMa'alos in Tehilim).
(h) Two Kohanim trumpeters blew from above the steps at daybreak, descended to the tenth step and blew again, continuing until the eastern gate of the Ezras Nashim.
(i) They turned westward (back upon the Mikdash) and proclaimed that our ancestors angered HaShem while our eyes turn only to HaShem.
(j) According to R. Yehudah, they repeated Anu l'Kah...
(a) The Simchas Beis HaShoevah was a singular Simchah.
(b) Yerushalayim was a uniquely beautiful city.
(c) The Beis HaMikdash was uniquely magnificent.
1. Question: Which Mikdash?
2. Answer: The Mikdash built by Hordus.
3. Question: What was its construction?
4. Answer (Rabah): Green and white marble (alternately, blue and white marble).
5. Each successive row of stones was slightly recessed from the row below it, to properly retain the Sid.
6. The Rabanan discouraged Hordus from gold plating the walls.
(d) (R. Yehudah in the Beraisa) The Beis HaKeneses in Alexandria was a unique glory for the Jews at times holding 600,000 (some say twice that number of) Jews.
1. The building is described in detail, including the wooden Bimah in the middle where the Shamash would wave cloths to tell the masses to answer Amen.
2. People sat by vocation, and a poor newcomer would join his guild there and be supported.
(e) (Abaye) They were all killed by Alexander Mokdon.
(f) Question: Why were they punished?
(g) Answer: Because they violated the prohibition of returning to Mitzrayim.
(h) Alexander came there and inferred from the Torah reading, which foretold his miraculous arrival, that he was to carry out the punishment spoken of in that Parashah, and he did so.
(a) Question: What great thing was instituted?
(b) Answer: They created a balcony for the women above, since the previous arrangements had led to levity.
(c) Question: But how could they add to the Mikdash, which must follow the plans laid out by the Pasuk!?
(d) Answer (Rav): They learned a Kal VaChomer from the separation mandated at the eulogy of Mashiach ben Yosef to the separation at the joyous occasions.
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