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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sukah 14



(a) The problem with saying that, according to Rav Menashya bar Gada, the reason that Acheirim gives the stalks the Din of a Yad, is because they were initially reaped for *food*; and that the Rabbanan hold that once the owner changes his mind to use the wheat as S'chach, the stalks lose their Din of Yad - is that it clashes with the principle that (in the laws of Tum'ah), once the vessel is completed (irrespective whether it is through an act or just through Machshavah), it can only change its status (to a vessel which is *not* subject to Tum'ah), by an *act*, and not through mere *Machshavah*.

(b) A piece of leather that has obviously been cut to be used as a table, will lose its eligibility to become Tamei - the moment one begins to re-cut it in the shape of a shoe.

(a) To answer the above Kashya, we attempt to differentiate between *vessels* and the stalks of *fruit* - by confining the principle of 'Ein Machshavah Motzi mi'Yedei Machshavah' to the former (which are lasting and therefore significant), but not to the latter (which are only for eating, and therefore not significant).

(b) This explanation is feasible according to Rebbi Elazar, who explains the Mishnah in Uktzin (which declares Tahor the Yados of 'Ochlin she'Basesan') to mean food whose bundles they untied - because untying is not really an act, and is more comparable to a Machshavah.

(c) According to Rebbi Yochanan, 'Basesan' means threshing the corn (in order to soften them) - in which case, we see that even handles of *food* require an *act* to remove their eligibility to become Tamei.

(a) Rebbi Yossi holds that even after the Besisah, the stalks still retain their status of Yados, and are therefore subject to Tum'ah - because, as Resh Lakish explains, during threshing, one tends to turn over the tops of the wheat (which are themselves too short to be held in a pitchfork) via the stalks.

(b) The reason that Acheirim still applies the Din of Yados to the stalks (regarding Sukah - despite the fact that they have been threshed) - is because they are still fit to be used to transport the wheat to the Sukah.

(a) The Torah refers to the Tefilah of a Tzadik as a pitch-fork - in connection with Yitzchak's Tefilah (in Toldos), where the words "ve'Ye'tar" and "va'Ye'aser" are used, in place of more common expressions of Tefilah.

(b) We learn from there - that the Tefilah of a Tzadik, acts like a pitchfork, turning Hashem's Midas ha'Din into Midas ha'Rachamim.

(a) Rebbi Yehudah permits the use of planks as S'chach. Rebbi Meir forbids it.

(b) A plank of four Tefachim ...

  1. ... invalidates the Sukah if it is in the middle of the Sukah, but not if it is ...
  2. ... adjacent to the wall of the Sukah.
(c) One may not sleep underneath a four-Tefachim wide plank that is adjacent to the wall of the Sukah.
(a) According to Rav, Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah argue over a plank that is at least *four Tefachim* wide - because that is the width of most planks that form a ceiling, and we are afraid that one might go on to make one's Sukah in the house, using one's ceiling as S'chach. They did not decree by planks of less than four Tefachim - because it is unusual for such narrow planks to comprise a ceiling.

(b) Shmuel establishes the Machlokes by planks that are *less than four Tefachim* wide.

1. Rebbi Yehudah - holds like both he and Rebbi Meir held according to Rav (in a.).
2. Rebbi Meir holds that Chazal even decreed by narrow planks of between three and four Tefachim - because of the minority of people who make their ceilings like that (and we find in other places too, that Rebbi Meir follows the minority).
(c) Shmuel will hold by planks that are ...
1. ... *four* Tefachim wide or more - that the Sukah is Pasul, even according to Rebbi Yehudah.
2. ... less than *three* - that the Sukah is Kasher, even according to Rebbi Meir, since they are no more than canes.
(d) According to Rav, the author of our Mishnah, which forbids sleeping underneath a plank of four Tefachim - must be Rebbi Meir (because, according to Rebbi Yehudah, a plank of four Tefachim, is no different than one of less than four Tefachim).



(a) In another Beraisa, the Tana Kama invalidates two sheets placed next to each other, as if they were one, but not two planks; Rebbi Meir invalidates two planks just like two sheets. Shmuel establishes this Beraisa by two planks that make up four Tefachim - the Tana Kama is Rebbi Yehudah.

(b) Shmuel will explain the Machlokes as he explained earlier - Rebbi Yehudah does not hold of Gezeiras Tikrah, even by *one* plank that is more than *three* Tefachim, certainly not by *two*; whereas Rebbi Meir (who permits *one* plank that is more than *three* Tefachim) forbids *two* planks that total four or more Tefachim.

(c) The problem with Rav (in whose opinion Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah argue about a plank of four Tefachim, but not less) is that, if we are speaking about planks of *four* Tefachim - then why would Rebbi Meir require *two* planks to invalidate the Sukah, when, according to him, even *one* plank renders the Sukah Pasul? Whereas if we are speaking about planks of *less* than four Tefachim - then the Sukah ought to be Kasher even according to Rebbi Meir, seeing as, in Rav's opinion, planks of less than four Tefachim are no different than canes (according to everybody).

(d) Rav establishes the Machlokes by planks that are placed adjacent to the wall - where Rebbi Yehudah permits even sufficient planks to make up four Amos; even though 'Dofen Akumah' no longer applies at that point, nevertheless, he validates the Sukah, because planks of four Tefachim are Kasher; whereas Rebbi Meir validates the Sukah only as long as the planks of four Tefachim do not total four Amos.

(a) According to the second Lashon, it is Shmuel who explains the 'Mitztarfin' of Rebbi Meir to refer to four *Amos*. According to this Lashon - Rebbi Meir will not invalidate the Sukah, even if, in the middle of the Sukah, there are *two* planks of three Tefachim despite the fact that together, they total more than *four* Tefachim.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah's reason, according to Shmuel - is exactly as we explained it in the previous answer according to Rav (i.e. because, since he does not hold of Gezeiras Tikrah, he even permits the entire roof of the Sukah to be formed of planks of three Tefachim).

(c) Rav will learn Rebbi Meir in exactly the same way as Shmuel. According to him, Rebbi Yehudah says 'Sh'nei Nesarim Ein Mitztarfin' - only to counter Rebbi Meir, who says 'Mitztarfin'.

(a) In the first Beraisa (like Rav), Rebbi Yehudah brings a proof for his opinion (that planks of four Tefachim are Kasher) - from one occasion when, in time of danger (due to the decrees issued by the Romans' forbidding the performing of Mitzvos), (in order to escape detection) instead of regular S'chach, they used planks of four Tefachim, which they placed on the roof of a balcony, to form a Sukah.

(b) The Rabbanan refuted this proof - on the grounds that what was permitted in times of danger is not necessarily permitted on a regular basis. (Note: It is not however, clear, if, as one might assume, they recited a Berachah, why there should be any difference - because, if a Sukah is not Kasher in normal times, then one should not be able to recite a Berachah over it, in time of danger either.)

(c) In the second Beraisa, Rebbi Meir concedes that the Sukah is Kasher even if there are planks of three (or even four) Tefachim on the Sukah - provided the spaces between the planks are equal to the planks. We shall see later, that he is speaking about a Sukah that is exactly eight by eight Amos, and that a plank is placed on either side of the Sukah first (and then a space, a plank and a space, and so on - resulting in a space of eight Tefachim in the middle, to be filled in with S'chach). This comprises a Sukah with 'bent walls' of less than four Amos, which is Kasher.

(d) According to Shmuel, Rebbi Yehudah concedes that planks of four Tefachim wide will invalidate the Sukah - in which case, we would have had to establish the Beraisa in exactly the same way as Rav. However, the Tana chose to inform us that the Sukah will be Kasher according to *Rebbi Meir*, to teach us that even Rebbi Meir,who is more stringent than Rebbi Yehudah in this regard, will validate a Sukah that is made in this way.

10) In the same Beraisa, Rebbi Yehudah concedes to Rebbi Meir - that, although a plank of four Tefachim adjacent to the wall does not invalidate the Sukah, one should nevertheless not sleep underneath it, and that if he did, he has not fulfilled the Mitzvah of Sukah.


(a) Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna thought that - planks of four Tefachim wide but less than four Tefachim thick that are placed on their sides, do not invalidate the Sukah.

(b) They hoped that Rav Nachman who came to visit Sura, would support them, but he didn't. He agreed with Rav Huna - who says that they *do* invalidate it.

(a) The Beraisa invalidates a Sukah that cannot fit a person's head, most of him and his table - the equivalent of seven Tefachim (six for him and his head, plus one for his table).

(b) The Tana also invalidates a Sukah, if a gap in the bottom of the wall is large enough to allow a kid-goat to enter easily - the equivalent of a three Tefachim gap (up to three Tefachim we apply the principle of 'Levud').

(c) We attempt to prove Rav Huna right from the same Beraisa, which invalidates a Sukah which has a plank that is four Tefachim wide, but which only takes up three Tefachim in the Sukah - which we initially think refers to Rav Huna's case (of a plank that is four Tefachim wide and three Tefachim thick standing on its side.

(d) But we reject this proof by establishing the Beraisa by 'Pesel ha'Yotze min ha'Sukah' - meaning that if, by a Sukah consisting of three walls, they placed a plank of four Tefachim across the Sukah at the end where there was no wall, with three Tefachim covering the two opposite walls, and the fourth Tefach protruding beyond that (covering an area where there no wall at all) the plank nevertheless invalidates the entire Sukah, because of 'Pesel ha'Yotze min ha'Sukah'.

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