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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sukah 20

SUKAH 20 - Dedicated by Marsha and Lee Weinblatt of N.J., in honor of the 5th of Iyar



(a) According to Rava's current interpretation of the Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Eliezer, they both agree that a *large* mat is normally meant for S'chach, and they argue by a *small* one: The Tana Kama holds that a Stam small mat is subject to Tum'ah and is Pasul for S'chach; whereas Rebbi Eliezer maintains that both a *small mat and a large one* are Kasher for S'chach. Besides the tradition that their dispute concerns a *large* mat and that Rebbi Eliezer goes le'Chumra - the Gemara has a problem with the Lashon of Rebbi Eliezer: if he is coming to teach us that a small mat has the same lenient ruling as a large one, he should have said, not 'a small mat and a large one', but a large mat and a small one' - since it is always the way of the Tana to mention the *obvious* case *first*, and the case that he is *learning* from it, *last*.

(b) Rav Papa therefore, establishes the Machlokes by a *large* mat - by a small mat everyone agrees that a Stam mat is for lying on; and it is by a large mat where Rebbi Eliezer comes to argue and to forbid (because when he said 'Ase'ah li'Shechivah' - he meant 'Stam li'Shechivah' - whereas 'le'Sikuch' of the Tana Kama remains 'S'tam le'Sikukuch', as we understood it originally).

(a) According to the Tana Kama of the Beraisa, *large* mats made of various types of rushes ...
1. ... are Kasher for S'chach when they are hand-platted - because they are lumpy and not fit for sleeping on.
2. ... Pasul when they are woven - because they are both soft and smooth, and therefore fit for sleeping on.
(b) *Small* rush mats, even when they are hand-platted - are not Kasher for S'chach, because they are fit for sleeping on.

(c) Small *reed* mats are Kasher when they are hand-platted. They are more lenient than *rush* mats - because they are hard.

(d) According to Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi Dosa - small *reed* mats (even if they are hand-platted) are forbidden, just like rush ones are.

(a) Rebbi Dosa (in another Beraisa) declares 'Chotzelos' Tamei Meis - by which he means 'subject to becoming Tamei through any Av ha'Tum'ah' (like a Tamei Meis - because vessels cannot receive Tum'ah through a Toldah), to become a Rishon, but not an Av (through the appropriate contact with a Zav, which they would be if they were Tamei Medras).

(b) The Chachamim say that they are *even* subject to becoming Tamei Medras - and certainly Tamei Meis (because whatever can become a Medras, will become a Rishon, should it touch an ordinary Av).

(c) Rav Avdimi bar Hamduri translates 'Chotezlos' as 'the leather satchels of shepherds'; Resh Lakish, as 'mats'.

(a) Ezra, Hillel and Rebbi Chiya each came from Bavel to reinstate Torah in Eretz Yisrael.

(b) When Resh Lakish said about Rebbi Chiya 'Hareini Kaparas Rebbi Chiya u'Vanav' (which means that he undertook to suffer as an atonement for his sins), he was speaking with reverence about him after his death, as a son would speak about his father or a Talmid about his Rebbe.

(c) Rebbi Chiya said that ...

1. ... the reed mats of Usha were subject to Tum'as Medras (because they were designated for sleeping on) - even according to Rebbi Dosa.
2. ... the reed mats of Teverya - were not subject to Tum'as Medras (due to their hardness) - even according to the Rabbanan.
(d) The reed mats used in other towns, he claimed, were the subject of the dispute between Rebbi Dosa (who declared them Tamei Meis) and the Chachamim (who declared them Tamei Medras) - quoted above in 3. The Chachamim went after the majority of people, who would *not designate* them for sleeping; whereas Rebbi Dosa took into account the minority of people, who *would*.


5) Rebbi Dosa (who just declared reed mats subject to Tum'ah) agrees with Rebbi Yossi (see 2d) - that reed mats that do *not* have a rim are *not* subject to Tum'ah, and are therefore Kasher to be used as S'chach. *He*on the other hand, is speaking about mats which *do* have a *rim*.


(a) In another Beraisa, Rebbi Dosa declares Chotzelos made of rushes, sack- cloth or horse-hair subject to Tum'as Meis. According to the Rabbanan - they are even subject to Tum'as Medras.

(b) According to Rav Avdimi bar Hamduri (in 2d, who translated 'Chotzelos' as the leather satchels of shepherds), one might use a satchel made of rushes for large fruit, and one made of sack-cloth or horse-hair for legumes and smaller fruit. This is due to the difference in the way they are woven - the former are woven with large gaps in the weaving, the latter are not.

(c) According to Resh Lakish (who translated 'Chotzelos' as 'mats'), apart from sleeping on them (for which purpose, according to Rebbi Dosa, they are not made), a mat made of ...

  1. ... sack-cloth or horse-hair - might be used as a curtain or sifter.
  2. ... rushes - as a cover for a beer-barrel.
(a) When Rebbi Chananya went to Bavel to declare a leap-year, that old man told him - that one may use mats for S'chach.

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua, his uncle - did indeed agree with the old man.

(c) Rav Chisda added that this ruling would only apply to a mat that had no rim.

(d) The mats of the B'nei Mechuza were not eligible for S'chach - because they had rims.

***** Hadran Alach Perek Sukah *****

***** Perek ha'Yashen *****

(a) It is indeed a Mitzvah to *sleep* in the Sukah - just as it is to *eat* and to *drink* in the Sukah.

(b) The Tana Kama forbids sleeping underneath a bed in the Sukah. Rebbi Yehudah permits it - because in his opinion, a temporary Ohel cannot negate a permanent one.

(c) The Tana Kama might well agree with Rebbi Yehudah on principle. According to him however, it will not apply by Sukah, because in his opinion, a Sukah does not need to be a permanent structure, so it is a matter of a temporary Ohel negating another temporary one, which of course, it can (even according to Rebbi Yehudah) - see also 21b.7b.

(d) The bed must be ten Tefachim high for the Tana Kama to forbid it because of Ohel.

(a) Tavi, Raban Gamliel's slave, once slept under a bed in a Sukah - and Raban Gamliel subsequently boasted to the elders what a Talmid-Chacham Tavi was, seeing as, not only did he know the Halachah of 'Ohel Mevatel Ohel', but he also knew that slaves are Patur from Sukah.

(b) We can learn from Raban Gamliel's statement - that someone who sleeps under a bed in the Sukah has not fulfilled his obligation.

(a) The Tana Kama in the Mishnah in Ohalos holds that a hole that the water or rodents bored into the lower section of the banks of a river or, that appeared there after the earth crumbled by itself, or a pile of stones or of beams where some of them formed an Ohel over others - has all the Dinim of Tum'as Ohel.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah disagrees on the grounds that it is only a *man-made* Ohel that has the Din of an Ohel, but not a *natural* one.

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