(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Sukah 21

SUKAH 21-25 - my brother Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored one month of Dafyomi publications for the benefit of Klal Yisrael



(a) Rebbi Yehudah learns from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ohel" "Ohel" from Mishkan that, with regard to Tum'as Ohel - any Ohel that is not man-made (like that of the Mishkan) is not considered an Ohel.

(b) The Rabbanan who argue with Rebbi Yehudah, maintain 'Ohel Ohel Ribah' - meaning that the word "Ohel" appears a number of times, and from one of them we learn that any Ohel, even one that is man-made, is called an Ohel.

(a) 'Kever ha'Tehom' means a Safek Tum'ah i.e. that someone might just be buried there.

(b) They built courtyards in Yerushalayim on top of rocks to avoid Kever ha'Tehom - which they did by building them on top of a large hollow, to ensure that, even if there was an unknown grave there, the hollow (which was certainly more than a Tefach) would prevent the Tum'ah from reaching the courtyards.

(c) They brought pregnant women there, so that the babies to whom they subsequently gave birth, would grow up without being subjected to Tum'as Meis. Later, they would make all the necessary preparations for the Parah Adumah. The children only worked in this capacity until they reached the age of six or seven, the age when one begins to see Tum'as Keri.

(d) Chazal considered it necessary to introduce a number of stringencies in connection with the Parah Adumah - in order to counter a leninecy, which they introduced in order to prove wrong the Tzedokim (who maintained that the Parah had to be burnt by a Kohen who was completely Tahor i.e. if he had been Tamei and had Toveled, he had to wait until nightfall). Consequently, they would make a point of being Metamei the Kohen who burned it and making him Tovel, prior to burning it on the same day that he burned it.

(a) Only stone vessels (which are not subject to Tum'ah) were used in preparing the Parah Adumah.

(b) The Kohen who was designated to burn it - had to separate from his wife and move to the Beis Hamikdash for seven days, as we learned in Yoma.

(a) According to the Tana Kama of the Mishnah, the children rode to the spring of the Shilo'ach to draw the water for the Parah Adumah - on top of a door that was placed on the back of a bull, holding stone vessels.

(b) Rebbi Yossi permitted them to fill their stone jars from the backs of the bulls rather than dismount and enter the water - to avoid Tum'as ha'Tehom.

(c) The Tana Kama, on the other hand, insisted that they dismount - because, in his opinion, the water must be filled in the normal way, and not by lowering the jar via a string.

(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the children did not ride on doors - but directly on the wide backs of the bulls, which served as an Ohel, to protect the children from Tum'as ha'Tehom (in spite of the fact that the back of the bull is not a made-made Ohel, and Rebbi Yehudah ruled earlier that a natural Ohel is not considered an Ohel).

(b) Rav Dimi quoting Rebbi Elazar, differentiates between a natural Ohel of a Tefach (which is not considered an Ohel) and one of a 'Me'lo Egrof' i.e. the size of the fist of Ben Avti'ach, which was as large as a human head (which Rebbi Yehudah agrees is Chashuv, and is therefore considered an Ohel).

(c) But Rebbi Yehudah himself said earlier that the children rode on bulls with wide backs and *not on doors*, which we take to mean literally - because doors are not normally used as an Ohel, in which case, neither are bulls? And if the fact that an Ohel more than a 'Me'lo Egrof' can turn a *natural* Ohel into an Ohel, why can it not also turn an *unusual* Ohel into an Ohel?

(d) Abaye re-interprets 'not on doors' to mean that it was *not necessary* for them to ride on doors (but that they could if they chose to). Rava explains that they deliberately avoided riding on doors - because it would give the child too much of a feeling of security, encouraging him to lean over the side, perhaps over a Kever ha'Tehom. The Beraisa supports Rava's explanation.




(a) The problem with Rebbi Elazar, who maintains that Rebbi Yehudah concedes by a Me'lo Egrof, that a *natural* Ohel becomes important and is considered an Ohel, is from Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah, who permits sleeping under a bed (because it is a *temporary* Ohel) in the Sukah is - because, if a Me'lo Egrof transforms a *natural* Ohel into an Ohel, why should it not also transform a *temporary* Ohel into an Ohel?

(b) A bed is not considered an Ohel - (not just because it is temporary) but because the definition of an Ohel is one which is made to protect what is *underneath* it, whereas a bed is made to sleep on *top* of it, and is therefore not considered an Ohel (irrespective of its size).

(c) If the backs of bulls were considered an Ohel - because of the shepherds' tendency to lie underneath them as a protection from the sun and the shade, then why should the bed too, not be considered an Ohel - because of the tendency of people to place their shoes and sandals underneath it?

(d) People's whims do not create an Ohel, answers Rava, and the reason that Rebbi Yehudah considers the back of a bull an Ohel, is - because of the Pasuk "Or u'Basar Talbisheini, u've'Atzamos ve'Gidin *Tesochecheini*", which refers to bones and nerves as S'chach (a Lashon of Ohel).

(a) The contradiction in Rebbi Yehudah currently under discussion assumes that Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah does not consider a bed (e.g. a temporary Ohel) to be an Ohel. According to the way we originally explained Rebbi Yehudah however - (that even though a temporary Ohel *is* an Ohel, it cannot however, negate a permanent one) the entire Kashya falls away.

(b) Rebbi Shimon too, requires a permanent structure as a Sukah (as we saw above on Daf 7b.), yet he forbids sleeping under a bed in the Sukah - because *he* holds 'Asi Ohel Arai u'Mevatel Ohel Keva' (a temporary Ohel does negate a permanent one).

8) In a Beraisa, Rebbi Shimon says that we can learn two things from Raban Gamliel (as we saw in our Mishnah). In saying that, he uses the expression '*mi'Sichaso* (rather than '*mi'Devarav*) shel Raban Gamliel' - to teach us that one can even learn from the mundane speech of Talmidei-Chachamim.


(a) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, a Sukah that is supported by a bed is Kasher. Rebbi Yehudah says that if the Sukah cannot stand by itself, it is Pasul.

(b) Rebbi Zeira and Rebbi Aba argue over Rebbi Yehudah's reason. One of them explains that it is because it is not fixed - meaning that a Sukah that can be moved around via a bed, is not a Sukah Kavu'a, and we have already learned that in Rebbi Yehudah's opinion, a Sukah must be a permanent fixture.

(c) The other explains that Rebbi Yehudah invalidates the Sukah - because it is being held up by something that is subject to Tum'ah (and whatever holds up the S'chach is like the S'chach itself).

(d) The difference between them will be if the S'chach is placed on four metal posts that are fixed - on the one hand, the Sukah will then be permanent (and Kasher); on the other hand, it is resting on something that is subject to Tum'ah (and is Pasul).

10) Abaye says that Rebbi Yehudah only invalidates the Sukah if the S'chach is actually resting on the *legs of the bed*, but not if it rests on *independent posts* - because why should the Sukah then be Pasul? It is neither temporary, nor is it held up by something that is subject to Tum'ah!

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,