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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sukah 5



(a) The Gemara proves from the Aron, which was nine Tefachim high plus the Tefach of the lid - that the minimum size of a Sukah is ten Tefachim.

(b) We (initially) prove the height of a Sukah from the Aron - which was ten Tefachim high, from the fact that Hashem (who appeared to Moshe from the lid of the Aron) did not descend to our domain. Clearly then, our domain ends at the height of ten Tefachim; in that case, it is logical to say that the Sukah must be at least as high as that.

(c) "va'Yeired Hashem al Har Sinai" - means to a point a little more than ten Tefachim above the top of the mountain.

(a) We know that neither Moshe nor Eliyahu actually entered Hashem's domain in Heaven - because of the Pasuk in Tehilim "ha'Shamayim Shamayim la'Hashem ... ".

(b) The Pesukim which inform us that Moshe ascended to Hashem and Eliyahu to Heaven - refer to a point just below ten Tefachim from Hashem's Domain.

(c) Rav Tanchum, who explains a Pasuk in Iyov to mean that Moshe actually held on to Hashem's Throne - will explain that the Throne stretched to a point ten Tefachim below Hashem's domain, to enable Moshe to hold on to it.

(a) We said earlier that the Aron was ten Tefachim high - the Torah specifically gives the Shiur of the Aron as one a half Amos (nine Tefachim), but not of the lid.

(b) We learn the height of the lid - from the smallest of the Vessels, the Misgeres (rim) of the Table, which was one Tefach wide.

(c) We prefer not to learn it from the other Holy Vessels, because of the principle 'Tafasta Merubah Lo Tafasta ... ' - which means that if one tries picks the larger of two possible amounts, and discovers that one picked the wrong amount, one will not have chosen the correct amount; whereas if one picks the smaller amount, it cannot be wrong, because, even if one subsequently discovers that one ought to have picked the parger amount, the choice will still have been correct, seeing as every larger amount incorporates the smaller amount ('two hundred includes one hundred').

(d) We cannot learn the height of the lid from the Tzitz (which is even smaller than the Misgeres of the Shulchan, and would therefore be a case of 'Tafasta Mu'at, Tafasta) - because we prefer to learn a Vessel from a Vessel, rather than from an ornament.

(a) The Tzitz was made of *gold*, and was *two* Etzba'os (finger-breadths) wide.

(b) According to the Tana Kama of the Beraisa, the four letters of Hashem's Name were written on one line of the Tzitz, and 'Kodesh la' on the line below. Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Yossi testified that, when he was in Rome, he saw it, and 'Kodesh la'Hashem' was all written on one line.

(c) The Zer, which symbolized a crown, was an ornamental rim, which was no more than a 'Mashehu' high (which is a minimal measurement).

(d) The Aron, the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav and the Shulchan had one.

(a) The Gemara contends that we should learn the lid of the Aron from the Misgeres, which is a Vessel, and not just a Hechsher K'li - i.e. of purely ornamental value, and serving no practical purpose.

(b) For the Misgeres not to be a Hechsher K'li - it would have to be fixed *below* the surface of the Shulchan (i.e. from leg to leg), where it would serve the purpose of holding the Shulchan; otherwise (if, as some maintain, it was placed around the side of the Table-top, then it too, would be a Hechsher K'li.

(c) The Gemara rescinds its previous reason for learning the height of the lid from the Misgeres, which might also be a Hechsher K'li, as we just explained. We nevertheless prefer to learn it from there, rather than from the Tzitz or from the Zer - because the Misgeres shares with the lid of the Aron the fact that the Torah gives both of them fixed dimensions (the former, the height, the latter, the length and the breadth) which it did not do by the Tzitz or the Zer.




(a) Rav Huna initially attempts to learn the height of the lid of the Aron from the Pasuk in Acharei-Mos "al *P'nei* ha'Kapores Keidmah" - and the smallest (human) face is a Tefach by a Tefach.

(b) We cannot compare the 'P'nei' here to the face of a Bar Yochni (a very large bird), which is *more* than a Tefach - because of the principle 'Tafasta Merubeh Lo Tafasta ... '.

(c) We could however, learn the size of face from a small bird. So we conclude that Rav Huna really learned it from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "P'nei" "P'nei" - from the Pasuk in Toldos "me'Es P'nei Yitzchak Aviv".

(d) We cannot learn the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' from the Pasuk "ki'Re'os *P'nei* Elokim" (referring to Eisav's Angel) - because of 'Tafasta Merubeh Lo Tafasta ... '.

(a) We conclude that the faces of the Keruvim were a Tefach, and Rav Huna's source for the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "P'nei" "P'nei" is indeed the Pasuk "el ha'Kapores Yiheyu *P'nei* ha'Keruvim" (though it is unclear why the Torah finds it necessary to retract from the Limud from Yitzchak).

(b) The acronym of Keruvim, 'ke'Ravya', means 'like children'.

(c) When the Pasuk in Yechezkel writes "P'nei ha'Echad P'nei ha'Keruv, u'Pnei ha'Sheini, P'nei Adam" - it means that one face is slightly smaller (like that of a Keruv) and the other one, slightly larger, like a grown-up.

(a) The Gemara retracts from its original Limud, of learning the height of a Sukah from the height of the Aron - because if that were so, why should the ten Tefachim not include the S'chach, in the same way as the ten Tefachim of the Aron include the lid?

(b) The first Beis-Hamikdash was sixty Amos long, twenty Amos wide and thirty Amos high.

(c) The Keruvim were ten Amos tall.

(a) The Mishkan in the desert was ten Amos high.

(b) We learn from the first Beis Hamikdash - that the Keruvim, which stood on the floor, reached the height of a third of the Kodesh Kodashim. And the Beraisa states that the Keruvim in the Mishkan too, reached one third of the height of the Mishkan - i.e. twenty Tefachim. Bearing in mind that these Keruvim were attached to the lid of the Aron, that means that they stood ten Tefachim above the Aron.

(c) From the Pasuk in Terumah "ve'Hayu ha'Keruvim Porsei Chenafayim ... Sochechim be'Chanfeihem al ha'Kapores" - we learn that with their wings spread-out just above their heads, they created a S'chach of ten Tefachim (from their wings to the lid of the Aron - excluding the wings themselves).

(d) Their wings must have been spread out ...

1. ... *above* their heads and not just *level* with them - because the Torah writes "Lema'alah", suggesting that their wings were slightly raised.
2. ... *immediately* above their heads and not *far* above them - because then the Torah would have written "Lema'alah Lama'alah".
(a) This proof from the Aron is only valid according to Rebbi Meir, in whose opinion the Amos of the building, like those of the Vessels. consisted of *six* Tefachim. According to Rebbi Yehudah, the Amos ...
  1. ... of the building comprised only *five* Tefachim.
  2. ... of the Vessels comprised *six*.
(b) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the space between the wings of the Keruvim and the lid of the Aron was *eleven and a half* Tefachim, so it is not from there that he learns the ten Tefachim minimum height of a Sukah. According to him, the Shiur Sukah is Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai, like we learnt from Rav.
(a) According to Rav - Shiurin (such as a k'Zayis of most forbidden foods and the Koseves of Yom Kipur), Chatzitzin (by Tevilah) and Mechitzin (e.g. the walls of a Sukah) are Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai.

(b) When Rav Chanin says that the entire Pasuk of "Eretz Chitah u'Se'orah ... " (in Eikev) comes to teach us Shiurin, Chatziztin and Mechitzin' - he is informing the qualities of Eretz Yisrael, that one can even assess the Shiurim of Isur by its fruit.

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