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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sukah 12

SUKAH 12 (27 Nisan) - has been dedicated to the memory of ha'Rav Shmuel (ben Aharon) Grunfeld of Jerusalem/Efrat. Rav Shmuel was a truly great Torah scholar, whose tragic death left all who knew him with an inconsolable sense of loss.



(a) Rebbi Yochanan ultimately learns the specifications of S'chach - from the Pasuk in Re'ei "be'Ospecha mi'Gornecha u'mi'Yikvecha", which means that the Sukah must be made of the waste products from the granary and from the wine-press - i.e. the stalks etc. of the one, and the branches and foliage from the other (commodities that are subject to Tum'ah and that grow from the ground).

(b) We initially explain that the Pasuk cannot refer to the actual contents of the granary and the wine-press themselves - because "Yekev" really refers to wine, and how can one possibly make S'chach out of wine?

(c) Along came Rebbi Yirmiyah however, and threw a spanner in the wheel - by suggesting that the Pasuk refers to congealed wine that comes from S'nir (alias Mount Chermon - see Devarim 3:9), which resembled cakes of dried figs, and which could be used as S'chach.

(d) Rav Ashi derived the specifications of Sukah from the very words ("*mi*'Gornecha u'*mi*'Yikvecha") themselves - implying the (waste) *from* the granary and *from* the wine-press, but not the wheat and the wine themselves.

2) When Nechemyah, instructed the people to ascend the mountains and collect among other materials "Eitz Avos" and "Alei Hadas" - he meant Kasher Hadasim for their Lulavim, and Pasul ones (known as 'Hadas Shoteh') for their Sukos.


(a) Bundles of straw, wood or canes are Pasul - they do however, become Kasher, if one unties them (even after they are already on the roof of the Sukah - seeing as they are only forbidden because of a decree, and are not intrinsically Pasul).

(b) One may however, use them (or any other material for that matter) as walls of the Sukah?

(c) Besides the reason for the Pesul of bundles of straw etc. - Rebbi Ya'akov also heard from Rebbi Yochanan the reason for the Pesul of scratching out a Sukah in a haystack (as stated in the Mishnah on 15a).

(d) The two reasons that apply to the two Mishnahs are 1. 'Gezeiras Otzar' (that one might go on from there to use one's storehouse with piles of materials that were placed on the roof for storage, and not for shade); 2. 'Ta'aseh ve'Lo min he'Asuy' - mi'de'Rabbanan and mi'd'Oraysa respectively.

(a) Rebbi Ya'akov had not however, heard what Rebbi Chiya bar Aba said in the name of Rebbi Yochanan, who explained that our Mishnah forbids using bundles of straw etc. - for fear that someone arriving home from the field with bundles of straw might place them on the roof to dry, and then change his mind to use them as S'chach ('Gezeiras Otzar').

(b) In which case, the reason for invalidating a Sukah that is burrowed out of a hay-stack - must be because of 'Ta'aseh ve'Lo min he'Asuy'.

(c) Rav Ashi queried Rebbi Yochanan on the grounds that seeing as both Ta'aseh ve'Lo min he'Asuy' and Gezeiras Otzar apply to both cases, how does he know that the one reason applies to the one, and the other, to the other? Perhaps they are both Asur min ha'Torah, or perhaps they are both Asur mi'de'Rabbanan?

(d) We reply that Rebbi Yochanan derives his distinction from the Lashon of the Tana in each case - because our Tana says 'Ein Mesachechin Bahen' (implying Asur Lechatchilah, but Kasher Bedieved - something that we only say by an Isur de'Rabbanan); whereas with regard to a Sukah in a haystack, the Tana says 'Einah Sukah' (implying even Bedieved, it is not a Sukah, in which case it must be an Isur d'Oraysa).



5) 'Gezeiras Otzar' does not apply in the case of 'ha'Chotet be'Gadish' - because 'Einah Sukah' mi'd'Oraysa implies that the owner did *not* even shake the S'chach (because if he did, then it would not be Pasul mi'd'Oraysa), but that, if he *did*, it would be Kasher (because once one does something positive to make the Sukah Kasher, it is no longer feasible that one will learn from there to use Pasul S'chach the next time).


(a) A 'male' arrow is the pointed head of the arrow which screws into the 'female' shaft - both of which are made of wood.

(b) The former is Kasher for S'chach - because wooden objects that are not made in the form of a receptacle (that can hold liquid) are not subject to Tum'ah (and may therefore be used as S'chach); whereas the latter is Pasul - because, since it is a receptacle, it is subject to Tum'ah, (and we have already learned that, whatever is subject to Tum'ah, is Pasul).

(c) It is necessary to tell us that ...

1. ... male arrows are Kasher as S'chach - because we would otherwise have thought that Chazal would have decreed male arrows because of female ones.
2. ... female arrows are Pasul - because we would otherwise have thought that a receptacle that is made to be permanently filled, is not called a receptacle.
(a) The flax stalks need first to be soaked and then pounded in the mortar. The other two processes essential to flax-making before they are cut into threads - are combing and bleaching.

(b) With regard to S'chach, Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan invalidates 'Anitzei Pishtan' but validates 'Hutznei Pishtan':

  1. ... 'Anitzei Pishtan' - are the strands of flax after they have been combed.
  2. ... 'Hutznei Pishtan' - are the bundles of flax before they have even been soaked.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan himself is uncertain whether 'Hushnei Pishtan' are valid as S'chach or not - and Rabah bar bar Chanah is uncertain as to what constitutes Rebbi Yochanan's Safek: whether Hushni constitutes the bundles of flax between the pounding and the combing (whereas between the soaking and the pounding, they are still called 'Hutzni' and are Kasher for S'chach); or pehaps, once they have been soaked, they are already called Hushni and are included in Rebbi Yochanan's Safek.
8) Rav Yehudah permits herbs by the name of Shushi and Shivtzeri to be used as S'chach.
Abaye disagrees in the case of Shivtzeri - on the grounds that it has a repugnant smell that will cause a person to leave the Sukah, so Chazal issued a decree forbidding its use.

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