ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafSukah 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
(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.
(b) *Small* rush mats, even when they are hand-platted - are not Kasher for
S'chach, because they are fit for sleeping on.
2. ... Pasul when they are woven - because they are both soft and smooth,
and therefore 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
(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.
(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*.
2. ... the reed mats of Teverya - were not subject to Tum'as Medras (due
to their hardness) - even according to the Rabbanan.
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 ...
- ... sack-cloth or horse-hair - might be used as a curtain or sifter.
- ... 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.
***** Hadran Alach Perek Sukah *****
(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
(d) The mats of the B'nei Mechuza were not eligible for S'chach - because
they had rims.
***** 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
(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
(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.