Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 2a
MISHNAH. A SUKKAH1 WHICH2 IS MORE THAN TWENTY CUBITS HIGH IS NOT VALID, R. JUDAH, HOWEVER, DECLARES IT VALID. ONE WHICH IS NOT TEN HAND BREADTHS HIGH, OR WHICH HAS NOT THREE WALLS, OR WHICH HAS MORE SUN THAN SHADE, IS NOT VALID.
GEMARA. We have learnt elsewhere3 : If the [cross-beam above an] alley-entry4 is more than twenty cubits high, it must be lowered. R. Judah says this is unnecessary. Now wherein lies the difference [between the two cases that] with regard to the Sukkah it is declared NOT VALID, while with regard to [the cross-beam over] the alley-entry, a remedy is indicated? — With regard to the Sukkah, since it is a Pentateuchal5 ordinance, it [was proper categorically to] state, NOT VALID;6 with regard to [the cross-beam over] an alley-entry, however, since the injunction is only Rabbinical,7 a remedy is given.8 And, if you wish, you may say that even with a Pentateuchal command a remedy may be given, but with regard to the Sukkah, as the ordinances relating thereto are many it was briefly stated, NOT VALID9 [while in the case of a cross-beam over] an alley-entry, since the regulations thereof10 are not many, a remedy is indicated.
Whence do we know this?11 — Rabbah answered: Scripture says, That your generations may know12 that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths,13 [with a booth] up to twenty cubits [high] a man ‘knows’ that he is dwelling in a booth, but with one higher than twenty cubits he does not ‘know’ that he is dwelling in a booth, since his eye does not descry it.14 R. Zera replied: From the following verse, And there shall be a booth for a shadow in the daytime from the heat.15 [With a booth] up to twenty cubits [high] a man sits in the shade of the booth;16 but with one higher than twenty cubits he sits, not in the shade of the booth16 but in the shade of its walls.17 Said Abaye to him ,18 But if so, if a man made his Sukkah in Ashteroth Karnayim’19 would it also be no valid Sukkah? — He answered him: In that case, remove the ‘Ashteroth Karnayim’ and there will remain the shade of the Sukkah, but here, remove the walls, and you have no shade of a Sukkah.20
Raba replied: [It is derived] from the following verse, Ye shall dwell in booths seven days,21 the Torah declared, For the whole seven days leave thy permanent abode and dwell in a temporary abode. [With a booth] up to twenty cubits [high] a man makes his abode a temporary one; [in one] higher than twenty cubits, a man does not make his abode temporary, but permanent.22 Said Abaye to him, But if so, if he made walls of iron and placed the [proper] covering23 over them, would it also24 be no valid Sukkah. The other answered him, it is this that I mean to tell you: [In a booth] up to twenty cubits, which a man makes his temporary abode, even if he makes it permanent, he has fulfilled his obligation; [but in one] higher than twenty cubits, such as a man makes his permanent abode, even if he makes it temporary, he has not fulfilled his obligation.
(1) The booth set up at the Feast of Tabernacles in fulfilment of Lev. XXIII, 42.
(2) In its interior.
(3) ‘Er. I, 1.
(4) If an alleyway has courtyards opening into it, while on one side it is open to a public domain, a cross-beam placed over the entrance imparts to it some of the characteristics of a private domain within which freedom of movement on the Sabbath is permitted.
(5) V. Supra n. 1.
(6) The suggestion of a remedy might have been misunderstood as being mere advice the neglect of which did not vitally affect the performance of the precept, and so it would be concluded that ex post facto the Sukkah may be deemed fit. (V. Tosaf. ‘Er. 2a s.v סוכה contra Rashi).
(7) According to the Pentateuchal ordinance three walls suffice to make an enclosure private.
(8) There is no need for so much precaution in the case of a Rabbinical, as in that of a Pentateuchal law.
(9) Thus presenting a succinct ruling covering all disqualifications. Were remedies for each disqualification to be indicated the ruling would have extended to undue lengths, contrary to the principle of brevity in teaching (v. Pes. 3b).
(10) Given in the cited Mishnah ‘Er. I, 1.
(11) That the prescribed height of a Sukkah is Pentateuchal.
(12) Emphasis on ‘know’.
(13) Lev. XXIII, 43.
(14) The roof covering סכך Which is the essential feature of the Sukkah.
(15) Isa. IV, 6.
(16) Sc. the roof (cf. supra n. 5).
(17) Whose shadows completely fill the interior and render that of the roof superfluous.
(18) R. Zera.
(19) A glen between two high mountains where the sun cannot penetrate. Lit., ‘Ashteroth of the two horns’, v. Gen. Xlv, 5.
(20) Since the high roof would not suffice to exclude the sunshine that comes streaming in from the sides.
(21) Lev. XXIII, 42.
(22) Such a high structure requires firm foundations and walls and these give it the characteristics of a permanent abode.
(23) סכך, ‘to cover’ refers especially to the valid covering of a Sukkah,
(24) Since it is a permanent structure.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 2b
All1 do not agree with [the deduction of] Rabbah, since that [verse]2 refers to the knowledge of [future] generations. Nor do they agree with R. Zera, since that verse3 refers to the Messianic age.4 [What, however, does] R. Zera [answer to this objection]?- [he could answer], If so, the verse could read ‘And there shall be a covering for a shadow in the daytime’. Why then was it stated, ‘And there shall be a booth for a shadow in the daytime’? Hence you must infer therefrom both points.5
Nor do they6 agree with Raba, on account of the objection of Abaye.7
Whose authority is followed in the statement made by R. Josiah in the name of Rab, that the difference of opinion8 is where the walls do not reach the covering, but where the walls do reach the covering the sukkah is valid, even if it is higher than twenty cubits?
‘Whose authority is followed’ [you ask]? it is in accordance with Rabbah whose reason9 is that the eye does not descry it, but where the walls reach the covering, the eye10 does descry it. Whose authority is followed in the statement made by R. Huna in the name of Rab, that the difference of opinion8 is where the area of the sukkah was only four cubits square but where it was more than four cubits square [both agree] that even if it is higher than twenty cubits it is valid? — In agreement with whom [you ask]? In agreement with R. Zera who gives as the reason11 the [character of the] shade, and, since it12 is spacious- there is the shade of a Sukkah.13
Whose authority is followed in the statement made by R. Hanan b. Rabbah in the name of Rab, that the difference of opinion14 is only where [the Sukkah] can contain [only] a person's head, the greater part of his body, and his table,15 but where it is larger than this [both agree] that even if it is higher than twenty cubits it is valid? — In agreement with whom [you ask]? In agreement with none.16
It is understandable that R. Josiah disagrees with R. Huna and with R. Hanan b. Rabbah, since they lay down a [minimum] measurement in the extent [of the Sukkah] while he does not lay down a minimum measurement as to the extent [thereof]; but [as regards] R. Huna and R. Hanan b. Rabbah, can we say that they differ on [what minimum of extent constitutes] the validity of the Sukkah, the former17 holding the opinion that the validity of the sukkah [depends upon its being a minimum of] four cubits [square] while the latter18 holds that the validity of the sukkah [depends, upon its capacity of] containing his head, the greater part of his body, and his table?- No! Both may agree that the validity of the Sukkah [depends upon its capacity of] containing his head, the greater part of his body, and his table, but here they differ on the following principle: One master18 holds the opinion that they19 differ where the Sukkah [can] contain [only] his head, the greater part of his body, and his table, but if it is larger than this both agree that it is valid,20 while the other master17 holds the opinion that they differ [about a Sukkah whose size is] between [one capable of] containing his head, the greater part of his body and his table, and one four cubits square, but if it is more than four cubits square, both agree that it is valid.21
It was objected:22 A Sukkah which is higher than twenty cubits is not valid, but R. Judah declared it valid up to a height of forty or fifty cubits. R. Judah stated, ‘It happened with Queen Helena23 in Lydda24 that her Sukkah was higher than twenty cubits, and the elders nevertheless were going in and out of it and spoke not a word to her [in disagreement]’. They said to him, ‘Is25 this a proof? She was a woman and [therefore] free from the obligation of the Sukkah’.26 He answered them, ‘Did she not have seven sons? And besides, she did nothing except in accordance with the command of the Sages’. Why does he have to add ‘and besides, she did nothing except in accordance with the command of the Sages’? Thus he said to them: If you will answer [with regard to her seven sons] that her sons were minors27 and minors are free from [the obligation of] the sukkah, since [however] she had seven, there must have been at least one28 who was [old enough] not to be dependent on his mother; and if you will object that [the duty of educating] a child who is not dependent on his mother is merely a Rabbinical injunction, and she took no heed of a Rabbinical injunction, I29 add ‘and besides, she did nothing except in accordance with the command of the Sages’. Now this [Baraitha] is well according to the authority who says that their30 difference of opinion was in the case where the walls did not reach the covering;31 since it is the custom of a queen to sit in a sukkah whose walls do not reach the roof
(1) The Amoras, supra 2a, who dealt with the question, whence is it derived that the prescribed height of a Sukkah is Pentateuchal.
(2) Lev. XXIII, 43.
(3) Isa. IV, 6.
(4) When there shall be booths for shelter against heat etc.
(5) That (a) there will be a Sukkah in the Messianic age and (b) only one whose roof provides the necessary shadow is valid.
(6) V.supra n. 3.
(7) Supra 2a ad fin.
(8) In our Mishnah, between the first anonymous authority and R, Judah.
(9) For the ruling of the first Tanna.
(10) Travelling up the walls.
(11) For the ruling of the first Tanna.
(12) The Sukkah.
(13) Sc. the roof covering.
(14) V. p. 3, n. 10.
(15) They used to eat reclining on a couch by the table.
(16) Since even when the Sukkah can contain more than his head, greater part of his body and table, all the reasons given by the above authorities for disqualifying a Sukkah higher than twenty cubits still apply.
(17) R. Huna.
(18) R. Hanan b. Rabbah.
(19) The anonymous authority in our Mishnah and R. Judah.
(20) Even when higher than twenty cubits.
(21) I.e., according to R. Zera, since on account of its spaciousness there is the shade of a Sukkah in it.
(22) Against the Amoras who laid down supra the principles on which the authorities in our Mishnah differ.
(23) A famous royal convert to Judaism, about the year thirty C.E. She was Queen Adiabene, wife of Monobaz I, and mother of Monobaz II. She visited Palestine about forty-three C.E. and presented a golden portal to the Temple (Yoma 37a). She was buried in Jerusalem.
(24) A town in Palestine, west of Jerusalem, noted as a seat of scholarship after the destruction.
(25) Lit., ‘from there’.
(26) Since it is a commandment dependent upon a specified time for its performance from which women are exempt.
(27) Under thirteen years of age.
(28) Who, although still a minor, must be educated in the observance of the commandments of the Torah.
(29) Lit., ‘come and hear’.
(30) That of R. Judah and the first Tanna in our Mishnah.
(31) Of the Sukkah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 3a
because of ventilation; but according to the authority who states that they differed only in the case of a small’ Sukkah,1 is it then customary for a queen to sit in a diminutive sukkah?2 — Rabbah b. Adda answered, The ruling was necessary only in the case of a Sukkah constructed with many recesses.3 Is it then customary for a queen to sit in a sukkah with many recesses? — R. Ashi answered: [The ruling] was necessary only in the case of the recesses in it.4 The Rabbis hold the opinion that her sons sat in the proper Sukkah, while she sat in one of the recesses for reasons of modesty, and hence they5 made no remark,6 while R. Judah was of the opinion that her sons sat with her,7 and still they5 made no remark.
R. Samuel b. Isaac8 stated, The halachah is that [the Sukkah] must be able to contain his head, the greater part of his body, and his table. R. Abba said to him, In agreement with whom is this ruling? Is it in agreement with Beth Shammai?9 -The other answered him,, According to whom else? Another version: R. Abba said to him, Who holds this opinion?-He answered, ‘Beth Shammai, and10 do not budge from it’.
R. Nahman b. Isaac demurred: Whence do we know that Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel are in dispute concerning a small Sukkah? Perhaps their dispute concerns a large Sukkah, as for instance, where a man sat at the entrance of the Sukkah with his table inside the house,11 Beth Shammai holding the opinion that we prohibit it lest he be drawn after the table, while Beth Hillel hold that we do not prohibit it? This, furthermore, may be deduced also [from the wording], for it was stated, ‘If his head and the greater part of his body were within the Sukkah but his table was within the house, Beth Shammai declare it invalid, and Beth Hillel declare it valid;’12 but if it is [as you say]13 it ought to read, [If the Sukkah can] contain, or cannot contain [his head etc.].14
But do they not dispute concerning a small Sukkah? Has it not in fact been taught: [If a Sukkah can] contain his head, the greater part of his body and his table, it is valid. Rabbi says, It must be four cubits square. While in another [Baraitha] it has been taught: Rabbi says, Any Sukkah which is not four cubits square is invalid, while the Sages say, Even if it can contain only his head, and the greater part of his body it is valid. Whereas of ‘his table’ there is no mention. Does not thus15 a contradiction arise between the two [Baraithas]? We must consequently infer therefrom that one is [according to] Beth Shammai, and the other according to Beth Hillel!16
Mar Zutra observed, The wording of this Mishnah12 also proves it,13 since it says: ‘Beth Shammai declare it invalid, and Beth Hillel declare it valid’, and if it were [as you say]17 it ought to read: Beth Shammai say’, He has not fulfilled his obligation while Beth Hillel say that he has.18 But do not the words, ‘He [whose head etc.] were’19 present a difficulty? — The fact is that they differ on two [points], on a small Sukkah and a large one, but the text is defective and is to be read thus: ‘He whose head and the greater part of his body were within the sukkah and his table within the house,20 Beth Shammai say, He has not fulfilled his obligation and Beth Hillel say, He has; and if it is [able to] contain only his head and the major part of his body alone,21 Beth Shammai declare it invalid and Beth Hillel valid.’ Who is the authority for that which our Rabbis taught: ‘A house which is not four cubits square is free from the obligations of Mezuzah22 , and parapet,23 does not contract levitical uncleanliness from leprosy,24 is not irredeemable among the dwelling houses of a walled city,25 nor does one return on its account from the array of war,26 nor need an ‘Erub27 be prepared for it, nor Shittuf,27 nor does one place therein an ‘Erub28
(1) But agreed where it was a large one.
(2) Obviously not. Why then did the Rabbis in this case differ from R. Judah?
(3) Since each recess was small the Rabbis may well have regarded it as invalid.
(4) Sc. It was a large Sukkah with recesses in it.
(5) The elders.
(6) Since a woman is exempt from Sukkah.
(7) In the recesses.
(8) Var. lec., R. Huna.
(9) It cannot be in agreement with Beth Hillel who (infra 28a) do not require a Sukkah to be capable of containing also one's table.
(10) Although the halachah is usually according to Beth Hillel.
(11) I.e., the Sukkah was built on to the house
(12) Mishnah infra 28a.
(13) That the point at issue is a small Sukkah.
(14) It may, therefore, be concluded that the point at issue is a Sukkah that was large.
(15) Since the former does, and the latter does not mention ‘his table’.
(16) Which proves that Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel dispute concerning a small Sukkah.
(17) That the dispute related to a large Sukkah.
(18) Since the Sukkah itself is valid.
(19) As has been pointed out supra in support of R. Nahman b. Isaac's demur.
(20) Referring to a large Sukkah.
(21) Referring to a small Sukkah.
(22) V. Deut. VI, 9 and Glos.
(23) V. Ibid. XXII, 8.
(24) V. Lev. XIV, 34ff
(25) V. Ibid. XXV, 29, 30. Houses in walled cities, if sold, were irredeemable after twelve months, and remained in perpetuity the buyers’, v. Lev. XXV, 30. A structure less than four cubits square is not regarded as a ‘house’, and none of the above-mentioned laws are applicable to it. It may be redeemed at any time, and if it was not redeemed it returns to the seller in the jubilee year.
(26) V. Deut. XX, 5.
(27) V. Glos,
(28) I.e., this structure cannot be regarded as one of the houses wherein the ‘Erub of the courtyard may be placed.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 3b
nor make of it an extension1 between two cities, nor can brothers or partners divide it ‘?2 Must we say that it agrees with Rabbi,3 and not with the Rabbis?4 — No! One can even say that it agrees with the Rabbis. The Rabbis say it5 only with regard to a Sukkah which is a temporary abode, but with regard to a house which is a permanent abode, even the Rabbis admit that if it has an area of four cubits square, people dwell therein,6 otherwise, they do not dwell therein.
The Master said, ‘It is free from the obligations of Mezuzah, and parapet, does not contract levitical uncleanliness from leprosy, is not irredeemable among the houses of a walled city, nor does one return on its account from the array of war’. What is the reason? — Because the term ‘house’ occurs in all [these commandments].7
‘Nor need an ‘Erub be prepared for it, nor Shittuf, nor does one place therein an ‘Erub’. What is the reason?-Since it is unsuitable as a dwelling.8 Now the ‘Erub of courtyards is not placed therein, but a Shittuf9 may be placed therein. What is the reason? — Since it is no worse than a courtyard within an alleyway as we have learnt, ‘The ‘Erub of courtyards [are placed] in a courtyard, and the shittuf of an alley in the alley’,10 and the point was raised, [How can it be said that], ‘The ‘Erubs of courtyards [are placed] in a courtyard’? Have we not in fact learnt,11 If a man placed his ‘Erub in a gatehouse12 or in an exedra, or in a gallery, it is no valid ‘Erub,13 and he who dwells therein cannot be a cause of prohibition?14 — Say rather, ‘Erubs of courtyards [are placed] in a house of the courtyard, and the Shittufs of alleys in a courtyard of the alley; and this15 is no worse than a courtyard in an alley.
‘Nor make of it an extension between two cities’. Since it is not regarded even as an outpost.16 What is the reason?- Outposts are suitable for their purpose,17 but this is unsuitable for anything.18
‘Nor can brothers or partners divide it’. The reason apparently is that it is not four cubits square, but if it were four cubits square, [presumably] they could divide it.19 But have we not learnt, A courtyard should not be divided unless there be four cubits to each [of the parties]?20 — Say rather, The law of division21 does not apply to it, as [it does in the case of] a courtyard. For R. Huna ruled, ‘A courtyard is divided according to the number of its doors’,22 and R. Hisda said, ‘Four cubits are allowed for each door and the remainder is divided equally’, but this23 applies only to a house which is intended to stand, [and therefore] we allow it a [share in the] courtyard; but as to this [a hovel] which is intended to be demolished, we do not allow it [a share in the] courtyard.
If [a Sukkah] was more than twenty cubits high and he diminished its [height] with bolsters and cushions it is not a [valid] diminution,
(1) A legal fiction whereby a house between two cities’ (situated at a distance of a hundred and forty-one and a third cubits from each other) ‘extends’ the boundaries of each if it was equidistant from both. The two cities are then treated as one, and walking from one to the other and along distances of two thousand cubits from each city in all directions is permitted on the Sabbath.
(2) If it fell to brothers as an inheritance, or if it belonged to partners who wish to dissolve their partnership. V. Mishnah B.B., I, 6.
(3) Who regards a Sukkah less than four cubits square as invalid.
(4) Is it likely, however, that an anonymous Baraitha represents the view of an individual against that of the majority?
(5) That a structure less than four cubits is valid.
(6) And it can, therefore, be regarded as a ‘house’.
(7) V. Deut. VI, 9; XXII, 8; Lev. XIV, 35;. XXV, 29; Deut. XX, 5.
(8) And consequently unfit for an ‘erub whose function is to combine all the residents into one group that virtually dwells in the house where it is deposited. For the same reason only the resident of a house that is suitable as a dwelling imposes restrictions on his neighbours unless he joined in the ‘Erub. One that is ‘unsuitable may be regarded as non-existent (cf. ‘Er. 49a).
(9) Whose function is not the combination of dwellings but that of courtyards.
(10) ‘Er. 85b.
(11) Mishnah ‘Er. VIII, 4.
(12) A porter's lodge.
(13) Cf. supra n. 2 mut. mut.
(14) To the other inmates as regards carrying in the courtyard. How then could it be said that an ‘Erub deposited in an open courtyard is valid?
(15) A house less than four cubits square.
(16) בורגין Gr. ** an isolated turret outside a city.
(17) A night's lodging.
(18) Lit., ‘for its purpose’, to serve as a dwelling for which purpose a house is built.
(19) I.e., presumably they could compel each other to divide.
(20) B.B. 11a.
(21) As explained presently by R. Huna and R. Hisda.
(22) V. B.B., Sonc. ed., p. 54, n. 5.
(23) That house owners are entitled to certain shares in their common courtyard.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 4a
even though he abandoned them1 since his intention is canceled by that of other men;2 if [he spread] straw [in order to diminish the height] and abandoned it, it is a [valid] diminution, and much more so is this the case with earth which he abandoned. [If he spread] straw which he had no intention of removing3 or earth concerning which his intention is unknown — this is a matter of dispute between R. Jose and the Rabbis. For we have learnt, If a house was filled with straw or gravel and the owner announced his intention to abandon it, it is duly abandoned.4 [Thus only if] he expressly abandoned it,5 is it not regarded as abandoned, but if he did not expressly do so, it is not so regarded; and with regard to this we have learnt, R. Jose ruled: Straw which he has no intention of removing is like ordinary earth6 and is deemed to be abandoned; earth which he intends to remove [later] is like ordinary straw6 and is not deemed to be abandoned.7 [If a Sukkah] was more than twenty cubits high but palm-leaves8 hung down within the twenty cubits, if the shade9 is more than the sun,10 it is valid, otherwise it is invalid. If [the sukkah] was ten handbreadths high11 and palm-leaves hung down within the ten cubits, Abaye12 intended to say that if the sun [that penetrates through them] is more than their shade, it is valid,13 [but] Raba said to him, This is a house [whose roof] hangs low down, and no man lives in such a dwelling. If it was higher than twenty cubits and he built a ledge at the middle wall14 along its whole length15 and it16 has the minimum size of a valid Sukkah,17 it18 is valid.19 If [he built the ledge] on a side [wall], — if from the edge of the ledge to the wall [opposite] there are four cubits,20 it21 is invalid; but if the distance was less than four cubits, it18 is valid.22 What principle does he teach us by this ruling? That we apply the rule of the ‘curved wall’?23 But have we not [already] learnt it: A house [the middle of whose flat roof] is missing and one placed the valid covering of a Sukkah upon it,24 if there are four cubits from the [top of the] wall to the covering, it25 is invalid;26 which [shows that] if the distance was less than this it is valid?27 — One might have thought that only there28 [it is valid] since [each side] is suitable [to serve] as a wall;29 but that here30 since it31 is unsuitable for a wall, one might say that it is invalid, [therefore] we were taught [that even here the principle32 is applied].
If [a sukkah] was higher than twenty cubits and one built a platform in the middle of it, if there are four cubits on every side between the edge of the platform and the wall, it33 is invalid; but if the distance is less than four cubits, it is valid. What principle does this teach us? That we apply the rule of the ‘curved wall’?34 But is not this principle identical with the former one?-One might have thought that we apply the rule of the ‘curved wall’ on one side only, but not on every side, therefore we were taught [that we apply it to all sides also].
If [a Sukkah] was less than ten handbreadths in height and one hollowed out35 [a hole]36 in order to bring it to [ten handbreadths], — if there was a distance of three handbreadths from the brim of the hollow to the wall, it is invalid;
(1) I.e., he declared them to be null and void and as part of the ground for the duration of the Festival. ‘
(2) Who would still regard them as cushions.
(3) During the Festival; but he did not actually pronounce the formula of annulment.
(4) And the house is regarded as filled in respect of the laws of ohel, v. ‘Er., Sonc. ed., fol. 78b, notes.
(5) I.e., pronounced the formula of annulment.
(6) Concerning which the owner's intention is unknown.
(7) It has thus been shown that all agree that straw or earth that had been explicitly abandoned is deemed to be duly abandoned, and that straw about which the owner's intention is not known and earth which he intends to remove is not regarded as abandoned, while as regards straw or earth which the owner does not intend to remove and earth about which the owner's intention is not known there is a divergence of view between R. Jose, who deems it to be abandoned, and the Rabbis.
(8) Which form the roof covering.
(9) Of the palm-leaves that hang down.
(10) Since the palm-leaves may be regarded as a valid covering within the twenty cubits.
(11) The minimum height.
(12) On the analogy of the previous ruling.
(13) Since their presence adds no substantial shade.
(14) A Sukkah generally has only three walls, the fourth side being the door. The ‘middle wall’ is the one between the two side walls.
(15) So that it reached the side walls.
(16) The ledge.
(17) Seven handbreadths and a fraction square.
(18) The entire Sukkah, even the area between the ledge and the door.
(19) The area of the ledge being regarded as a small valid Sukkah with three walls, while the remainder is treated as an extension of it (cf. infra 19a).
(20) Since in this case the ledge had no more than two walls.
(21) The entire Sukkah.
(22) Because the roof, (cf. infra 6b) above the area between the ledge and the opposite wall is regarded as a continuation of that wall which thus serves as a third wall for the ledge.
(23) Sc., that a part of a ceiling may be regarded as the curved extension of a wall that adjoined it.
(24) The hole.
(25) The entire house.
(26) As a Sukkah.
(27) Infra 17a. Why then should the same principle be taught twice?
(28) In the case of the broken roof.
(29) I.e., it is not higher than the permitted maximum
(30) In the case of the ledge, where the wall opposite is higher than the permitted size.
(31) The wall opposite the ledge.
(32) Of ‘curved wall’.
(33) The entire Sukkah, even on the platform.
(34) Sc. that a part of a ceiling may be regarded as the curved extension of a wall that adjoined it.
(35) In the floor.
(36) Extending over an area of the prescribed minimum size of a Sukkah (Rashi).
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 4b
if the distance was less than three handbreadths1 it is valid. Why do we say there2 ‘less than four cubits’, and here ‘less than three handbreadths’?In the former case where there is a wall,3 it is sufficient [if the distance is] ‘less than four cubits’; in the latter case, however, where a wall has to be made,4 [if the distance is] ‘less than three handbreadths’ it is [valid]; otherwise it is not.
If [a sukkah] was more than twenty cubits high and one erected in it5 a pillar ten handbreadths high, and large enough for a valid sukkah,6 [in this case] Abaye intended to say the partitions7 are deemed to be continued upward,8 [but] Raba said to him: Recognizable partitions are necessary, which these are not.
Our Rabbis taught: If a man drove four poles into the ground and put the sukkah-covering on them, R. Jacob declares it valid and the Sages declare it invalid. R. Huna stated: The dispute relates only [to poles erected] on the edge of a roof, where R. Jacob holds that we apply the rule of ‘the partition continues upward’9 while the Sages hold that we do not apply the rule of ‘the partition continues upward’; but [if they were erected] in the middle of the roof,10 all agree that [the Sukkah is] invalid.11 R. Nahman, however, maintained that the dispute relates only [to poles erected] in the middle of the roof.12 It was asked: [Does he mean that] the dispute concerns only [poles that were erected] in the middle of the roof, but if such were erected on the edge of the roof all agree that it is valid,13 or is it possible [that he means that] the dispute concerns both cases? — The question remains undecided.14
An objection was raised: If one drove poles in the ground and placed the Sukkah-covering over them, R. Jacob declares [such a sukkah] valid, and the Sages declare it invalid. Now the earth, surely, is [in respect of partitions] like the middle of a roof15 and still R. Jacob regards [the Sukkah] as valid. Is this not, then, a refutation of R. Huna?16 — It is indeed a refutation. Moreover, [presumably] they dispute17 concerning the middle of the roof, only, but where [poles are put up] on the edge of the roof they all agree that it is valid. Must it then be said that this will refute R. Huna on two points?18 -R. Huna could answer you: They disagree about poles in the middle of the roof, and likewise also about those on the edge, and the reason why the dispute concerns the middle of the roof is in order to show you how far R. Jacob's view extends viz., that even where the poles were in the middle of the roof he holds [the Sukkah] to be valid.
Our Rabbis taught: If a man drove four [round shaped] poles into the ground and covered them with the Sukkah-covering, R. Jacob ruled, We see: If it is found that on being planed and smoothed19 there would remain the width of a handbreadth on two adjacent sides,20 they21 are treated as deyomads,22 but if not, they cannot be treated as deyomads for R. Jacob used to say, The prescribed minimum width of the deyomads of a Sukkah is a handbreadth;23 but the Sages say, Only if two [of the adjacent walls] are proper [walls], may the width of the third be only a handbreadth.
ONE OF WHICH IS NOT TEN HANDBREADTHS HIGH. Whence do we know this?- It was stated, Rab, R. Hanina, R. Johanan and R. Habiba learnt:
(throughout all Seder Mo'ed24 when these pairs are mentioned together [some] substitute the name of R. Jonathan for that of R. Johanan), the ark [of the covenant] was nine handbreadths high,25 and the ark cover one handbreadth,26 making a total of ten handbreadths, and it is written, And there I will meet with thee, and I will speak with thee from above the ark-cover;27
(1) So that the rule of labud (v. Glos.) can be applied.
(2) In the case of the ledge.
(3) Since its height was no less than ten handbreadths.
(4) Since one lower than ten hand breadths cannot be regarded as a valid wall.
(5) Far away from the walls.
(6) I.e., its top had an area of no less than seven handbreadths and a fraction square.
(7) Sc. the side of the pillar.
(8) As far as the ceiling, and that, since the sides are no less than ten handbreadths high and the distance between the top of the pillar and the roof is less than twenty cubits, the pillar constitutes a valid Sukkah.
(9) The walls of the house, may, therefore, be regarded as continuing upward and forming walls for the Sukkah.
(10) So that the house walls are removed front the poles.
(11) The poles alone being insufficient to constitute valid walls.
(12) R. Jacob holding that poles provided the width of each is no less than a handbreadth, constitute valid walls for a Sukkah, while the Sages hold that a Sukkah must have no less than two valid walls adjacent to each other and a third one of the minimum width of a handbreadth.
(13) On the principle of upward extension.
(14) Teku (v. Glos.).
(15) Since in neither case are there any partitions beneath the poles to which the rule of ‘partitions continue upward’ could he applied.
(16) Who holds that, where the poles were erected in the middle of a roof, all agree that the Sukkah is invalid.
(17) R. Jacob and the Rabbis, in the Baraitha just cited.
(18) His statement (a) that all agree that poles in the middle of a roof constitute no valid Sukkah is refuted by the explicit statement in the Baraitha, while his statement (b) that the dispute concerns poles erected on the edge of the roof is refuted by the inference just made.
(19) I.e., cut into a rectangular shape and a portion of the inside removed.
(20) Of each pole.
(21) Each of the corner-pieces.
(22) דיומד a rectangular corner-piece. The word is of uncertain derivation. Probably a hybrid, **+עמוד, ‘two columns’ (Levy).
(23) Unlike in the case of wells in connection with Sabbath, where the minimum is one cubit on each side, v, ‘Er. 17b.
(24) The Order to which this tractate belongs.
(25) A cubit and a half. V. Ex. XXV, 10. One cubit is equivalent to six handbreadths.
(26) V. infra for the proof of this statement.
(27) Ex. XXV, 22.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 5a
and it has been taught, R. Jose stated, Neither did the Shechinah1 ever descend to earth, nor did Moses or Elijah ever ascend to Heaven,2 as it is written, ‘The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth hath He given to the sons of men’.3 But did not the Shechinah descend to earth? Is it not in fact written, And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai?4 — That was above ten handbreadths [from the summit]. But is it not written, And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives?5 — That will be above ten handbreadths. But did not Moses and Elijah ascend to Heaven? Is it not in fact written, And Moses went up unto God.?6 — [That was] to a level lower than ten [handbreadths from heaven]. But is it not written, And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.?7 -[That was] to a level lower than ten handbreadths. But is it not written, He8 seizeth hold of the face of His throne, and He spreadeth His cloud upon him,9 and R. Tanhum said: This teaches that the Almighty spread some of the radiance of10 his Shechinah and his cloud upon him?11 — That was at a level lower than ten handbreadths. But in any case is it not written, ‘He seizeth hold of the face of His throne’?12 — The throne was well lowered for his sake until [it reached a level] lower than ten handbreadths [from Heaven] and then he11 seized hold of it.
One can well understand that the ark was nine [handbreadths high] since it is written, And they shall make an ark of acacia wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half13 the height thereof,14 but whence do we know that the ark-cover was a handbreadth [high]? — From that which R. Hanina learned: As for all the vessels which Moses made, the Torah gave the measurements of their length and breadth and height, [while in the case of] the ark-cover its length and its breadth are given,15 but not its height.16 Proceed, therefore, to deduce it from the smallest of the vessels, concerning which it is said, And thou shalt make unto it a border of a handbreadth round about.17 Just as there the height was a handbreadth so was it there also a handbreadth. But why should not our deduction be made from the vessels themselves?18 — If one select the greater, one does not select well; if one select the lesser, one selects well.19 But why should not our deduction be made from the plate of gold,20 as it was taught: ‘The ziz21 was in the shape of a plate of gold two finger-breadths broad and stretching from ear to ear, and upon it were engraved two lines, Yod and He22 above, and Kodesh23 [followed by a] Lamed24 below,25 and R. Eliezer son of R. Jose said, I saw it in Rome26 and it had Kodesh Ladonai27 on one line? — We deduce [the measurements of a] vessel from another vessel, but we do not deduce [the measurements of a] vessel from an ornament. Why then should we not deduce from the crown,28 of which a master stated, The crown was on the smallest possible size?29 — We deduce the size of a vessel from that of another vessel, but not from the appurtenances of a vessel. If so, [it may be objected] was not the border also an appurtenance of a vessel?30 — The border was below [the top of] the table.31 This is correct according to the authority who holds that the border was below, but according to the authority who holds that it was above32 what can one answer33 seeing that it34 was only an appurtenance of a vessel? — The fact is that one adduces the size of a thing some of whose measurements are given by the Torah from another thing whose measurements are given by the Torah, but no deduction can be made from the plate of gold or the crown of which the Torah gave no measurements at all.
R. Huna said: [The height of the ark-cover may be deduced] from the following verse, Upon the face of the ark-cover’ on the east,35 and a ‘face’ is not smaller than a handbreadth. But perhaps it means a face like that
(1) V. Glos.
(2) This is no doubt a polemic against the doctrine of the Ascension.
(3) Ps. CXV, 16. Now since the Shechinah descended as low as the ark-cover it may be concluded that the boundary of the earth is at that level, viz., ten handbreadths from, the ground. Consequently a wall whose height is less than ten handbreadths cannot be regarded as a valid wall.
(4) Ex. XIX, 20.
(5) Zech. XIV, 4.
(6) Ex. XIX, 3.
(7) II Kings II, 11.
(9) Job XXVI, 9. (E.V., ‘it’).
(10) R. Tanhum explains the word פרשז Parshez as a notarikon, an abbreviation for Paras SHaddai Ziw, ‘The Almighty spread the radiance of’.
(12) The throne, surely, is in heaven.
(13) I.e., nine handbreadths (a cubit equals six handbreadths).
(14) Ex. XXV, 10.
(15) Ex. XXV, 17.
(16) I.e., its thickness.
(17) Ibid. v. 25.
(18) Which were higher than a handbreadth.
(19) Proverb. Lit., ‘If thou hast seized much, thou hast not seized; if thou hast seized little, thou hast seized.’ The lesser is included in the greater, but the greater is not included in the lesser. The selection of the lesser is, therefore, the safer course.
(20) Ex. XXVIII, 36; which was smaller than a handbreadth.
(21) E.V., ‘plate of gold’. It was worn by the High priest on his forehead.
(22) One of the divine names.
(25) Sc. the divine name Yod He appeared on the left in the first line while ‘Holy to’ appeared on the right in the second line, so that by reading from right to left (as Semitic languages are to be read) one obtained the phrase ‘holy to the Lord’ (cf. Tosaf. s.v. קדש a.l.).
(26) R. Eliezer accompanied R. Simeon b. Yohai to Rome, and saw there the vessels of the Temple which Titus had carried off after the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. V. Bacher, Agg. Tann, Heb. ed. Part II, vol. II, p. 100.
(27) ‘Holy to the Lord’.
(28) Ex. XXV, II. The crown of gold round the ark.
(29) Lit., ‘anything’.
(30) How then could deduction be made from it?
(31) Joining its legs together and forming part of the structure.
(32) And thus served only as an ornament.
(33) To the objection, why should deduction be made from it and not from the crown.
(34) Like the crown.
(35) Lev. XVI, 14.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 5b
of the Bar-Yokani?1 — If one select the greater, one does not choose well, if one select the lesser, one does select well. Might it not be said that the face meant was one like that of a zipartha2 which is very small? — R. Aha b. Jacob answered, R. Huna draws an analogy between two expressions of ‘face’.3 It is written here, ‘[Upon the face of the ark-cover", and it is written elsewhere,4 From the face of Isaac his father.5 But why should we not deduce from the ‘face’ Above, concerning which it is written, As one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me?6 -If one selects the greater, one does not select well; if one select the lesser, one selects well. Then why should we not deduce from the cherub,7 concerning which it is written, Toward the face of the ark-cover shall the faces of the cherubim be?8 — R. Aha b. Jacob answered, We have a tradition that the face of the cherubim was not less than a handbreadth, and R. Huna too made his deduction from this verse.9 What is the derivation of cherub?- R. Abbahu said, ‘Like a child’, for in Babylon they call a child Rabia.10 Said Abaye to him: If so,11 how will you explain the Scriptural text, The first face was the face of the cherub and the second face the face of a man,12 seeing that the face of a cherub is the same as that of a man?13 — [One14 has] a large face and the other a small face.15
But whence do we know that the height of the interior space16 exclusive of the covering, must be ten [handbreadths] seeing that it might be said that the covering17 also is included? — The fact is that the deduction18 is made from the Temple covering of which it is written, And the house which King Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits,19 and it is written, The height of the one cherub was ten cubits and so was it of the other cherub,20 and it was taught, Just as we find in the Temple that the cherubim21 reached to a third of the height thereof22 so also in the Tabernacle23 they reached to a third of its height.24 Now what was the height of the Tabernacle? Ten cubits, as it is written, Ten cubits shall be the length of a board.25 How much is this? Sixty handbreadths. How much is a third? Twenty handbreadths. Deduct the ten of the ark and the ark-cover,26 and ten handbreadths remain; and it is written, And the cherubim shall spread out their wings on high, covering the ark-cover with their wings.9 [From which we see that] the Divine Law calls [the wings that were stretched] above a height of ten handbreadths27 a ‘covering’.28 But whence do we know that their wings were above their heads? Is it not possible that they were on a level with their heads.29 — R. Aha b. Jacob answered, It is written ‘On high’. But perhaps this means that the wings were raised very high?30 — Is it then written, ‘On high, on high’?
This explanation is satisfactory according to R. Meir, who says that all the cubits [in the Sanctuary] were normal cubits,31 but according to R. Judah who says that the cubits of the edifice were six handbreadths, but of the vessels were five, what can be said? For how much [then] were the ark and cover?32 Eight and a half,33 so that eleven and a half handbreadths are left.34 Shall we [therefore] say that [according to R. Judah] a Sukkah must be [at least] eleven and a half [handbreadths high]? — The fact is that according to R. Judah the law35 was learnt as a tradition, for R. Hiyya b. Ashi citing Rab stated: The laws concerning [minima],36 standards, interpositions37 and partitions38 are [a part of the] halachah that was given to Moses on Sinai. But are not the laws relating to minima Pentateuchal, since it is written, A land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates, a land of olive-trees and honey,39 and R. Hanin stated that all this verse was said in allusion to the prescribed minima. ‘Wheat’ is an allusion to the leprous house as we have learnt: He who enters a leprous house with his clothes on his shoulders, and his sandals and rings in his hand, both he and they become instantaneously unclean;40 [
(1) A legendary bird of huge dimensions. Cf. Bek. 57b. Kohut (11 p. 178) connects it with Varaghna (Bactrian), an ostrich.
(2) The smallest known bird. Probably a humming bird.
(3) Which does not occur in connection with the zipartha.
(4) Gen. XXVII, 30.
(5) As in the latter case the reference is to a human face so it is also in the former.
(6) Gen. XXXIII, 10.
(7) Which might have been smaller than a handbreadth.
(8) Ex. XXV, 20.
(9) Ex. XXV, 20.
(10) The first letter of the word כרוב is regarded by him as the caph of comparison. R.Abbahu was a Palestinian.
(11) That the size of the face of a cherub is no less than a handbreadth.
(12) Ezek. X, 14.
(13) If their sizes are identical why were they mentioned separately?
(14) A human being.
(15) But the size of neither is less than a handbreadth.
(16) Of a Sukkah.
(17) As in the case of the ark and ark-cover.
(18) That the height of the interior of a Sukkah must be no less than ten handbreadths.
(19) I Kings VI, 2.
(20) Ibid. 26.
(21) Standing on the floor.
(22) Ten (the height of a cherub) is a third of thirty (the height of a house).
(23) Standing on the ark (inclusive of the ark and ark-cover).
(24) Of the Tabernacle.
(25) Ex. XXVI, 16.
(26) To arrive at the height of the cherubim.
(27) From the ark-cover.
(28) Rt. סכך, the same as that of the word used for the covering of a Sukkah.
(29) In which case, the hollow space between the wings and the ark-cover was only ten handbreadths minus the thickness of the wings.
(30) Sc. above the height of ten handbreadths.
(31) Six handbreadths.
(32) Which are ‘vessels’.
(33) One and a half cubits of the ark (five plus two and a half) seven and a half handbreadths, and the ark-cover one handbreadth.
(34) Between the ark-cover and the wings of the cherubim.
(35) On the minimum height of a Sukkah.
(36) The minimum quantities for forbidden things etc.
(37) The amount of foreign matter which in ritual cleansing constitutes a bar between one's body and the water.
(38) For purposes of Sabbath, Sukkah etc.
(39) Deut. VIII, 8.
(40) Since the clothes, sandals and rings were only carried by the man but not worn, they, like himself come under the Pentateuchal law of ‘He that goeth into the house... shall be unclean’ (Lev. XIV, 46).
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 6a
if however he was dressed in his garments, and his sandals were on his feet, and his rings on his fingers, he becomes instantaneously unclean, but they1 remain clean2 unless he tarries there long enough to eat half a loaf of wheaten bread but not of barley bread,3 while in a reclining position and eating with condiment.4 ‘Barley’? As we have learnt, A barley-corn's bulk of a bone5 defiles by contact and by carrying, but not by ‘overshadowing’.6 ‘Vines’ are an allusion to the fourth part [of a log of wine which is the minimum prohibited] to a Nazirite.7 ‘Fig-trees’ allude to the size of a dry fig [which is the minimum measurement for transgressing the law against] the carrying out8 of [food] on the Sabbath. ‘Pomegranates’? As we have learnt: All [defiled wooden] vessels belonging to householders9 [become clean if the breaches in them] are as large as pomegranates.10 ‘A land of olive-trees’ [is an allusion to the] land all of whose [minima] standards [for permitted and forbidden things] is the bulk of an olive. How can it possibly mean ‘all whose [minima] standards’? Are there not those which we have just mentioned? — Say rather, ‘The majority of whose [minima] standards are the bulk of an olive’. ‘Honey’ alludes to the size of a large date,11 [which is the minimum size forbidden] on the Day of Atonement. Does it not then clearly follow that the [minima] standards are Pentateuchal?12 — Do you then imagine that the [minima] standards were actually prescribed in the Pentateuch? [The fact is that] they are but traditional laws while the Scriptural verse is merely a support.
But are not [the laws of] interposition Pentateuchal, as it is written, And he shall wash his flesh in water13 [which implies] that nothing should interpose between him and the water? The traditional law comes [to teach] concerning one's hair, in agreement with a statement of Rabbah b. Bar Hana, for Rabbah b. Bar Hana stated: One knotted hair constitutes an interposition;14 three hairs do not, but I do not know [the law in the case of] two. But is not the law relating to one's hair also Pentateuchal, since it was written, And he shall wash [eth] his flesh in water13 and [the word] ‘eth’ includes that which is joined to his body, i.e., his hair?15 — The traditional law comes to teach with reference to [the ruling reported by] R. Isaac; for R. Isaac said:
(1) Since they were worn in the usual manner.
(2) They are included in the category of ‘clothes’ which are only to be washed (cf. Lev. XIV, 47).
(3) Wheaten bread is the more easily eaten.
(4) Neg. XIII, 9.
(5) Of a corpse.
(6) Ohal. II, 3. ‘Overshadowing’ or ohel is the technical term, based on Num. XIX, 14 for the defilement conveyed by a dead body to everything within the same house or under the same roof or cover. Only a backbone, a skull or the greater part of the limbs of the body cause the defilement of a person in such circumstances.
(7) Num. VI, 3.
(8) From a private into a public domain and vice-versa.
(9) As opposed to those of craftsmen.
(10) Kel. XVII, 1. If wooden vessels which are unclean become broken, they revert to their cleanliness if the breach is so large, since no householder would continue the use of utensils broken to such an extent, and by losing the status of a utensil, an object becomes levitically clean. In the case of a craftsman's utensils, even holes as small as an olive, are sufficient to deprive them of the legal status of utensils, since they cause the utensils to be unfit for sale, and they consequently become clean.
(11) ‘Honey’ in the Bible is regarded as referring to dates’ honey.
(12) How then could Rab maintain supra 5b that they formed part of the traditional code given orally to Moses at Sinai?
(13) Lev. XIV, 9.
(14) Because it is possible to tie it so closely that no water could penetrate.
(15) The את of the object is interpreted as including something not specifically mentioned.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 6b
According to the word of the Torah1 if most [of one's hair is covered]2 and one minds it, an interposition is constituted,3 and if one does not mind it, no interposition is constituted. [The Rabbis] however enacted a prohibition against [a covering of] most of one's hair, even if one does not mind it, as a preventive measure [against the possibility of allowing an interposition on] most of one's hair where one does mind it, and that [a covering over] the minor part of one's hair where one minds it [shall constitute an interposition] on account [of the possibility of allowing an interposition over] most of one's hair where one minds it. Then why should not a prohibition be enacted against an interposition over the lesser part of one's hair where one does not mind it as a preventive measure against [the possibility of allowing an interposition over] the lesser part where one does mind it or the major part which one does not mind? — This ruling4 itself is only a restrictive enactment; shall we come and institute a restrictive enactment against the possibility of infringing another restrictive enactment?5
[As for the laws of] partitions, these are those referred to above.6 That is satisfactory according to R. Judah,7 but according to R. Meir8 what can one say?9 — That the tradition refers to [the legal fiction] of extension,10 junction11 and the curved wall.12
OR WHICH HAS NOT THREE WALLS. Our Rabbis taught: Two [walls] must be of the prescribed dimensions, and the third [may be] even one handbreadth.13 R. Simeon says: Three walls must be of the prescribed dimensions, and the fourth [may be] even one handbreadth.13 On what principle do they differ? — The Rabbis hold that the traditional Scriptural text14 is authoritative, while R. Simeon holds that the traditional reading15 is authoritative. ‘The Rabbis hold that the traditional Scriptural text is authoritative’, and the word Sukkoth occurs twice defectively and once plene, making four references.16 Deduct one17 for the law itself,18 and three remain; two [walls at least] must be of the prescribed dimensions, and tradition came and diminished [the prescribed minimum of] the third, reducing it to only one handbreadth. ‘R. Simeon holds that the traditional reading is authoritative’. The word Sukkoth19 is read thrice, which20 equals six [references]. Deduct one Scriptural reference21 for the law itself and four remain; three walls at least of prescribed dimensions, and tradition came and diminished the [prescribed minimum of the] fourth and reduced it to a handbreadth. And if you wish, you can say that they22 are unanimous that the traditional reading is authoritative23 but they differ in this; that one Master24 holds that the covering heeds a Scriptural reference,25 while the other Master26 holds that it does not.27 And if you wish you can say that they are unanimous that the traditional Scriptural text is authoritative,28 but they differ on this principle; that one Master24 holds that the tradition comes to diminish [the implications of Scripture]29 while the other26 holds that tradition comes and adds to it.30
And if you wish you can say that both agree that tradition comes to diminish and that the traditional Scriptural text is authoritative, but they differ as to whether one uses first [references] for exegesis. One Master26 holds that we employ first references for exegesis, and the other Master31 holds that we do not.
R. Mattenah said: The reason of R. Simeon is a derivation from the following verse: And there shall be a Sukkah for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert from storm and from rain.32 Where is this handbreadth [of a wall]33 placed? — Rab said: It is placed at right angles to one of the projecting [walls].34 R. Kahana and R. Assi said to Rab:
(1) ‘Torah’ here means the halachah received by Moses on Sinai (Rashi).
(2) With mud; or each hair was knotted singly.
(3) So far in virtue of the halachah given to Moses on Sinai.
(4) That an interposition (a) over a minor part which one minds or (b) over a major part which one does not mind.
(5) Of course not. Hence the permissibility of an interposition over a minor portion which one does not mind.
(6) The height of a Sukkah.
(7) Who does not derive these laws from a Scriptural text.
(8) Who deduced the height of ten handbreadths from Scriptural verses.
(9) Sc. how could such laws which are Pentateuchal be described as merely traditional?
(10) גוד a partition that does not reach (a) the ground or (b) the ceiling may in certain conditions be deemed to touch the ground and the ceiling respectively.
(11) דבוד small interstices, of less than three handbreadths, are disregarded, and the wall is deemed to be a solid whole.
(12) דופן עקומה if a portion of the roof of a Sukkah consists of materials that are legally unfit for the purpose the Sukkah may nevertheless be valid if that portion is adjacent to any of its walls and terminates within a distance of four cubits from that wall. That portion of the roof together with the wall it adjoins are regarded as one curved wall; and the space under the remainder of the roof, consisting of suitable materials, may be used as a proper Sukkah.
(13) In width.
(14) The letters without the vowels, Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 10, n. 4.
(15) Irrespective of the spelling.
(16) When the word סכת is written defectively it is regarded as singular, each word counting as one, and when it is plene it is regarded as a plural counting as two
(17) Of the words denoting Sukkoth.
(18) I.e.,the law of Sukkah in general, that a Sukkah has to be made.
(19) In the plural.
(20) Since each plural form denotes two.
(21) I.e., one word Sukkoth in the plural which denotes two.
(22) The Rabbis as well as R. Simeon.
(23) And there are therefore four references free for interpretation.
(24) Sc. the Rabbis.
(25) So that one of the four references is required for the roof and only three remain for the walls.
(26) R. Simeon.
(27) And four free references for the walls remain.
(28) The number of free references is consequently three.
(29) Thus reducing the third wall to one handbreadth.
(30) I.e., Scripture teaches us the necessity of three walls and tradition adds a fourth.
(31) Sc. the Rabbis.
(32) Isa. IV, 6; unless there are four walls, the Sukkah is no refuge from storms.
(33) Of the third wall according to the Rabbis and of the fourth according to R. Simeon.
(34) Sc. if, for instance, (according to the Rabbis) there are only two walls running respectively from north to south along the east and from east to west along the south, meeting each other at south east, the small handbreadth wall is to be placed either at the northern end of the eastern wall or at the western end of the southern wall.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 7a
Why not place it in a slanting position?1 Rab remained silent. It was also stated: Samuel said in the name of Levi: It is placed at right angles to one of the projecting [walls], and so it is ruled in the Beth Hamidrash that it is placed at right angles to one of the projecting [walls]. R. Simon
(or, as some say, R. Joshua b. Levi) ruled: One makes [the additional wall of the width of] a loose2 handbreadth and places it within three handbreaths of the wall, since whatever is less than three handbreadths from the wall is regarded as joined to the wall.3
Rab Judah said, A Sukkah made like an [open] alley-way4 is valid, and this handbreadth [wall] is placed in whatever side one pleases.5 R. Simon
(or, as some say, R. Joshua b. Levi) says, He makes a strip of slightly more than four [handbreadths]6 and places it within three handbreadths of the wall, since whatever is less than three handbreadths from the wall is regarded as joined to the wall. But why did you say in the previous case7 that one loose handbreadth suffices while here you say that there must be a strip of four handbreadths? — In the previous instance where there are two valid walls,8 a loose handbreadth suffices, but here, where there are no two valid walls,9 if there is a strip of four handbreadths it is valid, otherwise, it is not [valid]. Raba ruled, It10 is only permitted if it has the form of a doorway.11 Another version is that Raba said, And it10 is also valid if it has the form of a doorway.12 Another version is that Raba said: And in addition,13 the form of a doorway [to the intervening part] is necessary.14 R. Ashi found R. Kahana making [the third wall of a Sukkah] a loose handbreadth wide15 and constructing also the form of a doorway. He said to him: Does not the Master hold the opinion of Raba who said that it is also valid with the form of a doorway?16 — He answered: I accept the other reading of [the statement of] Raba viz., that in addition [to a board of the size of a handbreadth] the form of a doorway is also necessary.
‘Two walls must be of the prescribed dimensions etc.’17 Raba18 said, And similarly with regard to the Sabbath.19 Since [the handbreadth] is regarded as valid wall of the Sukkah it is also regarded as a valid wall in respect of the Sabbath.20 Abaye raised an objection against him: Do we then apply the rule of ‘since’?21 Was it not in fact taught: ‘[The rules relating to the structure of] the wall of a Sukkah are the same as those relating to that of the Sabbath,22 provided only that there is no gap of three handbreadths between any two reeds.23 And the [law relating to the] Sabbath is more [stringent] than that of Sukkah, in that the [wall for purposes of] the Sabbath is valid only if its standing portion is more than that which is broken,24 which is not the case with the Sukkah’. Now this means, does it not, that the law relating to the Sabbath of the Sukkah25 is more [stringent] than that relating to the Sukkah itself,26 and that we do not apply the rule of ‘since’?27 — No, [it means that the law relating to] the ordinary Sabbath is more [stringent in its requirements with regard to a valid wall] than [the law relating to] the Sabbath of the Sukkah.28 But if this is so,29 why was it not also stated: [The law relating to] the ordinary Sukkah30 is more [stringent] than [that of] the Sukkah of Sabbath,31 since [the validity of] the ordinary Sukkah demands a width of a loose handbreadth [for the third wall] while [the validity of] the Sukkah of Sabbath does not require the width of a loose handbreadth [for a wall] but a side-post alone is sufficient,32 for it is you who ruled33 that if one placed Sukkah-covering over an alleyway which has a side-post it is valid?34 — There was no need to mention this,35 [since it is obvious36 that] if we apply [the rule of ‘since’] from the less stringent37 to the more stringent,38 we certainly apply it From the more stringent to the less stringent.39 [Reverting to] the main subject; ‘Rab ruled:
(1) So that it would be facing two walls and the Sukkah would seem to have four walls. Lit., ‘as the head of an ox’, so
(2) A handbreadth is four fingerbreadths and the ‘loose handbreadth’ is measured by holding the fingers loosely, not pressed against one another.
(3) The total width now being four handbreadths and the prescribed minimum size of a Sukkah wall being seven handbreadths, the wall constitutes the greater part of a valid Sukkah wall.
(4) The two walls facing one another.
(5) Since either wall at either end is a projecting wall.
(6) The width of one handbreadth not being enough in this case.
(7) Where the walls were at right angles to one another.
(8) Cf. previous note.
(9) Since each stands isolated from the other.
(10) A Sukkah that has one wall less than the required number of walls.
(11) I.e., it is not enough to attach one board of the width of four handbreadths to one of the walls, but two posts each half a handbreadth in width must be attached to each opposite wall with a cross-beam joining them (cf. ‘Er. 11b).
(12) Instead of a board of the width of a handbreadth; sc. either the one or the other contrivance renders the Sukkah valid.
(13) To a board of the width of a handbreadth.
(14) Sc. one of the posts on which the cross-beam lies (cf. supra n. 2) must be a full handbreadth wide.
(15) In agreement with the ruling of R. Simon supra.
(16) Without the addition of a board of the full width of a handbreadth.
(17) Supra 6b.
(18) Var. lec. Rabbah.
(19) Sc. though at least three walls are necessary to constitute a private domain to permit carrying therein on the Sabbath, on the Sabbath of Tabernacles the Sukkah is regarded as a private domain even though it has only two normal walls and one of the width of a handbreadth, and if he set up such a Sukkah next to his entrance of this house adjoining the street, he may carry in and out of it into his house.
(20) As the third narrow wall is on such a Sabbath, as on any other day, deemed valid as a wall for the Sukkah it is ipso facto deemed valid as a wall in respect of enclosing a private domain, and if such a Sukkah is set up at the entrance of a house opening out into the street, one may carry out of the house into the Sukkah and vice versa.
(21) ‘Since (the handbreadth wall) is regarded etc.’
(22) Sc. the same relaxation of the law (cf. ‘Er. 16b) is applicable in both cases.
(23) That make up the fence.
(24) A technical term meaning that the space of wall must exceed the interstices.
(25) Sc. the Sabbath in the week of Tabernacles.
(26) Sc. that though the Sukkah is valid as a Sukkah, it is not valid to carry therein on the Sabbath unless the wall space is more than the interstices.
(27) Since the walls are valid in respect of the Sukkah they are also valid in respect of the Sabbath.
(28) For on the Sabbath of the Festival the rule of since’ (cf. n. 6) is well applied.
(29) That the comparison is only between the Sabbath generally and the Sabbath of the festival.
(30) Of the festival weekdays.
(31) Cf. supra n. 4.
(32) Since we compare the wall of Sabbath to the wall of Sukkah, two opposite walls and a side-post should suffice in the case of the latter as in that of the former.
(33) By’ applying the rule of ‘since etc.’.
(34) On the Sabbath.
(35) That the law relating to a Sukkah generally is more restrictive than that relating to a Sukkah on the Sabbath.
(36) By an inference from the ruling in the earlier clause.
(39) Viz., that a sidepost that effects validity in respect of the Sabbath also effects it in respect of Sukkah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 7b
If one placed Sukkah-covering over an alley-way which has a side-post it is valid’. Rab further ruled: If one placed Sukkah-covering over the [upright] boards around wells1 it is valid [as a Sukkah]. And the enunciation of [all the three laws2 was] necessary. For if he had mentioned only [the law relating to] the alley-way one would have assumed [that there the Sukkah is valid]3 because it had two proper walls, but that in the case of partitions of wells, which have not two proper walls, the Sukkah is not valid. And if we had been informed of the boards around wells only, one would have assumed [that there the sukkah is valid] because there are four walls, but that if one placed sukkah-covering over an alleyway, where there are no walls, it is not [valid]. And if we had been informed of both those laws [but not of the third,] one would have assumed that from the more stringent to the less stringent [we apply the rule of ‘since’] but not from the less stringent to the more. [Therefore all the three enunciations were] necessary.
OR WHICH HAS MORE SUN THAN SHADE IS NOT VALID.
Our Rabbis taught: [This4 applies only where] the sunshine is due to the scanty covering, but not where it is due to [interstices in] the walls, while R. Josiah says,4 Even where it is due to [interstices in] the walls. R. Yemar b. Shelemiah said in the name of Abaye, What is the reason of R. Josiah?5 — Because it is written: And thou shalt cover the ark with the veil.6 Now since the ‘veil’ was a partition7 and the Divine Law nevertheless called it a ‘covering’ it is evident that a wall must be as [close] as the covering. And [how do] the Rabbis [explain this verse]? — It8 means that the veil should bend over a little [at the top] so that it might look like a covering.
Abaye said: Rabbi, R. Josiah, R. Judah, R. Simeon, R. Gamaliel, Beth Shammai, R. Eliezer and ‘Others’9 -all hold the opinion that the Sukkah must be constructed like a permanent abode. ‘Rabbi’? — As it has been taught: Rabbi said, A sukkah which is not four cubits square10 is invalid.11 ‘R. Josiah’? — As we have [just] stated. ‘R. Judah’? — As we have learnt: A SUKKAH WHICH IS MORE THAN TWENTY CUBITS HIGH IS NOT VALID, R. JUDAH, HOWEVER, DECLARES IT VALID.12 ‘R. Simeon’? — As it has been taught: Two [walls] must be of the prescribed dimensions and the third [may be] even one handbreadth.13 ‘R. Gamaliel’? — As it his been taught: If a man erects his Sukkah on the top of a waggon or on the deck of a ship, R. Gamaliel declares it invalid and R. Akiba declares it valid.14 ‘Beth Shammai’? — As we have learnt: If his head and the greater part of his body were within the Sukkah and his table was within the house, Beth Shammai declare it invalid, and Beth Hillel declare it valid.15 ‘R. Eliezer?-As we have learnt: If a man makes his sukkah like a cone-shaped hut16 or if he propped it up against a wall,17 R. Eliezer declares it invalid, since it has no roof’, and the Sages declare it valid.18 The ‘Others’? As it has been taught: Others Say: A Sukkah made like a dovecote19 is invalid, since it has no corners.
R. Johanan said: If a sukkah was [round shaped] like a furnace,20 provided twenty-four men can sit around its circumference,21 it is valid, otherwise it is invalid. According to whom [is this22 state — ment made]? Obviously23 according to Rabbi who says that a sukkah which is not four cubits square is invalid. But consider: A man occupies the space of a cubit, and where the circumference [of a circle] is three handbreadths, its diameter is one handbreadth,24 should it not then25 suffice26 if only twelve men27 [can sit around it]?28
(1) For the convenience of Pilgrims on the Festivals it was enacted that four corner-pieces placed round a well in a public domain impart to the enclosure the status of a private domain where cattle could be watered on the Sabbath. v. ‘Er. 17b.
(2) Laid down by Rab; viz.,those relating to a Sukkah on Sabbath, the alley-way, and the boards around wells.
(3) By the application of the rule of ‘since etc.’.
(4) That the Sukkah is invalid.
(5) For requiring the walls to be as close as the covering.
(6) Ex. XL, 3.
(7) Cf. Ex. XXVI, 33.
(8) The expression ‘Thou shalt cover’.
(9) R. Meir. When Hakam under the presidency of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel II, he together with R. Nathan was involved in a conflict with R. Simeon and was expelled from the Sanhedrin. He was later re-admitted, but henceforth his statements were recorded under the anonymous authorship of ‘Others’. Bacher, Ag. Tann. II, 2, J.E. VIII, 434.
(10) The minimum area of a house.
(11) Supra 3a.
(12) Supra 2a.
(13) Supra 6b.
(14) ‘Infra 23a.
(15) Infra 28a.
(16) I.e., its walls slope to a point and there is no roof; like a bell-tent.
(17) Sc. it was not provided with a roof but its wall sloped from the ground to an adjoining wall.
(18) Infra 19b.
(19) Round shaped.
(20) R. Johanan disagrees with the ‘others’ supra.
(21) Each man is assumed to occupy one cubit space.
(22) Which requires such a large size for a round shaped Sukkah.
(23) Since no other authority required so large a size.
(24) Among the Babylonians **= three (V. Feldman, Rabbinical Mathematics and Astronomy, 1931, p. 22).
(25) Since the circumference is three times the diameter.
(26) According to Rabbi who prescribes the size of four cubits square.
(27) Three times four (cf. supra n. 3).
(28) Why then did R. Johanan speak of twenty-four men?
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 8a
— That1 applies only to a circle, but in the case of a square, a greater perimeter is required.2 But consider: By how much is a square greater than its [inscribed] circle? By a quarter. Should it then not suffice if only sixteen [men can be seated around it]?3 -That4 is so in the case of a circle inscribed within a square, but if a square is to be inscribed within a circle a greater circumference is required on account of the projection of the corners.5 But consider: If the side of a square is a cubit, its diagonal is approximately one and two fifths cubits.6 Should not then [a circumference equivalent to] sixteen and four fifths [cubits]7 suffice?8 — [R. Johanan] gave only an approximate figure. But is it not to be maintained that one may be assumed to give all approximate figure only [where the discrepancy is] small, but could such all assumption be made [where the discrepancy is] big? — Mar Kashisha the son of R. Hisda said to R. Ashi: Do you think that a man occupies one cubit? [The fact is that] three men occupy two cubits. How much then does this [amount to for twenty-four men]? Sixteen cubits; and we [really] demand here sixteen and four fifths,9 [because, as has been said, R. Johanan] gave only an approximate figure. But is it not to be maintained that one may be assumed to give approximate figures only when the law is thereby restricted, but could such an assumption be made where a law is thereby relaxed?-R. Assi answered R. Ashi: In truth, a man occupies a cubit-space, but R. Johanan does not include the space occupied by the men.10 How many [cubits] does this11 [amount to]? Eighteen;12 while sixteen and four-fifths suffice. That is [then] what was meant [when it was stated] that he only gave an approximate figure; and in this case it is in the direction of stringency.13
The Rabbis of Caesarea14 (and some say, The judges of Caesarea) maintain, The circumference of a circle inscribed in a square is a quarter;15
(1) That the perimeter is approx. only three times the diameter.
(2) Since the diameter is not equal to the side, but to the diagonal of the square.
(3) ** being regarded as equivalent to three, a square is one quarter larger than its inscribed circle. If a circle with a diameter of four cubits accommodates four times three is twelve men, a square of four cubits provides seating capacity for four times four is sixteen men. A circumference of sixteen cubits should, therefore, have sufficed.
(4) That a square exceeds a circle by a quarter, and that a four cubits square contains a perimeter of sixteen, and a circle one of twelve cubits.
(5) The circumferences of the Sukkah must, therefore, be large enough to contain a square of four cubits.
(6) Actually it is 1.4142.
(7) Lit., ‘seventeen less a fifth’. The diagonal of the square being equal to (4+4X2/5=) 5 3/5 cubits, and ** being approximately equivalent to three, a circumference of 3 X 5 3/5 cubits 16-4/5 cubits ought to suffice. (For this whole discussion of Feldman, op. cit., pp. 28-30). Cf. also ‘Er., Sonc. ed., p. 531ff, notes.
(8) I.e., space for no more than sixteen men. Why then did R. Johanan prescribe a space for twenty-four men?
(9) V. p. 29, n. 13.
(10) The men are considered as sitting round the circumference of the Sukkah they themselves forming a circumference of twenty-four cubits (equivalent to the space occupied by twenty-four men) with a diameter of eight cubits. But the inner circumference formed by the Sukkah is smaller since its diameter is eight minus two (the space occupied lengthways by the legs of two men, one sitting at each end) is six cubits.
(11) For the circumference of the Sukkah.
(12) Since a diameter of six cubits has a circumference of eighteen cubits.
(13) Instead of a circumference of 16-4/5 one of eighteen cubits is prescribed while the difference in the diameter (6-5 3/5= 2/5) is even less
(14) Caesarea Maritima, a famous seat of learning in the second and third century, the seat of R. Abbahu. The ‘rabbis of Caesarea’ are often quoted. V. Bacher, Die Gelehrten von Caesarea in MGWJ.XLV, p. 298.
(15) I.e., a quarter less than the perimeter of the square.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 8b
but the square inscribed within that circle is a half.1 But this2 is not correct, for we see that these are not so much bigger. R. Levi said in the name of R. Meir: If the two booths of the potters are one within the other,3 the inner one4 is not valid as a Sukkah,5 and is obliged to have a Mezuzah6 while the outer one7 is valid as a Sukkah,8 and is free from the obligation of a Mezuzah.9 But why should this be so? Why should not the outer one be regarded as the gate-house of the inner one, and10 therefore be obliged to have a Mezuzah? — Because neither [booth] is of a permanent nature.11
Our Rabbis taught: [Mnemonic,] Ganbak.12 A booth of Gentiles,13 women, cattle or Samaritans and any booth whatever14 is valid, provided that it is covered according to the rule. What is meant by ‘according to the rule’?15 — R. Hisda answered: Provided that [the covering] was made [with the intention of providing] the shade for the Sukkah.16 What does ‘any booth whatever’ include? — It includes the booths [whose mnemonic is] Rakbash,17 as our Rabbis taught: The booth of shepherds, the booth of field-watchers, the booth of city guards, and the booth of orchard-keepers,18 and any booth whatever19 is valid, provided that it is covered according to the rule. What is meant by ‘according to the rule’?20 — R. Hisda answered: Provided [the covering] was made [with the intention of providing] the shade for the Sukkah. What does ‘any booth whatever’ include? — It includes the booths [whose mnemonic] is Ganbak.21 The Tanna of Ganbak22 regards these booths as possessing greater validity23 because they are permanent, and therefore he used the expression, any booth whatever’ to include Rakbash which are not permanent,24 while the Tanna of Rakbash regards the latter as possessing greater validity since they belong to those who are bound [by the commandment of Sukkah]25 and therefore he used the expression, ‘any booth whatever’ to include the Ganbak booths which belong to those who are not bound [by the commandment of Sukkah].
(1) Of the circumscribed square. Thus if a circumference is twenty-four cubits (the figure given by R. Johanan) the circumscribed square has a perimeter of 24 + 24/3 = 32 cubits, while the inscribed square has a perimeter of approximately: 32/2 = 16 cubits (the measurements prescribed by Rabbi).
(2) That the perimeter of the circumscribed square is twice the perimeter of the inscribed square and that the circumference of the circle is, therefore, bigger than the latter by a half of its perimeter. V. ‘Er., Sonc. ed., p. 533, n. 6.
(3) A potter worked and lived in his inner booth and displayed his wares in the outer one.
(4) Since he works and lives in it throughout the year.
(5) Because his dwelling in it during the festival would in no way indicate that he is performing the commandment of Sukkah,
(6) As any other dwelling.
(7) In which he lives only during the festival.
(8) It being obvious to all that he is performing the commandment.
(9) Being only a temporary dwelling, it is free from the obligation of Mezuzah, even during the festival. Throughout the year it is free from the obligation since it is not used as a dwelling.
(10) In accordance with the ruling in Men. 33b.
(11) Sc. even the inner one cannot be regarded as important enough to have a gate-house.
(12) The word גנב״ך consists of the initial letters of תבהמה תנשים תגוים and כותים Gentiles, women, cattle and Samaritans, whose booths are discussed in what follows.
(13) Used only as a summerhouse.
(14) This will be explained infra.
(15) It cannot simply refer to rules like those enunciated in our Mishnah, which are applicable to all Sukkahs, since this would be self-evident.
(16) Not merely for privacy. While it is not essential for a Sukkah to be made expressly in connection with the festival, it cannot be valid unless it was originally made to serve as a protection from the sun.
(17) כקב׳ש initials of בורגנין קײצים תרועים and שומרי פירות — shepherds, fieldwatchers, city guards and orchard-keepers.
(18) All these are male Israelites who are subject to the commandment of Sukkah; but their booths are not made for the festival.
(19) This will be explained infra.
(20) V. p. 31, n. 13.
(21) V. p. 31, n. 10.
(22) Who classes the Rakbash booths under ‘any booth whatever’.
(23) Than the Rakbash booths.
(24) Since they are moved from place to place.
(25) Cf. supra n. 1.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 9a
[MISHNAH. BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE AN OLD SUKKAH1 INVALID,2 BUT BETH HILLEL PRONOUNCE IT VALID. WHAT IS AN OLD SUKKAH? ONE MADE THIRTY DAYS BEFORE THE FESTIVAL; BUT IF ONE MADE IT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE FESTIVAL, EVEN AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, IT IS VALID.
GEMARA. What is Beth Shammai's reason?3 -Scripture says, The festival of Sukkoth, for seven days unto the Lord,4 [implying therefore] a Sukkah made expressly for the sake of the Festival. And Beth Hillel?5 - They need that [verse] for the same deduction as that of R. Shesheth, R. Shesheth having said in the name of R. Akiba, Whence do we know that the wood of the Sukkah is forbidden6 all the seven [days of the Festival]? From Scripture which states, ‘The Festival of Sukkoth, seven days to the Lord’; and it was taught, R. Judah b. Bathyra says: Just as the Name of Heaven rests upon the Festival offering,7 so does it rest upon the Sukkah, since it is said, ‘The Festival of Sukkoth, seven days to the Lord’: just as the Festival [offering] is ‘to the Lord’, so is the sukkah also ‘to the Lord’. And Beth Shammai also, do not they need the verse for this deduction?-Yes, indeed. What then is Beth Shammai's reason?8 -There is another Scriptural verse. Thou shalt make9 the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days.10 This implies a sukkah made expressly for the sake of the Festival. And Beth Hillel?11 -They need this [verse for the deduction] that a sukkah may be made in the intermediate days of the Festival.12 And Beth Shammai? — They hold the same opinion as R. Eliezer, who laid down that no sukkah may be made in the intermediate days of the Festival.13
Do not Beth Hillel, however, agree with the statement Rab Judah cited in the name of Rab: If a man made [zizith]14 from the hanging web or woof,15 or sewing threads,16 they are invalid;17 but if he made them from a tuft [sewn to a garment]18 they are valid.19 When I repeated this in the presence of Samuel,20 he said to me, Even if made from a tuft [sewn to a garment] they are also not valid, because21 it is necessary that the weaving22 shall be done specifically for its purpose?23 Here too then we should require a Sukkah24 to be made specifically for its purpose?25 — [Zizith are] different, since Scripture says, Thou shalt make to thee twisted cords:26 ‘to thee’ [means] for the specific purpose of thy obligation. But here also [Scripture says], ‘The Festival of Sukkoth thou shalt make to thee’, ‘to thee’ meaning for the specific purpose of thy obligation? That [phrase]27 is needed to exclude a stolen [Sukkah].28 But in the other case too it27 is needed to exclude stolen [zizith]? — In that case there is another verse, [that serves the purpose], And they shall make to them,29 i.e., of their own.
(1) This is explained anon.
(2) The reason is given in the Gemara infra.
(3) For their ruling in our Mishnah.
(4) Lev. XXIII, 34. Emphasis on ‘Sukkah. . . for the Lord’.
(5) How, in view of this text, can they maintain their view?
(6) To be used for secular purposes.
(7) To render it forbidden before its prescribed portions have been burnt on the altar.
(8) For their ruling in our Mishnah.
(9) J.T. ‘keep’, A. V., ‘observe’.
(10) Deut. XVI, 13; emphasis on ‘make’.
(11) How, in view of the text, can they maintain their view?
(12) If one did not make it prior to the Festival.
(13) Infra 27b.
(14) v. Glos. and cf. Num. XVI, 38.
(15) Sc. he twisted into zizith threads hanging over from a woven garment.
(16) That were used in the sewing of a garment and ends of which were hanging from that garment.
(17) Since they were not attached to the garment as zizith, but merely formed a part of the web etc.
(18) Sc. a tuft of wool was sewn to the garment and then was cut into strips and twisted into zizith.
(19) Since their attachment to the garment was made for the purpose of the zizith.
(20) whose school Rab Judah attended for a time after Rab's death.
(21) Cur. edd. insert in parenthesis ‘thus it is seen clearly’.
(22) Not merely the attachment of the zizith.
(23) I.e., that of zizith.
(24) According to Beth Hillel,
(25) An objection against Beth Hillel who ruled that the Sukkah need not be made specifically for the purpose of Sukkoth.
(26) Deut. XXII, 12.
(27) ‘To thee’.
(28) Sc. with a stolen Sukkah the commandment cannot be fulfilled.
(29) Num. XV, 38. להס 'for themselves’.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 9b
MISHNAH. IF ONE MADE HIS SUKKAH UNDER A TREE, IT IS AS IF HE MADE IT WITHIN THE HOUSE.1 IF ONE SUKKAH IS ERECTED ABOVE ANOTHER, THE UPPER ONE IS VALID BUT THE LOWER IS INVALID.2 R. JUDAH SAID, IF THERE ARE NO OCCUPANTS IN THE UPPER ONE, THE LOWER ONE IS VALID.
GEMARA. Raba said, [Our Mishnah] was taught only in respect of’ a tree whose shade is greater than the sun [shining through its branches] but if the sun is more than its shade, it is valid. Whence [do we know this]? Since it states, IT IS AS IF HE MADE IT WITHIN THE HOUSE. Now for what purpose does it state IT IS AS IF HE MADE IT WITHIN THE HOUSE? Let it simply state ‘it is invalid’? But the fact is that he taught us this, that the tree3 [referred to is] like a house, just as in a house the shade is more than the sunshine, so the tree has more shade than sunshine.
But even where the sun is more than the shade, what is the advantage, seeing that all invalid covering is joined to a valid one?4 — R. Papa answered: [This5 is a case] where [the branches of the tree] were interwoven.6 If the branches were interwoven,6 why7 mention the case at all? — One might have thought that it should be prohibited where it is interwoven as a preventive measure against the possibility of regarding it as valid even where it was not interwoven,8 [therefore the Mishnah] informs us that no such preventive measure has been enacted. Have we not learnt this also: If a man trained upon it [a sukkah] vine, or a gourd, or ivy, and he covered [it with a valid covering], it is invalid.9 But if the valid covering exceeded these in quantity, or if one cut them,10 it is valid.11 Now to what case does this12 refer? Shall I say where he did not interweave them,13 then obviously the invalid covering is joined to14 the valid one?15 Must it not then16 refer to a case where one did interweave them;13 and hence it may be inferred that no preventive measure was in such a case deemed necessary?17 — One might have presumed that [this18 is permissible] only ex post facto but not ab initio, hence we were informed [that19 even ab initio it is permissible]. IF ONE SUKKAH IS ERECTED ABOVE ANOTHER. Our Rabbis taught, Ye shall dwell in Sukkoth,20 but not in a sukkah under another sukkah, nor in a Sukkah under a tree, nor in a Sukkah within the house. On the contrary! Does not the word Sukkah21 imply two? — R. Nahman b. Isaac answered, The word is written defectively.22 R. Jeremiah said: Sometimes both23 are valid, sometimes both invalid; sometimes the lower one is valid and the upper invalid, and sometimes the lower one is invalid and the upper one valid. ‘Sometimes both are valid’. In what circumstances? When in the lower one the sun is more than the shade,24 and in the upper the shade is more than the sun, and the upper one is within twenty [cubits from the ground].25 ‘Sometimes both are invalid’. In what circumstances? When in both of them the shade is more than the sun, and the upper one is more than twenty cubits [high].26 ‘Sometimes the lower one is valid and the upper invalid’.
(1) I.e., it is as though there are two roofs, and it is, therefore, invalid
(2) The reason is given in the Gemara infra.
(3) Which renders a Sukkah under it invalid.
(4) The covering of a Sukkah must be made of plants that are detached from the ground. Growing ones are invalid. The presence of the invalid covering of the tree should, therefore, invalidate the Sukkah.
(5) The ruling in our Mishnah.
(6) Lit., ‘he pressed them down’. The branches of the tree were pressed down and interwoven with the valid covering, and, since the former are less in quantity than the latter, the Sukkah is valid (cf. infra 11a).
(7) Since the ruling is so obvious why did the Mishnah have to state ‘AS IF HE MADE IT IN THE HOUSE’; and what need of Raba's ruling?
(8) Invalid materials that are not interwoven with valid ones render a Sukkah invalid.
(9) On account of the invalid covering which remained isolated from the valid one.
(10) And thus detached them from the growing tree.
(11) Infra 11a.
(12) The Mishnah just cited.
(13) The invalid with the valid material.
(14) But not interwoven with.
(15) And the Sukkah therefore would be invalid.
(16) Since the Sukkah was stated to be valid.
(17) And the question re-arises: Why should the same law be repeated here?
(18) The joining of the two materials.
(19) Provided the two materials were interwoven.
(20) Lev. XXIII, 42.
(21) The plural form of Sukkah.
(22) V. supra. Traditional spelling is סכת a singular form.
(23) Sukkoth that were put up on the top of one another.
(24) Its covering can, therefore, be disregarded.
(25) The covering of the upper one is thus valid for both, since they are regarded as one Sukkah.
(26) I.e., from the roof of the lower one. The lower one is invalid since it is a Sukkah under a Sukkah, and the upper one is similarly invalid since it is more than twenty cubits high.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 10a
In what circumstances? When the lower one has more shade than sun, and the upper one more sun than shade,1 and both are within twenty cubits [from the ground].2 ‘And sometimes the upper one is valid and the lower invalid’. In what circumstances? When in both of them the shade is more than the sun, and the upper one is within twenty cubits.3 [But is not all this] self-evident? — The statement of the case of the ‘lower one valid and the upper one invalid’ was necessary. As it might have been thought that [the lower sukkah] would be prohibited as a preventive measure lest one also joins4 an invalid covering5 to a valid covering,6 therefore it teaches us [that it is valid].7
How much [space] should there be between [the roof of] one sukkah and that of the other to invalidate the lower one?8 R. Huna replied, A handbreadth,9 since we find a handbreadth [prescribed as the minimum size] with regard to overshadowing in cases10 of uncleanliness, as we have learnt.11 [A space of] one handbreadth square and one handbreadth high12 acts as a carrier of uncleanliness and as an interposition to it,13 but if it is less than one handbreadth high it neither conveys nor interposes.14 R. Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna [however,] say, Four [handbreadths], since we do not find a place of any [legal] importance15 to be less than four [handbreadths];16 while Samuel says, Ten [handbreadths]. What is the reason of Samuel? — As its validity, so is its invalidity. Just as its validity [is effected by a height of] ten handbreadths,17 so is its invalidity [effected by] ten handbreadths.18
We have learnt: R. JUDAH SAID, IF THERE ARE NO OCCUPANTS IN THE UPPER ONE, THE LOWER ONE IS VALID. Now what is the meaning of ‘THERE ARE NO OCCUPANTS’? If we say, actual occupants, are then occupants [it could be objected] a determining factor?19 Must [we then] not [say] that ‘THERE ARE NO OCCUPANTS means that the Sukkah is unsuitable for occupation? And how is this possible? Where it is less than ten handbreadths high. May we not, therefore, infer that the first Tanna20 holds the opinion that even if it is unsuitable for occupation it is still invalid?21 — When R. Dimi, came,22 he said, In the West23 they say,24 if the lower one cannot bear the weight of25 the bolsters and the cushions of the upper one, the lower one is valid.26 This implies [does it not] that the first Tanna27 holds the opinion that even if the lower one is not able to bear their weight, it is still invalid?28 -The difference between them29 is30 where it can bear the weight with difficulty.31
MISHNAH. IF ONE SPREAD A SHEET32 OVER IT33 BECAUSE OF THE SUN OR BENEATH IT BECAUSE OF FALLING [LEAVES], OR IF HE SPREAD [A SHEET] OVER THE FRAME OF A FOURPOST BED,34 [THE SUKKAH] IS INVALID.35 ONE MAY SPREAD IT, HOWEVER, OVER THE FRAME OF A TWO-POST BED.36
GEMARA. R. Hisda stated, [Our Mishnah] speaks only [of a sheet spread] BECAUSE OF FALLING [LEAVES],37 but if [it was spread] in order to beautify [the Sukkah], it is valid.38 But is not this obvious! For have we not learnt, BECAUSE OF FALLING [LEAVES]?One might have said that the law is the same even [where the sheet served the purpose] of beautifying [the Sukkah] and that the reason why it was stated, BECAUSE OF FALLING [LEAVES], is that he mentions what is the common practice, therefore he informs us this.39
Can we say that the following supports [R. Hisda's view]: If he covered it40 according to the rule, and adorned it with embroidered hangings and sheets, and hung therein nuts, almonds, peaches, pomegranates, bunches of grapes, wreaths of ears of corn, [phials of] wine, oil or fine flour, it is forbidden to make use of them41
(1) And thus its covering which is an invalid one cannot invalidate the lower Sukkah.
(2) If the roof of the upper Sukkah, however, was above twenty cubits from the ground its invalid material (since all Sukkah roofs above twenty cubits height are invalid) would be deemed to be joined to the roof of the lower Sukkah and to render it invalid in consequence.
(3) Of the roof of the lower one. Being a valid Sukkah it invalidates the lower one on the ground of the latter's being a Sukkah under a Sukkah.
(4) I.e., regards the roof of the upper, and of the lower Sukkah as one.
(5) Sc. the covering of the upper Sukkah where it is higher than twenty cubits.
(6) And thus use an invalid Sukkah.
(7) Thus indicating that no preventive measure was deemed necessary.
(8) As a Sukkah under a Sukkah.
(9) I.e.,if it is less than this, the two roofs are regarded as one.
(10) Lit., ‘tents’.
(11) V. marg. glos. Cur. edd. in parenthesis, ‘for it was taught’.
(12) I.e., a cubic handbreadth between the level on which the contaminating object lies and the object that forms the ‘roof’ or ‘tent’ above it.
(13) It acts as a carrier in that whatever is under the same ‘roof’ as the unclean object is unclean, and as an interposition in that whatever lies above the ‘roof’ is not defiled.
(14) Ohal. III, 7. Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
(15) A private domain, for instance.
(16) V. Shab. 7a. A space between the upper and lower roof that was less than four handbreadths cannot, therefore, be regarded as forming an upper Sukkah above the lower one.
(17) The roof of a Sukkah must be at least ten handbreadths high to render the Sukkah valid.
(18) If the roof of the Sukkah above it is, however, lower than ten handbreadths, the lower Sukkah remains valid.
(19) Of course not.
(20) The authority of the anonymous first part of the Mishnah who differs from R.Judah.
(21) Which is refutation of Samuel.
(22) From Palestine to Babylon.
(24) In explanation of R. Judah's ruling, IF THERE ARE NO OCCUPANTS’.
(25) Lit., receive .
(26) Since the upper one is not strong enough to be regarded as a Sukkah. As a Sukkah cannot be valid unless its floor can bear the prescribed weight so also, on the principle, ‘As its validity so is its invalidity’ laid down by Samuel, it cannot cause the invalidity of the lower Sukkah unless the latter's roof which is its floor can bear the prescribed weight. Where the upper one, however, is less than ten handbreadths high even the first Tanna agrees that it cannot affect the validity of the lower one, in agreement with Samuel.
(27) Who differs from R. Judah.
(28) Apparently we may. Now, since in this respect the first Tanna does not uphold Samuel's principle, and since the question of height depends on the same principle, may it not be contended that he differs from Samuel as regards the height also?
(29) The first Tanna and R. Judah.
(30) Not the complete ability or inability to bear the weight mentioned.
(31) According to the first Tanna this invalidates the lower one; according to R. Judah, it does not. Where, however, it cannot bear the weight at all, the first Tanna on Samuel's principle, agrees with R. Judah.
(32) A sheet (cf. infra 11a) is subject to ritual defilement and is, therefore, invalid as a Sukkah-covering.
(33) The roof of a Sukkah.
(34) And thus made a tent within the Sukkah. קינוף Gr. **, four poles over which a covering is placed.
(35) In the former case, because of the unsuitability of the covering, and in the latter case because of of the intervention of a tent.
(36) A bed frame with only two poles, one on each side, the top of which being less than a handbreadth in width it cannot be regarded as a valid tent (v. Gemara infra).
(37) In which case it is regarded as a part of the roof and therefore causes the invalidity of the Sukkah.
(38) Since the sheet does not serve the purpose of a roof covering.
(39) That the Sukkah is valid if a sheet was intended to beautify it.
(40) The Sukkah.
(41) To eat, for instance, any of the fruit.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 10b
until the conclusion of the last day of the Festival, but if1 he expressed a condition about them,2 all depends on [the terms of] his condition?3 — No! It is possible [that the statement was made with reference to sheets] at the side [of the Sukkah].4 It was stated: The adornments of a Sukkah do not diminish [the height of] the Sukkah.5 R. Ashi said, But at the side, they do diminish [the size of a Sukkah].6
Minyamin, the servant of R. Ashi, had his shirt soaked in water, and he spread it out on their Sukkah. R. Ashi said to him, ‘Remove it, lest they say that it is permissible to use as a covering something which is susceptible to defilement’. ‘But [the other asked] can they not see that it is wet?’7 ‘I mean [the first answered] when it is dry’.8
It was stated: The adornments of a Sukkah9 which are removed four [handbreadths from the roof] R. Nahman declared valid,10 and R. Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna declare invalid.11 R. Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna once came to the house of the exilarch, and R. Nahman12 sheltered them in a Sukkah whose adornments were separated four handbreadths [from the roof]. They were silent and said not a word to him. Said he to them, ‘Have our Rabbis13 retracted their teaching’?14 -"We", they answered him, are on a religious errand,15 and [therefore] free from the obligation of the Sukkah’.16
Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, It is permissible to sleep in a canopied bed in a Sukkah, even though it has a flat roof, provided it is not ten [handbreadths] high.17
Come and hear: He who sleeps in a canopied bed in a Sukkah has not fulfilled his obligation?18 - Here we are dealing with a case of one that was ten [handbreadths] high. It was objected: He who sleeps under the bed in a Sukkah has not fulfilled his obligation?19 — But, surely, Samuel has explained that [this refers to] a bed ten [handbreadths] high. Come and hear: OR IF HE SPREAD [A SHEET] OVER THE FRAME OF A FOUR-POST BED, [THE SUKKAH] IS INVALID? — There also it is a case where they are ten [handbreadths] high. But surely, it was not taught thus, for it has been taught, naklitin [means a frame with] two [poles], and kinofoth [means a frame with] four [poles]; if one spread a sheet over the frame of kinofoth it is invalid, if over naklitin, it is valid, provided that the naklitin are not ten [handbreadths] high above the bed. This implies that kinofoth [are invalid] even if they are less than ten [handbreadths high]? — Kinofoth are different, since they are permanent.20 But, behold the case of one Sukkah above another, which is also permanent; and Samuel nevertheless said, ‘As its validity so is its invalidity’?21 — I will explain: In the latter case, [when it is a question] of invalidating a Sukkah,22 [the upper one must be ten [handbreadths] high,23 but here, [where it is a question] of making a tent,24 even less than ten [handbreadths suffices] also to constitute a tent.25
R. Tahlifa b. Abimi said in the name of Samuel, He who sleeps naked in a canopied bed, may put his head out of the canopied bed and read the Shema’.26 It was objected: He who sleeps in a canopied bed naked may not put his head out of it and read the Shema’? — The latter refers to a case where [the canopy] was ten [handbreadths] high.27 This stands to reason also, since it was stated in the final clause: To what can it be compared? To a man standing naked in a house, in which case he may not put his head out of the window and read the Shema’. This is conclusive.
(1) Prior to the Festival.
(2) I.e., he made a declaration that he desired to retain full possession ‘during the twilight of the first day’ of the Festival of any of the objects mentioned. Unless the declaration is made at the proper time and in this form the objects assume the sanctity of the Sukkah and no subsequent declaration can remove it.
(3) Bezah 30b, which shows that ornamental sheets do not invalidate a Sukkah. Does not this then provide support to R. Hisda's view?
(4) One, however, hung under the roof may well invalidate a Sukkah, even if its purpose was ornamental.
(5) If it was higher than twenty cubits and the sheet hung lower, it is still invalid, since a sheet Is unsuitable as a Sukkah-covering.
(6) If the presence of the adornments caused it to be less than the minimum of seven handbreadths square.
(7) And that it was spread out for the purpose of drying only.
(8) Only then is it necessary to remove it from the Sukkah.
(9) Sheets spread under the Sukkah roof as decorations (Rashi).
(10) Because their identity is merged in that of the roof.
(11) Since they form a ‘tent’ that intervenes between the roof and the habitable part of the Sukkah.
(12) R. Nahman was chief in authority at the exilarch's house.
(13) Sc. R. Hisda and Rabbah b. R. Huna.
(14) Cited supra.
(15) It was regarded as a religious duty to visit one's master, or the exilarch, on the Festivals.
(16) A person engaged on a religious errand is free from other religious duties (cf. infra 25a).
(17) Above the bed. It cannot be regarded as a valid tent unless it is ten handbreadths high.
(18) An objection against Samuel's ruling just cited.
(19) infra 20b.
(20) Hence they may be regarded as a proper tent. The poles of a canopied bed, however, are not permanent, and cannot be regarded as a valid tent unless they are ten handbreadths high.
(21) Supra 10a; which shows that even a permanent structure cannot be valid unless it is ten handbreadths high.
(22) On the ground that one Sukkah is above another.
(23) Otherwise it cannot invalidate the lower Sukkah.
(24) Under which it should be forbidden to sleep but the rest of the Sukkah remaining valid.
(25) If it is to be permanent.
(26) The Scriptural reading Deut. VI, 4f, which had to be read twice daily; otherwise it is forbidden to read while naked. V. Ber. 24b and 25b.
(27) Which has, therefore, the legal status of a room. As a naked person is forbidden to read the Shema’ even if he puts his head out of a window (because the greater part of his body is still in the room) so it is forbidden to read the Shema’ while the greater part of one's body remained in the canopied bed. A canopy that is lower than ten handbreadths is regarded as a covering or cloak.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 11a
But as to a house, even though it is not ten [handbreadths] high, since it is permanent it constitutes a valid tent,1 for it is no worse than the frame of a four-post bed.
Another version is that Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, It is permitted to sleep in a bridal-bed in a Sukkah, since it has no roof,2 even though it be ten [handbreadths] high. It was objected: He who sleeps in a canopied bed in a Sukkah has not fulfilled his obligations? — Here we are dealing with the case of one which has a roof’. Come and hear: Naklitin [means a frame with] two [poles]; kinofoth [means a frame with] four [poles], if he spread a canopy over the frame of kinofoth it is invalid,3 over that of naklitin it is valid, provided that the naklitin are not ten [handbreadths] high above the bed. But if they are ten [handbreadths] high above the bed, it is invalid, [is it not] even though it has no roof?-Naklitin are different, since they are permanent. If they are permanent, why are they not [subject to the same law as] kinofoth?4 — As compared to kinofoth they are not [considered] permanent,5 but compared to the bridal-bed they are [considered] permanent.6
Rabbah son of R. Huna expounded, It is permitted to sleep in a canopied bed [in a Sukkah] even though it has a roof and even though it is ten [handbreadths] high. According to whom [is this opinion expressed]?-According to R. Judah who said that a temporary tent7 cannot nullify a permanent one,8 as we have learnt: R. Judah said, We were accustomed to sleep under a bed9 in the presence of the Elders.10 Why then does he not say, The halachah is as R. Judah?-If he had said, The halachah is as R. Judah, I might have presumed that this applies only to a bed which is made [to be slept] upon,11 but not to a canopied bed which, is made [to be slept] within,12 hence he informs us that the reason of R. Judah is13 that a temporary tent cannot nullify a permanent one, no matter whether it be an ordinary bed14 or a canopied bed.15
MISHNAH. IF HE TRAINED A VINE OR A GOURD OR IVY OVER [THE SUKKAH] AND COVERED IT WITH THE COVERING OF A SUKKAH, IT IS NOT VALID.16 IF [HOWEVER] THE SUKKAH-COVERING EXCEEDS THEM IN QUANTITY, OF IF HE CUT THEM,17 IT IS VALID. THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE. WHATEVER IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS AND DOES NOT GROW FROM THE SOIL MAY NOT BE USED FOR SUKKAH-COVERING, BUT WHATEVER IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS AND GROWS FROM THE SOIL MAY BE USED FOR SUKKAH-COVERING.
GEMARA. R. Joseph sat18 before R. Huna, and in the course of the session he stated, [with reference to the ruling] OR IF HE CUT THEM, IT IS VALID, Rab said, But he must shake them.19 Said R. Huna to him, This has been said by Samuel! R. Joseph turned away his face [in annoyance] and retorted, Did I then tell you that Samuel did not say it? Rab said it and Samuel also said it. It is this that I say, said R. Huna to him, As to that, Samuel said it, and not Rab, since Rab declares it valid [without shaking],20 as in the case of R. Amram the Pious who attached fringes to the aprons of the women of his house.21 He hung them22 but did not cut off the ends of the threads.23 When he came before R. Hiyya b. Ashi24 the latter said to him, Thus said Rab, [In such a case the threads] may be cut and they are valid. Thus it is obvious that their cutting is their [valid] preparation, so here also,25 their cutting is their [valid] preparation. But does Samuel hold the opinion that we do not say that their cutting is their [valid] preparation? Did not Samuel in fact teach in the name of R. Hiyya, If one attached [zizith] to two corners in one26 and then cut the ends of these threads, the zizith are valid. Does not this mean that he first knotted them and then cut them?27 -No, he cut them first28 and afterwards knotted them. If he cut them first and then knotted them, why mention it?29 -One would have thought
(1) And therefore if a person is naked he cannot put his head out and read the Shema’.
(2) The cover was sloping from above the bed around it.
(3) Sc. one may not use it within a Sukkah.
(4) And thus render their use in a Sukkah forbidden.
(5) Hence they cause no invalidity where they are lower than ten handbreadths.
(6) They cause, therefore, invalidity where they are ten handbreadths high even if they have no roof, while a canopied bed that has no roof causes no invalidity even where it is ten handbreadths high.
(7) The canopied bed.
(8) The Sukkah which in comparison with it may be regarded as permanent.
(9) In a Sukkah. The movable bed being regarded as temporary and the Sukkah as permanent.
(10) Infra 20b.
(11) And not under it. As the bed was never intended to serve as a ‘tent’ a person's occasional use of it for the purpose of sleeping under it cannot confer upon it the status of a valid tent.
(12) And the roof thereof might, therefore, be regarded as constituting a valid tent.
(13) Not the one just suggested.
(14) Under which one sleeps.
(15) Within which one sleeps.
(16) Since a growing plant may not be used as a Sukkah-covering.
(17) From the ground, after he had trained them on the Sukkah.
(18) In the college.
(19) After they had been cut. Sc. each branch must be raised and put back in position so that the covering is made from valid materials. If no moving or shifting takes place after the plants had been cut the Sukkah remains invalid since it was made from invalid materials. The mere cutting of them from the ground does not alter the fact that the covering was made from invalid materials.
(20) The cutting alone is regarded as the ‘making’ of the covering.
(21) R. Amram was of the opinion, not generally held, that women are bound to wear fringes.
(22) On the four corners of the garments.
(23) He folded one thread four times, and attached it to the garment. By subsequently cutting it he made of it the eight requisite threads.
(24) To inquire whether the mere cutting of the long thread constitutes the ‘making’ of the fringes.
(25) In the case of the Sukkah where the branches were only cut and not shifted.
(26) Long threads folded in four were passed through the two corners, and then separated by being cut in the middle.
(27) In agreement with Rab.
(28) Immediately after insertion before he wound the prescribed number of coils and made the necessary knots.
(29) It is obvious that it is valid.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 11b
that it was necessary to insert the threads in one corner at a time, which was not the case here, therefore he informed us [that it was not so].
It was objected: If he hung them1 and did not cut their ends, they are invalid. Does not this mean invalid for ever,2 and is thus a refutation of Rab?-[No!] Rab can answer: What is the meaning of ‘invalid’? Invalid until they are cut. Samuel, however, says, [It means] invalid for ever. And so said Levi, They are invalid for ever. And so said R. Mattenah in the name of Samuel: They are invalid for ever. Another version is that R. Mattenah said, A [similar] incident happened to me, and when I came before Samuel he told me, They are invalid for ever.
It was objected: If he inserted them3 and then cut their ends, they are invalid; and it was also taught concerning a Sukkah: Thou shalt make4 [implies] but not from that which is already made, hence they5 inferred, If one trained a vine or a gourd or ivy [over the walls of a Sukkah] and then covered them with the Sukkah-covering it is invalid. Now, how is this to be understood? If you say that it is a case where one did not cut them,6 why then give the reason because of ‘"Thou shalt make" [implies] but not from that which is already made’? Let him rather give the reason that they are joined to the ground? Consequently it must be a case where he cut them,6 and yet it is taught that it is invalid. Deduce then, therefrom that we do not say that their cutting6 is their [valid] preparation. And is not this then a refutation of Rab?Rab can answer that there we are dealing with a case where he pulled them [from the trunk]7 so that their ‘making’ is not apparent. At all events, [does not the case where] ‘he inserted them and then cut their ends’8 present a difficulty against Rab?9 — It is a difficulty.
Can we say that [their dispute10 accords with a dispute of] Tannas? [As we have learnt], If one transgressed and11 plucked them,12 [the myrtle is still] invalid, so R. Simeon b. Jehozadak, while the Sages declare it valid. Now they13 were of the opinion that everyone14 agrees that [the components of] a lulab15 must be tied together, and that we deduce [the law of] lulab from that of Sukkah, concerning which it is written ‘thou shalt make’, [which implies]’but not from what which is made’. Do they [then] not dispute on this principle, that the one who declared it16 valid is of the opinion that with regard to the Sukkah we say that ‘their cutting is their [valid] preparation’, and [therefore] with regard to lulab also we say that their plucking is their [valid] preparation; while the one who declares it invalid is of the opinion that with regard to the Sukkah we do not say that ‘their cutting is their valid preparation’, and [therefore] with regard to lulab also we do not say that their plucking is their [valid] preparation?17 — No! Everyone may agree that with regard to the Sukkah we do not say that their cutting is their [valid] preparation, but here they differ on the principle whether we deduce the law of lulab from that of Sukkah. The one who declares it16 valid is of the opinion that we do not deduce lulab from Sukkah, while the one who declares it invalid says that we do deduce lulab from sukkah. And if you wish you may say that if we were of the opinion that18 the [components of the] lulab must be tied together,19 [we must admit that] all agree that we do deduce the law of lulab from that of Sukkah,20 but here they dispute on the following: One Master21 holds the opinion that it22 must be tied together23 while the other holds that it need not be tied together; and their dispute is analogous to that of the following Tannas of whom it has been taught: A lulab, whether [its components] be tied together or not, is valid, while R. Judah says, If tied together it is valid, if not, it is invalid.24 What is the reason of R. Judah?-He deduces the word ‘take’25 from the word ‘take’ mentioned in connection with the bundle of hyssop. It is written there, And ye shall take a bundle of hyssop,26 and it is written here, And ye shall take you on the first day etc.27 Just as there it was taken in a ‘bundle,28 so here also it must be taken in a bundle.28 And the Rabbis?29 — They do not deduce ‘take’ from ‘take’.30
According to whom is that which has been taught, It is a religious duty to tie [the components of] the lulab together, but if one did not tie them, it is [still] valid? If it is according to R. Judah, why is it valid if one does not tie them, and if it is according to the Sages, why is it ‘a religious duty’?31 -It is in fact according to the Rabbis, but [it is a religious duty]31 since it is written, This is my God and I will glorify him32 [which implies] glorification33 before Him in [the due performance of] religious duties.
THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: WHATEVER IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS etc. Whence do we know this?Resh Lakish said: Scripture says, But there went up a mist from the earth;34 just as a mist is a thing that is not susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness and originates from the soil, so must [the covering of] the Sukkah35 [consist of] a thing that is not susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness, and grow from the soil. That is satisfactory according to the authority who says that [the booths of the wilderness were] clouds of glory, but according to the authority who says [the Israelites] made for themselves real booths, what can one say?36 For it has been taught: For I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths,37 These38 were clouds of glory, so R. Eliezer. R. Akiba says, They made for themselves real booths. Now this39 is satisfactory according to R. Eliezer, but according to R. Akiba, what can one say?36 — When R. Dimi came,40 he explained in the name of R. Johanan, Scripture says, The Festival [hag] of Sukkoth thou shalt keep.41 The Sukkah is thus42 compared to the Festival [offering].43 Just as the Festival offering is a thing which is not susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness and grows from the soil,44 so the Sukkah must be unsusceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness and grow from the soil.
(1) The threads of the zizith.
(2) Even though they were subsequently cut.
(3) The threads of the zizith.
(4) Sc. the Sukkah, Deut. XVI, 13.
(5) The Rabbis.
(6) From the ground.
(7) I.e., he pulled the branches from the vine etc., until they broke, but the bark was still attached (cf. Tosaf. a.l.).
(8) Cited supra.
(9) According to whom they should be valid, whereas the Baraitha declares them invalid.
(10) On the question whether ‘their cutting is their valid preparation’.
(11) On the festival day.
(12) The berries of a myrtle that is to be attached to the festive wreath. Such a myrtle must have more leaves than berries; but it is forbidden in the Festival to remove any of the berries though this may well be done on a weekday.
(13) The Rabbis at the college who raised the argument.
(14) Sc. both the Tannas mentioned.
(15) The palm-branch used on the Festival of Tabernacles. V. infra. To it are tied the myrtle and willow and the tying together of the plants is regarded as analogous to the preparation of a Sukkah.
(16) The myrtle.
(17) Cf. supra p 45, n. 9.
(18) According to the Tannas mentioned.
(19) So that the term of ‘making’ or ‘preparation’ might be applied.
(20) Sc. as in the case of Sukkah ‘cutting’ is not regarded as ‘making’ so in the case of the lulab also ‘plucking’ is not regarded as ‘making and the myrtle is invalid.
(21) R. Simeon.
(22) The festive wreath.
(23) Hence the term of ‘making’ may well be applied to it. As the binding is done prior to the festival the plucking of the berries during the festival is of no avail since at that time the wreath is already made.
(24) Infra 33a.
(25) Mentioned in connection with the festive wreath.
(26) Ex. XII, 22.
(27) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(28) Or ‘tied together’.
(29) How, in view of this deduction, can they maintain their view.
(30) Sc. they did not receive this analogy from their teachers; and no Gezerah shawah (v. GIos.) analogy is valid unless it can be traced through a chain of uninterrupted tradition from Moses.
(31) ‘To tie (the components of) the lulab together’.
(32) E.V., ‘I will praise him’. Ex. XV, 2.
(33) Lit., ‘be glorified’.
(34) Gen. II, 6.
(35) Since the Sukkah is commemorative of the clouds (v. infra).
(36) In explanation of the ruling of our Mishnah.
(37) Lev. XXIII, 43.
(39) The explanation of Resh Lakish.
(40) From Palestine to Babylon.
(41) Deut. XVI, 13.
(42) Since it appears in juxtaposition with hag.
(43) Hagigah, from the same rt. as hag.
(44) Since animals are fed on that which grows from the ground. R. Johanan regards them also as growing from the ground.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 12a
And if [you will suggest]: Just as the Festival offering was a live animal so the Sukkah must be [of something which is] alive, [it may be replied that] when Rabin came, he said in the name of R. Johanan, Scripture says, After that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing-floor and thy winepress. The verse thus speaks of the leavings of the threshing-floor and the leas of the wine-press.1 But perhaps it means the actual threshing-floor and the actual wine-press?2 - Zera answered, It is written winepress’, and3 it is impossible to cover the Sukkah with this!3 R. Jeremiah demurred: But perhaps it means the solidified wine that comes from Senir, which resembles fig-cakes?4 R. Zera observed, We had something in our hands, and R. Jeremiah came and cast an axe at it.5 R. Ashi replied, ‘From thy threshing-floor’,6 [implies] but not the threshing-floor itself,7 from thy wine-press’,6 [implies] but not the wine-press itself.8 R. Hisda replied,9 The deduction is made from this verse, Go forth unto the mount and fetch olive-branches, and branches of wild olive, and myrtle-branches and palm-branches, and branches of thick trees.10 Are not myrtle-branches, the same as branches of thick trees?11 — R. Hisda answered: The wild myrtle12 [were to be fetched] for the Sukkah, while the branches of thick trees,13 for the lulab.
MISHNAH. BUNDLES OF STRAW, BUNDLES OF WOOD, AND BUNDLES OF BRUSHWOOD MAY NOT SERVE AS SUKKAH-COVERING, BUT ALL OF THEM,14 IF THEY ARE UNTIED, ARE VALID. ALL MATERIALS, HOWEVER,15 ARE VALID FOR THE WALLS.
GEMARA. R. Jacob said, I heard from R. Johanan [the explanation of] two things,16 this one,17 and the following:18 If one hollows out a haystack to make of it a Sukkah, [the hollow] is no [valid] Sukkah.19 The reason for one of them he attributed to a Rabbinical enactment lest [a man use his] store-house as a Sukkah,20 and as a reason for the other he gave, because ‘thou shalt make’, [implies] but not from that which is made; but I do not remember which of them is on account of a ‘store-house’, and which on account of ‘"thou shalt make" but not from that which is made’. R. Jeremiah said, Let us see:21 R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan, Why did they say that bundles of straw, bundles of wood, and bundles of brushwood may not serve as sukkah-covering? Because it may happen22 that a man returns in the evening from the field with his bundle on his shoulder, and raising it up he places it on his hut to dry it,23 and then24 he might decide to leave it there as a sukkah-covering, but the Torah said, ‘Thou shalt make’, [which implies], but not from that which is made.25 Now since this is forbidden as a restrictive measure against the possibility of the use of a store-house26 [as a Sukkah]27 the other28 must have been forbidden on the ground of ‘thou shalt make’ [which implies], but not from that which is made.29 And R. Jacob?30 -He had not heard that [statement] of R. Hiyya b. Abba. R. Ashi said:31 Are then bundles of straw, bundles of wood and bundles of brushwood forbidden only because of the possible use of a store-house32 and not because of the injunction ‘thou shalt make’ [which implies], but not from that which is made,33 and is the hollowing out of a haystack forbidden only because of the injunction ‘thou shalt make’ which implies but not from that which is made, and not because of the possible use of a store-house?34 And R. Johanan?35 — He can answer you that here where it states, MAY NOT SERVE AS A SUKKAH-COVERING, it means that only at the outset
(1) Which grow from the ground and are unsusceptible to ritual uncleanness.
(2) Which includes the grain and the grapes both of which are susceptible to ritual uncleanness.
(3) Since it contains only a liquid.
(4) And is, therefore, suitable as a roof covering.
(5) I.e., R. Jeremiah has destroyed what the former thought was a satisfactory explanation of the ruling in our Mishnah.
(6) Emphasis on ‘from’.
(7) Hence the deduction that the text ‘speaks of the leavings of the threshing-floor’ etc.
(8) V. p. 48, n. 16.
(9) In reply to the question, Whence does our Mishnah deduce that WHATEVER IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO RITUAL UNCLEANLINESS etc.
(10) Neh. VIII, 15. Ali the varieties enumerated are unsusceptible to ritual uncleanliness and grow from the ground.
(11) ‘Branches of thick trees’ in Lev. XXIII, 40 is regarded (v. infra 32b) as referring to myrtle. Why then should the same thing be mentioned twice?
(12) This is the species referred to in ‘myrtle branches’, which has only one or two leaves in each row and is, therefore, invalid for the lulab. V. infra 32b.
(13) Having three leaves in each row.
(14) Straw, wood and brushwood.
(15) Though invalid for the Sukkah roof.
(16) Sc. rulings in the Mishnah.
(17) The ruling in our Mishnah on the invalidity of bundles.
(18) Lit., ‘and the other’.
(19) Infra 15a.
(20) A restrictive enactment of the Rabbis lest a man regard also his ‘store-house’, i.e., a room not used throughout the year, as a valid Sukkah.
(21) Whether another statement of R. Johanan might throw light on R. Jacob's uncertainty.
(22) Any time in the year.
(23) Sc. with no intention to use it for shelter from the sun.
(24) On the approach of the festival of Tabernacles.
(25) As in the latter case a Pentateuchal prohibition is involved, since the bundle was never intended to serve as a Sukkah, a Rabbinical prohibition was imposed even in the case where bundles were used expressly for the festival Sukkah.
(26) Sc. bundles ‘stored’ on a hut during the summer for the winter.
(27) I.e., merely as a Rabbinical prohibition.
(28) ‘If one hollows out a haystack’ etc.
(29) I.e., the prohibition must be Pentateuchai.
(30) Why, in view of the last cited statement of R. Johanan, was he uncertain as to what applied to which?
(31) In objection to R. Jacob.
(32) I.e., a Rabbinical prohibition.
(33) A Pentateuchal prohibition.
(34) Sc. since our Mishnah might refer not only to bundles that were laid on the walls for the purposes of serving as a Sukkah (forbidden only Rabbinically as a preventive measure) but also to such as were stored there during the year (forbidden Pentateuchally), and since the Mishnah cited might refer not only to the usual haystack (forbidden Pentateuchally) but also to one whose sheaves that are to serve as the Sukkah roof were duly shaken and shifted with the specific intention of using them as a roof for the Festival Sukkah (forbidden only Rabbinically as a preventive measure), how could R. Jacob maintain in the name of R. Johanan that only a Pentateuchal, or only a Rabbinical prohibition applied to either Mishnah?
(35) How, in view of R. Ashi's contention, can he assign only one reason for each.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 12b
it is invalid, because of the possible use of a store-house;1 according to the Biblical law, however, it is valid; while in the other case where it is stated categorically that it is no Sukkah, implying even when he has made it, it is no Sukkah even Pentateuchally. Rab Judah said in the name of Rab, If one covered a Sukkah with plain2 arrow-shafts, it is valid; with bored3 shafts, it is invalid. ‘With plain arrow-shafts it is valid’; but is not this obvious? I might have said that these should be forbidden on account of bored ones,therefore he informs us [that they are not forbidden]. ‘With4 bored shafts, it is invalid’, is not this obvious? — I might have thought that a receptacle which is made to be [permanently] filled up is not regarded as a receptacle, therefore he informs us [that it is].
Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan, ‘If one covered a Sukkah with flax-stalks that had been soaked and baked, it is invalid;5 with flax stalks in their natural state it is valid; with flax-stalks in an intermediate stage of preparation, I do not know [whether it is valid or not]’. But as to what constitutes an intermediate stage,6 I7 do not know whether if it has been pounded and not corded it is regarded as in an intermediate stage,8 but if it has been soaked and not pounded it is regarded as being in its natural state,9 or perhaps, even if it has been soaked but not pounded, it is also regarded as being in an intermediate stage.10
Rab Judah ruled, One may use licorice-wood or wormwood as a Sukkah-covering. Abaye ruled, Licorice-wood may be employed, but not wormwood. What is the reason?- Since
(1) Ex post facto, however, it is obviously permitted. The prohibition, therefore, can only be Rabbinical.
(2) Lit., ‘male shafts’. The shaft, being plain and inserted into the arrow head, is regarded as a piece of unprepared wood, which is unsusceptible to ritual uncleanliness
(3) Lit., ‘female shafts’. Having a hole bored at one of its ends into which the arrow-head is inserted, the shaft is regarded as a valid receptacle which is susceptible to ritual uncleanliness.
(4) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘The Master said’.
(5) Since such stalks are susceptible to ritual uncleanliness (cf. Shab. 27b).
(6) In the view of R. Johanan.
(7) The speaker, Rabbah b. Bar Hana.
(8) And its validity is, therefore, a matter of doubt.
(9) And is consequently valid.
(10) And its validity is, therefore, a matter of doubt.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 13a
they give an unpleasant odour, one might leave [the Sukkah]1 and depart.
R. Hanan b. Raba said, Izma and hegeh2 may be employed as a Sukkah-covering; [while] Abaye said, Izma may be used, but not hegeh. What is the reason?-Since their leaves fall off, one might leave the Sukkah and depart. R. Giddal said in the name of Rab, The forked portion of a palm tree3 may be used as a Sukkah-covering, even although [the branches] are joined together,4 [since] a natural joining5 is not considered a joining; and even although one later joined them6 [the covering is valid, since] joining of one thing [to itself] is not considered a joining.
R. Hisda said in the name of Rabina b. Shila, One may cover the Sukkah with forked reeds, even though they are joined,4 [since] a natural joining is not considered a joining; and even though one later joins them,6 the joining of one thing [to itself] not considered as a proper joining.
So it was also taught: Reeds and forked reeds may be used as a Sukkah covering. As to reeds, this is obvious?7 — Read: Reeds of the forked variety8 may be used as a Sukkah-covering.
R. Hisda [further] stated in the name of Rabina b. Shila, A man fulfils his obligation9 on Passover with bitter herbs of the marsh,10 It was objected: Hyssop but not Greek hyssop, or stibium-hyssop, or wild hyssop, or Roman hyssop or any kind of hyssop which has a special11 name?12 — Abaye answered: Whatever had different names prior to the Giving of the Law, and yet the Torah makes specific mention of the general name only obviously [the intention is to exclude such of the species which] have special names;13 but the former14 did not have different names before the Giving of the Law at all.15
Raba answered: Their ordinary name is really ‘bitter herbs’,16 but they are called ‘bitter herbs of the marsh’, because they are found in marshes.
R. Hisda said, The joining of one thing [to itself] is not considered a proper joining;17 of three things, it is considered a joining; of two, there is a dispute between R. Jose and the Rabbis, as we have learnt, The commandment [to take a bunch] of hyssop [requires the taking of] three stalks having three buds.18 R. Jose says, Three buds,19 and its remnants20 [continue valid] if two [stalks remained] and if there is aught [of each] of the stumps.21 Now it was assumed that since22 its remnants [are valid] with two, at the outset also two are valid, and that the reason he teaches three is to indicate what is the most proper observance of the commandment;23 consequently since R. Jose requires three only for the most proper observance of the commandment according to the Rabbis24 three are indispensable.25 But has it not been taught, R. Jose says, If at the outset a bunch of hyssop has only two stalks26 or if its remnants27 consist of one, it is invalid, since a bunch is not valid unless at the outset it contains three and its remnants are no less than two? — Reverse [the assumption]:28 According to R. Jose three are indispensable, according to the Rabbis three are required only for the proper observance of the commandment. So it has also been taught: If29 a bunch of hyssop contains two stalks at the outset or if its remnant consists of one it is valid, since it is not invalid unless at the outset or when it is a remnant it consists of one. But is a remnant of one invalid? Have you not [just] said that a remnant of one is valid?
(1) Cf. Bah.
(2) Species of thorns and prickly shrubs.
(3) Either (a) where the ramification starts or (b) its upper portion.
(4) And thus have the appearance of a bundle which is invalid for a Sukkah-covering.
(5) Lit., ‘a binding by the hands of heaven.’
(6) At their upper ends.
(7) Why then should they at all be mentioned?
(8) Sc. the waw in ודוקרנין is not to be rendered ‘and’ but ‘of’, ‘that are’.
(9) Of eating bitter herbs (cf. Ex. XII, 8).
(10) Probably succory (Jast.).
(11) Lit., ‘accompanying’.
(12) Since hyssop in the Bible means ordinary hyssop only, so should ‘bitter herbs’ presumably mean only ordinary bitter herbs, but not that of the marsh.
(13) [Lit., ‘it is known that it has a special name’ (to be excluded). The text is not clear. MS.M.: ‘such has (a species of) a special name (to be excluded)].
(14) Bitter herbs.
(15) All its varieties, therefore, are admissible.
(16) Hence they are admissible like the ordinary bitter herbs.
(17) Either in respect of the designation of ‘bundle’ which is invalid for a Sukkah roof or in that of ‘bunch’ in the case of hyssop.
(18) One bud on each stalk.
(19) This will be discussed infra.
(20) Sc. if one stalk has become broken by use.
(21) Parah XI, 9.
(22) According to R. Jose.
(23) Sc. the commandment is best observed with three, though it is considered fulfilled if only two are taken.
(24) Who differ from him.
(25) Thus we see that according to R. Jose, two can constitute a ‘bunch’ or ‘joining’, whereas according to the Rabbis three are required.
(26) Instead of three.
(27) The bunch having originally contained three stalks.
(28) Made supra in connection with R. Hisda's statement.
(29) According to the Rabbis. V. next note.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 13b
— Say rather, Unless at the outset, [it contains] no more than the permitted number for its remnant, viz., one.1
Meremar expounded, The bundles of Sura2 are valid as a Sukkah-covering.3 Although [the seller] binds them together he does so merely to facilitate their counting.4 R. Abba said, As for cone-shaped bundles of bulrushes, as soon as the top-knots are untied they are valid [as a Sukkah-covering]. But are they not still tied at the bottom?5 — R. Papa answered, [This is a case] where he loosens them.6 R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said, one can even ‘say that [it is valid though] he does not loosen them, since a binding which is not made to facilitate transport7 is not considered a binding. R. Abba said in the name of Samuel, Herbs concerning which the Sages said that a man fulfils with them his obligation on Passover,8 carry9 ritual defilement,10 do not11 act as an interposition to ritual defilement12 and cause invalidity in a Sukkah-covering in the same manner as an air space.13 What is the reason? — Since when they wither they crumble and fall, they are regarded as though they were not there.
R. Abba further said in the name of R. Huna, He who cuts grapes for the vat, does not render their ‘handles’ [stalks] susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness;14 while R. Menashia b. Gada said in the name of R. Huna, He who cuts [ears of corn] for a Sukkah-covering15 does not render their handles susceptible to uncleanliness. He who holds this opinion with regard to the cutting [of ears], certainly holds it with regard to the cutting of grapes,16 since one does not desire [any stalks] lest they suck up one's wine; he who holds the opinion that the cutting of grapes16 does not render their stalks susceptible to the uncleanliness, holds that the cutting [of ears]15 does render them susceptible since one is pleased to use [the ears] for the Sukkah-covering in order that [the grains] be not scattered.17 Must we say that the [ruling of] R. Menashia b. Gada18 is a point at issue between Tannas? For it has been taught, Boughs of fig-trees on which there are figs, branches of vines on which there are grapes, or straws on which there are ears of corn or palm-branches on which there are dates, all these, if the inedible part is greater than the edible are valid [for a Sukkah-covering], otherwise, they are invalid. ‘Others’19 say, [They are not valid] unless the straw20 is more than both the ‘handle’21 and the food. Now do they not differ on this principle, that one Master22 holds the opinion they23 render the handles24 susceptible to uncleanliness,25 while the other Master holds the opinion that they do not render the ‘handles’ susceptible to uncleanliness? — According to R. Abba,26 there is certainly27 a dispute of the Tannas,28 but according to R. Menashia b. Gada,29 must we say that [his ruling is] in agreement only with one of the Tannas?30 — R. Menashia can answer you, All31 agree that he who cuts ears for a Sukkah-covering does not render the ‘handles’ susceptible to uncleanliness, but here we are dealing with a particular case where he cuts them for food,32 and then changed his mind [and used them] for a Sukkah-covering. But if he cut them for food, what is the reason [for the view] of the Rabbis?33 And if you will answer that the Rabbis34 are of the opinion that since he changed his mind about them [to use them] for a Sukkah-covering, his original intention35 becomes annulled, [it may be objected], does then one's intention become annulled in such a case?36 Have we not learnt:37 All vessels
(1) Thus it has been shown that the number of three stalks mentioned supra in the name of the Rabbis refers only to what is expected for the most proper observance of the commandment. If the number is to be insisted upon as indispensable this last cited Baraitha, could agree neither with R. Jose nor with the Rabbis.
(2) Reeds tied into bundles which were on sale at Sura.
(3) Sc. they are not to be classed with ordinary bundles which are invalid for the purpose.
(4) He has no intention of keeping them together for storage. Any one buying them usually unbinds them before putting them out to dry. Hence their validity for the Sukkah even before they are unbound.
(5) Since the reeds are also woven together at the bottom.
(6) Sc. undid the ends of the cord that hold them together. The woven part may still remain.
(7) If they are carried about they fall apart.
(8) As, for instance, bitter herbs, lettuce or endives prescribed for the first Passover evening meal.
(9) While they are still fresh.
(10) Sc. they serve as ohel (v. Glos.).
(11) If they form a horizontal partition between a clean and an unclean object.
(12) This is a Rabbinical restriction. Pentateuchally they act as an interposition until they become dry.
(13) The space they occupy is regarded as air space, and just as an air space of three handbreadths in the roof of the Sukkah invalidates it, so does a covering of these herbs.
(14) Lit., ‘they have no handles’, since the stalks serve no useful purpose in the case of grapes for a vat. Handles of vessels or stalks of fruit are susceptible to ritual uncleanliness only where they are needed for the purpose of lifting the object with their aid.
(15) And produce is attached to them.
(16) For a vat.
(17) In the absence of the stalks the grains could not be used at all as a roof covering.
(18) That ‘he who cuts ... does not render their stalks susceptible etc.’
(19) V. supra 7b.
(20) I.e., the inedible portion of the branch or stalk.
(21) Sc. the part of the stalk near the fruit whereby the latter can be lifted.
(22) The ‘Others’.
(23) I.e., both he who cuts grapes and he who cuts ears of corn for Sukkah-covering.
(24) V. supra n. 10.
(25) And, therefore, they are regarded in the same light as the fruit and are unfit for the Sukkah roof unless the inedible portion exceeds both them and the edible portion.
(26) Who ruled that only in the case of grapes are handles not susceptible but in the case of ears the handles are susceptible.
(27) Since the first Tanna holds that in either case the ‘handles’ are not susceptible.
(28) R. Abba holding the same view as the ‘Others’ who hold that ‘handles’ are susceptible.
(29) Who holds that if one cuts ears for a Sukkah-covering it does not render the ‘handles’ susceptible to ritual uncleanliness.
(30) The first Tanna. Sc. must it be admitted that the ‘others’ always maintain that the handles in the case of ‘ears of corn’ are rendered susceptible to uncleanness, in complete contradiction of it. Menashia's ruling, or is it possible to explain the view of the ‘others’ as applying to a particular case only?
(31) Even the ‘others’.
(32) When they are rendered susceptible to uncleanness.
(33) The first Tanna, who ruled that the ‘handles’ are not rendered susceptible to uncleanness.
(34) Sc. the first Tanna.
(35) Of using them for food.
(36) That of susceptibility to ritual uncleanness.
(37) Kelim XXV, 9.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 14a
can be rendered susceptible to uncleanliness by intention,1 but cannot be rendered insusceptible except by an act of change,2 since3 an act can disannul a [prior] act or intention, while an intention cannot disannul either a [previous] act or a [previous] intention? And if you will say that this4 refers only to vessels which are of importance but that ‘handles’ which are needed only as aids for the eating of the food,5 are made [susceptible to uncleanness] by intention and are also unmade by intention [it may be objected], Have we not learnt: The stalks of all foodstuffs that are threshed6 in the threshing-floor7 are insusceptible to ritual uncleanliness,8 and R. Jose declares them susceptible?9 It is explicable according to the authority who says that ‘threshing’ here means loosening [the sheaves],10 but according to the authority who says that ‘threshing’ here really means ‘threshing’,11 what can one answer?12 — That in the previous case also,13 he actually threshed them.14 If so,15 what is the reason of the ‘others’?16 They hold the same opinion as R. Jose, as we have learnt, R. Jose declares them susceptible to uncleanness. How can you compare them?17 One can understand there18 the reason of R. Jose, that [the stalks] have a use according to R. Simeon b. Lakish, as R. Simeon b. Lakish said, Since one can [the more easily] turn them19 with the pitchfork,20 but in this case,21 what use have they?22 --To seize hold of them by their haulms when he takes it23 to pieces.
[Reverting to] the main text, ‘The stalks of all foodstuffs that are threshed in the threshing-floor are unsusceptible to uncleanness, and R. Jose declares them susceptible’. What is the meaning of ‘threshed’ here? — R. Johanan says, Actual threshing. R. Eleazar24 says, Untying the bundle. One can understand according to R. Eleazar,24 who says that ‘threshing’ means untying the bundle, that this25 is the reason why R. Jose declares them susceptible to uncleanliness, but according to R. Johanan who says that ‘threshing’ means actual threshing, why26 does R. Jose declare them susceptible to uncleanliness? — R. Simeon b. Lakish answered, Since he can [the more easily] turn them with a pitch fork.
R. Eleazar24 said, Why are the prayers of the righteous likened to a pitchfork?27 To teach thee that just as the pitchfork turns the corn from place to place in the barn, so the prayers of the righteous turn the mind of the Holy One, blessed be He, from the attribute of harshness to that of mercy.
MISHNAH. PLANKS MAY BE USED FOR THE SUKKAH-COVERING. THESE ARE THE WORDS OF R. JUDAH. R. MEIR FORBIDS THEM. IF ONE PLACES OVER IT28 A PLANK FOUR HANDBREADTHS WIDE, IT IS VALID PROVIDED THAT HE DOES NOT SLEEP UNDER IT.29
GEMARA. Rab said, The dispute30 concerns planks which are four [handbreadths wide],31 in which case R. Meir holds the preventive measure against [the possible use of] an ordinary roofing,32 while R. Judah disregards this preventive measure against [the use of] an ordinary roofing, but in the case of planks which are less than four handbreadths wide all agree that the Sukkah is valid.33 Samuel however says that the dispute34 concerns planks which are less than four [handbreadths wide],35 but if they are four [handbreadths wide], they are invalid according to all.36 If they are ‘less than four’ [you say, does this then imply,] even less than three? But [in this case] are they not mere sticks?37 — R. Papa answered, He38 means thus, If they are four [handbreadths wide] the Sukkah is invalid according to all;36 if they are less than three, it is valid according to all.39 What is the reason? Since they are mere sticks. In what do they40 dispute? In [planks that are] from three to four [handbreadths wide]. One Master41 holds the opinion that since there is not in them the minimum extent of a ‘place’42 we do not make a restrictive enactment,43 and the other Master44 holds the opinion that since the law of labud45 can no longer apply to them46 we make a restrictive enactment.
We learned: IF ONE PLACES OVER IT A PLANK WHICH IS FOUR HANDBREADTHS WIDE, IT IS VALID, PROVIDED THAT HE DOES NOT SLEEP UNDER IT. Now it is well according to Samuel who says that the dispute is where there are not four [handbreadths] but where there are four, all agree that it is invalid; for this reason he must NOT SLEEP UNDER IT. But according to Rab who says that the dispute is where there are four [handbreadths] but where there are less than four all agree that it is valid, why, according to R. Judah, may he NOT SLEEP UNDER IT? — Do you then think that this statement47 is according to all? The concluding statement agrees in fact with R. Meir [only]. Come and hear: Two sheets combine,48
(1) Sc. if the owner intended them to be used in their present state as finished products for a purpose for which they are fully suitable. The fact that for any other purposes they could not be regarded as finished products cannot affect the owner's intention.
(2) In the shape or structure of the vessel.
(3) V. Bah.
(4) That an intention cannot be annulled by an intention.
(5) One only holds the fruit by its stalk when eating it.
(6) Lit., ‘trampled’.
(7) This is explained infra.
(8) Because by the threshing the owner has indicated that he has no use for the stalks.
(9) ‘Ukzin I, 5. Cur. edd. enclose ‘and R. Jose. . . susceptible’ in parenthesis.
(10) The loosening of the sheaves is regarded as an intention to thresh and, therefore, the stalks are unnecessary, and this intention disannuls their previous susceptibility to uncleanliness.
(11) An actual act.
(12) To the objection, How can it be maintained (supra 3b ad fin.) that an intention alone can annul an intention?
(13) Lit., ‘here also’ in the dispute of the first Tanna and the ‘others’.
(14) I.e., after having decided to use them as Sukkah-covering.
(15) That an act was performed.
(16) Who still regard them as susceptible to uncleanness.
(17) The case in dispute between the first Tanna and the ‘others’ and that between the first Tanna and R. Jose here.
(18) In the case of the threshing.
(19) The ears.
(20) Even after threshing, the stalks are useful, that the pitchfork may hold the corn, and therefore they are susceptible to uncleanliness.
(21) Where he cuts the ears for the purpose of the Sukkah.
(22) Apparently none. Why then should they be susceptible to uncleanness?
(23) The Sukkah roof.
(24) V. marg. glos. Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘Eliezer’.
(25) Since it is only a very slight act and this does not affect their status as handles.
(26) In view of the fact that an important act had been performed.
(27) The verb עתר ‘to entreat’ in Gen. XXV, 21, is homiletically connected with עתר ‘a pitchfork’.
(28) A Sukkah.
(29) The plank.
(30) Between R. Judah and R. Meir in our Mishnah.
(31) Such planks are used in the usual construction of house roofs.
(32) Lit., ‘beams’. Since roofs were made of planks of this size, if such planks were permitted on a Sukkah, one would regard an ordinary roof also as valid for the purpose.
(33) Since no one is likely to draw an analogy between such narrow boards and the wide ones of an ordinary roof
(34) Between R. Judah and R. Meir in our Mishnah.
(35) Only in this case does R. Judah permit their use (cf. prev. note).
(36) Sc. even R. Judah.
(37) How then could R. Meir disallow their use.
(39) Sc. even according to R. Meir.
(40) R. Judah and R. Meir.
(41) R. Judah.
(42) A structure smaller than four handbreadths is not considered a ‘place’ (v. supra).
(43) V. supra n. 2.
(44) R. Meir.
(45) V. supra 6b and Glos.
(46) Even if each plank were to be regarded as a mere air space. It applies only to an air space of less than three handbreadths in width.
(47) Just cited from our Mishnah.
(48) To form four handbreadths, to render the Sukkah-covering invalid.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 14b
two boards do not combine. R. Meir says, Boards also are like sheets.1 It is well according to Samuel who says that the dispute is where there are not four [handbreadths], but where there are four handbreadths all agree that it is invalid, [since it may be explained;] What does ‘combine’ mean? That they combine to make four [handbreadths]. But according to Rab, who says that their dispute is where there are four [handbreadths], but where there are not four handbreadths all agree that it is valid, how is it2 to be explained? If there are four [handbreadths]3 why need they combine; if there are not, why [is it invalid]? Are they not mere sticks? — Indeed [it is a case] where there are four handbreadths, and what [is meant by] combine is that they combine to form four cubits4 at the side.5
Another version: It is well according to Samuel, who says that the dispute is where there are not four [handbreadths], but where there are four, all agree that it is invalid, [since it may be explained:] What is meant by ‘combine’? That they combine to form four cubits at the side. But according to Rab, it is well according to R. Meir, since what is meant by ‘combine’ may be that they combine to form four cubits at the side, but according to R. Judah, who says that even if there are four [handbreadths] the Sukkah is valid, what could be the meaning of ‘they do not combine’? Are they not like mere sticks?6 — Since R. Meir said ‘they combine’, R. Judah said ‘they do not combine’. It has been taught in agreement with Rab, and it has been taught in agreement with Samuel. ‘It has been taught in agreement with Rab’, If he covered the Sukkah with planks of cedar which are not four [handbreadths wide], it is valid according to all. If they have four [handbreadths], R. Meir declares it7 invalid and R. Judah valid. R. Judah said, It happened in a time of peril8 that we brought planks which were four [handbreadths wide]9 and we laid them over a balcony and sat under them. They10 said to him, Is this a proof? A time of peril is no proof.
‘It has been taught in agreement with Samuel’, If one covered the Sukkah with planks of cedar which are four [handbreadths wide] it7 is invalid according to all; if they have not four [handbreadths] R. Meir declares it7 invalid and R. Judah valid. But R. Meir admits that if there is a space of one plank between every two planks,11 a man may place laths12 between them and the Sukkah is valid,13 and R. Judah agrees that if he placed on it a plank four handbreadths wide, [although] the Sukkah is valid, a man may not sleep under it,14 and if he sleeps beneath it he has not fulfilled his obligation.15
It was stated: If he placed the planks16 on their sides,17 R. Huna declared it7 invalid,18 and R. Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna declared it valid.19 R. Nahman once came to Sura and R. Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna came in to him and asked, If he placed them on their sides, what is the law?20 He said to them, It is invalid, since they are regarded as metal spits.21 R. Huna said to them, Did I not tell you, Say as I do? They answered him, Did then the Master give us a reason when he did not accept his ruling? He said to them, Did you ask me for a reason and I would not give you?
Can we say that the following provides support for his view:22 If [the Sukkah] cannot contain his head, the major part of his body and his table, or if a breach has been made in it23 large enough for a kid to jump in headlong,24 or if he placed on it a plank four handbreadths wide, even if only three handbreadths of it enter within, it25 is invalid. How is this [last sentence]26 meant? Surely that he placed them27 on their sides?28 — No! Here we are dealing with a case where he placed it29 above the entrance of the booth,30 with three [of the four handbreadths] within and one protruding outside, in which case it is considered as a lath protruding from the Sukkah, and every lath protruding from a Sukkah is regarded as [part of the] Sukkah.31
(1) Infra 17b.
(2) The ruling of R. Meir just cited.
(3) In the width of each board.
(4) Not in the middle of the roof where invalid material of the width of four handbreadths is sufficient to invalidate the Sukkah.
(5) Of the Sukkah, where invalid covering does not invalidate the Sukkah unless it covers four cubits of space.
(6) Which, obviously, do not combine to invalidate a Sukkah.
(7) The Sukkah.
(8) When the performance of religious rites was forbidden.
(9) Which the heathens did not suspect to serve any ritual purpose.
(10) The Rabbis who differed from his view.
(11) Irrespective of the size of the latter.
(12) Lit.,’refuse’, sc. of the threshing-floor etc.
(13) This is explained infra 18a.
(14) The plank.
(15) Of living in a Sukkah.
(16) That were four handbreadths wide.
(17) Which were less than three handbreadths in width.
(18) For the reason given by R. Nahman infra.
(19) Since no house roof is constructed in such a manner there was no need to enact a preventive measure as in the case of flat-lying planks.
(20) They thought he might agree with their view.
(21) I.e., since a plank of four handbreadths is invalid, as is any metal object, in whatever position it is placed, it is still invalid.
(22) R. Nahman's.
(23) In one of the Sukkah walls near the ground.
(24) Without forcing its way in, i.e., one of three handbreadths.
(25) The Sukkah.
(26) That a plank of four handbreadths should cover only three.
(27) The planks.
(28) And covered all the Sukkah with them.
(29) One plank only.
(30) Sc. the side where there was no wall and to which the principle of ‘curved wall’ (v. supra 4a) does not apply.
(31) V. infra, 19a. Hence it is that the one handbreadth without is deemed to be added to the three within to constitute an invalid covering.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 15a
MISHNAH.IF A ROOF [OF TIMBER]1 HAS NO PLASTERING, R. JUDAH SAYS THAT BETH SHAMMAI RULED THAT2 HE SHOULD LOOSEN [ALL THE PLANKS] AND REMOVE ONE FROM BETWEEN EACH TWO,3 WHILE BETH HILLEL RULED HE SHOULD EITHER LOOSEN [THE PLANKS] OR REMOVE ONE FROM BETWEEN TWO. R. MEIR RULED, HE SHOULD REMOVE ONE FROM BETWEEN TWO, BUT NOT LOOSED.4
GEMARA. It is well according to Beth Hillel; their reason is that ‘Thou shalt make’, [implies] but not from that which is [already] made,5 so that if he loosens [the planks] he performs an action,6 and if he removes one from between two he performs an action;6 but what is the reason of Beth Shammai? If it is that ‘Thou shalt make’ [implies] but not from that which is [already] made, one act only7 should be sufficient; if it is because of a restriction on account [of the possible use]8 of all ordinary roofing,9 it should suffice if he removes one from between two?10 — Indeed it is because of a restriction on account [of the possible use] of an ordinary roofing, but they mean thus: Even although he loosens them, if he removes one from between two,11 it is [valid], otherwise it is not. If so, read the concluding [part:] R. MEIR RULED, HE SHOULD REMOVE ONE FROM BETWEEN TWO, BUT NOT LOOSEN. Is not R. Meir's view thus identical with that of Beth Shammai? — He12 means thus: Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel did not dispute on this point.13 What [then] does [the Mishnah] teach us?14 That R. Meir holds that a preventive measure [has been enacted] against the possible use8 of an ordinary roofing, while R. Judah disregards the preventive measure against [the use of] an ordinary roofing? But have they not already disputed on this point, seeing that we have learnt, Planks may be used for the Sukkah covering, these are the words of R. Judah; R. Meir forbids them?15 — R. Hiyya b. Abba answered in the name of R. Johanan, The former Mishnah deals with planed boards16 and they forbade them as a preventive measure against [the possible use8 of] vessels.17 But according to Rab Judah who citing Rab said,18 ‘If he covered the Sukkah with plain arrowshafts, it is valid; with bored arrow-shafts, it is invalid’,18 and he does not restrict plain shafts on account of [the possible use of] bored ones; here also we should not restrict planed boards on account of [the possible use of] vessels? You are consequently obliged to say that the dispute in the former [Mishnah] is on the question whether a preventive measure against the possible use of an ordinary roofing has been enacted and that the dispute in the latter Mishnah is also on the same question; but why should they dispute the same question twice? — The latter [Mishnah] is what R. Judah said to R. Meir: ‘Why [he said in effect] do you forbid planks?19 As a preventive measure against [the possible use of] an ordinary roofing? But it is Beth Shammai only who hold this opinion while Beth Hillel do not enact any preventive measure’.20 To this R. Meir answers that Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel do not dispute this point at all. This is correct according to Rab who says that the dispute21 is where the planks are four [handbreadths wide], since in such a case R. Meir holds that a preventive measure [has been enacted] against [the possible use of] an ordinary roofing while R. Judah disregards the preventive measure against all ordinary roofing; but according to Samuel, who says that the dispute21 is where the planks are not four [handbreadths wide], but that where they are four handbreadths wide all agree that it22 is invalid, on what principle do they dispute in the latter [Mishnah]?23 They dispute on [the question of] the annulment of a roof.24 One Master25 holds the opinion that26 by this means it becomes annulled,27 while the other Master28 holds the opinion that by this means it does not become annulled.29
MISHNAH. IF ONE ROOFS HIS SUKKAH WITH IRON SPITS OR THE LONG BOARDS OF A BED,30 AND THE SPACE BETWEEN THEM31 EQUALS THEM,32 IT33 IS VALID. IF HE HOLLOWS OUT A HAYSTACK TO MAKE FOR HIMSELF A SUKKAH, IT IS NO VALID SUKKAH.
GEMARA. Can we say that this34 is a refutation of R. Huna, the son of R. Joshua, since it was stated, If the breach is equal to that which is standing,35 R. Papa says it is permitted,36 and R. Huna the son of R. Joshua says it is forbidden?37 — R. Huna the son of R. Joshua can answer, ‘What is meant by EQUALS THEM? That it can easily pass through them.38
(1) The planks of such a roof were usually no less than four handbreadths wide.
(2) If it is desired to use the room as a Sukkah.
(3) Being replaced by suitable material.
(4) Loosening being of no avail at all.
(5) Sc. from invalid materials or as a house and not as a Sukkah.
(6) For the express purpose of the Sukkah.
(7) Loosen or remove.
(8) As a Sukkah.
(9) V. supra 12a.
(10) By which the solidity of the roof is broken up.
(11) So that (a) he performs an act for the express purpose of the Sukkah and (b) he breaks up the solidity of the roof and there is no need to provide against the possible use of a solid roof for a Sukkah.
(12) R. Meir.
(13) Both agreeing as to the necessity for removing one from between two.
(14) By giving the views of R. Judah and R. Meir.
(15) Mishnah supra 14a.
(16) Less than four handbreadths in width, so that no preventive measure against the possible use of all ordinary roofing was necessary.
(17) Vessels are susceptible to ritual contamination and are, therefore, invalid for a Sukkah-covering. Planed boards are not proper ‘vessels’ and are not susceptible to ritual uncleanness, but, as they can be used for certain purposes, they are forbidden as a Sukkah-covering lest one regard proper vessels also as permitted.
(18) Supra 12b.
(19) In the Mishnah supra 14a.
(20) An objection thus arises against R. Meir: Why does he adopt the view of Beth Shammai against the more authoritative one of Beth Hillel?
(21) Between R. Meir and R. Judah.
(22) The Sukkah.
(23) Sc. since the planks in an ordinary roof are usually no less than four handbreadths wide why does R. Judah maintain that according to Beth Hillel the Sukkah is nevertheless valid?
(24) Sc. whether what was once a roof can be annulled by removing planks, or by the performance of any other act which indicates that the man is aware that a Sukkah is valid only if it was made for the purpose.
(25) R. Judah.
(26) According to Beth Hillel.
(27) No preventive measure being deemed necessary.
(28) R. Meir.
(29) Even according to Beth Hillel, a preventive measure having been enacted.
(30) Iron spits, since they are metal, and side pieces of a bed since they are ‘vessels’ are invalid for a Sukkah since they are susceptible to ritual uncleanness.
(31) Which is filled in with a valid Sukkah-covering.
(32) I.e., their thickness.
(33) The Sukkah.
(34) The first ruling in our Mishnah.
(35) This deals with a barrier for the purpose of establishing a private enclosure to carry within it on the Sabbath.
(36) To carry objects within the enclosure.
(37) ‘Er. 15b. Now since in the circumstances mentioned a partition is invalid in the case of the Sabbath why is the roof valid in that of Sukkah?
(38) Sc. between the spits or boards, so that the space between, which will be covered with suitable materials, is slightly wider.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 15b
But is it not possible to measure them exactly’?1 — R. Ammi answered, This is a case where he makes it larger.2 Raba said, one can even say that he does not make it larger, but if they3 were placed as the web, he places [the valid covering] as the woof; if as the woof, he places them as the web.4 OR THE LONG BOARDS OF A BED. Can we say that this5 confirms [a statement of] R. Ammi b. Tabyomi, for R. Ammi b. Tabyomi said, If he covered the Sukkah with discarded6 vessels it is invalid? — [No,] as R. Hanan said elsewhere in the name of Rabbi, ‘With the long board and two legs, or with the short board7 and two legs’,8 so here also it may refer to the long board and two legs, or the short board and two legs.9 Where was this statement of R. Hanan in the name of Rabbi stated? — In connection with what we have learnt:
(1) The questioner assumed that the previous answer meant that the phrase EQUALS THEM denotes a space between boards and the like which is usually larger than the objects between which it intervenes.
(2) I.e., the Mishnah actually referred only to a case where one did make it larger.
(3) The boards or the spits.
(4) I.e., the valid covering is placed crosswise to the invalid, and, therefore, always exceeds it in volume.
(5) The prohibition to use boards that can no longer be regarded as ‘vessels’ on account of having once formed a part of a ‘vessel’.
(6) Lit., ‘worn out’.
(7) The short boards are at the head and foot of the bed, the long at the sides. V. Kelim XVIII, 5.
(8) It will be explained infra why these may be regarded as vessels and what purpose they can serve.
(9) Which may be regarded as a proper vessel.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 16a
A bed can become unclean [only] when it is assembled1 and be rendered clean only when it is assembled, these are the words of R. Eliezer, but the Sages say, it can become unclean when it is in parts and become clean when in parts.2 What are [these parts]? — R. Hanan said in the name of Rabbi, The long board and two legs or the short board and two legs. For what is it3 fit?4 — For placing against a wall and sitting upon it, and for tying it with ropes.5
[Reverting to] the main text: ‘R. Ammi b. Tabyomi said, If he covered with discarded vessels it is invalid’. What are discarded vessels? — Abaye said, Small strips of cloth less than three [handbreadths] square which are unfit to be used either by rich or by poor. It has been taught in agreement with R. Ammi b. Tabyomi: In the case of a matting of rushes or straw, the remnants thereof, even if diminished,6 may not be used for a Sukkah-covering;7 in that of a mat of reeds, a large one8 may be used for a Sukkah-covering, a small one9 may not be used for a Sukkah-covering.10 R. Eliezer said, The former also is susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness11 and may not be used as a Sukkah-covering.12
IF HE HOLLOWS OUT A HAYSTACK. R. Huna said, This only refers to where there is not a hollow of one handbreadth [in height] extending to seven [handbreadths square],13 but if there is a hollow of one handbreadth extending to seven, it is a [valid]14 Sukkah. So it has also been taught; If he hollows out a haystack to make for himself a Sukkah, it is a [valid] Sukkah. But have we not learnt, IT IS NO SUKKAH? Deduce, therefore, therefrom [that the explanation is] according to R. Huna. This is conclusive.
Some put it15 in the form of a contradiction. We have learnt: IF HE HOLLOWS OUT A HAYSTACK TO MAKE FOR HIMSELF A SUKKAH, IT IS NO SUKKAH. But has it not been taught that it is [a valid] Sukkah? — R. Huna answered, There is no difficulty. The latter refers to where there is a hollow of a handbreadth extending to seven [handbreadths]13 while the former refers to where there is no hollow of a handbreadth extending to seven [handbreadths].
MISHNAH. IF ONE SUSPENDS THE WALLS16 FROM ABOVE DOWNWARDS,17 IF THEY18 ARE HIGHER THAN THREE HANDBREADTHS FROM THE GROUND, IT IS INVALID. IF HE RAISES THEM FROM THE BOTTOM UPWARDS, IF THEY BE TEN HANDBREADTHS HIGH, IT IS VALID.19 R. JOSE SAYS, JUST AS FROM THE BOTTOM UPWARDS A HEIGHT OF TEN HANDBREADTHS SUFFICES SO FROM THE TOP DOWNWARDS DOES A HEIGHT OF TEN HANDBREADTHS [SUFFICE].
GEMARA. On what principle do they20 differ? — One Master21 holds the opinion that a hanging partition22 renders [the Sukkah] valid, and the other Master23 holds the opinion that a hanging partition does not render it valid.24
We have learnt elsewhere, If there be a cistern between two courtyards,25 they26 may not take water therefrom on the Sabbath,27 unless a partition ten handbreadths high be made either from above, or from below,28 within29 its rim.30 R. Simeon b. Gamaliel says,
(1) When all its parts are joined together.
(2) Kelim XVIII, 9.
(3) The long or short board with the legs.
(4) That it should in consequence have the status of a ‘vessel’.
(5) To form a couch (v. Rashi). [Aliter: and to sit upon it for twisting ropes. Cf. Aruch; MS.M. omits ‘and sitting upon it’, which Rashi also did not seem to read.]
(6) From the minimum required to make them susceptible to uncleanliness, i.e., six handbreadths square, v. Kel. XXVII, 2.
(7) Since in origin they constituted a vessel.
(8) Which cannot be regarded as a ‘vessel’ since it is usually used as a covering.
(9) Which may be regarded as a vessel.
(10) On account of its susceptibility to ritual uncleanness.
(11) In his opinion a large one also is used as a rule for sitting purposes and must, therefore, be regarded as a vessel.
(12) V. infra Mishnah I, 11.
(13) The minimum size of a Sukkah.
(14) [The reason for invalidating a Sukkah which has been hollowed out of the haystack is as stated supra 12a ‘"thou shalt make" which implies but not from that which has been made’. This reservation it is to be noted applies only to the Sukkah-covering but not to the walls. Now, if in piling up the haystack there was left a space below of the mentioned dimensions, the top of the haystack can be said to have been constructed in the very first instance to provide a covering (for the space below) and as such is valid for the Sukkah which has been hollowed out. Where, however, there was no such space left in the first instance, the covering which the top of the haystack provides comes into existence only as the automatic result of the hollowing out and consequently is invalid for the Sukkah; so Rashi. For another interpretation v. R. Han.]
(15) R. Huna's explanation.
(16) Of a Sukkah.
(17) This refers, of course, to walls woven from reeds, branches or textile.
(18) Sc. their lower ends.
(19) Even though they do not reach the roof.
(20) R. Jose and the first Tanna in our Mishnah.
(21) R. Jose.
(22) If it is ten handbreadths high.
(23) The first Tanna.
(24) When its lower end, however, is within three handbreadths from the ground it is no longer regarded as a hanging partition but as one resting on the ground.
(25) Between which there was no ‘erub (v. Glos.), and one half of the cistern was in one courtyard while the other half was in the other courtyard, and the partition between the courtyards was suspended above the cistern.
(26) The tenants of either courtyard.
(27) Since each group of tenants would thereby be carrying the water of the other group from the latter's domain into their own.
(28) Near the water.
(29) Cf. Rashi. Lit., ‘or within’, referring to ‘from above’.
(30) This is a special relaxation of the law of partitions in the case of water. Where the suspended partition, however, is without the rim, as is the case with the wall between the courtyards, since it was not especially made for the water, it cannot be regarded as valid.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 16b
Beth Shammai say, [The partition may be suspended] from above, and Beth Hillel say, Only from below. R. Judah said, A partition1 should not be [subjected to] greater [restrictions] than the wall between them.2 Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan, R. Judah spoke according to the view of R. Jose3 who said that a hanging partition validates. But in fact it is not so! Neither does R. Judah hold the opinion of R. Jose,4 nor does R. Jose hold the opinion of R. Judah.5 ‘R. Judah does not hold the opinion of R. Jose’, for R. Judah speaks only there with regard to the ‘erub of courtyards,6 which is a Rabbinical injunction, but here, with regard to the Sukkah which is a Pentateuchal commandment, he does not [say so]. ‘Nor does R. Jose hold the opinion of R. Judah,’ for R. Jose speaks only here with regard to the Sukkah which is merely a positive commandment7 but with regard to the Sabbath, the interdiction of which involves stoning, he does not say so.8 And if you will retort9 with regard to the incident which occurred at Sepphoris,10 on whose authority was it done?11 Not on the authority of R. Jose,12 but on that of R. Ishmael son of R. Jose.13 What was this incident? — [That concerning which] when R. Dimi came14 he related that on a certain occasion they forgot to bring a Scroll of the Law15 on the eve of the Sabbath. On the morrow, they stretched sheets over the pillars16 and17 brought the Scroll of the Law and read therein. Can it mean that they [really] spread them out? Whence then did they bring them on the Sabbath?18 — Rather they found sheets [already] spread over the pillars, and therefore they brought the Scroll of the Law and read therein. R. Hisda stated in the name of Abimi, A matting slightly more than four handbreadths [wide] is permitted as a Sukkah wall.19 How does one place it? — One suspends it in the middle less than three [handbreadths] from the ground and less than three from the top,20 and whatever [space] is less than three handbreadths is treated as labud.21 But is not this obvious? — One might have said that we apply the law of labud once, but we do not apply labud twice [to the same wall], therefore he informed us of this. It was objected: A matting slightly more than seven [handbreadths] is permitted as a Sukkah wall!22 — With reference to what was this taught? With reference to a large Sukkah;23 and what does it inform us?24 That walls may be suspended from above downwards in agreement with R. Jose.25
R. Ammi said, A board which is slightly more than four [handbreadths] wide26 is27 permitted for a Sukkah wall when he places it less than three [handbreadths] from the termination of the adjacent wall, since a space less than three [handbreadths] is28 treated as labud.29 What does he inform us? — He informs us this: That the minimum extent of a small Sukkah is seven [handbreadths].
(1) Within the cistern.
(2) The two courtyards, ‘Er. 86b. I.e. the wall alone, though suspended above the cistern, is a valid partition in respect of the movement of objects on the Sabbath.
(3) Of our Mishnah.
(4) That a suspended partition is valid in a Sukkah.
(5) That a suspended partition is valid on the Sabbath in the case of the cistern.
(6) V. supra 3b.
(7) The punishment for which transgression is comparatively mild.
(8) Even in the case of a Rabbinical injunction.
(9) Since R. Jose does not agree with R. Judah in the case of Sabbath.
(10) V. infra, where a suspended partition was treated as valid in the case of Sabbath.
(11) Seeing that R. Jose who was the rector of the academy of Sepphoris (v. Sanh. 32b) did not agree with such a view.
(12) Who at that time was no longer alive.
(13) His son.
(14) From Palestine to Babylon.
(15) The Scroll was in one of the houses of the courtyard where stood the Synagogue. As there was no ‘erub prepared it was forbidden to carry from the house to the Synagogue on the Sabbath, and they, therefore, adopted the following device.
(16) That were situated between the house and the Synagogue.
(17) Having thus formed a sort of private domain.
(18) When the carrying of objects is forbidden.
(19) If it is as long as the required wall.
(20) The Sukkah referred to is one that is exactly ten handbreadths high, and the placing of a matting slightly more than four in the middle leaves a space of less than three on either side.
(21) V. supra 6b, and Glos.
(22) Since it prescribes the minimum of seven handbreadths, it follows that only one labud is permitted.
(23) I.e., one more than ten handbreadths in height which precludes the assumption of more than one labud. All that can be done is to suspend the mat at a distance of less than three handbreadths from the roof so that its size (being slightly more than seven handbreadths) combines with the space between it and the roof (which is somewhat less than three handbreadths) to constitute (by the rule of labud) a suspended wall of ten handbreadths in height.
(24) Sc. is it not obvious that a ten handbreadths high wall is valid?
(26) And is ten handbreadths high.
(27) Placed vertically.
(28) By the rule of labud.
(29) And thus a wall of the prescribed minimum length of seven handbreadths is obtained.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 17a
MISHNAH. IF ONE REMOVED THE SUKKAH-COVERING THREE HANDBREADTHS1 FROM THE WALLS, IT IS INVALID.2 IF [THE ROOF OF] A HOUSE IS BREACHED,3 AND HE PLACED A SUKKAH-COVERING OVER IT, IF THERE IS A DISTANCE OF FOUR CUBITS FROM THE WALL TO THE COVERING, IT IS INVALID.4 SIMILARLY IN THE CASE OF A COURTYARD WHICH IS SURROUNDED BY AN EXEDRA.5 IF [THE COVERING OF] A LARGE SUKKAH WAS SURROUNDED WITH A MATERIAL WHICH IS INVALID FOR A SUKKAH-COVERING, IF THERE IS A SPACE OF FOUR CUBITS6 BENEATH IT, IT IS INVALID.7
GEMARA. Why are all these [rulings]8 needed? — It is necessary [to state them all]. For if he9 had only informed us of [the roof of] a house which is breached, [one would have said that the validity10 applied to this case only] because the partitions are made for the house,11 but in the case of a courtyard which is surrounded by an exedra, where the partitions are not made for the exedra it does not apply;12 and if he had informed us of those two,13 [one would have said that the validity10 applied to these cases only] because their covering might be a valid covering,14 but in the case of a large Sukkah which is surrounded with a material which is invalid for a Sukkah-covering, since the very material of the covering is invalid, it does not apply, [therefore it is] necessary [to mention all].
Rabbah stated, I found the Rabbis of the College of Rab sitting and saying,15 ‘An air space invalidates16 if it is three [handbreadths wide]; an invalid covering invalidates16 if it is four [handbreadths wide]’, and I said to them, Whence do you know that an air space of three [handbreadths] invalidates? [Presumably] because we learned: IF THE SUKKAH-COVERING IS THREE HANDBREADTHS DISTANT FROM THE WALLS, IT IS INVALID. [But if so,] invalid Sukkah-covering too should not invalidate16 unless it extends to four cubits, since we have learnt: IF [THE ROOF OF] A HOUSE IS BREACHED AND HE PLACED A SUKKAH-COVERING OVER IT, IF THERE IS A DISTANCE OF FOUR CUBITS FROM THE WALL TO THE COVERING, IT IS INVALID. And they said to me, This is no evidence17 since Rab and Samuel both say that18 the reason of its validity is because [the roof is regarded as the continuation] of a ‘curved wall’;19 and I said to them, What [would the law be] if the invalid Sukkah-covering were less than four [handbreadths], with an air space20 of less than three [handbreadths]? [Surely] it would be valid.21 And what if he filled in this space with spits?22 [Surely] it would be invalid.23 Now should not an air-space which invalidates with three [handbreadths]24 be treated like invalid covering which only invalidates with four?’25 And they answered me, ‘If so, then even according to you, who say that invalid covering invalidates only if there are four cubits, how [would it be] if there was invalid covering of less than four cubits, and [next to it] an air space of less than three handbreadths? [Surely] it would be valid. And if he filled in this space with spits? [Surely] it would be invalid. Now [can it not similarly be argued] should not an air space which invalidates with three [handbreadths] be like the Sukkah-covering which invalidates [only] if there are four cubits?’ And I answered them, ‘How can you compare the two cases? It is well according to me who say four cubits,
(2) Since the mere air cannot be regarded as a valid part of either the roof or the walls.
(3) In the centre at some distance from the walls.
(4) Since the portion of the roof that intervenes between the walls and the valid covering constitutes a break. If the distance, however, is less than four cubits each wall and the portion of the roof adjacent to it is regarded as one ‘curved wall’ reaching from the ground to the valid covering (v. supra 4a). It is forbidden to use the portion of the Sukkah under the solid roof but the centre of the house is regarded as a valid Sukkah.
(5) A peristyle. A roof projects from the sides of the courtyard in front of the houses that surround it while the centre of the courtyard is exposed. If this centre has been covered with the proper materials the courtyard is subject to the same laws as the house spoken of in the previous clause.
(6) Between the walls and the valid covering.
(7) Cf. supra n. 3 mut. mut.
(8) All of which are based on the principle of the inadmissibility of a ‘crooked wall’ where the invalid part of the roof is no less than four cubits in width.
(9) The author of our Mishnah.
(10) Where the distance is less than four cubits.
(11) And the house becoming a Sukkah, the ‘partitions’, i.e., the walls, are, on the principle of the ‘curved wall’, regarded as the valid walls of the Sukkah also.
(12) But for the houses, in consequence of which they cannot be regarded as the walls of the Sukkah either.
(13) House and courtyard.
(14) Its inadmissibility being due entirely to the fact that it was not originally intended as a Sukkah-covering.
(15) In the name of Rab.
(16) An entire Sukkah.
(17) Lit., ‘with the exception of this’.
(18) In our Mishnah.
(19) Lit., ‘crooked wall’, while they spoke of invalid covering that was far removed from the walls and that could not consequently be treated as a continuation of these walls.
(20) Next to it.
(21) Since the invalid covering is less than the prescribed minimum.
(22) Which owing to their susceptibility to ritual uncleanness are invalid for a Sukkah-covering.
(23) Since there are now more than four handbreadths of invalid covering, whereas hitherto whilst it was air space the Sukkah was not invalidated.
(24) And which is, therefore, more serious.
(25) And consequently the Sukkah under discussion would be invalidated by the air space though it is less than three handbreadths.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 17b
because [in this case the validity of the Sukkah depends on] whether there is the standard size1 or not, and here2 there is not the standard size, for since their standard sizes3 are unequal, they do not combine; but according to you, who say that the size is solely dependent on the principle of division4 what does it matter whether the division is made through invalid covering, or through invalid covering and space?’ Abaye said to him, And according to the Master also, admitted that their standards are unequal in a large Sukkah, but in a small Sukkah are they not equal?5 — He answered, The reason there6 is not because the standards are equal, but because there is not the [minimum] size of a Sukkah remaining.7
Do we not then combine standards when they are unequal? Have we not in fact learnt: A garment that is three [handbreadths] square, sacking four handbreadths square, leather five handbreadths square and matting six handbreadths square8 [are susceptible to uncleanness]. And it has been taught concerning this: Garments and sacking, sacking and leather, leather and matting combine with one another?9 — In that case the reason has been given, as R. Simeon said, ‘What is the reason?10 Since they11 are susceptible to uncleanliness12 if [a man with running issue] sits on them, as we have learnt: If he cuts from any one of them13 a piece one handbreadth square, it is susceptible to uncleanliness’.14 To what use can a piece one handbreadth square be put? — R. Simeon b. Lakish in the name of R. Jannai replied, It can be used as a patch15 for [the saddle of] an ass.16
In Sura17 they taught this decision18 in the above words;19 in Nehardea20 they taught [as follows]:21 Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, Invalid covering in the middle [of the Sukkah] invalidates22 if it is four [handbreadths wide]; at the side only if it is four cubits wide; while Rab says, Whether in the middle or at the sides, [it invalidates] only if it is four cubits wide.
We have learnt: If he placed over it22 a plank four hand breadths wide,23 it is valid.24 It is well according to Rab who says that whether in the middle or at the sides [the invalid covering must be no less than] four cubits [to invalidate it]; for this reason it is [here] valid; but according to Samuel who says that at the middle a width of four [handbreadths invalidates], why is it here valid? — Here it is a case where [the plank was placed at] the side. Come and hear: Two sheets combine,25 two boards do not combine.26 R. Meir says, Boards are like sheets.27 It is well according to that version which says that Rab says that ‘whether in the middle or at the sides [it invalidates only] if it is four cubits wide;’ for thus by ‘combine’ was meant, Combine to make four cubits; but, according to the version which says that Rab says that, in the middle [even, only] four handbreadths [width of invalid covering] invalidates, what kind of boards are we to imagine? If they are each four handbreadths wide, why need they combine? And if they are each less than four handbreadths wide, they are mere sticks!28 — This is indeed a case where they are each four handbreadths wide; and what does ‘combine’ mean? That they combine to make up four cubits at the side.29
Come and hear: If he covered the Sukkah with planks of cedarwood which are four [handbreadths wide], according to all it is invalid; if they have not four handbreadths in their width, R. Meir declares it30 invalid and R. Judah declares it valid,
(1) To invalidate a Sukkah; the standard being received as Sinaitic tradition.
(2) In the case of the Sukkah under consideration.
(3) For invalid covering and for air space.
(4) The standard of four handbreadths in connection with invalid covering has no basis in tradition, it not being mentioned even in the Mishnah; it has been fixed merely on the principle that four handbreadths represent a ‘division, i.e., the minimum size of a separate place, breaking up the unity of the Sukkah.
(5) A Sukkah of minimum size, i.e., of seven handbreadths square, is invalid if there are either three handbreadths of invalid covering or of air space; why then should not the two combine?
(6) In the case of a small Sukkah where three handbreadths of air space or invalid covering equally invalidate.
(7) As the standards are still different they cannot be combined.
(8) By reason of a man with an impure issue sitting or treading on it. Kel. XXVII, 2.
(9) To form the prescribed larger size.
(10) That the various materials enumerated may be combined.
(12) The same standard of size applying to each material.
(13) The materials just mentioned.
(14) Kel. XXVII, 4.
(15) So Aruch. V. marg. glos. Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘to take it’,
(16) Upon which a man is able to sit.
(17) The seat of the College of Rab.
(18) Of Rab, that invalid covering to the extent of four handbreadths causes the invalidity of a Sukkah.
(19) That Rabbah found the Rabbis of the College of Rab etc. (supra 17a).
(20) The seat of the College of Samuel.
(21) Viz., that Rab did not make the statement but that the question was a point at issue between Rab and Samuel.
(22) A Sukkah.
(23) Presumably even where the plank was placed in the middle of the roof.
(24) Supra 14a.
(25) To constitute the prescribed minimum to invalidate the Sukkah on account of their susceptibility to ritual uncleanliness.
(26) To form the prescribed minimum, to invalidate a Sukkah as a preventive measure against the possible use of boards all along the roof.
(27) Supra 14a and b.
(28) Which are surely a valid Sukkah-covering.
(29) Of the Sukkah.
(30) The Sukkah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 18a
but R. Meir admits that if there is the space of one plank between every two planks that one may place laths between them and it is valid.1 It is well according to him who says that whether in the middle or at the sides it needs four cubits [of invalid covering to invalidate a Sukkah], for this reason it is here valid;2 but according to him who says that in the middle four [handbreadths of invalid covering invalidate] why is it valid?3 — R. Huna the son of R. Joshua answered, We are dealing here with a Sukkah which measures no more than a bare eight [cubits], and he places [alternately] plank and lath, plank and lath, plank and lath on one side and [similarly] plank and lath, plank and lath, plank and lath on the other side, so that there are two laths in the middle, and thus a valid Sukkah is formed in the middle.4
Abaye ruled, An air space of three handbreadths in a large Sukkah which is diminished with either sticks or spits5 is a [valid] diminution;6 in a small Sukkah,7 with sticks it is a [valid] diminution,8 with spits an invalid one.9 This10 applies only to the side,11 but as regards the middle, R. Aha and Rabina differ. One says, The rule of labud12 applies in the middle,11 while the other says, The rule of labud does not apply in the middle.
What is the reason of him who says that the rule of labud applies in the middle? — Because it has been taught, If a beam protrudes from one wall but does not touch the opposite wall, and similarly in the case of two beams, one protruding from one wall and one from the other and not touching each other, if [the space between13 is] less than three [handbreadths] it is unnecessary to provide another beam;14 if it is three [handbreadths] it is necessary to provide another beam.15 And [what does] the other16 [answer to this]? — Beams17 are different [from a Sukkah]18 since [their erection is merely] a Rabbinical measure.19
What is the reason of him who says that the rule of labud is not applied in the middle? — Because we learned: If a skylight in [the roof of] a house was of one handbreadth square, and there was an object of uncleanliness in the house, all the house is unclean, but what is directly below the skylight is clean.20 If the unclean object is directly below the skylight, the whole house is clean. If the skylight was less than a handbreadth square, and there was an unclean object in the house, what is directly below the skylight is clean; if the unclean object is directly below the skylight, the whole house is clean.21 And [what does] the other22 [say]?23 — The laws of uncleanliness differ [from those of Sukkah] since there is a tradition to that effect.24
R. Judah b. Ila'i expounded, If [the roof of] a house is breached, and he placed a Sukkah-covering over it, it25 is valid.26 R. Ishmael son of R. Jose said to him, Master, explain [thy words]. Thus my father27 explained it: If there are four cubits28 it25 is invalid,26 if less than four cubits, it is valid.
R. Judah b. Ila'i expounded, Abruma29 is permitted. R. Ishmael son of R. Jose said to him, Master, explain [thy words]. Thus said my father, Those from such and such a place are forbidden,30 and from such and such a place are permitted.31 This is analogous to that which Abaye said; the zahantha32 of Bab Nahara33 are permitted. What is the reason? If you will say that it is because there is a swift current there, and an unclean fish, since it has no spinal cord, cannot exist therein, [it could be retorted that] we see that they do exist [in rivers with rapid currents]. Will you then say that it is because it has salt water, and ‘an unclean fish, since it has no scales, cannot exist [in salt water, it could be retorted that] we see that they do exist? — The reason in fact is that the muddy nature of this river does not allow unclean fish to breed in it. Rabina said, But at the present time that the River Ethan34 and the River Gamda flow therein, they35 are forbidden.36
It was stated, If a man placed a Sukkah-covering over an exedra37 which has door-frames,38 it is valid;39 if it has no door-frames, Abaye declares it40 valid and Raba declares it invalid. Abaye declares it valid [since]
(1) Supra 14b.
(2) Since each board is less than four cubits in width.
(3) Is not each single board sufficient to cause invalidity?
(4) Eight cubits equal forty-eight handbreadths which are duly covered by the six planks (six times four is twenty-four handbreadths) and the latter which also total six times four is twenty-four handbreadths, but the alternation of planks and laths is as follows (P is plank, L is lath) PLPLPLLPLPLP. The eight handbreadths in the middle represented by LL constitute a valid Sukkah, the next being regarded as continuations of the walls, since on any side they are less than four cubits in extent.
(5) Sticks are a valid, spits an invalid covering.
(6) And the Sukkah is valid, since there is now neither the minimum of air space nor the minimum of invalid covering to cause invalidity.
(7) Sc. one of minimum size.
(8) Since by the rule of labud the air space is deemed to be non-existent.
(9) Because the air space and the spits, which together extend along three handbreadths cannot be regarded as a valid part of the roof and the Sukkah (being of the minimum size) is thus reduced to less than the prescribed minimum.
(10) That an air space less than three handbreadths causes no invalidity.
(11) Of the Sukkah.
(12) V. supra 6b.
(13) The beam and the wall or the two beams.
(14) To make the necessary enclosure in connection with the movement of objects in an alley on the Sabbath.
(15) ‘Er. 14a. As the rule of labud is applied to the air space between the two beams so it is applied to an air space in the middle of a Sukkah.
(16) Who does not apply the rule of labud to an air space in the middle.
(17) To make the necessary enclosure in connection with the movement of objects in an alley on the Sabbath.
(18) Which is a Pentateuchal ordinance.
(19) Pentateuchally the movement of objects is permitted even in the absence of a beam.
(20) From which it follows that the space of the skylight is not regarded as labud making the whole roof one and everything within the room unclean.
(21) Ohal. X, 1.
(22) Who applies the rule of labud in the middle.
(23) Sc. how can he maintain his ruling in view of the Mishnah just cited?
(24) As the tradition was received in connection with the former it cannot be applied to the latter.
(25) The house.
(26) As a Sukkah.
(27) R. Ila'i.
(28) Of solid roof between the walls and the valid covering.
(29) A species of very small fish (Rashi), brine of a certain fish (Jast.).
(30) Since in that place very small insects abound in the water and it is difficult to remove them from the fish (Rashi).
(31) Since no insects live in that water.
(32) A species of small fish.
(33) The river Bab. A tributary of the Euphrates.
(34) In A.Z. 39a: Goza.
(35) The zahantha.
(36) Either because the unclean insects of those rivers flow into it, or because their streams purify the waters of the Bab and turn them into a suitable breeding ground for the unclean insects. V. A.Z., Sonc. ed., p. 191 notes.
(37) V. note on our Mishnah. The edge of the exedra was removed from the inner wall of the courtyard more than four cubits.
(38) The exedra being separated from the courtyard by a sort of colonnade each column in which is less than three handbreadths distant from the other.
(39) Since the space between the door-frames is less than three handbreadths we apply the law of labud whereby they are regarded as one solid wall. In the absence of the colonnade the Sukkah, sc. the centre portion with the valid covering, has no walls since the courtyard walls which are separated from it by more than four cubits cannot serve as its walls to the Sukkah.
(40) The Sukkah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 18b
we say that the edge of the roof [of the exedra is regarded as though it] descends and fills up [the space],1 while Raba says it is invalid, since we do not say that the edge of the roof descends and fills up [the space]. Said Raba to Abaye, According to you who say that the edge of the roof [is regarded as though it] descends and fills in [the space, is a Sukkah valid] even if the middle wall is missing?2 He answered him, In that case I agree with you [that the Sukkah is invalid] since it would be like an alley-way that is open on two opposite sides.
Must we say that Abaye and Raba differ on the same principle as that on which Rab and Samuel differed for it was stated, If an exedra was in a field,3 Rab declares that it is permitted to carry [on the Sabbath] over the whole extent of it, since we say that the edge of the roof descends and fills in the space,4 while Samuel said that it is forbidden to carry in it except within four cubits, since we do not say that the edge of the roof descends and fills in [the space]?5 — [No!] With regard to the opinion of Samuel neither of them6 disagrees;7
(1) And this forms a wall on every side of the Sukkah.
(2) Sc. if a Sukkah is erected with only the two opposing sides, are the planks of the roof regarded as descending to form the missing walls?
(3) I.e., one that has a roof but is without walls.
(4) Forming walls around it.
(5) V. ‘Er., Sonc. ed., p. 654 notes. Win then Abaye's view agree only with that of Rab, and Raba's only with that of Samuel?
(6) Not even Abaye.
(7) That the edge of the exedra cannot be regarded as descending and forming walls for the Sukkah. For if in the case of the Sabbath where the roof was made for the exedra its edge is not regarded as descending and forming walls how much less could an edge be regarded as descending and forming walls in the case of a Sukkah where the roof was made for the exedra and not for the Sukkah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 19a
they only differ with regard to the opinion of Rab. Abaye agrees with Rab, while Raba can say that Rab ruled then only in that case,1 since the partitions2 are made for the exedra, but in the case here,3 since they are not made for this purpose [he would] not [rule thus].4
We have learnt: SIMILARLY IN THE CASE OF A COURTYARD WHICH IS SURROUNDED WITH AN EXEDRA.5 But why?6 Should it not rather be assumed that the edge of the roof descends and fills in [the space]?7 — Raba explained according to Abaye that this is a case where one made the beams level.8
In Sura9 they taught these statements10 in the above form. In Pumbeditha11 they taught [them as follows]: If a man placed a Sukkah-covering over an exedra which has no door-frames, it is invalid according to all.12 If it has door-frames.13 Abaye declares it valid, while Raba declares it invalid. Abaye declares it valid, since we apply the law of labud,14 Raba declares it invalid, since we do not apply the law of labud;15 but the law is according to the former version.16
R. Ashi found R. Kahana placing a Sukkah-covering over an exedra which had no door-frames.17 He said to him, Does not the Master hold the opinion which Raba stated, that if it has door-frames it is valid, but if it has no door-frames it is invalid? — He showed him [that a door-frame] was visible within though level on the outside, or visible from without, though level from within,18 for it has been stated, ‘If it19 is visible from without and level from within,20 it is regarded as a valid side-post’,21 and a side-post is in this respect like door-frames. A Tanna taught: Laths projecting from a Sukkah are regarded as the Sukkah.22 What is meant by ‘laths projecting from a Sukkah’? — ‘Ulla replied, Sticks23 projecting beyond the back24 of the Sukkah. But do we not need three walls?25 — [This refers to a case] where there were [three walls]. But do we not need the size26 prescribed as a minimum for the validity of a Sukkah? — [This refers to a case] where there was [the size prescribed as a minimum for the validity of a Sukkah]. But do we not need that the shade should exceed the sun? — [This refers to] where there was [more shade than sun]. If so,27 what need was there to state it? — One might have said that since they28 were made for the inside but not for the outside it29 is not [valid], therefore he informs us [that it is valid]. Rabbah and R. Joseph both stated: This30 refers to sticks projecting in front of a Sukkah31 one wall of which continues with them. As one might have said that it does not contain the prescribed minimum for the validity of a Sukkah,32 therefore he informs us [that it is valid].33
Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan, This30 is necessary only in the case of a Sukkah, most of which has more shade than sun, while a minor part of it has more sun than shade. As one might have said that this small portion34 invalidates it, therefore he informs us [that it does not]. What then is meant by ‘going out’?35 [It means] going out from the validity of a Sukkah. R. Oshaia said, This30 is necessary only in the case of a small Sukkah36 which has invalid Sukkah-covering to an extent of less than three [handbreadths]; and what is meant by ‘going out’?37 Going out from the laws applicable to a Sukkah.38 R. Hoshiah demurred: Let it39 be regarded as no better than air space, does then air space of less than three [handbreadths] invalidate a small40 Sukkah?41 — R. Abba answered him, [The difference is that] in the former case39 it combines [with the rest of the Sukkah] and it is permitted to sleep under it;42 in the latter case43 it does not combine and it is forbidden to sleep under it. But is there anything which itself is invalid and yet combines [with another thing to become valid]? — R. Isaac b. Eliashib answered, Yes!
(2) Sc. the edge of the roof of the exedra which is assumed to descend and to form partitions.
(4) Cf. supra n. 5 mut. mut.
(5) If the roof of the exedra is four cubits wide, so that the walls of the houses cannot be regarded as the Sukkah walls, the Sukkah is invalid.
(6) Should the Sukkah be invalid.
(7) And thus provides walls.
(8) The beams of the Sukkah-covering were not placed over the exedra roof, so that the edge of the latter was visible within the Sukkah, but on a level with it.
(9) The site of the College of Rab.
(10) The views of Abaye and Raba.
(11) After the destruction of Nehardea by Odenathus in 259, Judah b. Ezekiel (Rab Judah), a pupil of Rab and Samuel, established a college at Pumbeditha.
(12) Even according to Abaye. Since the roof was made for the exedra and not for the outside space its edge cannot be regarded as forming a wall for that space.
(13) And the distance between any two of them is less than three handbreadths.
(14) As the wall is consequently a proper one it may serve for both the exedra and the Sukkah.
(15) The rule of labud is applied only to a wall that was made to serve the space it encloses but not to one that is to serve an outside space also.
(16) Of Raba's ruling, viz., that labud is applied even where a wall is to serve an outside space, while an edge of a roof is assumed to descend downwards only when it is to serve its inner space.
(17) Only two walls were made to the Sukkah, the exedra edge forming the third, and the fourth side was open lacking even the minimum of a handbreadth to constitute a fictitious wall.
(18) The exedra had a door-frame no less than a handbreadth wide which commenced at the corner of the Sukkah and extended outside the Sukkah, being visible only from without, thus: (see drawing left) a =Sukkah wall; b = roof of exedra; c =wall of exedra; d = projection of exedra wall forming door-frame.
(19) A side-post that must be fixed to the edge of an alley to enable the carrying of objects within it on the Sabbath.
(20) Sc. if the sidepost is level with one of the walls but extending beyond it, so that it is visible only from without. Thus: (see drawing right) a = side-post.
(21) V. ‘Er. (Sonc. ed.) fol. 9b notes. (11) Hence it is valid whether it is visible from within the Sukkah or without it.
(22) And one fulfils his obligation by sitting under them.
(23) Of the Sukkah-covering.
(24) Sc. the middle wall of the three prescribed as the minimum number of walls for a valid Sukkah.
(25) While the projection has only one.
(26) Seven handbreadths square.
(27) That the projection satisfied all the prescribed requirements of a valid Sukkah.
(28) The walls.
(29) The projection.
(30) The ruling about the projection spoken of.
(31) Which has only three walls, the fourth side being entirely open.
(32) And the opposite wall does not reach beyond the Sukkah proper.
(33) Because it is regarded as part of the Sukkah having as it does two complete walls and a portion of a third one which need not be longer (han one handbreadth.
(34) Which has more sun than shade.
(35) The literal translation of יוצא rendered supra ‘projecting’.
(36) Measuring only seven handbreadths.
(37) V. p. 81, n. 14.
(38) In being an invalid covering.
(39) The invalid covering.
(40) Measuring only seven handbreadths.
(41) Of course it does not; much less then would an invalid covering do it; what need then was there to state the obvious?
(42) And this is the point the ruling under discussion was intended to emphasize.
(43) Air space.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 19b
Fluid clay proves it; since it combines1 to make up forty se'ah,2 yet he who immerses in it has not undergone a proper immersion.3
MISHNAH. IF ONE MAKES HIS SUKKAH LIKE A CONESHAPED HUT OR LEANED IT AGAINST A WALL, R. ELIEZER INVALIDATES IT SINCE IT HAS NO [PROPER] ROOF, WHILE THE SAGES DECLARE IT VALID.
GEMARA. It has been taught: R. Eliezer agrees that if he raised it4 one handbreadth from the ground,5 or if he separated it6 one handbreadth from the wall,7 it is valid. What is the reason of the Rabbis?8 — That the incline of a tent is like the tent itself. Abaye found R. Joseph sleeping on a bridal bed9 in a Sukkah. He said to him, ‘According to whom [do you act]?10 [presumably] according to R. Eliezer?11 Do you then forsake the Rabbis12 and act according to R. Eliezer?’13 — He answered him, ‘In the Baraitha this14 is taught in the reverse, order, viz., that R. Eliezer declares it valid and the Sages declare it invalid.’ [Abaye then asked], ‘Do you forsake a Mishnah and act according to a Baraitha?’15 — He answered him, ‘The Mishnah represents an individual opinion,16 as it has been taught, If he makes his Sukkah like a cone-shaped hut, or leaned it against a wall R. Nathan says that R. Eliezer invalidates it because it has no roof while the Sages declare it valid.’17
MISHNAH. A LARGE REED MAT18 IF MADE FOR RECLINING UPON IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS19 AND20 IS INVALID AS A SUKKAH-COVERING. IF MADE FOR A COVERING,21 IT MAY BE USED FOR A SUKKAH-COVERING AND IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS. R. ELIEZER RULED, WHETHER SMALL OR LARGE, IF IT WAS MADE FOR RECLINING UPON, IT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS AND IS INVALID AS A SUKKAH-COVERING; IF MADE FOR A COVERING, IT IS VAlid AS A SUKKAH-COVERING AND IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS.
GEMARA. [Is not our Mishnah] self-contradictory? It says, IF MADE FOR RECLINING UPON IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS AND IS INVALID AS A SUKKAH-COVERING. The reason then22 is because it was made specifically for reclining upon, but if it was made without specific purpose, [it would be assumed that it was] for a covering. And then it is taught: IF MADE FOR A COVERING IT IS VALID AS A SUKKAH-COVERING AND IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS. The reason then23 is because it was made specifically for a covering, but if it was made without specific purpose [it would be assumed that it was] made for reclining upon? — This is no difficulty. The former case refers to a large [mat], the latter to a small one. This is well according to the Rabbis, but according to R. Eliezer it still presents a difficulty, for we have learnt:24 R. ELIEZER SAYS, WHETHER SMALL OR LARGE, IF IT WAS MADE FOR RECLINING UPON, IT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS AND IS INVALID AS A SUKKAH-COVERING. The reason then is that it was made specifically for reclining upon, but if made with no specific purpose, [it would be assumed that it was intended] for a Sukkah-covering. But read the latter portion [of the Mishnah]. IF MADE FOR A COVERING, IT IS VALID AS A SUKKAH-COVERING AND IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO [RITUAL] UNCLEANLINESS. The reason then is that it was made specifically for a Sukkah-covering, but if made without specific purpose, [it would be assumed that it was] for reclining upon? — Rather said Raba: In the case of a large [mat] all acquiesce that if made without specific purpose [it is assumed to be intended] for a covering. They only differ in the case of a small [mat]. The first Tanna is of the opinion that ordinarily a small one is for reclining upon, and R. Eliezer is of the opinion that ordinarily a small one is for a covering as well;
(1) With water.
(2) The minimum prescribed for a ritual bath.
(3) Immersion in fluid clay is invalid, yet if there is not the minimum forty se'ah in a mikweh, the fluid clay makes up the necessary amount.
(4) Either the hut or the lean-to.
(5) The intervening air space is regarded as a wall, by applying the law of labud, and the rest as the roof.
(6) The lean-to.
(7) The intervening air space is regarded as a roof, stretching horizontally to the wall.
(8) The Sages.
(9) A bed which has no covering on top of the width of a handbreadth, but the curtains rise to a point. V. supra 10b.
(10) In using a bed that is covered with a curtain that intervenes between it and the Sukkah roof.
(11) Who ruled that a sloping or cone-shaped tent is no valid tent.
(12) The Sages.
(13) But the decision of the Sages, since they are the majority, should be followed rather than that of an individual.
(14) The dispute between R. Eliezer and the Sages.
(15) But a Mishnah surely is more authoritative than the Baraitha.
(16) That of R. Nathan.
(17) The contemporaries of R. Nathan, however, differ from him in maintaining that R. Eliezer declared it valid while the Sages held it to be invalid.
(18) Which is hard and inconvenient for lying or reclining upon.
(19) Since it was expressly made for the purpose it is regarded as a finished article.
(20) On account of its susceptibility to uncleanness.
(21) So that it is not a finished article.
(22) Why it is not regarded as a finished article.
(23) Why it is regarded as an unfinished article.
(24) Rashal omits ‘this . . . learnt’ and substitutes, ‘Read the latter part of the Mishnah’.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 20a
and it is this that was meant: If a large mat of reeds is made specifically for reclining upon, it is susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness and is invalid as a Sukkah-covering. The reason is that it was made specifically for reclining upon, but ordinarily it is regarded as though it was made for a covering, and is valid as a Sukkah-covering. A small [mat], if made for a covering, is valid as a Sukkah-covering. The reason is that it was made specifically for covering, but ordinarily it is regarded as though made for reclining upon, and is invalid for a Sukkah-covering.1 [This is the view of the first Tanna] and R. Eliezer comes to say that whether it is small, or large, if made without specific purpose, it is valid as a Sukkah-covering.
Abaye said to him,2 If so,3 [instead of] R. ELIEZER SAYS, WHETHER IT IS SMALL OR LARGE, it ought to read, Whether it is large or small?4 Furthermore, is it not in fact with regard to a large mat that they are in dispute, and it is R. Eliezer who takes the stricter view, for it was taught: A large mat of reeds is valid for a Sukkah-covering. R. Eliezer says, If it is not susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness,5 it is valid for a Sukkah-covering?6 Rather said R. Papa, ‘With regard to a small [mat], all acquiesce that ordinarily it is intended for reclining upon. In what do they dispute? In the case of a large one. The first Tanna is of the opinion that ordinarily a large one is intended for a covering, while R. Eliezer is of the opinion that ordinarily a large one is intended for reclining upon also’. And what is meant7 by ‘IF IT WAS MADE FOR RECLINING UPON?8 It is this that was meant: Ordinarily also its manufacture is assumed to be for the purpose of reclining upon unless one made it specifically for a covering.9 Our Rabbis taught, A mat of wicker or of straw, if large,10 is valid for a Sukkah-covering,if small11 it is invalid for a Sukkah-covering.12 One of reeds or of helath,13 if plaited,14 is valid for a Sukkah-covering, if woven,15 it is invalid. R. Ishmael son of R. Jose said in the name of his father, Both the one and the other, are valid for a Sukkah-covering; and R. Dosa also ruled according to his view.
We have learnt elsewhere: All reed mats are susceptible to corpse uncleanliness.16 These are the words of R. Dosa. The Sages, however, say, They are susceptible to the uncleanliness of midras.17 [Can it mean] to the uncleanliness of midras but not to that of a corpse seeing that we have learnt: Whatever is susceptible to [primary] uncleanliness of midras is also susceptible to [primary] uncleanliness from a corpse?18 — Say rather also to the uncleanliness of midras.19
What is meant by hozloth?20 — R. Abdimi b. Hamduri said marzuble. What is marzuble? — R. Abba said, Bags filled with foliage.21 R. Simeon b. Lakish said, Real matting. And Resh Lakish is consistent [in this view], since Resh Lakish said, May I be an expiation for R. Hiyya and his sons.22 For in ancient times when the Torah was forgotten from Israel, Ezra came up from Babylon and established it. [Some of] it was again forgotten and Hillel the Babylonian23 came up and established it. Yet again was [some of] it forgotten, and R. Hiyya and his sons came up24 and established it. And thus said R. Hiyya and his sons: R. Dosa and the Sages did not dispute about reed-mats of Usha,25
(1) Rashal omits ‘A small mat. . . covering’ since it is not in the Mishnah.
(3) That R. Eliezer's point is that a small mat is subject to the same law as a large one.
(4) The point of R. Eliezer being that a small mat has the same law as a large one, on which the first Tanna agrees. The order should be: Whether large, as you say, or small.
(5) Sc. if it was specifically intended to be used as a Sukkah-covering.
(6) From which it follows that if a large mat was made without specific purpose it is regarded as made for a covering according to the first Tanna, while according to R. Eliezer it is regarded as made for lying upon.
(7) In R. Eliezer's ruling.
(8) Seeing that ordinarily also it is regarded as intended for the same purpose.
(9) The statement of the first Tanna is thus explained as before viz., that the first clause refers to a large mat (as was explicitly stated) while the latter clause refers to a small mat, the meaning being that if the mat was a small one, that was made specifically for a covering it may be used as a Sukkah-covering while ordinarily it is assumed to be intended for lying upon. To this R. Eliezer objected: A large mat also is subject to the same law as a small one viz., that if made for no specific purpose it is deemed to have been made for lying upon, is susceptible to ritual uncleanness and may not be used as a Sukkah-covering, but if it was expressly made to serve as a covering it may be used as a Sukkah-covering and is not susceptible to uncleanness.
(10) In consequence of which it is not used for lying upon.
(11) Irrespective of whether it was plaited or woven.
(12) Since the materials are soft they are in either case (cf. prev. n.) suitable for reclining upon.
(13) Another kind of reed.
(14) And therefore uneven and unsuitable for reclining upon.
(15) The materials being hard, it is suitable for reclining upon only if it is woven.
(16) Sc. they are ordinarily regarded as vessels that are susceptible to the various degrees of ritual uncleanness, except that they, not being intended for lying upon, contract primary uncleanness only through contact with a corpse and not (v. infra) through midras.
(17) ‘Ed. III, 4. V. Glos.; i.e., in their opinion the mats are as a rule intended for lying upon and are, therefore, susceptible to primary uncleanness even through midras.
(18) Nid. VI, 3.
(19) Because they are (a) deemed to have the status of a vessel and (b) are as a rule intended for lying upon.
(20) Rendered supra ‘reed mats’.
(21) Mizable, used by shepherds as pillows (Rashi).
(22) A respectful way of mentioning one's deceased parent or teacher. V. Kid. 31b.
(23) This famous teacher hailed from Babylon.
(24) From Babylon.
(25) The reeds of Usha, a town in Galilee famous as one of the seats of the Sanhedrin, were soft and were used exclusively for mattresses, those of Tiberias were hard and not used for this purpose.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 20b
that they are susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness,1 or of Tiberias that they are not susceptible.2 About what do they dispute? About those of other places. One Master3 is of the opinion that since they are not [as a rule]4 used for sitting upon, they are like those of Tiberias, and the Masters are of the opinion that since it sometimes happens that they are ‘used for sitting upon,5 they are like those of ‘Usha.
The Master said: ‘All reed mats are susceptible to corpse uncleanliness. These are the words of R. Dosa’. But was it not taught: ‘And R. Dosa also said according to his6 words’?7 -This is no difficulty. The former refers to one that has a rim,8 the latter to one that has no rim.9
It was objected: Mats of bamboo,10 of reed grass, of sackcloth11 or of goat's-hair12 are susceptible to corpse uncleanliness,13 so R. Dosa, while the Sages say, They are also susceptible to midras uncleanliness. It is well according to him who says [that hozloth means] ‘bags filed with foliage’, since those of bamboo and of reed-grass14 can be used15 for baling fruit, while those of sackcloth and goat's-hair16 can be used for haversacks or baskets,17 but according to him who says that it means ‘real matting’, it is well18 with regard to those of sackcloth and goat's-hair, since they can be used15 for curtains19 or for sieves but to what use18 can those of bamboo and reed-grass be put?20 — They can be used for [covering] brewing vats.
Some read [as follows]: It is well according to him who says [that hozloth means] ‘real matting’, since those of bamboo and reed-grass may be used for [covering] brewing vats while those of sackcloth and goat's hair can be used for curtains or for sieves, but according to him who says that it means ‘bags filled with foliage, it is well with regard to those of sackcloth and goat's hair which may be used for haversacks or baskets, but to what use can those of bamboo and reed-grass be put? — They may be used for baling fruit.
It was taught: R. Hanina stated, When I journeyed21 in the Diaspora22 I came across an old man who said to me, ‘A reedmat may be used as a Sukkah-covering’. And when I came before R. Joshua, my father's brother, he agreed with his words. R. Hisda said, Only if it23 has no rim.24 ‘Ulla said, Those mats of the people of Mahuza, were it not for their rim, would be valid as a Sukkah-covering.25 So it has also been taught: Reed mats are valid as a Sukkah-covering, but if they have rims they are invalid as a Sukkah-covering.
MISHNAH. HE WHO SLEEPS UNDER A BED IN THE SUKKAH26 HAS NOT FULFILLED HIS OBLIGATION.27 R. JUDAH STATED, WE WERE ACCUSTOMED TO SLEEP UNDER A BED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ELDERS, AND THEY SAID NAUGHT28 TO US. R. SIMEON SAID, IT HAPPENED THAT TABI,29 THE SLAVE OF RABBAN GAMALIEL, USED TO SLEEP UNDER A BED.30 AND R. GAMALIEL SAID TO THE ELDERS, ‘YE HAVE SEEN TABI MY SLAVE, WHO IS A SCHOLAR, AND KNOWS THAT SLAVES ARE EXEMPT FROM [THE LAW OF] A SUKKAH, THEREFORE DOES HE SLEEP UNDER THE BED’, AND INCIDENTAlly WE LEARNED THAT HE WHO SLEEPS UNDER A BED31 HAS NOT FULFILLED HIS OBLIGATION.26
GEMARA. But, surely, there are no ten [handbreadths in the height of the BED, are there]?32 — Samuel interpreted, [that it refers to] a bed which is ten [handbreadths high]. We have learnt elsewhere, A hole which has been hollowed out by water or by insects or eaten through by saline corrosion, and similarly a row of stones,33 or a pile of beams,34 overshadow uncleanliness.35 R. Judah said, Any ‘tent’ which is not made by the hands of man36 is not37 considered as a tent.38 What is the reason of R. Judah?
(1) Even to that of midras since they are intended for lying upon and for no other purpose.
(2) Since no one would use them for lying upon.
(3) R. Dosa.
(4) V. Rashi. Lit., ‘there is none who sits upon them’.
(5) And are appointed for the purpose.
(6) R. Jose's.
(7) That such mats are valid for a Sukkah-covering. From which it follows that they are not regarded as a ‘vessel’ that is susceptible to ritual uncleanness.
(8) And it is thus a finished article, a ‘vessel’.
(9) Which, being used for no other purpose but that of covering booths cannot be regarded as a ‘vessel’.
(10) Or ‘cork’ (v. Jast.).
(11) Made of goat's hair (Rashi).
(12) Or horse-hair from the mane or the tail (Rashi).
(13) But not to that of midras, since they can be regarded as ‘vessels’, but not as objects used for reclining or sitting upon.
(14) Though the materials are loosely woven.
(15) If not for lying upon.
(16) Closely woven materials.
(17) In which even very small objects can be kept.
(18) According to R, Dosa.
(19) V. Rashi and Tosaf. ‘Covers’ (Jast.).
(20) Sc. since these are not made for lying upon and since they are useless for any other purpose why should they be susceptible to ritual uncleanness?
(21) Lit., ‘went down’.
(22) Lit., ‘exile’, sc. Babylon. He undertook the journey for the purpose of arranging the interpolation of an extra month in the calendar. V. Ber. 63a.
(23) The mat.
(24) If it has one it might be used as a vessel and, being in consequence susceptible to ritual uncleanness, becomes invalid as a Sukkah-covering.
(25) Since they were generally used for the coverings of booths and were unsuitable for any other purpose.
(26) Since the bed forms a ‘tent’ that intervenes between him and the Sukkah roof.
(27) During the festival of Tabernacles one must eat, drink and sleep in a Sukkah.
(28) Against it.
(29) The famous slave of Gamaliel II, often mentioned in the Mishnah. Elsewhere Gamaliel makes exceptions for him saying, ‘Tabi was not like other slaves’. v. Ber. II, 7.
(30) In his master's Sukkah.
(31) In a Sukkah.
(32) The bed not being ten handbreadths high how can it be regarded as a ‘tent’? (Cf. Supra n. 1).
(33) Under which a cavity was formed by the removal of a stone.
(34) Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
(35) A hollow formed by any of the above means is regarded as a ‘tent’, rendering unclean whatever is within it if a piece of corpse lies there.
(36) For the purpose of serving as a tent.
(37) As far as conveying uncleanness is concerned.
(38) Oh. III, 7.
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