Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 21a
— He deduces it from the word ‘tent’ [common to this1 and to] the Tabernacle. It is written here, This is the law, when a man dieth in the tent,2 and it is written there, And he spread the tent over the tabernacle.3 As there [‘tent’ means one] made by the hands of man, so here [it means one made] by the hands of man. And the Rabbis?4 — The word ‘tent’ occurs many times,5 to include [all tents].6 Is then R. Judah of the opinion that a tent which is not made by the hand of man is no valid tent? Let us point out an incongruity: [We have learnt] Courtyards were built in Jerusalem over a rock, and beneath them was a hollow [made] because of [the fear of] a grave in the depths,7 and they used to bring there pregnant women, and there they gave birth to their children and there they reared them for [the service of the Red] Heifer.8 And9 they brought oxen, upon whose back were placed doors, and the children sat upon them with stone cups10 in their hands. When they reached Siloam11 they went down into the water and filled them, then ascended and sat again [on the doors].12 R. Jose said, [Each child] used to let [his cup] down and fill it from his place13 because of [the fear of] a grave in the depths;14 and it has been taught, R. Judah said, They did not bring doors, but oxen.15 Now oxen, surely, are a ‘tent’ which is not made by the hands of man, and does it not nevertheless teach, R. Judah said, They did not bring doors, but oxen?-When R. Dimi came,16 he said in the name of R. Eleazar, R. Judah agrees17 in, the case [of a ‘tent’ that is as large as] a fistful.18
So it has also been taught: R. Judah admits in the case of overhanging crags and clefts of rocks.19 But a door, surely, has20 an altitude of many fistfuls and yet R. Judah teaches, does he not, ‘They did not bring doors but oxen’?21 — Abaye replied, [It means that] they did not need to bring doors.22 Raba said, [It means that] they did not bring doors at all because the child, feeling confident,23 might put out his head or one of his limbs and thus contract uncleanliness
(1) The laws of uncleanness.
(2) Num. XIX, 14.
(3) Ex. XL, 19.
(4) Sc. those who differ from R. Judah. Do they not apply the analogy?
(5) In Num. XIX, the chapter dealing with the laws in question.
(6) Even such as were not made for the purpose.
(7) Sc. the possibility of the existence of an unknown grave under the rock. Unless there is a hollow space of the height of one handbreadth above it the uncleanness of the grave penetrates through the rock and beyond it.
(8) The Red Heifer (Num. XIX) necessitated the utmost degree of ritual cleanliness. All the vessels used in connection with it were, therefore, of stone or earthenware which are not susceptible to ritual uncleanliness, and, according to the above Mishnah, the children whose duty it was to bring the officiating priest the water for the sin-offering were kept free from contamination from pre-natal days until they were seven or eight years of age (Rashi, — Tosefta says, twelve). Hence the precautions mentioned above.
(9) When the water had to be brought from Siloam.
(10) Which are not susceptible to ritual uncleanliness.
(11) Heb. השילוח, the famous conduit the history of whose construction is commemorated in the Siloam inscription.
(12) The doors prevented any contamination reaching the children.
(13) Sc. he did not go down to the water.
(14) Parah III, 2. Cf. supra p. 90, n. 9.
(15) Whose bulky bodies served as a tent and partition between any possible uncleanliness below and the children above. Tosef. Parah III, 2 with variants.
(16) From Palestine to Babylon.
(17) That a tent is valid even if it was not made by the hands of man.
(18) A size that is bigger than that of a handbreadth.
(19) These, although naturally formed, constitute a valid ‘tent’, since the hollow space is more than a handbreadth in height.
(20) From the ground to the door.
(21) Presumably because the doors cannot be regarded as a valid ‘tent’. Now If a door is no valid tent, how could the body of an ox be regarded as a valid one?
(22) The oxen alone were sufficient.
(23) Lit., ‘the mind of the child might be haughty’, since the width of the door would obviate any fear of his falling.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 21b
on account of a grave in the depths.1
It has been taught in agreement with Raba: R. Judah said, They did not bring doors at all, because the child, feeling confident, might put out his head or one of his limbs and thus contract uncleanness on account of a grave in the depths, but they brought Egyptian oxen with wide bellies, and the children sat on their backs with stone cups in their hands. When they came to Siloam they descended, filled them, and ascended and sat again on their backs.
But has not a bed an altitude of many fistfuls, and yet we have learnt, R. JUDAH SAID, WE WERE ACCUSTOMED TO SLEEP UNDER A BED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ELDERS?2 — A bed is different, since it is made [to be slept] upon?3 But are not oxen also made [to be sat] upon?4 — When Rabin came5 he explained in the name of R. Eleazar, Oxen are different, since they afford shelter for shepherds in summer from the sun, and in the rainy season from the rain.6 If so, should not a bed [also be so regarded] since it affords shelter to the shoes and sandals under it?7 — The fact is, said Raba, that oxen are different since they naturally shelter their entrails,8 as it is written, Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and covered me with bones and sinews.9
And if you like [you may say that] R. Judah10 follows his own view that a Sukkah must be a permanent abode; and since a bed is but a temporary abode, while a Sukkah is a permanent ‘tent’, a temporary tent cannot annul a permanent one. But does not R. Simeon also say that a Sukkah must be a permanent abode,11 and yet [he holds12 that] a temporary tent13 does annul a permanent tent?14 — It is in this that they15 differ. One Master16 holds the opinion that a temporary tent can come and annul a permanent tent, while the other Master17 holds the opinion that a temporary tent cannot annul a permanent tent.
R. SIMEON SAID, IT HAPPENED THAT TABI, THE SLAVE etc. It has been taught: R. Simeon said, From the casual conversation of R. Gamaliel we have learnt two things. We have learnt that slaves are free from the obligation of Sukkah, and we have learnt that he who sleeps under a bed [in a Sukkah] has not fulfilled his obligation. But why does he not say, From the words of R. Gamaliel’?18 -He informs us of something [else] by the way in agreement with that which R Aha b. Adda, [or as some say, R. Aha b. Adda in the name of R. Hamnuna] said in the name of Rab: Whence do we know that even the casual19 conversation of scholars demands study? From Scripture where it is said, And whose leaf20 does not wither.21
MISHNAH. IF A MAN SUPPORTS HIS SUKKAH WITH THE LEGS OF A BED, IT IS VALID. R. JUDAH SAID, IF IT CANNOT STAND BY ITSELF, IT IS INVALID.
GEMARA. What is the reason of R. Judah? — R. Zera and R. Abba b. Mamal disagree. One says, It is because the Sukkah has no permanence, and the other says, It is because he keeps it up with something susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness. What essentially differentiates them?22 — If, for instance, he fixed iron stakes [in the ground] and covered them with a Sukkah-covering. According to him who says, because it has no permanence, here there is permanence; according to him who says, because he keeps it up with something susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness, he is here also setting it up with something which is susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness.
Abaye said, They taught this23 only if he supported it,24 but if he placed a Sukkoth-covering above a bed,25 it is valid. What is the reason? — According to him who says, because it has no permanence, here there is permanence; according to him who says, because he sets it up with something susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness, here he does not set it up with something susceptible to [ritual] uncleanliness.26 [
(1) In the absence of a door the child, in his fear of falling down, would not venture to put any part of his body out beyond the width of the body of the ox.
(2) Which shows that an occasional ‘tent’ is no valid tent.
(3) And not underneath it. Hence it cannot constitute a valid ‘tent’.
(4) And not underneath them. How then could they be regarded as a valid tent?
(5) From Palestine to Babylon,
(6) So that the belly of the ox may well be regarded as a valid tent.
(7) V. B.B. 58a.
(8) Thus constituting a tent.
(9) Job X, 11. ‘Covered’ implies ‘shelter’, ‘tent’.
(10) Who permits sleeping under a bed in a Sukkah.
(11) Supra 7b.
(12) As is evident from his statement in our Mishnah.
(13) A bed.
(14) A valid Sukkah.
(15) R. Simeon and R. Judah.
(16) R. Simeon.
(17) R. Judah.
(18) Sc. why is the term ‘casual conversation’ used, instead of the more common ‘words’.
(19) Lit., ‘profane’.
(20) I.e., even the least important part of the tree.
(21) Ps. I, 3. The righteous man is compared to the tree and his casual talk to the leaf.
(22) R. Zera and R. Abba. As always, this means, what practical difference is there between them?
(23) The law about the bed just enunciated.
(24) The roof.
(25) Sc. beds formed the walls only while the roof was supported on poles of the prescribed material.
(26) Cf. prev. n.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 22a
MISHNAH. A DISARRANGED1 SUKKAH AND ONE WHOSE SHADE IS MORE THAN ITS SUN2 IS VALID. IF [THE COVERING] IS CLOSE KNIT LIKE THAT OF A HOUSE, IT IS VALID, EVEN THOUGH THE STARS CANNOT BE SEEN THROUGH IT.
GEMARA. What is meant by medubleleth?3 — Rab replied, It means a beggarly Sukkah;4 and Samuel says, One whose reeds are not all on the same level.5 Rab taught the [first part of the Mishnah as] one [statement], while Samuel taught it as two. Rab taught it as one: A Sukkah which is medubleleth, (what is medubleleth? Beggarly) whose shade is more than its sun, is valid; while Samuel taught it as two: What is medubleleth? Disarranged; and [the Mishnah] teaches two [laws,] that a disarranged Sukkah6 is valid and that a Sukkah whose shade is more than its sun is valid.
Abaye stated, This7 applies only where there are not three handbreadths of distance between one reed and another, but if there are three handbreadths between one and another, it8 is invalid. Raba says, Even if there are three handbreadths between one and another we also do not say [that it8 is invalid] unless the upper reed9 is not a handbreadth wide but if the upper reed is a handbreadth wide, it8 is valid,10 since we apply to it the law of ‘Beat and throw it down’.11
Raba said, Whence do I say that if the upper reed is a handbreadth wide we apply to it the law of ‘Beat and throw it down’, and if it is not so wide we do not apply it? From what we have learnt: If the beams of [the roof of] a house and of its upper chamber have no plaster-work,12 and they13 lie exactly one above the other, and there is uncleanliness under one of them,14 only the space beneath this one is unclean; if between a lower and an upper [beam],15 the space between them is unclean; if upon an upper beam, what is above it as far as the sky is unclean. If the upper beams were opposite the gaps between the lower beams, and uncleanliness lay beneath one of the beams, the space beneath them all is unclean;16 if it lay above one of the beams, what is above them as far as the sky is unclean.17 And on this it was taught, When do these18 apply? When the beams are each a handbreadth [wide]19 and there is [a gap] of a handbreadth between them,20 but if there is not [a gap] of a handbreadth between them,21 if there is uncleanliness under one of them,22 whatever is under that beam23 is unclean24 while the space between them25 and above them is clean.26 Thus it clearly follows that if there is a handbreadth27 we apply the law of ‘Beat and throw it down’, but if there is not a handbreadth27 we do not apply this law. This is conclusive.
R. Kahana was sitting at his studies and enunciated this statement.28 Said R. Ashi to R. Kahana, Do we then not apply the law of ‘Beat and throw down’ where an object is not a handbreadth wide? Has it not in fact been taught: If a beam was protruding from one wall, but was not touching the opposite wall, and similarly if two beams, one protruding from one wall and one from the other, were not touching each other, and [the space between them29 is] less than three [handbreadths]30 it is unnecessary to supply another beam, but if it was three [handbreadths] it is necessary to supply another beam. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ruled,
(1) Heb. medubleleth. The Gemara discusses the exact meaning.
(2) This rule which appears to be a repetition of the one supra 2a is discussed infra.
(3) Cf. supra n. 1.
(4) Sc. one covered with very few reeds, the roof having many holes, except that none of them is three handbreadths wide.
(5) Lit., one reed going up, and another down’, so that the interior of the Sukkah has more sun than shade. The Sukkah is nevertheless valid because the number of reeds is sufficient, had they been laid on the same level, to provide more shade than sun.
(6) Cf. supra n. 5.
(7) The statement of Samuel that the Sukkah is valid though one reed is up and another is down (cf. supra n. 5).
(8) The Sukkah.
(9) Lit., ‘its roof’.
(10) Even if it is three handbreadths higher than the lower one.
(11) A legal fiction whereby a plane is regarded as though it were placed at a lower level. The reed which is raised above the others is regarded as though it were lying on the same level as the lower ones. The necessity of a handbreadth of width is explained forthwith.
(12) So that the beams are completely separated from one another.
(13) The beams of the house and the beams of the upper chamber respectively.
(14) One of the beams of the lower room.
(15) Sc. one of the upper chamber.
(16) Since by the rule of ‘Beat and throw it down’ the upper and the lower beams are virtually lying at the same level and together make up one continuous roof.
(17) Oh. XII, 5.
(18) The rulings in the Mishnah just cited.
(19) So that each beam is important enough to be treated as a ‘tent’ both as regards causing uncleanness to spread all under it and to form an interposition between an uncleanness under it and the space above it.
(20) Sc. the lower beams, so that each upper beam placed opposite the gaps between the lower beams virtually covers a part of the roof of the lower room to all extent of not less than one handbreadth.
(21) So that each of the upper beams covers in the roof of the lower room a space that is less than one handbreadth.
(22) The lower beams.
(23) That one being no less than a handbreadth wide.
(24) Cf. supra n. 8.
(25) I.e., the gaps between the lower ones (v. R. Han.).
(26) Tosef. Oh. XIII, 7.
(27) In the width of a beam.
(28) Of Raba.
(29) The beam and the wall or the two beams.
(30) So that the law of labud is applicable.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 22b
If the space was less than four [handbreadths]1 it is unnecessary to bring another beam, if not, it is necessary to bring another beam.2 And so in the case of two parallel beams neither of which can support a half-brick,3 if they can support a half-brick on their joint width of a handbreadth,4 it is not necessary to bring another beam; if not, it is necessary to bring another beam. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said, If they can support a half-brick in its length of three handbreadths,5 it is not necessary to bring another beam; if not,6 it is necessary to bring another beam. If one was above and the other below,7 R. Jose son of R. Judah said, We regard the upper one as though it were lower down8 or the lower one as though it were higher,9 provided that the upper one is not more than twenty [cubits from the ground]10 nor the lower one less than ten [cubits from the ground].11 From which it follows that if both of them were within twenty [cubits]12 we do apply the law of ‘beat and throw down’ even although none of them is a handbreadth [wide]?13 — The other replied, Explain thus: Provided that the upper one is not more than twenty [cubits from the ground], but within the twenty [cubits], and the lower one is near it within less than three [handbreadths], or else: Provided that the lower one is not less than ten [cubits from the ground] but more than ten, and the upper one is near it within less than three [handbreadths], but if they were three [handbreadths apart] since [the upper beam] is not a handbreadth [wide], we do not apply the law of ‘beat and throw down’.
WHOSE SHADE IS MORE THAN ITS SUN IS VALID. But if they are equal it is invalid? But have we not learnt in the other chapter,14 ‘or whose sun is more than its shade, is invalid’, from which it follows that if they are equal it is valid? — There is no difficulty, since the former15 refers to above and the latter to below.16 R. Papa observed, This bears on what people say, ‘The size of a zuz17 above becomes the size of an issar17 below’.
IF CLOSE TOGETHER LIKE A HOUSE. Our Rabbis have taught, If it is close together like a house, even though the stars cannot be seen through it, it is valid. If the rays of the sun18 cannot be seen through it, Beth Shammai invalidate it, and Beth Hillel declare it valid.
MISHNAH. IF ONE ERECTS HIS SUKKAH ON THE TOP OF A WAGGON,19 OR ON THE DECK OF A SHIP,20 IT IS VALID21 AND THEY MAY GO UP INTO IT ON THE FESTIVAL. IF HE MADE IT ON THE TOP OF A TREE, OR ON THE BACK OF A CAMEL, IT IS VALID,22 BUT THEY MAY NOT GO UP INTO IT ON THE FESTIVAL.23 IF THE TREE [FORMED] TWO [WALLS] AND ONE WAS MADE BY THE HANDS OF MAN,24 OR IF TWO WERE MADE BY THE HANDS OF MAN AND ONE WAS FORMED BY THE TREE, IT IS VALID, BUT THEY MAY NOT GO UP INTO IT ON THE FESTIVAL.25 IF THREE WALLS WERE MADE BY THE HANDS OF MAN AND ONE WAS FORMED BY THE TREE, IT IS VALID AND THEY MAY GO UP INTO IT ON THE FESTIVAL.
(1) R. Simeon b. Gamaliel applies the law of labud to a space of four handbreadths also.
(2) ‘Er. 14a, supra 18a q.v. notes.
(3) The cross-beam at the entrance of an alley has to be one handbreadth wide in order to be capable of holding a half-brick that is one and a half handbreadths wide (v. ‘Er. 13b) One smaller than this width is not valid.
(4) In this case two beams, each less than the required width, were placed next to one another so that the half-brick can be placed in its breadth upon both.
(5) I.e.,the space between the two narrow beams may be wider, provided they are strong and wide enough to carry the half-brick.
(6) I.e.,the beams mentioned were not capable of supporting the half-brick.
(7) Sc. the two beams were not placed exactly level with one another, but one was raised more than the other.
(8) On a level with the lower one.
(9) And level with the one above it.
(10) Since a beam at such a height is invalid.
(11) ‘Er. 14a; since no partition is valid unless it is no less than ten handbreadths high.
(12) Though the distance between them was more than three handbreadths.
(13) An objection against Raba.
(14) Mishnah I, 1.
(15) If they are equal it is invalid.
(16) If in the roof (‘above’) there is as much open, as covered space, then it is invalid, since the sun appears on the floor in broader patches than the shade; if on the floor (‘below’) there is as much sunshine as shade, it is evident that there is more of the roof covered than open. The idea is that the beams of the sun widen from the roof to the floor.
(17) Coins. The issar was worth one twenty-fourth of a zuz, but being of copper whereas the zuz was of silver, it was larger.
(18) Lit., ‘the stars of the sun’.
(19) Though it is on the move.
(20) Where it is exposed to gales.
(21) Since the Sukkah satisfies the requirements of a temporary abode.
(22) On the intermediate days of the Festival or even on the Festival itself if one did enter it.
(23) Since the use of a tree on the Festival is forbidden under a Rabbinic measure.
(24) Cf. Tosaf. This refers to cases where the roof of the Sukkah was resting on the tree.
(25) A preventive measure against the possibility of putting some object on the roof (cf. prev. n.).
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 23a
THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: WHATEVER CAN STAND BY ITSELF IF THE TREE WERE TAKEN AWAY IS VALID, AND THEY MAY GO UP INTO IT ON THE FESTIVAL.
GEMARA. According to whom is our Mishnah? According to R. Akiba, as it has been taught, He who erects his Sukkah on the deck of a ship, R. Gamaliel declares it invalid and R. Akiba valid.1 It happened with R. Gamaliel and R. Akiba when they were journeying on a ship2 that R. Akiba arose and erected a Sukkah on the deck of the ship. On the morrow the wind blew and tore it away. R. Gamaliel said to him, Akiba, where is thy Sukkah?
Abaye said, All are in accord that where it3 is unable to withstand a normal land breeze it is nothing;4 if it can withstand an unusually [strong] land breeze, all are in accord that it is valid. Where do they dispute? Where it can withstand a normal land breeze, but not a normal sea breeze;5 R. Gamaliel is of the opinion that the Sukkah must be a permanent abode, and since it cannot withstand a normal sea breeze, it is nothing,4 while R. Akiba is of the opinion that the Sukkah must be a temporary abode, and since it can withstand a normal land breeze, it is valid.
OR ON THE BACK OF A CAMEL etc. According to whom is [this part of] our Mishnah? — According to R. Meir, as it has been taught, If he makes his Sukkah upon the back of an animal, R. Meir declares it valid and R. Judah invalid. What is the reason of R. Judah? — Since Scripture says, Thou shalt keep the feast of Sukkoth for seven days.6 A Sukkah which is suitable for seven days is called a valid Sukkah; if it is unsuitable for seven days it is not called a valid Sukkah.7 And R. Meir? — According to Pentateuchal law this [Sukkah] is also suitable [for seven days], and it is only the Rabbis who decreed against it.8
If he used an animal as a wall of the Sukkah, R. Meir declares it invalid and R. Judah valid, for R. Meir was wont to say, Whatever contains the breath of life can be made neither a wall for a Sukkah, nor a side-post for an alley9 nor boards around wells,10 nor a covering stone for a grave.11 In the name of R. Jose the Galilean they said, Nor may a bill of divorcement be written upon it.
What is the reason of R. Meir? — Abaye replied, Lest it die.12 R. Zera replied, Lest it escape.12 Concerning an elephant securely bound, all13 agree [that14 the Sukkah is valid], since even though it die,15 there is still ten [handbreadths height] in its carcase.16 Regarding what then do they dispute? Regarding an elephant which is not bound. According to him17 who says, Lest it die, we do not fear;18 according to him19 who says, We fear lest it escape, we do fear.20 But according to him who says, Lest it die, let us fear also lest it escape? — Rather say, Regarding an elephant which is not bound, all agree [that the Sukkah is invalid]; regarding what do they dispute? Regarding an [ordinary] animal which is bound: According to him who says, Lest it die, we fear [for that],21 according to him who says, Lest it escape, we have no fear.22 But according to him who says, Lest it escape, let us fear lest it die? — Death is not a frequent occurrence.23 But is there not an open space between [the animal's legs]?24 — [It refers to] where he filled it in with branches of palms and bay-trees. But might it not lie down? — [It refers to] where it was tied with cords from above.25
And according to him who says, Lest it die, is it not tied with cords from above?26 — It may occur that it is made to stand within three [handbreadths] of the covering27
(1) Supra 7b.
(2) In the week of the Festival.
(3) A Sukkah.
(4) No valid Sukkah.
(5) So Tosaf. supra 7b. Cur. edd., in parenthesis ‘an unusually strong land breeze’.
(6) Deut. XVI, 13.
(7) And this one is unsuitable for the first day of the Festival since it is Rabbinically forbidden to enter it on that day.
(8) As Pentateuchally it is suitable for all the seven days it is a valid Sukkah.
(9) V. supra.
(10) V. ‘Er. 17b.
(11) Golel, v. Naz., Sonc. ed., p. 202, n. 5. I.e., it is not subject to the laws of a covering stone of a grave (cf. Hul. 72a) even if it was used as such.
(12) During the Festival and the Sukkah that would thus remain with one wall less than the prescribed number would be invalid.
(13) Abaye and R. Zera.
(14) According to R. Meir.
(15) And falls to the ground.
(16) And a valid wall still remains.
(18) Sc. the Sukkah is valid, since there are ten handbreadths in the height of the carcase.
(19) R. Zera.
(20) And the Sukkah is, therefore, invalid.
(21) As the animal when lying on the ground would be less than ten handbreadths high, the wall, and consequently the Sukkah, is invalid.
(22) Since the animal is bound; and the Sukkah is, therefore, valid.
(23) Hence no preventive measure was called for.
(24) Even when it is alive. How then can a wall with such a gap be regarded as valid?
(25) So that it cannot lie down.
(26) So that even if it dies it will still be held up in a standing position. Why then should the Sukkah be invalid?
(27) I. e., there is a space of less than three handbreadths between the top of the animal and the roof, which is quite valid because of the law of labud.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 23b
but when it dies, it shrinks,1 and this might not enter his mind.2 But did Abaye say that R. Meir3 takes the possibility of death into consideration while R. Judah disregards it? Have we not in fact learnt: If the daughter of an Israelite was married to a priest, and her husband went to a country beyond the sea, she may eat of terumah4 on the presumption that he is still alive.5 And when we pointed to the following contradiction: [If a priest said to his wife,] ‘Here is thy bill of divorce [to take effect] one hour before my death’,6 she is forbidden to eat of terumah forthwith,7 Abaye answered that there is no difficulty, since the former [statement]8 is according to R. Meir who disregards the possibility of death, while the latter9 is according to R. Judah who regards the possibility of death, as it has been taught, If a man buys wine10 from Cutheans11 he may say, ‘Two log12 which I intend to set aside are terumah, ten are the first tithe, and nine13 the second tithe’, and then he redeems it14 and may drink it at once. So R. Meir
(1) And the space will then be more than three handbreadths to which labud cannot apply and the Sukkah will in consequence be invalid.
(2) To make the necessary adjustments. Hence the preventive measure that no living animal may ever be used as a Sukkah wall.
(3) In enacting a preventive measure.
(4) V. Glos.
(5) Git., III, 3.
(6) A common procedure to obviate the necessity of halizah (v. Glos.).
(7) Git. 28a, Ned. 3b.
(8) That the woman may eat terumah.
(9) Forbidding her to eat it.
(10) Late on Friday when he has no time to separate the terumah and tithes before the incidence of the Sabbath.
(11) Who do not give the priestly dues.
(12) Two out of a hundred, the normal amount of terumah given. Unlike tithe, the exact amount is not specified in the Bible. A log is a liquid measure, v. Glos.
(13) A tenth of what remains. The terumah goes to the priests, the first tithe to the Levites and the second has to be eaten in Jerusalem.
(14) The second tithe which may be redeemed with money. v. Deut. XIV, 22ff.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 24a
. R. Judah, R. Jose and R. Simeon forbid it?1 -Transpose [the statement:]2 R. Meir takes the possibility of death into consideration, while R. Judah disregards the possibility of death, as it was taught, If he used an animal as a wall for a Sukkah, R. Meir declares it invalid and R. Judah valid. [But then there is still] a contradiction between the two statements of R. Meir?3 — R. Meir can answer you: Death is of frequent occurrence, but the splitting of a wineskin is infrequent, since one might give it in charge of a guardian.
[But there is still] a contradiction between the two statements of R. Judah?4 The reason of R. Judah5 is not lest the wineskin split, but because he does not accept the principle of bererah.6 But does R. Judah consider the possibility of the wineskin splitting? Surely since the latter part [of the Baraitha] continues: They said to R. Meir, ‘Do you not agree that [we must fear] lest the wineskin split, with the result that he drank untithed [wine] retrospectively?’ And he answered them, ‘When the wineskin splits’,7 it follows [does it not], that R. Judah8 does consider the possibility of the wineskin splitting? — [No!] There it is R. Judah who says to R. Meir in effect, ‘As regards myself I do not accept the principle of bererah, but according to you who do accept the principle of bererah, do you not agree that [we must fear] lest the wineskin split?’ And the latter answered, ‘When the wineskin splits’.9
But does not R. Judah regard the possibility of death? Have we not in fact learnt: R. Judah says, Even another wife was prepared for him, lest his wife die?10 — On this surely it was stated: R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said, They adopted a higher standard with regard to Atonement.11
Now whether according to him who says,12 Lest it die, or according to him who says, Lest it escape, [the animal] according to the Pentateuchal law is a valid partition, and it is only the Rabbis who made a restrictive enactment concerning it. But if this is so, it ought according to R. Meir, to convey uncleanliness [if it is used] as a covering stone of a grave,13 why then have we learnt: R. Judah14 says it15 is subject to the laws of uncleanliness that are applicable to the covering stone of a grave, while R. Meir declares it unsusceptible to such uncleanliness?16 -The fact is, said R. Aha b. Jacob, that R. Meir17 is of the opinion that any partition which is upheld by wind18 is no valid partition. Some there are who say that R. Aha b. Jacob said that R. Meir17 is of the opinion that any partition which is not made by the hands of man19 is no partition. What [practical difference] is there between [the two versions]? — The practical difference between them is where he set up a Sukkah wall with an inflated skin. According to the version which says a partition which is upheld by wind is no valid partition, [this one is invalid] since it is upheld by wind; according to the version which says ‘not made by the hands of man’
(1) Tosef. Dem. VII, 4, B.K. 69b; since the wineskin may split open and the contents be lost before he is able to make his intended separation an actual one, with the result that what he has already drunk is untithed. Thus R. Judah who takes this possibility into consideration certainly considers the possibility of death, while R. Meir who disregards this possibility equally disregards that of death. Now, since Abaye there distinctly attributes these views to R. Judah and R. Meir respectively how could he attribute to them here the reversed views?
(2) Of Abaye in the passage last cited.
(3) In the case of the skin he does not take its possible splitting into consideration while in the case of the animal he does take into consideration the possibility of its dying.
(4) Cf. supra n. 8, mut. mut.
(5) In the case of the wine.
(6) The principle that the later selection is considered as having been applied retrospectively. The later separation of the wine has no retrospective application. Hence even if the skin did not split the terumah is invalid.
(7) ‘Er. 37b. Sc. one does not anticipate the wineskin splitting.
(8) From whom R. Meir differs.
(9) For further notes v. ‘Er., Sonc. ed., p. 259.
(10) Yoma I, 1. The High Priest on the Day of Atonement had to be married in accordance with Lev. XVI, 7, where ‘his house’ is interpreted as his wife. In case his wife died on the eve of the day, another was held in readiness.
(11) Where even very remote possibilities were considered and provided for.
(12) In giving R. Meir's reason supra.
(13) Since according to Pentateuchal law it is a valid partition, it ought to contract uncleanliness, even if the Rabbis decreed later that it is no valid partition. With regard to Sukkah and the alley the Rabbinical decree might well be upheld since it restricts the law but in the case of uncleanliness where it leads to a relaxation of the Pentateuchal law the Rabbinical decree must obviously be disregarded.
(14) Wanting in the separate edd. of the Mishnah and ‘Er. 15a.
(15) An animate object that was used to cover a coffin.
(16) ‘Er. 15a and supra fol.23a.
(17) In ruling an animate object to be an invalid partition.
(18) Or ‘air’.
(19) It is not in human power to impart the breath of life.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 24b
it is valid, since it is made by the hands of man.1
The Master said: ‘In the name of R. Jose the Galilean they said, Nor may a bill of divorcement be written upon it’.2 What is the reason of R. Jose the Galilean? — As it has been taught: [Scripture3 says], A bill4 [hence] I know only [that] a bill5 [is valid],6 how do we know to include any other material?7 Scripture expressly states, Thus he writeth her8 implying, on whatever material it may be. If so, why does Scripture state, ‘bill’?5 To teach you that just as a bill is a thing which has no breath of life, and cannot eat, so is everything valid which has not the breath of life and does not eat. And the Rabbis?9 — If Scripture had written ‘in a bill’, [it would be] as you say,10 but now that it is written ‘a bill’11 the expression refers merely to the recital12 of the words.13 And how do the Rabbis14 expound the words, ‘That he writeth’?15 — They need that [text for the exposition that] with the writing she becomes divorced, but she does not become divorced with money.16 As I might have said that, since her exit [from the married state]17 is compared to her entry into it18 just as her entry is with money,19 so is her exit, therefore it teaches us [this]. And whence does R. Jose the Galilean deduce this?20 -He deduces it from [the words], ‘a bill of divorcement’;21 the bill divorces and nothing else. And the others?22 — They need [this terminology to teach that the bill of divorcement must be] one which severs them [completely], as it has been taught. [If a man say,] Herewith is your get [to take effect] on condition that you do not drink wine, or go to your father's house ever, it is no severance.23 [If he say, The condition shall apply] for thirty days, it is a severance.24 And the other?25 — He deduces it from [the use of the form] kerithuth [instead of that of] kareth.26 And the others? — They do not expound [the difference between] kerithuth and kareth.27
MISHNAH. IF HE MAKES HIS SUKKAH BETWEEN TREES, SO THAT THE TREES FORM ITS WALLS,28 IT IS VALID.
GEMARA. R. Aha b. Jacob said, A partition which is unable to withstand29 a normal wind is no valid partition. We have learnt, IF HE MAKES HIS SUKKAH BETWEEN TREES, SO THAT THE TREES FORM ITS WALLS, IT IS VALID. But do they not sway to and fro? — We are dealing here with solid [trees].30 But are there not the swaying branches?31 — [It refers to] where he plaited it with shrubbery and bay-trees.32 If so, why [need he] mention it? — One would have thought that it should be forbidden as a preventive measure lest he come to make use of the tree,33 therefore he informs us [that it is valid]. Come and hear: If there was there34 a tree,35 or a fence,36 or a partition of reeds, it is regarded as a valid corner-piece!37 — This also refers to where he plaited it with shrubbery and bay-trees. Come and hear: If a tree38 throws a shadow on the ground, it is permitted to move objects under it39 if the ends of its branches are not three handbreadths high above the ground.40 But why?41 Does not the tree sway to and fro? — Here also it is a case where one plaited it with shrubs and bay-trees. But if so,42 it should be permitted43 to carry objects39 over its whole area whatever its size; why then did R. Huna the son of R. Joshua say, One may not carry any objects there
(1) A man inflated it.
(2) An animate object. Supra 23a.
(3) In dealing with divorce.
(4) Deut. XXIV, 1, he writeth her a bill of divorcement.
(5) Sefer, i.e., parchment.
(6) As a writing material.
(7) A wooden tablet or an olive leaf, for instance.
(8) Deut. XXIV, 1, emphasis on writeth.
(9) How, in view of R. Jose's exposition can they maintain their view?
(10) That the reference is to the material on which the divorce formula is written.
(13) I.e., the contents of the document, not the material on which it is written.
(14) Who do not take ‘bill’ to imply parchment.
(15) Which R. Jose used to include other materials. Since according to their view ‘bill’ does not exclude anything, what need was there for a text to include other materials?
(16) I.e.,a woman cannot be divorced, as she is betrothed by giving her some money.
(18) Marriage. Deut. XXIV, 2 reads, And when she is departed from his house, and go and be another man's wife. The Talmud on the basis of this juxtaposition compares divorce (‘departure’) to marriage (‘being’).
(19) Betrothal may be effected by the man's giving to the woman money and saying, ‘Behold thou art betrothed unto me by this money’.
(20) The deduction just made.
(21) The juxtaposition of ‘bill’ and ‘divorcement’.
(22) The Rabbis. To what do they apply this text?
(23) Since the condition is timeless, and at any time in the future she might break the condition and the divorce would become void, it is of no effect.
(24) Since at the end of the specified period the get would be definitely effective it is regarded as Pentateuchally valid forthwith.
(25) R. Jose. Whence does he deduce this ruling?
(26) Since Scripture could have written כרת and writes בריתות the extra letters are regarded as teaching an added lesson.
(27) The Rabbis disregard such fine distinctions. On the whole passage v. Git. 21b.
(28) But its roof does not rest upon them (Rashi). [Otherwise it would be invalid as a Sukkah kept up by an object that is attached to the ground. V. supra 21b, Strashun.]
(29) I.e., to stand firm without swaying.
(30) Old and strongly built trees which do not sway in the wind.
(31) Which sometimes form part of the wall.
(32) So that the branches also form a solid part of the wall.
(33) By putting his things on it on the festival day.
(34) At one of the corners of a watering station round which corner-pieces are placed to enable the carrying of the water from the well to the enclosure on the Sabbath.
(35) Whose thickness was of the dimensions of one cubit by one cubit prescribed for a corner-piece.
(36) Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
(37) ‘Er. 19b. Now does not this prove that trees though swaying to an fro are regarded as a valid wall?
(38) Whose branches bend downwards.
(39) On the Sabbath.
(40) ‘Er. 15a; since by the law of labud they are deemed to be touching the ground and, since at their other ends at which they are attached to the tree they are ten handbreadths above the ground, they form a valid partition.
(41) Sc. why should the branches be regarded as a valid partition to constitute an enclosure within which the movement of objects on the Sabbath is permitted?
(42) That the branches were plaited for the express purpose of serving as an enclosure in which one might dwell while engaged in watching the fields around.
(43) As in the case of all similar enclosures (cf. prev. n.).
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 25a
except where its area was not bigger than two beth se'ah?1 — The reason2 is that it3 is an abode made to serve the open air4 and in every abode that is made to serve the open air4 objects may be moved in it5 only if its area is no more than two beth se'ah.6
Come and hear: If one made his Sabbath rest7 in a mound which is ten [handbreadths] high and [whose extent] is from four cubits to two beth se'ah and so also with a cavity8 which is ten [handbreadths] deep, and [whose extent] is from four cubits to two beth se'ah and so also with a harvested spot9 that was surrounded by ears of corn, he may walk throughout its whole extent and two thousand cubits10 outside it [on the Sabbath].11 [Now is not this permitted] even although it12 sways to and fro?13 — There also it refers to where he plaited it12 with shrubs and bay-trees.14
MISHNAH. THOSE WHO ARE ENGAGED ON A RELIGIOUS ERRAND15 ARE FREE FROM [THE OBLIGATIONS OF] SUKKAH.16 INVALIDS AND THEIR ATTENDANTS ARE FREE FROM [THE OBLIGATIONS OF] SUKKAH. CASUAL EATING AND DRINKING17 ARE PERMITTED OUTSIDE THE SUKKAH.
GEMARA. Whence do we know this?18 — From what our Rabbis taught: When thou sittest in thy house19 excludes20 the man who is occupied with a religious duty,21 And when thou walkest by the way19 excludes a bridegroom.20 Hence21 they22 said, He who marries a virgin is free [from the obligation of reading the Shema’], but [he who marries] a widow is bound [by the obligation].23 How is this24 inferred? — R. Huna said, It is compared to ‘the way’19 just as ‘the way’25 refers to a secular way,26 so must every act27 be secular, thus excluding such a man who is occupied with the performance of a religious duty. But does it28 not refer to where one is going on a religious errand [also]?29 And does not the Divine Law nevertheless say that one should read?30 — If so,31 the verse should have said, ‘When sitting and when walking’;32 why [then does it say,] ‘When thou sittest and when thou walkest’? [It must consequently mean:] When walking for thy own purpose thou art bound by the obligation, but when walking on a religious errand thou art free. If so,33 should not even the man who marries a widow34 also be exempt?-When he marries a virgin his mind is pre-occupied35 but when he marries a widow his mind is not preoccupied.36
Does this mean that whenever a man's mind is pre-occupied he is exempt?37 If so, if his ship was sunk, so that his mind is preoccupied is he also exempt?37 And if you will say, ‘It is indeed so’, did not R. Abba b. Zabda [it may be retorted] say in the name of Rab: A mourner38 is bound by all the commandments that are enumerated in the Torah, with the sole exception of that of tefillin because the word ‘beauty’39 was applied to them? — In the former case40 his pre-occupation is on account of a religious duty;41 in the latter42 it is on account of a secular event.43
But is the law that he who is engaged on one religious duty is free from any other deduced from here?44 Is it not deduced from elsewhere, As it has been taught: And there were certain men who were unclean by the dead body of a man, etc.45 Who were these men? They were those who bore the coffin of Joseph,46 so R. Jose the Galilean.
(1) ‘Er. 15a. A beth se'ah is a square measure, the size of a field which requires two se'ahs of seed to sow it. One beth se'ah is estimated as two thousand five hundred square cubits.
(2) For. R. Huna's ruling.
(3) The area under the branches.
(4) I.e., it is a mere shelter for the watchman who guards the open field around it.
(5) On the Sabbath.
(6) The Rabbis limited it to this size on the assumption that the courtyard of the sanctuary was of this size. If the area is larger it is subject to the laws of karmelith and objects in it may be moved within four cubits only.
(7) I.e., appointed the spot as his Sabbath abode at the time the Sabbath commenced.
(8) Which a man appointed as his Sabbath abode (cf. prev. n.).
(9) Cf. prev. n. Lit., ‘cut standing (ears)’.
(10) The distance in all directions which a man may walk on the Sabbath outside his town or enclosure in which he rested when the Sabbath began.
(11) ‘Er. 15a.
(12) The enclosure formed by the ears of corn.
(13) Apparently it is. How then could R. Aha maintain that a swaying partition is invalid?
(14) So that the enclosure is a firm one.
(15) Lit., ‘those that are sent forth for a religions duty’. Those, for instance, who go to study the Torah or to redeem a captive.
(16) Even when they stay for a rest.
(17) I.e., but not a set meal.
(18) The first ruling in our Mishnah.
(19) Deut. VI, 7, dealing with the duty of reading the Shema’ (v. P.B. pp. 40-42).
(20) From the duty (cf. prev. n.).
(21) How this is inferred is explained presently.
(22) The Rabbis.
(23) Ber. 11a.
(24) That those engaged in a religious act are exempt.
(25) In walking in which the duty of reading the Shema’ must be performed.
(26) Or, ‘optional. It is now taken to mean that one is walking by the way to pursue his normal occupations.
(27) The performance of which must not interfere with the duty of reading the Shema’.
(28) V. supra n. 2.
(29) Apparently it does.
(30) How then is it inferred that those engaged in a religious act are exempt?
(31) That Deut. VI, 7 refers also to one engaged in a religious act.
(32) Which would have included all forms both secular and religious.
(33) That the performance of a religious act exempts one from the obligations mentioned.
(34) Who also is performing a religious duty.
(35) And he cannot, therefore, perform another duty at that time.
(36) Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
(37) From the performance of his religious duties.
(38) Though his mind is pre-occupied.
(39) Ezek. XXIV, 17; an ornament that is unbecoming to a mourner.
(40) Where one marries a virgin.
(41) Hence his exemption from other duties.
(42) Where a ship was sunk as in that of a mourner.
(43) Or, ‘optional matter’. Mourning to the extent of shutting out of all other thoughts is regarded as optional and is excluded from the religious duty of mourning which is duly defined.
(44) Deut. VI, 7.
(45) Num. IX, 6, dealing with the celebration of the Second Passover in the month of Iyar by those who, for certain specified reasons, were unable to celebrate the first in Nisan.
(46) Cf. Gen. L, 25 and Ex. XIII, 19.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 25b
R. Akiba said, They were Mishael and Elzaphan who were occupied with [the remains of] Nadab and Abihu.1 R. Isaac said, If they were those who bore the coffin of Joseph, they2 had time to cleanse themselves [before Passover,]3 and if they were Mishael and Elzaphan they could [also] have cleansed themselves [before the Passover].4 But it was those who were occupied with a meth mizwah,5 the seventh day [of whose purification] coincided with the eve of Passover, as it is said, They could not keep the Passover on that day,6 on ‘that’ day they could not keep the Passover, but on the morrow they could?7 — [Both texts]8 are necessary. For if he had only informed us of the former,6 I would have said [that they9 were free from the obligation there] because the time of the obligation of the Passover had not yet come,10 but not here11 where the time of the reading of the Shema’ had come,12 [therefore] it was necessary [to have the latter].13 And if he had informed us of the latter13 only, I would have said [that one is exempt here] because this does not involve kareth,14 but not there,6 where it15 involves kareth [therefore the former6 also was] necessary.
[Reverting to] the main text: ‘R. Abba b. Zabda said in the name of Rab, A mourner is bound by all the commandments of the Torah with the sole exception of that of tefillin since the word "beauty"16 is applied to them’.17 Since the All Merciful said to Ezekiel,18 Bind thy beauty19 upon thee,16 the implication20 must be, ‘Thou art under this obligation,21 but other people22 are free.’ This,23 however, applies only to the first day,24 since of that day it is written, And the end thereof as a bitter day.25
R. Abba b. Zabda also said in the name of Rab, A mourner is bound by the obligation of Sukkah. Is not this obvious?26 — I might have said that since R. Abba b. Zabda said in the name of Rab that he who is in discomfort is free from the obligation of Sukkah, this [mourner should be exempt] since he also is in discomfort, therefore he informs us that this27 applies only to discomfort over which one has no control,28 but [not to that experienced by a mourner]; since it is he himself who is the cause of his discomfort, it is incumbent upon him to compose his mind.29
R. Abba b. Zabda also said in the name of Rab, A bridegroom and the shoshbins,30 and all the wedding guests31 are free from the obligation of Sukkah all the seven days.32 What is the reason? Because they have to rejoice. But let them eat in the Sukkah and rejoice in the Sukkah? — There is no proper rejoicing33 but under the wedding canopy.34 But let them eat in the Sukkah and rejoice under the canopy? — There can be no real rejoicing except where the banquet is held. But why should they not put up a canopy in the Sukkah? — Abaye says, [This is impossible] because [of the possibility] of privacy35 and Raba said, Because of the discomfort of the bridegroom.36 What practical difference is there between them?37 — The practical difference between them emerges where people are in the habit of going in and out of there. According to the view of privacy, the restriction does not apply; according to the view of discomfort, it does. R. Zera38 said, I had the banquet in the Sukkah and rejoiced under the canopy and my heart rejoiced all the more since I was fulfilling two [commandments].39
Our Rabbis have taught, The bridegroom, and the shoshbins and all the wedding guests are free from the obligations of prayer40 and tefllin,41 but are bound to read the Shema’.42
(1) Cf. Lev. X, 4ff.
(2) Since they did not carry it for ten months (cf. Rashi for proof).
(3) And could not consequently have been described as ‘could not keep the Passover’ (Num. IX, 6). Cf. following note.
(4) Since Nadab and Abihu died on the first of Nisan which was the eighth day of consecration (cf. Lev. IX and X and Shab. 87b) and, according to Rabbinic tradition, Eleazar the Priest prepared the ashes of the Red Heifer (Num. XIX) on the second day of Nisan in order to enable those who had come into contact with a dead body to be duly cleansed before the Passover. Cf. prev. n.
(5) Lit., ‘(the burial of) the dead (as a) commandment’. Generally denoting one who has no relatives to occupy themselves with his burial. Here understood to include the one dead who is a near relative (Rashi).
(6) Num. IX, 6.
(7) Now these men, though they well knew that their attendance to the dead would prevent them from celebrating the Passover at the proper time, nevertheless performed the former and were in consequence exempt from the latter. Similarly in the case of all other religious duties one engaged in the performance of one is exempt from any other. What need then was there for a similar deduction from Deut. VI, 7?
(8) That of Num. as well as that of Deut.
(9) The men who were unclean.
(10) When they attended to the dead.
(11) The case of Shema’.
(12) While he is still under the bridal canopy.
(13) Deut. VI, 7.
(14) V. Glos.
(15) The failure to prepare the Paschal lamb.
(16) Ezek. XXIV, 17.
(17) Cf. supra p. 108, n. 2.
(18) Who was in mourning (cf. Ezek. XXIV, 16ff).
(19) E.V. ‘headline’.
(20) Emphasis on ‘thy’ and ‘thee’.
(21) Of putting on the tefillin.
(22) Who are in mourning.
(23) The exemption from tefillin.
(24) Of the mourning.
(25) Amos VIII, 10. The beginning of the verse is ‘And I will make it as the mourning for an only son’. Since ‘day’ in the sing. is used it follows that actual mourning is limited to one day.
(26) Since he is under the obligation of observing all other religious duties (as stated supra) that of Sukkah is obviously included.
(27) R. Abba's ruling.
(28) I.e., discomfort caused by the condition of the Sukkah, as, e.g., cold or heat.
(29) And thus fit himself for the performance of the religious duty of Sukkah.
(30) The bridegroom's best man. V. Glos.
(31) [בני החפה Lit., ‘the sons of the bridal-chamber’, denoting more strictly the friends of the bridegroom who prepared for him the bridal-chamber and attended on him at the wedding. V. Mann, J., HUCA I, p. 335.]
(32) Of the wedding festivities.
(33) Of a bridegroom.
(34) Huppah, v. Glos.
(35) The bridegroom had to be alone with his bride in a room after the ceremony as a symbol of conjugality. The Sukkah being usually made on a roof (v. infra p. 115 n. 12) which is frequented by very few people, might afford an opportunity for a stranger to enter it during a temporary and unavoidable absence of the bridegroom.
(36) As a Sukkah need not have more than three walls the canopy in it is too much exposed for the convenient display of his affections.
(37) Abaye and Raba.
(38) Who married on the eve of the festival. During a festival no marriages are allowed (M.K. 8b).
(39) Those of Sukkah and marriage.
(40) Which requires concentration, an effort they are unable to make.
(41) On account of possible drunkenness and levity attendant on festivities.
(42) The first verse of which only requires concentration. For such a short while one is assumed to be able to make the effort.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 26a
In the name of R. Shila they said, The bridegroom1 is free from, but the shoshbins and the wedding guests are subject to the obligation.2
It has been taught: R. Hanania b. Akabya said, Scribes of books of the Law, tefillin and mezuzoth, their agents and their agents’ agents, and all who are engaged in holy work3 including sellers of blue4 are free from the obligation of prayer and tefillin and all the commandments mentioned in the Torah. This confirms the words of R. Jose the Galilean who laid down: He who is occupied with the performance of a religious duty is [at that time] free from the fulfilment of other religious duties.
Our Rabbis taught, Day travellers are free from the obligation of Sukkah by day5 but are bound to it at night. Night travellers are free from the obligation of Sukkah at night,6 but are bound to it by day. Travellers by day and night are free from the obligation both day and night.6 Those who are on a religious errand7 are free both by day and by night,8 as in the case of R.Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna who, when visiting on the Sabbath of the Festival the house of the Exilarch,9 slept on the river bank of Sura,10 saying, ‘We are engaged on a religious errand11 and are [therefore] free [from the obligation of Sukkah]’.
Our Rabbis taught, The day watchmen of a town are free from the obligation of Sukkah by day12 and bound to it at night; the night watchmen are free by night12 and bound by day, the day and night watchmen are free both by day and at night.12 Keepers of gardens and orchards13 are free both by day and by night — But why should they not make a Sukkah there and sit in it? — Abaye said, ‘Ye shall dwell’14 [implies] just as you normally dwell.15 Raba said, ‘The breach invites the thief’.16 What practical difference is there between them?17 — The practical difference [emerges] where one is guarding a pile of fruit.18
INVALIDS AND THEIR ATTENDANTS. Our Rabbis taught, The invalid spoken of here is not [only] an invalid who is in danger, but also one who is not in danger, even one who suffers from eyeache or headache. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said, On one occasion I was suffering with my eyes in Caesarea and R. Jose Berebi19 permitted me and my attendants to sleep outside the Sukkah. Rab permitted R. Aha Bardela to sleep in a tester-bed20 In a Sukkah in order [to shut out] the gnats. Raba permitted R. Aha b. Adda to sleep outside the Sukkah on account of the odour of the day.21 Raba is here consistent, since Raba said, He who is in discomfort22 is free from the obligation of Sukkah. But have we not learnt: INVALIDS AND THEIR ATTENDANTS ARE FREE FROM THE OBLIGATION OF SUKKAH, [from which it follows,] only an invalid23 but not one who is merely in discomfort? — I will explain: An invalid is free together with his attendants, whereas he who is in discomfort is himself free, but not his attendants.
CASUAL EATING AND DRINKING ARE PERMITTED OUTSIDE THE SUKKAH. What constitutes a casual meal? — R. Joseph said, [The volume of] two or three eggs. Abaye said to him: But sometimes this suffices for [a whole meal for] a man, why then should this not constitute a set meal? Rather, said Abaye, [a small quantity] only as much as a student tastes before proceeding to the college assembly.24
Our Rabbis taught, Casual eating is permitted outside the Sukkah, but not casual sleeping.25 What is the reason? — R. Ashi26 said, We fear lest the person fall into a deep slumber. Abaye said to him, With reference, however, to that which has been taught, ‘A man may indulge in casual sleep while wearing his tefillin, but not in regular sleep’, why do we not27 fear lest he fall into a deep slumber? — R. Joseph the son of R. Ila'i said, [The latter refers to where] the person entrusts others [with the task of waking him from his] sleep. R. Mesharsheya demurred: Does not ‘Your guarantor need a guarantor ?28 — Rather, said Rabbah b. Bar Hana in the name of R. Johanan, This refers to where the person puts his head between his knees.29 Raba30 said, [In the case of Sukkah the question of] regularity in sleep does not arise.31 One [Baraitha] teaches, A man may indulge in a casual sleep in his tefillin but not in regular sleep, and another [Baraitha] taught, Whether a casual sleep or regular sleep [is permitted] while a third Baraitha taught, Neither a casual sleep nor a regular sleep [is allowed]!32 — There is no difficulty: The last refers to where he holds them in his hand,33 the first one to where they rest on his head,34 while the second refers to where he spreads a cloth over them.35 What constitutes a casual sleep? — Rami b. Ezekiel taught, [Sleeping during the time] it takes to walk one hundred cubits. It has also been taught so: He who sleeps in tefillin and [on waking] observes an issue of semen,36 should seize hold of the strap37
(1) Whose mind is pre-occupied.
(2) These authorities do not uphold the rule that one engaged in the performance of one's religious duty is at that time exempt from all other duties.
(3) Lit., ‘work of heaven’.
(4) For zizith.
(5) Since one is to live in the Sukkah as in a house. As a day traveller does not use his house during the day so need he not use his Sukkah.
(6) Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
(7) Though they travel in the daytime only.
(8) Because their minds are pre-occupied with their religious errand in all its phases.
(9) [MS.M.: ‘When they went up for the Sabbath of the Festival of the Exilarch’. During the third century whilst the Exilarch had his seat at Nehardea, a special celebration in honour of the Exilarch was held annually on the Sabbath of Sukkoth, שבת דרגלא which was attended by scholars of all districts. v. Obermeyer p. 292 who strangely enough does not give the reading of MS.M.]
(10) [According to Obermeyer's interpretation of the passage (v. preceding note), this refers to their outward journey. The caravan which R. Hisda and Rabbah b. R. Huna joined for their journey from Sura, which was their home, to Nehardea (a distance of one hundred and ten km.), set out as was usual very early in the morning, even before the break of dawn, so that they in common with other travellers, in order to be ready for the departure, had to spend the preceding night outside the town, near the river bank of Sura].
(11) The visit to the Exilarch and the attendance at his discourse.
(12) Cf. p. III, n. 9 mut. mut.
(13) Who must always be at their posts.
(14) Lev. XXIII, 42.
(15) Infra 27a. As it is practically impossible for an ordinary person to furnish a Sukkah in gardens or orchards, which are away from one's home, in the manner a house is normally furnished, the watchmen of such places were granted exemption from Sukkah.
(16) A proverb. The knowledge that the watchman is within the Sukkah will give the thief his opportunity.
(17) Abaye and Raba.
(18) According to Raba such a man must live in a Sukkah since it is possible to watch the pile through the Sukkah door.
(19) A title of honour given to Sages. v. Nazir, Sonc. ed., p. 64, n. 1. Here it is R. Jose b. Halafta.
(20) Which is ten handbreadths high and has a roof and is ordinarily forbidden. V. supra.
(21) With which the floor of the Sukkah was covered.
(22) On account of conditions in the Sukkah.
(23) Is exempt.
(24) Kallah v. Glos.
(25) A doze.
(26) R. Ashi I, a contemporary of Abaye.
(27) As in the case of Sukkah.
(28) Git. 28b; i.e., the person who is asked to wake him might himself fall asleep.
(29) In which position sound sleep is impossible.
(30) Maintaining that there is no need to provide against the possibility of one's falling from a doze into a regular sleep.
(31) I.e., a doze and sound sleep are equally forbidden, since the former may be as satisfying as the latter. Hence the prohibition outside the Sukkah of even a doze. With tefillin, however, the reason why sleep is forbidden is lest one eructate, and there is no fear of this in a doze.
(32) How are these to be reconciled?
(33) In which case he may not even doze, lest they fall to the ground.
(34) In which case we fear for eructation which is likely during sound sleep, but not when one is only dozing.
(35) While they lie under his pillow.
(36) When, owing to his defilement, it is his duty to remove the tefillin from his head.
(37) Of the tefillin.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 26b
but not of the capsule; these are the words of R. Jacob; but the Sages say, A man may indulge in a casual sleep in his tefillin but not in a regular sleep, and what constitutes a casual sleep? [Sleeping during the time] it takes to walk one hundred cubits.
Rab said, It is forbidden to a man to sleep by day1 more than the sleep of a horse. And what is the sleep of a horse? Sixty respirations. Abaye said, The sleep of the Master2 is as that of Rab, and that of Rab as that of Rabbi3 and that of Rabbi as of David,4 and that of David as of a horse, and that of a horse is sixty respirations.
Abaye slept [by day] as long as it takes to go up from Pumbeditha to Be Kube.5 R. Joseph applied to him the verse, How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard, when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep.6
Our Rabbis taught, He who wishes to go to sleep by day, he may, if he desires, remove [his tefillin] and he may if he so desires, put them on.7 At night, he may not put them on but must remove them;8 these are the words of R. Nathan. R. Jose said, Youths9 must always10 remove them and never9 put them on, since ritual uncleanliness11 is of frequent occurrence with them. Must we then say that R. Jose is of the opinion that a man who has an issue of semen12 may not don his tefillin?13 — Abaye answered, We are dealing here with the case of young men in the company of their wives, [upon whom the restriction was imposed] lest they proceed to familiar practice.14
Our Rabbis taught: If he forgot and had sexual intercourse in his tefillin he should not seize hold either of a strap15 or of a capsule15 until he wash his hands to take them off, since hands touch things automatically.16
MISHNAH. IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THEY BROUGHT COOKED FOOD TO R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI TO TASTE, AND TWO DATES AND A PAIL OF WATER TO R. GAMALIEL AND THEY SAID, ‘BRING THEM UP TO THE SUKKAH’.17 BUT WHEN THEY GAVE TO R. ZADOK FOOD LESS THAN THE BULK OF AN EGG,18 HE TOOK IT IN A TOWEL,19 ATE IT OUTSIDE THE SUKKAH AND DID NOT SAY THE BENEDICTION AFTER IT.20
GEMARA. Does not the incident21 come as a contradiction.22 There is a lacuna, and it should be taught thus: But if he wishes to be strict with himself, he may do so, and it does not constitute presumption, and so it also happened that THEY BROUGHT COOKED FOOD TO R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI TO TASTE, AND TWO DATES AND A PAIL OF WATER TO R. GAMALIEL
(1) ‘When it is one's duty to study the Torah.
(2) Rabbah b. Nahmani.
(3) R. Judah ha-Nasi I, his teacher.
(4) The duration of whose sleep was known to Rabbi by tradition.
(5) A place about two hours’ walking distance north of Pumbeditha, v. Obermeyer, p. 230.
(6) Prov. VI, 9.
(7) Since during day time one is not likely to indulge in regular sleep.
(8) Even if he only desire to doze.
(9) If they intend to sleep.
(10) Even in the day time.
(11) Caused, it is now assumed, by semen.
(12) Cf. prev. n.
(13) But if this were so, and since the halachah is always in agreement with R. Jose (cf. Git. 67b), why does not the halachah agree with this ruling?
(14) A levity which could not be allowed while a man wears his tefillin.
(15) Of the tefillin.
(16) Lit., ‘constantly busy’, and may, therefore, have touched an unclean spot.
(17) As they were of the opinion that one may not partake of anything casually outside the Sukkah. [The Sukkah was, as was usual, built on the flat roof of the house, hence the phrase ‘bring them up’.]
(18) A quantity which in his opinion may be eaten without previous washing of one's hands.
(19) To avoid touching it with his unwashed hands.
(20) R. Zadok is of the opinion that the benediction after the meal, and eating in a Sukkah apply only to a full meal in agreement with R. Judah's interpretation of Deut. VIII, 10 (cf. Ber. 49a).
(21) Recorded in our Mishnah.
(22) To the previous Mishnah where casual eating is permitted outside a Sukkah,
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 27a
AND THEY SAID, ‘BRING THEM UP TO THE SUKKAH’, BUT WHEN THEY GAVE TO R. ZADOK FOOD LESS THAN THE BULK OF AN EGG, HE TOOK IT IN A TOWEL, ATE IT OUTSIDE THE SUKKAH, AND DID NOT SAY THE BENEDICTION AFTER IT.
But if it was the bulk of an egg, must he needs [eat it in] the Sukkah? Should we say that this is a refutation of R. Joseph and Abaye?1 — Perhaps [it means that] less than the bulk of an egg does not necessitate washing of the hands2 and the benediction,3 but if it was the bulk of an egg, it necessitates washing of the hands and the benediction.4
MISHNAH. R. ELIEZER SAID, A MAN IS OBLIGED TO EAT FOURTEEN MEALS IN THE SUKKAH,5 ONE ON EACH DAY AND ONE ON EACH NIGHT. THE SAGES HOWEVER SAY, THERE IS NO FIXED NUMBER6 EXCEPT ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL ALONE.7 R. ELIEZER SAID IN ADDITION, IF A MAN DID NOT EAT IN THE SUKKAH ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL, HE MAY MAKE UP FOR IT ON THE LAST NIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL,8 WHILE THE SAGES SAY, THERE IS NO COMPENSATION FOR THIS, AND OF THIS WAS IT SAID: THAT WHICH IS CROOKED CANNOT BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THAT WHICH IS WANTING CANNOT BE NUMBERED.9
GEMARA. What is the reason of R. Eliezer? — Ye shall dwell10 implies just as you normally dwell. As in a [normal] abode [a man has] one [meal] by day and one by night, so in the Sukkah [he must have] one meal by day and one by night. And the Rabbis?11 — [They say that the implication10 is] like an abode. Just as in an abode a man eats if he desires and if he does not so desire he does not eat, so also with the Sukkah; if he desires he eats, and if he does not so desire he does not eat. But if so, [why should he not have the option] on the first night of the Festival also? R. Johanan answered in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozadak, With regard to Sukkah it says, The fifteenth,12 and with regard to the Festival of Passover it says, The fifteenth.13 Just as there14 the first night only is obligatory15 but from then on it is optional,16 so here also the first night is obligatory,17 but from then on it is optional. And in the case of Passover whence do we know?18 -Since the verse says, At evening ye shall eat unleavened bread;19 Scripture thus establishes it20 as an obligation.
R. ELIEZER SAID IN ADDITION. But did not R. Eliezer say that A MAN IS OBLIGED TO EAT FOURTEEN MEALS IN THE SUKKAH, ONE ON EACH DAY AND ONE ON EACH NIGHT?21 -Bira answered in the name of R. Ammi, R. Eliezer recanted [of his previous statement]. With what does one make up for it?22 If you will say with bread,23 is not one merely eating the [obligatory] meal of the festival day?24 — The fact is that by ‘make up is meant that one should make up with various kinds of desert.25 So it has also been taught:26 If he made up [for a meal he has missed] with various kinds of desert he fulfilled his obligation.27
The major domo of King Agrippa28 asked R. Eliezer, [A man] such as I am, who eat but one meal a day, may I eat one meal [in the Sukkah] and be free [of my obligation]? He answered him, Every day you draw out [the meal] with all kinds of dainties for your own honour, and now you cannot add one dainty for the honour of your Creator? He also asked him, [A man] such as I who have two wives, one in Tiberias and one in Sepphoris, and two Sukkahs, one in Tiberias and one in Sepphoris, may I go from one Sukkah to the other and29 thus be free from my obligation? He answered him, No! For I say that he who goes from one Sukkah to another annuls the ‘mizwah30 of the first.
It has been taught: R. Eliezer says,
(1) Who respectively say (supra 26a) that casual eating is two or three eggs and the bulk of an egg, the quantity a student eats before proceeding to college.
(2) Before eating it.
(3) After it has been eaten.
(4) But not Sukkah, the prescribed minimum for which is either that given by R. Joseph or Abaye.
(5) During the seven days of the festival.
(6) Sc. one need not eat even one meal in the Sukkah if one desires to fast throughout the seven days.
(7) When one must eat a meal in the Sukkah.
(8) Which is the Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly, though on that day the obligation of Sukkah no longer applies. (This will be discussed in the Gemara).
(9) Eccl. I, 15.
(10) Lev. XXIII, 42, dealing with the Sukkah.
(11) THE SAGES, sc. how can they maintain their view against this exposition.
(12) Lev. XXIII, 39.
(13) Ibid. 6.
(15) For eating unleavened bread.
(16) V. Pes. 120a.
(17) To eat in the Sukkah.
(18) That the obligation applies at least to the first night.
(19) Ex. XII, 18.
(20) Eating on the first evening.
(21) And since the last day is not subject to the obligation, and any person sitting in the Sukkah on that day in fulfilment of the commandment is guilty of adding to the commandments, how can that day compensate for the first?
(22) The meal of the first evening.
(23) Sc. one's ordinary meal.
(24) How then could it also serve as compensation?
(25) Which form no essential part of the usual festival meal.
(26) That even desert may be regarded as a compensating meal.
(27) Much more so, of course, if he did it with a proper meal of bread and meat.
(28) [Agrippa II; the major domo, epitropos, is identified with Joseph b. Simai mentioned in Shab. 121b. V. Graetz, MGWJ. XIII 1881, p. 484 and Klein, Beitrage p. 66 n. 1.]
(29) Though other people must use the same Sukkah throughout the seven days (v. infra).
(30) The good deed performed by obeying the commandment to dwell in a Sukkah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 27b
One may not go from one Sukkah to another,1 nor may one2 make a Sukkah during the Intermediate Days of the Festival, while the Sages say, One may go from one Sukkah to another, and one may make a Sukkah during the Intermediate Days of the Festival; but both of them are in accord that if it fall down, one3 may re-erect it during the Intermediate Days.
What is the reason of R. Eliezer? — Scripture says, Thou shalt keep the Feast of Sukkah for seven days,4 [which implies,] make a Sukkah which shall be fit for seven days.5 And the Rabbis?6 -This is what the Divine Law means: Make a Sukkah for the Festival. ‘But both of them are in accord that if it fall down one may re-erect it during the Intermediate Days’ — But is not this obvious?7 — I would have said that this8 is [deemed to be] another [Sukkah] and is [thus] not one for seven days, therefore he informs us [that we do not say so].9
It has been taught: R. Eliezer said, Just as a man cannot fulfil his obligation on the first day of the Festival10 with the palm-branch of his fellow, since it is written, And ye shall take to you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees11 i.e., from your own, so cannot a man fulfil his obligation with a Sukkah of his fellow, since it is written, The festival of Sukkoth thou shalt keep to thee for seven days.12 I.e., of thine own. The Sages, however, say, Although they13 said that a man cannot fulfil his obligation on the first day of the Festival10 with the palm-branch of his fellow, he may nevertheless fulfil his obligation with the Sukkah of his fellow, since it is written, All that are homeborn, in Israel shall dwell in Sukkoth,14 which teaches that all Israel are able to sit in one Sukkah.15 And how do the Rabbis16 interpret the words ‘to thee’?12 — It is needed to exclude a stolen [Sukkah]; but as to a borrowed one, It is written, ‘All that are homeborn’ etc.14 And what does R. Eliezer do with, ‘All that are homeborn’?14 — It is needed [to include] a convert who had become converted in the meantime17 or a minor who had attained his majority in the meantime.18 And the Rabbis?19 — Since they say that a man20 may make a Sukkah during the Intermediate Days of the Festival no [special] verse is needed [for converts and minors].21
Our Rabbis have taught: It once happened that R. Ila'i went to pay his respects to R. Eliezer his master in Lydda22 on a Festival.23 He24 said to him, ‘Ila'i, you are not of those that rest on the Festival’,25 for R. Eliezer used to say, ‘I praise the indolent who do not emerge from their houses on the Festival26 since it is written, And thou shalt rejoice, thou and thy household’.27 But it is not so? For did not R. Isaac say, Whence do we know that a man is obliged to pay his respects to his teacher on the Festival? From Scripture which said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to-day? It is neither New Moon nor Sabbath28 from which it follows that on the New Moon29 and the Sabbath a man is obliged to pay his respects to his master?’30 — There is no difficulty. The latter refers to where he can go and return [to his house] on the one day;31 the former to where he cannot go and return on the same day.32 Our Rabbis have taught: It happened that R. Eliezer passed the Sabbath33 in Upper Galilee in the Sukkah of R. Johanan son of R. Ila'i at Caesarea or, as some say, in Caesarea [Philippi],34 and when the sun reached the Sukkah he said to him,35 ‘How if I spread a cloth over it?’36 He answered him, ‘There was not a tribe in Israel which did not produce a judge’.37 When the sun reached to the middle of the Sukkah, he said to him, ‘How if I spread a cloth over it?’ He answered him, ‘There was not a tribe in Israel from which there did not come prophets, and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin appointed their kings at the behest of the prophets’.38 When the sun reached the feet of R. Eliezer,39 Johanan took a cloth and spread it over [the Sukkah]. R. Eliezer [thereupon] tied up his cloak, threw it over his back, and went out.40 It was not in order to evade an answer [that he answered as he did] but because he never said anything which he had not heard from his master.
How did R. Eliezer act thus?41 Did not R. Eliezer say, One may not go from one Sukkah to another?42 — It was on another Festival.43 But did not R. Eliezer say, I praise the indolent who do not leave their houses on the Festival? — It was an ordinary Sabbath.
But could he not deduce [the answer]44 from his own45 statement, since we have learnt: One may shut a window46 with a window-shutter if it is fastened or hung [on the window-frame],47 but if not, one may not shut a window with it; but the Sages say, In either case one may shut the window with it?48
(1) Sc. to eat in one and sleep in the other or to use one on one day and the other on the next.
(2) Who did not dwell in a Sukkah on the first day.
(3) Who fulfilled his duty in it in the earlier day or days.
(4) Deut. XVI, 13.
(5) One made during the Intermediate Days is obviously for less than ‘seven days’ as is one that is forsaken before the seven days are over.
(6) How can they maintain their view against this exposition?
(7) Since the Sukkah was originally put up for the full seven days.
(8) Since it is put up again during the Intermediate Days.
(9) Because the repaired Sukkah is merely the continuation of the original one which was duly intended for the full seven days.
(10) Of Tabernacles.
(11) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(12) This is the literal translation of Deut. XVI, 13 quoted supra.
(13) The Rabbis who preceded them.
(14) Lev. XXIII, 42.
(15) Now, the contribution each Israelite could possibly make towards the cost of such a common Sukkah would inevitably amount to less than a perutah which legally acquires nothing, so that each could use the Sukkah only by borrowing it from the others.
(16) The Sages.
(17) I.e., between the first and the last days of the Festival.
(18) They are obliged to make for themselves a Sukkah in which to dwell from that time to the end of the Festival, even although an ordinary Israelite, according to R. Eliezer supra, must make a Sukkah after the Festival has begun.
(19) Who use this text supra for another deduction, whence do they deduce the law just mentioned?
(20) Even an ordinary Jew whose duty it was to make the Sukkah prior to the Festival.
(21) Whose case may be inferred a minori ad majus.
(22) R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus who conducted his own academy at Lydda for many years. V. Sanh. 36b.
(23) I.e., set out on the eve of the Festival in order to be with his Master on the first day of the Festival.
(24) The Master.
(25) Sc. those who spend it at home in the company of their wives.
(26) Though their sole reason for staying at home is their indolence.
(27) Deut. XIV, 26. This verse does not, as a matter of fact, refer to a Festival but to the second tithe. Tosaf. (Pes. 109a) suggests an analogy between this verse and Deut. XVI, 14, the import of each being the same, but the former is quoted since it mentions the word ‘house’ (i.e., ‘wife’) specifically.
(28) 11 Kings IV, 23. The reference is to the Shunamite woman and Elisha.
(29) Sc. a Festival.
(30) V. R.H., Sonc. ed., p. 62, n. 12. Now how are the two statements to be reconciled?
(31) As his wife would thus have his company for a part of the day he must also pay his respects to his teacher.
(32) His duty to his wife overrides his duty to his teacher as far as a visit to him on a Festival is concerned.
(33) Of Tabernacles.
(34) There were two Caesareas in N. Palestine, distinguished by their spelling.
(35) Johanan to R. Eliezer.
(36) So as to provide more shade. The point of his question was whether the spreading of the cloth is regarded as the extension of a temporary tent which is forbidden on the Sabbath.
(37) He turned to another topic, since, as explained infra, he never gave a decision which had not been handed down. R. Eliezer's outstanding characteristic was his rigid conservatism.
(38) Saul and David, for instance, were appointed by Samuel. Cf. prev. n.
(39) As the sun climbed the sky, its rays penetrated more and more into the Sukkah.
(40) In order to avoid responsibility for Johanan's action (cf. supra n. 4).
(41) Dwell in another person's Sukkah on the Festival.
(42) How then could he leave his own Sukkah in Lydda (cf. Sanh. 32b) for that of Johanan at Caesarea?
(43) Not Tabernacles. They sat in the Sukkah for convenience.
(44) To Johanan's enquiry.
(45) R. Eliezer's.
(46) On the Sabbath.
(47) Because in that case it is regarded as a part of the window and its closure constitutes neither ‘building’ nor an addition to a building.
(48) Shab. XVII, 7. Now since the question was whether spreading the cloth over the Sukkah would be regarded as adding to it on the Sabbath why did not it, Eliezer deduce from this analogous case that the answer was in the affirmative?
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 28a
— [No.] In the latter case1 it is [forbidden] since he destroys its identity,2 but in the former where he does not,3 the law is not so.4
Our Rabbis have taught: It happened that R. Eliezer passed the Sabbath in Upper Galilee, and they asked him for thirty decisions in the laws of Sukkah. Of twelve of these he said, ‘I heard them [from my teachers]’; of eighteen he said, ‘I have not heard’. R. Jose b. Judah said, Reverse the words: Of eighteen he said, ‘I have heard them’, of twelve he said, ‘I have not heard them’. They said to him,’Are all your words only reproductions of what you have heard?’ He answered them, ‘You wished to force me to say something which I have not heard from my teachers. During all my life [I may tell you] no man was earlier than myself in the college, I never slept or dozed in the college, nor did I ever leave a person in the college when I went out, nor did I ever utter profane speech, nor have I ever in my life said a thing which I did not hear from my teachers’.
They said concerning R. Johanan b. Zakkai that during his whole life he never uttered profane talk, nor walked four cubits without [studying the] Torah or without tefillin, nor was any man earlier than he in the college, nor did he sleep or doze in the college, nor did he meditate5 in filthy alleyways, nor did he leave anyone in the college when he went out, nor did anyone ever find him sitting in silence, but only sitting and learning, and no one but himself ever opened the door to his disciples, he never in his life said anything which he had not heard from his teacher, and, except on the eve of Passover6 and on the eve of the Day of Atonement,7 he never said, ‘It is time to arise from the studies at the college’; and so did his disciple R. Eliezer conduct himself after him.
Our Rabbis have taught: Hillel the Elder had eighty disciples, thirty of whom were worthy of the Divine Spirit resting upon them, as [it did upon] Moses our Master, thirty of whom were worthy that the sun should stand still for them [as it did for] Joshua the son of Nun,8 [and the remaining] twenty were ordinary. The greatest9 of them was Jonathan b. Uzziel,10 the smallest11 of them was Johanan b. Zakkai. They said of R. Johanan b. Zakkai that he did not leave [unstudied] Scripture, Mishnah, Gemara,12 Halachah,13 Aggada,14 details of the Torah,15 details of the Scribes,16 inferences a minori ad majus, analogies,17 calendrical computations18 gematrias,19 the speech of the Ministering Angels, the speech of spirits,20 and the speech of palm-trees,21 fullers’ parables22 and fox fables,23 great matters or small matters; ‘Great matters’ mean the Ma'aseh merkabah,24 ‘small matters’ the discussions of Abaye and Raba;25 in order to fulfil what is said, That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance, and that I may fill their treasuries.26 And if the smallest of them was so great, how much more so was the greatest? They said of Jonathan b. Uzziel that when he used to sit and occupy himself with the study of the Torah, every bird that flew above him was immediately burnt.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN'S HEAD AND THE GREATER PART OF HIS BODY WERE WITHIN THE SUKKAH AND HIS TABLE WITHIN THE HOUSE,27 BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE IT INVALID AND BETH HILLEL DECLARE IT VALID. BETH HILLEL SAID TO BETH SHAMMAI, DID IT NOT IN FACT HAPPEN THAT THE ELDERS OF BETH SHAMMAI AND THE ELDERS OF BETH HILLEL WENT TO VISIT R. JOHANAN B. HA-HORONITH AND FOUND HIM SITTING WITH HIS HEAD AND THE GREATER PART OF HIS BODY WITHIN THE SUKKAH AND HIS TABLE WITHIN THE HOUSE, AND THEY SAID NAUGHT TO HIM?28 BETH SHAMMAI ANSWERED, IS THAT A PROOF? INDEED THEY SAID TO HIM, IF YOU HAVE SO CONDUCTED YOURSELF, YOU HAVE NEVER IN YOUR LIFE FULFILLED THE LAW OF THE SUKKAH.
WOMEN, SLAVES AND MINORS ARE FREE FROM THE OBLIGATION OF SUKKAH, BUT A MINOR WHO IS NOT DEPENDENT ON HIS MOTHER IS BOUND BY THE LAW OF SUKKAH. IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF SHAMMAI THE ELDER GAVE BIRTH TO A CHILD,29 AND HE BROKE AWAY THE PLASTER OF THE ROOF AND PUT SUKKAH-COVERING OVER THE BED FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILD.
GEMARA. Whence do we know this?30 For our Rabbis taught: [If Scripture had said] ‘homeborn’ [it would have included] every homeborn, [but since it says] ‘the homeborn’31 it excludes women. ‘Every’ includes minors.
The Master has said: ‘The homeborn’ excludes women. Does that mean that ‘homeborn’ implies both men and women? But has it not been taught: ‘The homeborn’32 includes the homeborn women that they must fulfil the law of afflicting themselves, which shows that ‘homeborn’33 implies men [only]? — Rabbah answered, They34 are traditional laws35 but the Rabbis applied a Scriptural verse to them. Which36 is based on a Scriptural verse and which on a traditional law? And, moreover, what is the necessity for a Scriptural verse or for a traditional law?37 Is not a Sukkah a positive commandment dependent upon a fixed time [for its fulfilment], and are not women exempt from every positive commandment which depends upon a fixed time [for its fulfilment]? As to the Day of Atonement [also]38 can it not be derived from [the statement] Rab Judah made in the name of Rab, for Rab Judah citing Rab stated and so the school of R. Ishmael taught, As Scripture says, Man or woman39
(1) That of the window-shutter.
(2) I.e., the identity of the shutter is lost to the window. The act of closing must, therefore, be regarded as ‘building’.
(3) Since the cloth would not be allowed to remain in the Sukkah.
(4) The window-shutter becomes part of the frame, but the cover does not become part of the Sukkah. The spread of the latter, therefore, need not necessarily be regarded as building.
(5) His studies or other sacred subjects.
(6) When it was necessary to hurry home to the Passover meal for the sake of the children who might otherwise fall asleep (cf. Pes. 109a).
(7) When the last meal of the day had to be eaten early before the fast began.
(8) Cf. Josh. X, 12f.
(9) Or ‘eldest’, but the following statement suggests ‘the greatest’.
(10) According to Meg. 3a, he wrote a Targum to the Prophets, and wished to translate the Hagiographa, but was prevented. The extant Targum to the Prophets is pseudo-Jonathan.
(11) Or ‘the youngest’.
(12) Explanations of the Mishnah.
(13) Decisions of law.
(14) The non-halachic part of Talmud, including homiletics, ethics, folk-lore, legends etc.
(15) The minute details and subtle points in Biblical exposition.
(16) Similarly of Rabbinical enactments.
(17) The second of the thirteen hermeneutical principles of R. Ishmael.
(18) The calculations of the solstice etc.
(19) Laws derived from the numerical equivalents and other numerical computations of letters.
(20) Usually evil spirits, demons.
(21) Rashi professes ignorance of this. Hai Gaon writes in a responsum that on a windless day, if a man stand between two palms and observe how they incline to one another, signs can be deduced which afford information. The Gaon Abraham Kobasi d. 828, was a proficient interpreter of ‘the speech of palms’.
(22) The fuller is a well-known figure in Roman comedy.
(23) R. Meir was an adept in fox fables.
(24) Esoteric speculation based on Ezek. I
(25) They lived much after Johanan b. Zakkai. Rashbam suggests that their forte was the harmonizing of Mishnah and Baraitha. Rashi suggests that they were forgotten and Abaye and Raba re-taught them. For further notes on the passage v. B.B., Sonc. ed., p. 563.
(26) Prov. VIII, 21.
(27) The Sukkah being attached to the house — v. supra.
(28) Some texts omit this sentence, in view of what follows.
(29) A male-child, on the Festival.
(30) That women are exempt, and children bound.
(31) The literal translation of Lev. XXIII, 42 is ‘Every one of the homeborn’ etc.
(32) In Lev. XVI, 29, referring to the Day of Atonement.
(33) Without the prefixed definite article.
(34) Sc. one of the two laws under discussion.
(35) Not dependent upon the proof of a Scriptural verse, but on the tradition given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
(36) Of the two laws.
(37) Either in the case of Sukkah to exclude women or in that of the Day of Atonement to bring them under the obligation.
(38) Sc. the law that women are subject to the law of afflicting themselves on that day.
(39) Num. V, 6 referring to ‘any sin.’
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 28b
, the Writ [thereby]1 makes man and woman equal as regards all punishable acts in the Torah?2 Abaye answered, Indeed Sukkah is a traditional law, and still3 it is necessary. For I would have said, since ‘Ye shall dwell’ implies, in the same manner as you ordinarily live; as one's permanent abode is for husband and wife, so the Sukkah must be for husband and wife, therefore he informs us4 that it is not so. Raba said, It5 is necessary,6 since I might have said, Deduce the fifteenth7 from the fifteenth8 of the Festival of Unleavened Bread: just as in the latter case women are bound by the obligation9 so in the former also women are bound, hence we were informed4 [that it is not so].
And now that you say that Sukkah is a traditional law, why is the Scriptural verse10 necessary? — To include converts. I would have said ‘the homeborn in Israel’, said the Divine Law, but not converts, therefore it informs us11 that it is not so. [That women must fast on] the Day of Atonement is deduced, is it not, from [the statement of] Rab Judah in the name of Rab?12 — [The verse] is necessary [to include] the additional affliction.13 As I might have said that, since the Divine Law excluded the additional affliction from punishment and warning,14 women are entirely exempt therefrom, therefore he informs us that they are subject to the obligation.
The Master said, [The word] ‘every’ comes to include minors. But have we not learnt: WOMEN, SLAVES AND MINORS ARE FREE FROM THE OBLIGATION OF THE SUKKAH? — There is no difficulty. The former refers to a minor who has reached the age of being trained,15 the latter where he has not yet reached the age of being trained. But is not the obligation of a minor who has reached the age of being trained a Rabbinical injunction?16 — It is indeed a Rabbinical injunction, but the Scriptural verse is merely a support to it. A MINOR WHO IS NOT DEPENDENT ON HIS MOTHER etc. What is meant by a minor who is not dependent on his mother? — The school of R. Jannai said, Whomever, when he relieves himself, his mother need not clean. R. Simeon b. Lakish17 said, He who awakes from his sleep and does not call his mother. ‘His mother’! But do not grown-ups also call their mother? Say, rather, he who awakes from his sleep and does not call ‘Mother! Mother!’18
IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF . . . GAVE BIRTH TO A CHILD etc. The incident19 contradicts [the Mishnah],20 does it not? — There is a lacuna, and thus it should be taught: But Shammai takes a strict view, and [indeed] IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF SHAMMAI THE ELDER GAVE BIRTH TO A CHILD AND HE BROKE AWAY THE PLASTER OF THE ROOF, AND PUT SUKKAH-COVERING OVER THE BED FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILD.
MISHNAH. ALL THE SEVEN DAYS [OF THE FESTIVAL]21 A MAN MUST MAKE THE SUKKAH HIS PERMANENT ABODE AND HIS HOUSE HIS TEMPORARY ABODE. IF RAIN FELL, WHEN MAY ONE BE PERMITTED TO LEAVE IT?22 WHEN THE PORRIDGE WOULD BECOME SPOILT. THEY PROPOUNDED A PARABLE. TO WHAT CAN THIS BE COMPARED? TO A SLAVE WHO COMES TO FILL THE CUP FOR HIS MASTER, AND HE23 POURED A PITCHER OVER HIS FACE.24
GEMARA. Our Rabbis have taught, All the seven days,21 one should make the Sukkah, his permanent abode and his house his temporary abode. In what manner? If he had beautiful vessels, he should bring them up into the Sukkah, beautiful divans, he should bring them up into the Sukkah; he should eat and drink and pass his leisure in the Sukkah.
Whence do we know this?25 — From what our Rabbis have taught: Ye shall dwell26 implies, in the same manner as you ordinarily live. Hence they said, All the seven days27 one should make his Sukkah his permanent abode, and his house his temporary abode. In what manner? If he has beautiful vessels, he should bring them up into the Sukkah, beautiful divans, he should bring them up into the Sukkah,’ he should eat and drink and pass his leisure in the Sukkah; he should also engage in profound study28 in the Sukkah. But it is not so? For did not Raba say, Scripture and Mishnah [should be studied] in the Sukkah, but Gemara29 outside the Sukkah? — There is no difficulty, The former [statement refers to] revising,30 the latter to profound study.
(1) By placing the two nouns in juxtaposition.
(2) Among which those connected with the Day of Atonement are included.
(3) Although it can be deduced from the fact that Sukkah is dependent on time for its fulfilment.
(4) By citing a traditional law.
(5) The traditional law.
(6) Although it can be deduced from the fact that Sukkah is dependent on time for its fulfilment.
(7) Lev. XXIII, 34 dealing with Tabernacles.
(8) Ibid. 6.
(9) Of eating unleavened bread (cf. Pes. 43b).
(10) ‘The homeborn’ which implies an addition.
(11) By the definite article before ‘homeborn’.
(12) Why then is it necessary to have a Scriptural verse to include women.
(13) I.e.,that the fast of women must also begin on the eve of the Day of Atonement some time before nightfall.
(14) Which apply to the Day of Atonement itself.
(15) The age at which a child has to be trained for his future responsibilities on attaining his majority. Normally eleven or twelve years of age, but here, in view of our Mishnah, it means when he is independent of his mother.
(16) Why then is it here deduced from Scripture?
(17) V. marg. glos. Cur. edd. read, ‘Rabbi’ and enclose ‘Simeon’ in parenthesis.
(18) I.e., if when he calls once and she does not answer he is silent, he is regarded as not being dependent on his mother.
(19) Which shows that a Sukkah was made for a minor who was dependent on his mother.
(20) Which ruled that minors are exempt from Sukkah.
(21) Of Tabernacles.
(22) His Sukkah.
(23) The Master.
(24) Rain on Tabernacles is a sign of God's displeasure (Ta'an. I, 1). God shows his displeasure at his servant Israel's performing of his duties.
(25) The rules just enumerated.
(26) Lev. XIII, 42.
(27) Of Tabernacles.
(28) This is taken to mean the Gemara which needs more concentrated application than Scripture or Mishnah.
(29) תנוײ On the term v. Shab., Sonc. ed., p. 559, n. 1.
(30) When not much concentration is needed.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 29a
As was the case of Raba1 b. Hama when he was standing before R. Hisda, [first] they ran over the Gemara together, and then they investigated the reasons.
Raba said, Drinking vessels may be kept in the Sukkah,2 eating utensils3 [must be taken] outside the Sukkah.4 Earthenware pitchers and wooden pails [must be kept] outside the Sukkah. A lamp5 [may be kept] within the Sukkah, while some say [that it must be kept] outside the Sukkah; but there is no difference of opinion between them, the former referring to a large Sukkah and the latter to a small one.6
IF RAIN FELL. A Tanna taught, When a porridge of beans7 would become spoilt.8 Abaye was seated before R. Joseph in a Sukkah. The wind blew and brought down chips9 [into the food]. R. Joseph10 said to them, ‘Remove the vessels for me hence’ — Abaye said to him, ‘But have we not learnt, WHEN THE PORRIDGE WOULD BECOME SPOILT?’11 He answered him, ‘For me, who am fastidious, this is like the porridge becoming spoilt’.
Our Rabbis taught, If he was eating in the Sukkah, and rain fell, and he left [the Sukkah],12 he need not trouble to return there13 until he has finished his meal. If he was sleeping in the Sukkah and rain fell and he left,14 he need not trouble to return until it is dawn. They asked them, [Is the reading] sheye'or15 or sheye'or?16 — Come and hear, [It has been taught,] ‘Until sheye'or16 and the morning star appear’. [Now17 how are the] two18 [to be reconciled]? Consequently you must read, Until sheye'or19 and the morning star appear.20
THEY PROPOUNDED A PARABLE. TO WHAT CAN THIS BE COMPARED. They asked them, Who POURED upon whom?21 Come and hear: For it has been taught: The master poured the pitcher over his face and said, ‘I have no desire for your service
Our Rabbis taught,22 When the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for the whole world. This may be illustrated by a parable. To what can this be compared? To a human being who made a banquet for his servants and put up for them a lamp. When he became wroth with them he said to his servant, ‘Take away the lamp from them, and let them sit in the dark’.
It was taught: R. Meir said, Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel23 since they are inured to blows.24 This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished.
Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel,23 since Israel reckons by the moon25 and idolaters by the sun.26 If it27 is in eclipse in the east, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the east; if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world. If its face is red as blood, [it is a sign that] the sword is coming to the world; if it is like sack-cloth,28 the arrows of famine are coming to the world; if it resembles both, the sword and the arrows of famine are coming to the world. If the eclipse is at sunset29 calamity will tarry in its coming; if at dawn, it hastens on its way: but some say the order is to be reversed. And there is no nation which is smitten that its gods are not smitten together with it, as it is said, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments.30 But when Israel fulfil the will of the Omnipresent, they need have no fear of all these [omens] as it is said, Thus saith the Lord,’ Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them,31 the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed.
Our Rabbis taught, On account of four things is the sun in eclipse: On account of an Ab Beth din32 who died and was not mourned33 fittingly; on account of a betrothed maiden who cried out aloud in the city and there was none to save her;34 on account of sodomy, and on account of two brothers whose blood was shed at the same time. And on account of four things are the luminaries35 in eclipse: On account of those who perpetrate forgeries, on account of those who give false witness; on account of those who rear small cattle in the land of Israel;36 and on account of those who cut down good trees.37
And on account of four things is the property of householders given into the hands of the government: On account of those who retain in their possession bills which have been paid;38 on account of those who lend money on usury;
(1) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘of Rabbah’. Var. lec., Rami.
(2) Even after use.
(3) After they have been used.
(4) The former remain clean after use, the latter do not.
(5) Though it is an earthen vessel.
(6) Of the minimum size of seven handbreadths.
(7) Which even slight rain spoils.
(8) It is permitted to leave the Sukkah.
(9) Of the roof.
(10) Who was very fastidious (Cf. Pes. 113b).
(11) It is permitted to leave the Sukkah.
(12) In order to finish his meal in the house.
(13) Lit., ‘to go up’; when the rain stops.
(14) To finish his sleep in the house.
(15) ‘That he awakens’, i.e., if he happened to awake during the night and the rain stopped he must return forthwith.
(16) ‘It dawn’.
(17) If the reading is sheye'or (‘it dawn’).
(18) Seeing that ‘dawn’ is later than the time ‘the morning star appears’.
(19) ‘He awakens’.
(20) Sc. both conditions are required. If, for instance, he awoke at midnight he need not return to the Sukkah because it is not yet dawn, and if it dawned before he awoke he need not be awakened.
(21) Sc. does the pronoun refer to the SLAVE or the MASTER, i.e., the improper conduct of Israel or God's disdainful rejection?
(22) The following topics are suggested by the previous mention of rain as a bad omen.
(23) The euphemism ‘enemies of Israel’ in the original is used for Israel.
(24) More than any other people. If any evil is to befall the world Israel may be sure to have the lion's share if not all of it.
(25) Sc. by the moon also. The lunar month is one of the foundations of the Jewish calendar.
(26) I.e., the sun only.
(27) The sun.
(28) Dark and overcast.
(29) Lit., ‘at its entry’, Sc. to its imaginary home of rest for the night.
(30) Ex. XII, 12.
(31) Jer. X, 2.
(32) The vice-president of the Sanhedrin. The nasi was the President.
(33) With a memorial address.
(34) Cf. Deut. XXII, 24.
(35) The moon and the stars.
(36) Animals that cannot be prevented from ravaging the fields of others, v. B.K. 79b.
(37) Even though they are their own.
(38) In the hope of claiming on them again.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 29b
on account of those who had the power to protest [against wrongdoing] and did not protest; and on account of those who publicly declare their intention to give specified sums for charity and do not give.
Rab said, On account of four things is the property of householders confiscated by the state treasury:1 On account of those who defer payment of the labourer's hire; on account of those who withhold the hired labourer's wages; on account of those who remove the yoke from off their necks and place it on [the necks] of their fellows2 and on account of arrogance. And the sin of arrogance is equivalent to all [the others] whereas of the humble it is written, But the humble shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.3
MISHNAH. A STOLEN OR A WITHERED PALM-BRANCH4 IS INVALID. ONE [THAT CAME] FROM AN ASHERAH5 OR FROM A CONDEMNED CITY,6 IS INVALID. IF ITS TOP WAS BROKEN OFF OR ITS LEAVES WERE DETACHED,7 IT IS INVALID. IF ITS LEAVES ARE MERELY SPREAD APART8 IT IS VALID. R. JUDAH SAYS, HE SHOULD TIE THEM UP AT THE TOP. THE THORN-PALMS OF THE IRON MOUNTAIN9 ARE VALID.10 A PALM-BRANCH WHICH IS THREE HANDBREADTHS IN LENGTH, LONG ENOUGH TO WAVE, IS VALID.
GEMARA. [The Tanna]11 categorically teaches [that the PALMBRANCH IS INVALID] irrespective of whether [it is to be used] on the first day of the Festival12 or on the second day.13 Now this is right as regards a withered palm since we must have [a branch that is] ‘goodly’14 which this one is not; but with regard to a stolen one, the law is quite right as far as the first day of the Festival is concerned, since it is written, ‘to you’14 [which implies that it shall be] of your own, but why should it not be allowed on the second day?15 — R. Johanan answered in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai,
(1) For the fiscus.
(2) The reference is to those who evade payment of taxes, so that the burden falls more heavily on others.
(3) Ps. XXXVII, 11.
(4) Lulab, one of the four species used in the festive wreath (cf. Lev. XXIII, 40).
(5) A grove worshipped by heathens (cf. Deut. XII, 2).
(6) Cf. Deut. XIII, 16.
(7) From the stem.
(8) But are joined to the stem at their roots.
(9) A mountain in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
(10) Though their leaves are short.
(11) In our Mishnah.
(12) When the obligation is Pentateuchal.
(13) On which the obligation is only Rabbinical.
(14) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(15) To which the text cited, which explicitly refers to the first day, does not apply.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 30a
because it1 would be a precept fulfilled through a transgression [which is forbidden], as it is said, And ye have brought that which is stolen, and the lame and the sick,2 ‘The stolen’ is thus compared with the lame; just as the lame can never be rectified,3 so that which is stolen can never be rectified, [that is] irrespective of whether the stolen is used before abandonment [of hope of recovery by the owner] or after abandonment. Now this4 is right before abandonment, since the Divine Law said, When any man of you bringeth an offering unto the Lord5 and this6 is not his, but [why should the law apply] after abandonment [of right by the owner], seeing [that the robber] has acquired it7 by [virtue of that] abandonment?8 The reason must then be that it is a precept fulfilled through a transgression.
R. Johanan in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai further said, What is the purport of that which is written, For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery with iniquity?9 This may be compared to a human king who passed through his custom-house and said to his attendants, ‘pay the tax10 to the tax-collectors’. They said to him, ‘But the whole tax, surely, belongs to thee!’ He answered them, ‘All travellers would learn from me not to evade their payments of tax’. So the Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘I the Lord hate robbery in burnt-offerings;11 let My children learn from Me and keep away from robbery’.12
So13 it was also stated: R. Ammi said, A withered [palm-branch] is invalid because it is not ‘goodly’,14 a stolen one is invalid because it constitutes a precept fulfilled through a transgression.
And this15 disagrees with R. Isaac, since R. Isaac b. Nahmani said in the name of Samuel, This16 was taught only with regard to the first day of the Festival, but on the second day, since a man fulfils his obligation with a borrowed [palm-branch].17 he fulfils it also with a stolen one.
R. Nahman b. Isaac objected: A STOLEN OR WITHERED PALM-BRANCH IS INVALID, from which it follows that a borrowed one is valid? Now when?18 If you say, On the first day of the Festival, is it not written [it may be objected] ‘to you’19 implying that it should be your own, and this one is not his! Consequently the reference must be to the second day of the Festival, and yet it teaches that a stolen one is invalid?20 — Raba replied: Indeed it refers to the first day of the Festival but he21 implies the form of ‘It is not required’:22 It is not required to state that a borrowed one is invalid since it is not his; but in the case of a stolen one, of which I might say that normally a robbery [implies immediate] abandonment by its owner and that it is, therefore, like his own,23 therefore he informs us [that even a stolen one is invalid].24
R. Huna said to some traders, When you purchase myrtles from heathens,25 do not cut them yourselves, but let them26 cut them and give them to you. What is the reason? — Heathens as a rule acquire their land by robbery27
(1) The use of a stolen palm-branch.
(2) Mal. 1, 13.
(3) To become a valid offering.
(4) That the stolen may not be used.
(5) Lev. I, 2. The Heb. for ‘of you’ may be rendered ‘of yours’. sc. the offering must come from the donor's own property.
(6) Being a stolen one.
(7) The stolen.
(8) V. B.K. 67a.
(9) Isa. LXI. 8.
(10) For the king's own goods.
(11) Be'olah. E.V. ‘with iniquity’. The noun may bear both significations.
(12) Even although everything belongs to God, and there can, therefore, technically be no robbery in offering a sacrifice to God.
(13) That the reason for the first ruling in our Mishnah is, as R. Johanan explained, that a pious deed may not be performed through a transgression.
(14) Cf. Lev. XXIII, 40.
(15) The ruling that a stolen palm-branch is invalid on the second day of the Festival.
(16) That a stolen palm-branch is invalid.
(17) As was explained supra 29b ad fin.
(18) Is it valid.
(19) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(20) How then could R. Isaac b. Nahmani maintain in the name of Samuel that it is valid?
(21) The author of our Mishnah.
(22) A statement which mentions only the less probable, and includes the more probable.
(23) Even if the owner was not heard to abandon it.
(24) Unless the owner had actually abandoned the hope of ever recovering it.
(25) For binding to the palm-branch. V. infra.
(26) The heathens.
(27) From Jews.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 30b
and there is no [title to] land by robbery;1 therefore let them cut it down, so that there may be abandonment [of right]2 by the owner while it is in their possession,3 and change of domain4 in your hands.5 But in any case, even when the traders cut the myrtles, let abandonment [of right] by the owner take place when these are in their hands, and change of domain when they are in the hands of the purchasers?6 — It is necessary [to state this law] only with regard to the hoshanna7 of the traders themselves.8 But why could they not acquire possession of them by the change they make in it?9 — [R. Huna] is of the opinion that the palm-branch [wreath] does not need binding;10 and [even] if you were to find some ground for saying that the palm-branch wreath does need binding, [still] the change would be one that can be removed by restoring the object to its original condition11 which is not regarded as a valid change. But why should they not acquire possession by virtue of the change of name, since previously12 it was called asa [myrtle] and now
(1) Lit., ‘land cannot be robbed’; v. B.K. 117b. The myrtle while still growing is, therefore, legally the property of its Jewish owner and thus invalid to the purchaser.
(2) Of the cut myrtles.
(3) Unlike land, detached produce is acquired by robbery.
(4) From that of the seller to that of the buyer.
(5) He is of the opinion that abandonment of right by the owner is not sufficient to constitute acquirement of title by the possessor unless there was in addition either (a) a change of domain, (b) a change in the nature of the object, or (c) a change in its name (v. B.K. 67a). But even if abandonment alone were sufficient, the robbery, if the traders themselves had cut the myrtles, would have been committed by them, and they would have been guilty of performing a precept by means of a transgression.
(6) Lit., ‘in our hands’. And since the purchasers commit no robbery they might well use the myrtles.
(7) The myrtle. Lit., ‘save, we beseech thee’, a refrain chanted when holding the wreath of which the myrtles form a part.
(8) Which they require for their own use. In such a case, were they to cut the myrtles, there would be no change of domain and they (the users) would be committing the robbery.
(9) By binding the three components, the myrtles, the willows and the palm-branch.
(10) Hence there is no change.
(11) He may unbind the component parts.
(12) Before it was put into the festive wreath.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 31a
hoshanna?1 — Previously also a myrtle2 was called hoshanna.1
Our Rabbis taught, In the case of a stolen Sukkah, and [a Sukkah made by] placing Sukkah-covering over a public thoroughfare,3 R. Eliezer declares [them] invalid and the Sages declare [them] valid. R. Nahman explained: The dispute4 applies only where he5 forcibly ejects his fellow6 from the Sukkah. In which case R. Eliezer7 is consistent with his view, he having said, ‘A man cannot fulfil his obligation in the Sukkah of his fellow’, so that if [we hold that] there is a title to land by robbery, the Sukkah is a stolen one,8 and even if [we hold that] there is no title to land by robbery.9 [still] the Sukkah is a borrowed one;10 and the Rabbis11 [also] are consistent, since they maintain that a man can fulfil his obligation in the Sukkah of his fellow, and that there is title to land by robbery, so that the Sukkah is a borrowed one.12 Where, however, he stole wood and used it for Sukkah-covering, all agree13 that he [the owner] has [a claim] merely against the cost of the wood.14 How [do we know this]?15 — Since [the Sukkah] is compared to a public thoroughfare;16 as the ground of a public thoroughfare is not his,17 so [must] the Sukkah [referred to] also be one put up on land that is not his.18
A certain old woman19 came before R. Nahman and said to him, ‘The Exilarch and all the Rabbis of the house of the Exilarch are sitting in a stolen Sukkah’. She cried20 but R. Nahman took no notice of her. She said to him, ‘A woman whose father21 had three hundred and eighteen slaves cries out to you, and you take no notice?’ R. Nahman said to them, ‘She is a noisy woman; but she can claim only the cost of the wood’.22
Rabina said, If the main joist of a Sukkah was stolen,23 the Rabbis made an enactment with regard to it,24 similar to the enactment of the beam.25 But is not this26 obvious? Wherein does it differ from wood?27 — I would have thought that [the law applied only to] wood since it is common,28 but not to this which is uncommon,29 therefore he informs us [that the law applies to this case also]. This,30 however, only applies during the seven days [of the Festival], but after the seven days, it must be returned in its original state. If, however, he fixed it in with cement,31 even after the seven days he need only give its value.
A Tanna taught, A withered [palm-branch] is invalid; R. Judah declares it valid. Raba said, The dispute concerns only the palm-branch, since the Rabbis are of the opinion that the palm-branch is likened to the ethrog [citron], and just as the ethrog must be a goodly [fruit]32 so must the palm-branch be goodly, while R. Judah holds that we do not liken the palm-branch to the ethrog; but with regard to the ethrog, all agree that it must be a goodly [fruit].32
Does not then R. Judah demand that the palm-branch shall be goodly? Have we not in fact learnt, R. JUDAH SAYS, HE SHOULD TIE THEM UP AT THE TOP, the reason presumably being that it must be goodly? — No! The reason is as it has been taught: R. Judah said in the name of R. Tarfon, Branches of palm-trees33 [mean that the palm-branches must be] tied up.34 and if they were separated, one must tie them up.35 But does he not then demand that it be goodly? Have we not in fact learnt, ‘The lulab36 is bound only with its own species; so R. Judah’,37 the reason presumably being that it must be goodly? — No! Since Raba said [that it may be bound] even with the bast or the root of the palm.37 What then is the reason of R. Judah? — Because he is of the opinion that the [components] of the lulab must be bound together and if one employs another species,38 the number of species becomes five.39
But does R. Judah demand that the ethrog be goodly? Has it not in fact been taught, As to the Four Species of the lulab, just as one may not diminish from them, so one may not add to them. If he cannot find an ethrog, he may neither bring a quince nor a pomegranate, nor any other thing. Dried up [ethrogs] are valid, withered ones are invalid. R. Judah says, Even withered ones [are valid]. And R. Judah, furthermore said, It happened
(1) V. supra n. 2.
(2) Since it is used in the mentioned wreath.
(3) Whereby one robs the public of access to it.
(4) Between R. Eliezer and the Sages.
(5) The robber.
(6) The rightful owner of the land upon which the Sukkah is erected. Lit., ‘he seizes his fellow and ejects him’. (Whatever is attached to the ground is subject to the laws of title that apply to landed property).
(7) In ruling the Sukkahs mentioned invalid.
(8) And, therefore, invalid.
(9) And the land as well as the Sukkah are, therefore, the property of the rightful owner (cf. supra p. 135, n. 13).
(10) And R. Eliezer excludes both stolen and borrowed Sukkahs by his exposition of ‘to thee’ supra.
(11) The Sages.
(12) And, therefore, valid.
(13) Even R. Eliezer.
(14) But the wood itself passes into the possession of the robber who has acquired it by change of function and name, and the Sukkah being neither robbed nor borrowed, is consequently valid.
(15) That the dispute depends on the questions whether land may be legally acquired by robbery and whether a borrowed Sukkah is valid.
(16) Both appearing in juxtaposition.
(17) I.e., it does not belong to the man who put up a Sukkah on it since it obviously belongs to the public.
(18) And consequently must refer to the case where he forcibly ejected the owner.
(19) From whom the servants of the Exilarch had robbed the wood wherewith his Sukkah was covered.
(20) Demanding the return of her wood.
(21) Rashi suggests that this refers to Abraham the father of all Jews, who had three hundred and eighteen servants (Gen. XIV, 14).
(22) Sc. there is no need to break up the structure in order to return to her the actual wood (cf. Git. 55a).
(23) And if it were to be removed, the Sukkah would collapse.
(24) That the owner be given the value of it only.
(25) The locus classicus of this law, referring to a house; the Sukkah, though a frail structure, having been given in this respect the status of a permanent structure during the festival days.
(26) The law of the joist.
(27) Concerning which it has just been ruled that its value only is to be paid to the owner.
(28) And the robbed man can, therefore, easily buy some with the money.
(29) Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
(30) That the joist itself need not be returned.
(31) So that it becomes a permanent fixture.
(32) As is explicitly stated in Lev. XXIII, 40.
(33) Lev. XXIII, 40; ‘branches’ כפות
(34) כפות the root כפת in Biblical, Aramaic and Mishnaic Hebrew means ‘to bind’.
(35) Infra 32a.
(36) Lit., ‘palm-branch’. Where lulab is used it refers to all three species tied together. V. infra.
(37) Infra 36a.
(38) For the binding.
(39) Instead of the four prescribed in Lev. XXIII, 40; and it is forbidden to add to any legally prescribed number.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 31b
that urban dwellers1 used to bequeath their lulabs to their grandchildren. They2 said to him, Is that a proof? A case of emergency does not constitute a proof.3 At all events it is taught that R. Judah says that even withered ones are valid, and this refers, does it not, to the ethrog?4 — No! It refers to the palm-branch.
The Master has said, ‘Just as one may not diminish from them, so one may not add to them’. But is not this obvious? — I would have said that since R. Judah said that the lulab5 must be bound, if one bring another species,6 each is regarded as separate,7 therefore he informs us [that it is not so].8
The Master has said, ‘If he cannot find an ethrog, he may bring neither a pomegranate nor a quince, nor any other thing’. But is not this obvious? — I would have said that he may bring it in order that the law of ethrog might not be forgotten, therefore he informs us [that it is forbidden lest] at times the result be disastrous, since one might confound [the one fruit with the other].9
Come and hear: An old ethrog is invalid, but R. Judah declares it valid. [Is not this a] refutation of Raba? — It is a refutation.
But does not [R. Judah] demand that it10 be goodly? Have we not in fact learnt: If it10 is green as a leek, R. Meir declares it valid and R. Judah invalid?11 Is it12 not because it10 must be goodly? No! Because the fruit is not yet ripe. Come and hear: The minimum size of an ethrog is, R. Meir says, the size of a nut; R. Judah says that of an egg.11 Is it12 not because it10 must be goodly? — No! Because the fruit is not ripe.
Come and hear: Its10 maximum size is such that one should be able to hold two in one hand; so R. Judah. R. Jose says, Even if one can hold one ethrog in both hands.11 Now what is the reason?13 Is it not because he requires it to be goodly? — No! Because Rabbah14 said, The lulab [must be held] in the right hand and the ethrog in the left,15 and since sometimes he might put them in the wrong hands, when he changes over [the ethrog might fall] and become invalid.16 But, according to R. Judah is it not written in Scripture ‘goodly’?17 — This means ‘that which remains upon the tree from year to year’.18
ONE THAT CAME FROM AN ASHERAH OR FROM A CONDEMNED CITY. Is then [the palm-branch that came from] an asherah invalid? Did not Raba in fact say, One should not take a palm-branch of idolatry, but if he did nevertheless take it, it is valid?19 — Here we are dealing with an asherah [dating from the time of] Moses, whose [minimum] size20 [is regarded as] crushed.21 A deduction from the wording also proves this, since it22 is compared with a condemned city.23 This is conclusive. IF ITS TOP WAS BROKEN OFF. R. Huna said, ‘BROKEN OFF’ only was taught, but if it is only split, it is valid. Is it then valid if it is split? Has it not been taught, A palm-branch which is bent
(1) Who could not obtain fresh ones.
(2) The Rabbis who disagreed with him.
(3) Tosef. Suk. II.
(4) How then could it be maintained that R. Judah insists on the ethrog being goodly?
(5) Lit., ‘palm-branch’. Where lulab is used it refers to all three species tied together. V. infra.
(6) Without binding it with the others.
(7) I.e., the extra species is regarded as something apart from the four and hence permissible.
(8) Even a species that is unbound may not be added.
(9) And thus use a quince or a pomegranate even where an ethrog is obtainable.
(10) The ethrog.
(11) Infra 34a.
(12) R. Judah's reason.
(13) For R. Judah's ruling.
(14) Var. lec. ‘Raba’ (Bah).
(15) Infra 37b.
(16) If the ethrog is too large for him to grasp in his hand together with his lulab, as he is changing over, he will drop it. Hence the ruling that ‘one should be able to hold two in one hand’, one of these two representing the space the lulab would occupy during the change.
(17) Specially in connection with the ethrog, Lev. XXIII, 40.
(18) The word הדר ‘goodly’ is translated by R. Judah homiletically as הדר ‘which dwells’. V. infra 35a.
(19) Hul. 89a.
(20) V. Mishnah supra 29b.
(21) A thing that is condemned to be burnt is regarded as burnt, and since it must be burnt (cf. Deut. XII, 3) it is regarded as non-existent.
(22) The asherah.
(23) Which must too be burnt and, therefore, regarded as non-existent.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 32a
, thorny, split or curved like a sickle is invalid. If it1 has become hardened,2 it is invalid. If it only appears as though it is hardened,3 it is valid?4 — R. Papa answered, It5 refers to where it6 is like a prong.7 ‘If it is curved like a sickle’, Raba said, refers only to its front, but towards its back, it is its nature [to be curved]. R. Nahman said, At the sides8 is the same as at the front, and some say, The same as at its back. Raba further said, A palm-branch of which all the foliage grows on one side is a blemished plant and is invalid.
IF ITS LEAVES WERE BROKEN OFF etc. R. Papa said. ‘DETACHED’ means like a broom,9 ‘SPREAD APART means that they were parted from one another.10 R. Papa asked, How if the central leaf11 is split?12 — Come and hear what R. Johanan13 said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: If the central leaf is removed, it6 is invalid. No doubt if it is split the same law would apply? No, if it is removed the law is different, since it is entirely lacking. Another version is that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi:13 If the central leaf is split, it is as though it is removed, and [the lulab] is invalid.
R. JUDAH SAYS. It has been taught: R. Judah said in the name of R. Tarfon, ‘Branches of palm-trees’, [means that palm-branches must be] tied up, and if they were separated, one must tie them up.14 Rabina said to R. Ashi, How do we know that ‘Branches of palm-trees’ refers to the [green sprouts of the] palm-branches? Perhaps it means [branches of] the hardened palm?15 — It must be [a branch the leaves of which can be] bound up, and this one16 cannot.17 But18 perhaps it means the stalk [itself]?19 — [Since the word] ‘bound’ is used, it must refer to something which can be separated, but this is permanently bound. But perhaps it means the inflorescence of palms?20 — Abaye answered, It is written, Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.21 Raba Tosfa'ah said to Rabina, But perhaps it means two branches of palms? — The word is written kappath.22 Then perhaps it means one? — That would be called kaf.23
THE THORN-PALMS OF THE IRON MOUNTAIN ARE VALID. Abaye said, They taught it only where the top of one [leaf] reaches the junction of the next, but if the top of the one does not reach the junction of the next,24 it25 is invalid. So it has also been taught: The thorn-palms of the iron mountain are invalid. But have we not learnt that they are valid? It may be deduced, therefore, [that the ruling is] in agreement with Abaye. This is conclusive.
(1) The palm-branch.
(3) Sc. it began to harden but the process was not yet complete.
(4) Now since this Baraitha distinctly ruled a split lulab to be invalid how could R. Huna uphold it to be valid?
(5) The Baraitha.
(6) The lulab.
(7) If it is naturally split to this extent even R. Huna agrees that it is invalid.
(8) Sc. if the lulab is bent sideways.
(9) Leaves detached from the central rib and subsequently bound together.
(10) But joined to the rib at their roots.
(11) Lit., ‘the twins’, the central leaf being a junction of two.
(12) The split reaching as low as the top of the lower leaves.
(13) In the parallel passage in B.K. 96a the reading is R. Mathon.
(14) Supra 31a q.v. notes.
(15) I.e., a palm which is some years old, whose branches have become hardened like other tree branches, and there must be one central branch and one protruding from each side.
(16) The hardened branch.
(17) Since the branches are too hard.
(18) Since it is insisted that the branch must be ‘bound’.
(19) From which no leaves branch out at all.
(20) A spike covered with flowers, and enveloped by one or more spathes. Being only one or two years old its leaves can still be bent and bound to the central parts.
(21) Prov. III, 17; i.e., it is unpleasant to hold this prickly spike and, therefore, the Torah could not have referred to it.
(22) Implying the singular. The word כפת is written defectively, which can be read as כפת (cf. supra 31a).
(23) A branch; not kappath which implies something that has to be bound, v. supra.
(24) These thorn-palms are very sparsely covered with leaves, so that the top of the lower leaf may not reach as far as the beginning of the one above it.
(25) The branch.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 32b
Some put it1 in the form of mutual contradiction: We have learnt: THE THORN-PALMS OF THE IRON MOUNTAIN ARE VALID. But has it not been taught that they are invalid? Abaye answered, There is no difficulty: The one2 refers to where the top of the one leaf reaches the junction of the next; the other3 to where the top of the one does not reach the junction of the other. R. Marion said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi, while others say that Rabbah b. Mari taught in the name of R. Johanan b. Zakkai, There are two palms in the valley of Hinnom,4 between which there ascends smoke, and it is in that connection that we have learnt, THE THORN-PALMS OF THE IRON MOUNTAIN ARE VALID, and it is the entrance to Gehenna.
A PALM-BRANCH WHICH IS THREE HANDBREADTHS IN LENGTH. Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, The [minimum] length of the myrtle and the willow is three [handbreadths], and that of the palm-branch four, so that the palm-branch should extend one handbreadth beyond the myrtle. And R. Parnak said in the name of R. Johanan, The stem5 of the palm-branch should extend a handbreadth beyond the myrtle.
Have we not learnt, A PALM-BRANCH WHICH IS THREE HANDBREADTHS IN LENGTH, LONG ENOUGH TO WAVE, IS VALID?6 — Read AND LONG ENOUGH TO WAVE;7 and each one8 explains it according to his own view.9
Come and hear: [We have learnt.] The [minimum] length of the myrtle and the willow is three [handbreadths], and that of the palm-branch four. Surely [this means, does it not,] inclusive of the leaves?10 — No, exclusive of the leaves.
[To turn to] the main text: The [minimum] length of the myrtle and the willow is three [handbreadths], and that of the palm-branch four. R. Tarfon says, A cubit11 consisting of five handbreadths.12 Raba said, May R. Tarfon's Master forgive him [for this absurd statement]! We cannot find a valid myrtle three [handbreadths] long, would one of five handbreadths be required?13 When R. Dimi came14 he explained. [R. Tarfon meant thus]: Make a cubit which has [normally] six handbreadths, into five.15 Deduct from these the three for the myrtle and the remainder is for the palm-branch. How much then16 is it?17 Three and three fifths?18 Do not then two statements of Samuel contradict one another, for here Rab Judah says in the name of Samuel, The [minimum] length of the myrtle and the willow is three [normal handbreadths], and elsewhere R. Huna said in the name of Samuel that the halachah is as R. Tarfon?19 — [Samuel] was not precise.20
But do we not say that one is not precise only when [this results in] a restriction [of the law] but not when [it results in] a relaxation of it?21
When Rabin came,22 he explained: [R. Tarfon meant thus]: Make a cubit of five normal handbreadths into one of six handbreadths. Deduct of these three for the myrtle, and the remainder is for the palm-branch. But how much16 is it?23 Two and a half.24 Is there not ‘then a discrepancy between [the two statements of] Samuel?25 — [The answer is that] he was not precise, and in this case his lack of precision26 results in a restriction [of the law], since R. Huna said in the name of Samuel that the halachah is as R. Tarfon.27
MISHNAH. A STOLEN OR WITHERED MYRTLE IS NOT VALID, ONE OF AN ASHERAH OR OF A CONDEMNED CITY IS INVALID. IF ITS TIP WAS BROKEN OFF, OR ITS LEAVES WERE SEVERED, OR IF ITS BERRIES WERE MORE NUMEROUS THAN ITS LEAVES, IT IS INVALID, BUT IF HE DIMINISHED THEIR NUMBER IT IS VALID. ONE MAY NOT, HOWEVER, DIMINISH THEM ON THE FESTIVAL.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught, ‘Boughs of a thick tree’28 [means] [that kind of tree] whose branches completely cover its trunk. Now what [tree] is this? Obviously you must say that it is the myrtle. But perhaps it is the olive?29 — It must be wreathed,30 which [the olive] is not. But perhaps it is the plane tree?31 — It is required that the branches shall cover its trunk, which is not the case [with the plane tree]. But perhaps it is the oleander?32 Abaye said, ‘Its33 ways34 are the ways of pleasantness’,35 and [with the oleander] this is not the case.36 Raba expressed [the same idea] from the following verse, Therefore love ye truth and peace.37
Our Rabbis taught, [That plant whose leaves are] shaped like a plait, and resemble a chain, is the myrtle. R. Eliezer b. Jacob said ‘The boughs of a thick tree’28 [means] a tree the taste of whose wood and whose fruit is similar: Say, then, it is the myrtle.
A Tanna taught, A tree which is ‘aboth38 is valid, and which is not ‘aboth is not valid. What constitutes ‘aboth? — Rab Judah said, When three leaves grow out of one nest.39 R. Kahana said, Even [if they only grow in] twos and ones.40 R. Aha the son of Raba sought to obtain41 one [whose leaves grew] in twos and ones, since R. Kahana said [that such are valid]. Mar b. Amemar said to R. Ashi, ‘My father used to call that42 the wild myrtle’.
Our Rabbis taught, If the larger part of its43 leaves fell off44 and the lesser part remained, it is valid, provided that its wreath-work45 remains. But is not this self-contradictory? You said that if the larger part of its leaves fell off44 it is valid and then it is stated, ‘provided that its wreath-work remains’. But since two [of the three leaves] have fallen off, how is it possible to have a wreathwork? — Abaye said, It is possible
(1) Our Mishnah as well as the Baraitha cited.
(2) Our Mishnah.
(3) The Baraitha.
(4) A valley near Jerusalem. v. Jer. XIX, 2.
(5) Not merely the leaves.
(6) How then could Samuel and R. Johanan maintain that the length must be four handbreadths?
(7) Sc. the part which extends beyond the myrtle and willow, which is, therefore, not bound and can be waved.
(8) Samuel and R. Johanan.
(9) According to Samuel a handbreadth including the leaves, according to R. Johanan one excluding the leaves.
(10) An objection against R. Johanan.
(11) [אמה. So MS.M. Cur. edd.: באמה (to be measured by) a cubit etc.].
(12) This is now assumed to mean that the myrtle and the willow must each be one such cubit long.
(13) Obviously not.
(14) From Palestine to Babylon.
(15) A normal handbreadth is one-sixth of a cubit. R. Tarfon made its measurement for the purpose of the lulab one fifth instead of one sixth. [I.e., R. Dimi reported that R. Tarfon said באמה and not אמה, cf. p. 142, n. 8.]
(16) In normal handbreadths.
(17) The three handbreadths each of which is equal to a fifth of the six normal handbreadths.
(18) Since the three handbreadths of the myrtle are equivalent to 3 X 1 1/5 = 3 3/5 normal handbreadths.
(19) Who prescribes 3 3/5 normal handbreadths.
(20) By three he really meant 3 3/5.
(21) Three instead of 3 3/5.
(22) From Palestine to Babylon.
(23) The three handbreadths each of which equals 5/6 of a normal one.
(24) The normal cubit of six handbreadths being divided into five, each handbreadth is 5/6 of a normal handbreadth. The three handbreadths of the myrtle, therefore, equal (3 X 5/6 = 15/6 =) 2 1/2 normal handbreadths, leaving 2 1/2 for the extending portion of the palm-branch.
(25) Three, against two and a half normal handbreadths.
(26) The number three.
(27) That only a length of two and half normal handbreadths is enough.
(28) Lev. XXIII, 40; E.V., ‘of thick trees’.
(29) Whose branches also cover its trunk.
(30) ‘Aboth (E.V., ‘thick’), i.e., the leaves must grow in a sort of wreath-like formation.
(31) Whose leaves also grow in wreath-like formation.
(32) A bitter plant with stinging leaves which possesses both required characteristics.
(33) The Torah's.
(34) Sc. the performance of its commandments.
(35) Prov. III, 17.
(36) Since it is both bitter and stinging.
(37) Zech. VIII, 19. There is in it neither ‘peace’ since it stings, nor ‘love’ since it is bitter and poisonous.
(38) The leaves of which grow in wreath-like formation, v. supra n. 3.
(39) Where the leaf emerges from the stem.
(40) Two leaves coming out of one nest, and one from the lower one ascends and touches them.
(41) For his lulab.
(42) One whose leaves grow in twos and ones.
(43) The myrtle's.
(44) Sc. of each group of three leaves two fell off.
(45) I.e., that three leaves are still coming out from each nest of the stem. The contradiction is discussed anon.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 33a
with the Egyptian1 myrtle which has seven [leaves] in each nest, and [therefore] when four fall off, there are still three left. Abaye said, [From this] we can deduce that the Egyptian myrtle is valid for the hoshanna2 But is not this obvious? — I might have said that since it has a distinctive name, it cannot be considered valid, therefore he informs us [that it is valid]. But perhaps it is indeed so?3 -The Divine Law says, ‘boughs of a thick tree’4 i.e., of any kind.
Our Rabbis taught, If the larger part of its leaves were withered, and only three twigs with green leaves5 remained, it is valid. And R. Hisda added, [Provided] that they6 are at the top of each [twig].7
IF ITS TIP WAS BROKEN OFF. ‘Ulla bar Hinena taught, If its tip was broken off, and a berry grew on it,8 it is valid. R. Jeremiah asked, If the tip was broken off before the Festival, and the berry grew on it on the Festival,9 what [is the law]? Do we apply the law of disability to [all] commandments or not?10 — Can he not decide this point from that which we have learnt: If he covered it and it became uncovered, he need not cover it again; if the wind covered it, he must cover it again.11 And Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan, They taught this12 only where it subsequently became uncovered, but if it did not subsequently become uncovered, he is free from [the duty of] covering it. And when we asked concerning this, ‘Even if it subsequently became uncovered, why must he cover it? Once it13 has suffered14 the disability15 is it not permanently disabled?’16 R. Papa said, This implies that the law of disability does not apply to [all] commandments? — The question [of R. Jeremiah] is concerning that very statement of R. Papa: Is he17 certain that the law of disability does not apply to [all] commandments, irrespective of whether it is in the direction of stringency18 or leniency,19 or perhaps he17 is doubtful, and therefore we apply it in the direction of stringency,18 but not in the direction of leniency?19 It remains unanswered.20
Can we say that these21 are according to the dispute of Tannas? [For we have learnt], If he transgressed and picked them22 off,23 it is invalid. These are the words of R. Eleazar b. Zadok,24 while the Sages declare it valid.25 Now they26 were of the opinion that according to all27 the lulab does not need binding, and that, even if some reason could be found for ruling that it does need binding, we do not deduce [the laws of] lulab from those of Sukkah of which it is written, ‘Thou shalt make’ [which implies] but not from that which is already made.28 Surely then they disagree on the following principle viz., that he who declares it invalid is of the opinion that we apply the law of disability to [all] commandments,29 while he who declares it to be valid is of the opinion that we do not apply the law of disability30 to [all] commandments?31 — No! All agree that we do not apply the law of disability to [all] commandments, but they disagree here in whether we deduce [the laws of] lulab from [those of] Sukkah. One Master32 is of the opinion that we do so deduce them,33 while the other Master34 is of the opinion that we do not make such a deduction.
And if you wish you may say that if it were held that the lulab needs binding all would have agreed that we deduce [the laws of] lulab from [those of] Sukkah;33 but they disagree here on whether the lulab needs binding, as is the case in the dispute of these Tannas of whom it has been taught: A lulab, whether [the other prescribed species were] bound with it or not, is valid. R. Judah says, If it is bound [with the others] it is valid; if it is unbound, it is invalid.35 What is the reason of R. Judah? — He deduces it from the word ‘take’ [which occurs here and with] the bundle of hyssop. It is written here, And ye shall take on the first day,36 and there it is written And ye shall take a bundle of hyssop.37 Just as there [it must be] a bundle, so here also [it must be] a bundle. And the Rabbis?38 - They make no deduction from the mention of the word ‘take’ in the two passages. Who is it that learned that which our Rabbis have taught: It is a pious deed to bind the lulab, but [even] if he did not bind it, it is valid? Now who is it? If R. Judah be suggested, why is it valid if he did not bind it? If the Rabbis are suggested, what pious deed does he perform?39 — It is in fact the Rabbis, and the pious deed spoken of is due to ‘This is my God and I will glorify Him’.40
OR IF ITS BERRIES WERE MORE NUMEROUS THAN ITS LEAVES. R. Hisda said, The following statement was made by our great Master,41 and may the Omnipresent be his help! They taught it42 only [if all the berries were] in one place, but if in two or three places, it43 is valid. Said Raba,44
(1) Or ‘hedge’, where it is free to grow unhampered (Rashi).
(2) The festive wreath.
(3) That it is not valid.
(4) V. supra p. 144, n. 1.
(5) Each twig having three leaves on it.
(6) The leaves.
(7) If they are not at the top, the myrtle cannot be regarded as ‘goodly’ and is, therefore, invalid.
(8) A kind of berry which can grow even on a detached myrtle (Rashi).
(9) While it was bound to the lulab.
(10) As it applies to sacrifices. Once a disability appears in a sacrifice after it is slain, even if the disability is removed, the sacrifice is still regarded as invalid. Similarly here the myrtle has become disabled for use before the Festival, and recovers its sound state on the Festival, and the question is whether or not the disability it once suffered renders it permanently invalid.
(11) Hul. 87a. The Mishnah refers to the law of covering up the blood of a bird or beast. V. Lev. XVII, 13 and Mishnah Hul. VI.
(12) That if the wind covered the blood it must be covered up again.
(13) The blood.
(14) When the wind had covered it.
(15) I.e., there was no obligation then to cover it again.
(16) Even after it had been uncovered. Why then has it been ruled that it must be covered again?
(17) The Tanna of the Mishnah cited.
(18) As in the case of the blood which must be covered again.
(19) As in that of the broken myrtle where the growth of the berry would render it valid.
(20) Teku, v. Glos.
(21) The two views on the law of disability.
(22) The berries whose number exceeded that of the leaves. V. supra 11b.
(23) On the Festival when such picking is Rabbinically forbidden as shebuth (v. Glos.).
(24) The reading supra 11b is ‘R. Simeon b. Jehozadak’.
(25) Supra 11b.
(26) The Rabbis at the college who were discussing the question.
(27) Sc. the Rabbis and R. Eleazar.
(28) So that the disqualification of the lulab cannot be due to the fact that when the myrtle became fit the festive wreath had already been made.
(29) As the myrtle was once invalid it must always remain so.
(30) Which is applicable to holy sacrifices.
(31) Hence the validity of the myrtle after the number of its berries had been reduced on the festival.
(32) R. Eleazar.
(33) As a Sukkah that was not made for the festival is invalid so also is the festive wreath invalid if the validity of the myrtle was effected after the wreath had been made.
(34) The Sages.
(35) Supra 11b.
(36) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(37) Ex. XII, 22.
(38) How can they maintain their view in the face of this deduction?
(39) Seeing that they require no binding.
(40) Ex. XV, 2. For the whole passage and notes cf. supra 11b.
(42) The ruling just cited from our Mishnah.
(43) The myrtle.
(44) So Bah. Cur. edd. add ‘to him’.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 33b
[If the berries are in] two or three places it is regarded as speckled,1 and [therefore] invalid. Rather if it2 was at all stated, thus was it stated: OR IF ITS BERRIES WERE MORE NUMEROUS THAN ITS LEAVES, IT IS INVALID. R. Hisda said, The following statement was made by our great Master, and may the Omnipresent be his help! They taught this only if the berries were black,3 but if they were green they are merely a species of myrtle and valid. R. Papa said, Red [berries] are like black,4 since R. Hanina said, Black blood is [in reality] red blood except that it deteriorated.5
IF HE DIMINISHED THEIR NUMBER, IT IS VALID. When did he diminish them? If you say, before he bound them,6 is not this obvious? Consequently it must be said, after he bound them?7 This then is a disability from the very outset.8 Why then may it not be deduced therefrom that a disability from the outset8 Is no [permanent] disability?9 — Indeed it refers to [a diminution that took place] after he bound them, but he10 is of the opinion that the binding is merely a designation [for its purpose], and a mere designation is of no consequence.11
THE DIMINUTION, HOWEVER, MAY NOT TAKE PLACE ON THE FESTIVAL. But if he transgressed and did pluck them,12 how is it? Is it valid? But then, when did it become black? If you will say that it became black from the previous day,13 then it is a disability from the very outset.14 Why then may it not be deduced therefrom that a disability from the very outset is no disability? Consequently it must be conceded, must it not, that it became black on the Festival. It is thus a case of being fit12 and then disabled. May it then be deduced therefrom that if anything was fit12 and then suffered a disability it may become fit again? — No! Indeed it refers to where it became black before the Festival; and that a disability from the very outset11 is no disability you may well deduce therefrom; but that where it was fit12 and then suffered a disability it becomes fit again you may not deduce therefrom.
Our Rabbis taught, The diminution15 may not take place on the Festival. In the name of R. Eliezer son of R. Simeon they said that it may be diminished.16 But is he not17 improving an object18 on the Festival?19 — R. Ashi said, This is a case where he plucked them20 for food,21 and R. Eliezer son of R. Simeon maintains the same opinion as his father who said that a work which is done without intention is permitted. But do not both Abaye and Raba say that R. Simeon admits in the case of ‘cut off his head, but let him not die’22 [that it is forbidden]?23 — Here we are dealing with a case where he has another hoshanna.24 Our Rabbis taught, If the binding25 became loosened on the Festival,26 he may bind it as one binds vegetables.27 But why [should this28 be necessary]? Why should not one make a proper loop?29 — [This statement is] according to R. Judah who says that a loop is to be considered a proper knot.30 But if it is according to R. Judah, should not a proper binding be required?31 The Tanna [of the Baraitha] agrees with R. Judah on one point32 and disagrees with him on the other.33
MISHNAH. A STOLEN OR WITHERED WILLOW-BRANCH IS INVALID. ONE FROM AN ASHERAH OR FROM A CONDEMNED CITY IS INVALID. ONE WHOSE TIP WAS BROKEN OFF OR WHOSE LEAVES WERE SEVERED, OR A MOUNTAIN WILLOW34 IS INVALID. ONE THAT WAS SHRIVELLED OR HAD LOST SOME OF ITS LEAVES, OR ONE GROWN IN A NATURALLY WATERED SOIL,35 IS VALID.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught, Willows of the brook36 means those which grow by a brook. Another interpretation of ‘willows of the brook’ is one whose leaf is elongated as a brook.37
Another Baraitha taught: ‘Willows of the brook’, [might mean] willows of the brook only. Whence do we know that those grown on naturally watered soil and mountain willows [are also valid]? Scripture expressly states, ‘willows38 of the brook’, i.e., from any place.
(1) Since the leaves are green while the berries are black.
(2) R. Hisda's tradition just cited.
(3) In which case it is speckled (cf. supra n. 7) and invalid.
(4) And, therefore, invalid.
(5) With regard to the blood of menstruation (v. Nid. 28a).
(6) So that when it was bound with the other species it was already valid.
(7) So that at the time of binding it was invalid.
(8) I.e., a disability that appeared before the Festival. Such a disability having appeared before the time for the fulfilment of the Festival is due does not invalidate permanently the object of ritual, which on recovering its normal status, becomes fit for use, v. infra.
(9) A question that remained unanswered, v. infra.
(10) The Tanna of our Mishnah.
(11) Sc. the plants do not thereby assume the full character of a festive wreath. The disability, therefore, cannot be regarded as having occurred prior to the Festival.
(12) On the Festival.
(13) The Festival eve.
(14) V. p. 148, n. 14.
(15) Of the berries (cf. our Mishnah).
(16) On the Festival.
(17) By making an invalid plant valid.
(18) Lit., ‘a vessel’.
(19) Which is forbidden.
(20) The berries.
(21) Not for the purpose of rendering the plant valid.
(22) The symbolic representation of the fact that although one has not the intention of bringing about a certain result, it is nevertheless an inevitable consequence.
(23) And the validity of the myrtle is the inevitable consequence of the plucking of the berries.
(24) Being independent of the one with the berries the removal of the latter cannot be regarded as the improvement of an object.
(25) Of the three species of the festive wreath.
(26) When the tying of a knot is forbidden.
(27) No knot is made and the loose end is inserted between the winding and the plants.
(28) Mode of binding.
(29) Which not being a knot is permitted on the Festival.
(30) Shab. 113a.
(31) As laid down by him supra 33a.
(32) That a loop is regarded as a proper knot and is forbidden on the Festival.
(33) That the lulab must be properly bound.
(34) צפצפה v. infra 34a.
(35) Sc. land which does not need artificial irrigation.
(36) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(37) And not rounded.
(38) In the plural.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 34a
Abba Saul1 says, Willows [in the plural means] two, one for the lulab and one for the Sanctuary.2 And whence do the Rabbis3 deduce [the law of the willow] for the Sanctuary? — They had this as an accepted tradition; for R. Assi said in the name of R. Johanan, The laws of ten plants,4 the willow-branch and the water libation5 were given to Moses upon Mount Sinai.6
Our Rabbis taught, ‘Willows of the brook’7 means those that grow by the brook excluding the zafzafah which is a willow that grows on the mountains. R. Zera said, Where is its Scriptural support?8 — He placed it beside many waters, he set it as a zafzafah.9 Abaye said to him, Is it not possible that [the latter part] is merely an explanation:10 ‘He placed it beside many waters’, and what was it? A zafzafah? — If so, what was the need for ‘he set it’? R. Abbahu explained it:11 The Holy One, blessed be He, said, I intended that Israel should be before Me as something placed beside many waters, that is, a willow, but they have made themselves as a zafzafah of the mountains.
Some teach this verse11 in connection with the Baraitha:12 ‘He placed it beside many waters, he set it as a zafzafah’.9 To this R. Zera demurred, Is it not possible that [the latter part] is merely an explanation: ‘He placed it beside many waters’ and what was it? A zafzafah? — If so, what could be the meaning of ‘he set it’? R. Abbahu explained it:11 The Holy One, blessed be He, said, I intended that Israel should be before Me as something placed beside many waters, that is, a willow, and they have made themselves as a zafzafah of the mountains.
Our Rabbis taught, What is a willow and what a zafzafah?--The willow has a red stem, an elongated leaf and a smooth edge; the zafzafah has a white stem, a round leaf and an edge serrated like a sickle. But has it not been taught, If it is like a sickle it is valid, if like a saw13 it is invalid? — Abaye said. That14 was taught only with regard to the rounded willow.15 Abaye said, Deduce therefrom that a rounded willow15 is valid for the hoshanna. But is not this obvious? — I would have said that since it has a distinctive name16 it would be thereby invalid, therefore he informs us [that it is not so]. But perhaps it is indeed so?17 — ‘Willows18 of the brook’, says the Divine Law, implying from any place.
R. Hisda said, Since the destruction of the temple the following three things have had their names interchanged. [What was formerly called] hilpetha [is now called] ‘arabta, and what was called ‘arabta, is now called hilpetha.19 What does that legally matter?-With regard to the lulab.20 [What was before called] shifora [is now called] hazozerah,21 and what was hazozerah is now shifora. In what respect does this legally matter? — In respect of the shofar for the New Year. [What was formerly called] pathora [is now called] pathorta, and what was pathorta is now pathora.22 In what respect does this matter legally? — In respect of business transactions.23 Abaye said, l also add [that what was formerly called] be kase [is now called] hublila,24 and the former hublila is now be kase. In what respect does this legally matter? — In respect of a needle found in the fleshy part of the second stomach.25 Raba b. Joseph said, I also add that [what was formerly called] Babylon [is now called] Borsif26 and the former Borsif is now Babylon. In what legal respect
(1) Objecting to the deduction just made.
(2) V. infra 45a. In the Sanctuary they walked round the altar seven times with willows.
(3) Who expound the plural ‘willows’ as referring to the validity of mountain willows and those that grow on naturally watered soil.
(4) That if there is a minimum of ten saplings to a se'ah, the whole area may be ploughed until the New Year of the Sabbatical year, since the digging is for the sake of the trees; not of the ground, v. Sheb. I, 6.
(5) V. infra 48a.
(6) V. supra.
(7) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(8) That the mountain willow is inferior to the ordinary one.
(9) Ezek. XVII, 5. The assumption is that the second part of the verse ‘he set it as a zafzafah’ is in contrast to the former part, as R. Abbahu infra explains.
(10) Of the first part.
(11) The text just cited.
(12) I.e., the author of the Baraitha and not R. Zera cited it. According to this version Abaye's objection is attributed to R. Zera.
(13) A sickle-like edge has all the teeth pointing in a slanting direction towards the handle; a saw-like edge has upright teeth (Rashi).
(14) ‘Like a sickle it is valid’.
(15) One with rounded leaves.
(16) ‘Rounded’ willow. V. supra p. 145.
(17) I.e., invalid.
(18) The plural form.
(19) Kinds of willow. The hilpetha is identical with the zafzafah and is invalid, the ‘arabta is the valid willow.
(20) What is now called ‘arabta is invalid, and vice versa.
(21) The shifora or shofar is the ram's horn which is valid for sounding on the New Year, the hazozerah is a silver trumpet.
(22) The pathora is a large table, usually of a money-changer, the pathorta a small one.
(23) The seller must supply the article named in the contract in accordance with the current usage.
(24) Or hablila. The hablila is the first stomach of ruminants, the be kase (or beth ha-kosoth) the second stomach.
(25) If a needle is found in the first stomach, provided it does not perforate it, the animal remains ritually fit. If it is found in the second stomach the animal is ritually unfit (v. Hul. 50b).
(26) Borsippa, a town adjoining the old city of Babylon. v. Obermeyer. p. 314ff.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 34b
does this matter? — In respect of bills of divorcement?1
MISHNAH. R. ISHMAEL SAYS, [ONE MUST HAVE]2 THREE MYRTLE-BRANCHES, TWO WILLOW-BRANCHES, ONE PALM-BRANCH AND ONE ETHROG. EVEN IF TWO [OF THE MYRTLE-BRANCHES] HAVE THEIR TIPS BROKEN OFF AND [ONLY] ONE IS WHOLE [THE WREATH IS VALID]. R. TARFON SAYS, EVEN IF ALL THREE HAVE THEIR TIPS BROKEN OFF. R. AKIBA SAID, JUST AS [IT IS NEEDED TO HAVE BUT] ONE PALM-BRANCH AND ONE ETHROG, SO [IT IS NEEDED TO HAVE BUT] ONE MYRTLE-BRANCH AND ONE WILLOW-BRANCH.
GEMARA. It has been taught, R. Ishmael said, ‘The fruit of a goodly tree’3 implies one; ‘Branches of palm-trees’3 implies one;4 ‘boughs of thick trees’3 implies three;5 ‘willows of the brook’3 implies two, and even if two [of the myrtle-branches] have their tips broken off, and only one is whole [the wreath is valid]. R. Tarfon said, [There must be] three,6 [and they are valid] even if all have their tips broken off. R. Akiba said. Just as [it is necessary to have but] one palm-branch and one ethrog, so [it is necessary to have but] one myrtle-branch and one willow-branch. R. Eliezer said to him,7 If one should say that the ethrog should be bound with them8 in one bundle you can answer, Is it then written, ‘The fruit of a goodly tree and branches of palm-trees’? It says only, ‘The fruit of a goodly tree, branches of palm-trees’.9 And whence do we know that they are a hindrance to one another?10 Scripture teaches, ‘And ye shall take’.11 [implying] that the taking must be complete.12 As to R. Ishmael,13 whichever view he takes [he is inconsistent]. For if he demands that the myrtle-branches] be whole, why should he not demand14 that they all be whole, and if he does not demand it, why should even one [have to be whole]? — Said Bira'ah in the name of R. Ammi, R. Ishmael recanted from this view.15 Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, The halachah is in agreement with R. Tarfon.16 And Samuel is consistent; for in his view [expressed elsewhere] Samuel said to those who sold myrtle. ‘Sell at the normal price, for if not, I will expound to you as R. Tarfon’.17 What is his reason?18 If you will say that he wished to take a lenient view, why did he not expound to them as R. Akiba19 who is still more lenient? — Three with broken tips are common, one with an unbroken tip is uncommon.20
MISHNAH. AN ETHROG WHICH IS STOLEN OR WITHERED IS INVALID. ONE FROM AN ASHERAH OR A CONDEMNED CITY IS INVALID. IF IT WAS OF ‘ORLAH21 OR OF UNCLEAN TERUMAH22 IT IS INVALID. IF IT WAS OF CLEAN TERUMAH HE SHOULD NOT TAKE IT,23 BUT IF HE DID TAKE IT, IT IS VALID. IF IT WAS DEMAI,24 BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE IT INVALID, AND BETH HILLEL DECLARE IT VALID. IF IT WAS OF SECOND TITHE, IT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN23 [EVEN] IN JERUSALEM, BUT IF HE TOOK IT, IT IS VALID.
IF THE LARGER PART OF IT IS COVERED WITH SCARS, OR IF ITS NIPPLE IS REMOVED, IF IT IS PEELED, SPLIT, PERFORATED, SO THAT ANY PART IS MISSING, IT IS INVALID. IF ITS LESSER PART ONLY IS COVERED WITH SCARS, IF ITS STALK WAS MISSING, OR IF IT IS PERFORATED BUT NAUGHT OF IT IS MISSING, IT IS VALID. AN ETHIOPIAN25 ETHROG IS INVALID. IF IT IS GREEN AS A LEEK, R. MEIR DECLARES IT VALID AND R. JUDAH DECLARES IT INVALID.
THE MINIMUM SIZE OF AN ETHROG, R. MEIR SAYS, IS THAT OF A NUT. R. JUDAH SAYS THAT OF AN EGG. THE MAXIMUM [SIZE] IS SUCH THAT TWO CAN BE HELD IN ONE HAND. THESE ARE THE WORDS OF R. JUDAH. R. JOSE SAID, EVEN ONE [THAT HE CAN HOLD ONLY] IN BOTH HIS HANDS.
(1) A bill of divorcement executed in the original Borsif and carried to another place is invalid unless the bearer made the declaration; ‘In my presence it was written and in my presence it was signed’, while one brought from Babylon required no such declaration (cf. Git. 2a, 6a, and Sanh. 109a). For further notes on this passage v. Shab., Sonc. ed., fol. 36a.
(2) For the festive wreath (cf. Lev. XXIII, 40).
(3) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(4) Since the word is written in singular form. V. supra.
(5) Corresponding to the three words in the original: ‘anaf, ‘ez and ‘aboth.
(7) [Var. lec. rightly omit ‘to him’].
(8) The other three species.
(9) The absence of the waw conjunctive in this case and its presence in the case of the myrtles and willows that follow indicates that while the last three must be tied together the first need not.
(10) I.e., if one of the four species is missing it invalidates all.
(11) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(12) The four species together.
(13) Who requires only one myrtle-branch to be whole while the other two may have their tips broken off.
(14) Since Scripture draws no distinction between the two and the one.
(15) Sc. he now holds that one myrtle-branch is enough, but it must be whole.
(16) That myrtle-branches whose tips are broken off are valid.
(17) The people preferred whole, unbroken myrtles and to prevent exploitation by the vendors, Samuel threatened to expound that even broken ones are valid.
(18) That Samuel threatened to rule as R. Tarfon.
(19) Who requires only one myrtle-branch.
(20) The threat to adopt R. Tarfon's ruling had, therefore, a greater effect.
(21) The fruit of a tree during the first three years of its growth. V. Lev. XIX, 23.
(22) V. Glos.
(23) For the festive wreath.
(24) Produce about which it is doubtful whether it has been tithed; lit., ‘mixed’.
(25) I.e., ‘dark coloured’, ‘black’.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 35a
GEMARA. Our Rabbis have taught, ‘The fruit of a goodly tree’1 implies2 a tree the taste of whose ‘fruit’ and ‘wood’ is the same. Say then that it is the ethrog. Might it not be said to be pepper, as it has been taught. ‘R. Meir used to say, From the implication of the text, And ye have planted all manner of trees,3 do I not know that the reference is to a tree for food?4 What then does Scripture teach by the [next phrase] "for food"? [That5 the reference is to] a tree the taste of whose fruit and wood is the same. Say then that it is pepper. This is to teach you that the pepper tree6 is subject to the law of ‘orlah and that the Land of Israel lacks nothing, as it is said, Thou shalt not lack anything in it’?7 — There8 [pepper is excluded] since it is impossible [to use it].9 For how shall he proceed? If he take one [pepper seed],9 it is unrecognizable;10 if he takes two or three, the Divine Law surely said, one ‘fruit’11 and not two or three fruits. [Its use] therefore is impossible.
Rabbi said, Read not hadar12 but ha-dir;13 just as the stable contains large and small [animals], perfect and blemished ones, so also [the fruit spoken of8 must have] large and small, perfect and blemished. Have not then other fruits large and small, perfect and blemished? — It is this rather that was meant: Before the small ones14 come, the large15 are still existent [on the tree].16
R. Abbahu17 said, Read not hadar,12 but ha-dar,18 a fruit which remains upon its tree from year to year. Ben ‘Azzai said, Read not hadar, but hudor19 for in Greek water is called hudor.19 Now what fruit is it that grows by every water? Say, of course, it is the ethrog.
IF FROM AN ASHERAH OR FROM A CONDEMNED CITY, IT IS INVALID. What is the reason? — Since it is condemned to be burnt, [it is considered as though] its minimum size is destroyed.20
IF FROM ‘ORLAH, IT IS INVALID. What is the reason? R. Hiyya b. Abin and R. Assi disagree on this point. One explains because there is no permission to eat it,21 and the other explains because it22 has no monetary value.23 It is now assumed that the authority who insists on permission to eat it [in order to render it valid] does not insist upon [its having] monetary value,24 and that he who insists upon monetary value does not insist upon permission to eat it.25
Now we learned, OR OF UNCLEAN TERUMAH, IT IS INVALID. This is well according to him who explains, because there is no permission to eat it,26 but according to him who explains, because it has no monetary value,27 why [should unclean terumah be invalid] seeing that the man can kindle it under his cooking?28 The fact is [that with regard to] permission to eat it, all agree that it is an essential,29 and they disagree only on the question whether monetary value [is also necessary]. One Master is of the opinion that permission to eat it is necessary29 but not monetary value, while the other Master is of the opinion that monetary value is also necessary. What is the practical difference between them? — The case of the Second Tithe in Jerusalem differentiates them according to R. Meir.30 According to him who explains, because there is no permission to eat it [it is valid, since] in this case there is permission to eat it. According to him who explains, because it has no monetary value [it is invalid, since] the Second Tithe is sacred money.31
It may be concluded that it is R. Assi who gives [also] the reason that it has no monetary value,32 since R. Assi said, [With] an ethrog of the Second Tithe according to R. Meir,33 a person cannot fulfil his obligation on the Festival, and according to the Sages34 he may fulfil his obligation with it on the Festival.35 This is proved.
[Turning to] the main text, R. Assi said: [With] an ethrog of the Second Tithe, according to R. Meir, a person cannot fulfil his obligation on the Festival, and according to the Sages he may fulfil his obligation with it on the Festival. With unleavened bread of the Second Tithe, according to R. Meir, a man cannot fulfil his obligation36 on Passover,37 and according to the Sages he may fulfil his obligation with it on the Passover. Dough of the Second Tithe, according to R. Meir, is exempt from hallah;38 according to the Sages it is liable to hallah.
R. Papa demurred: This39 is well with regard to dough, since it is written, Of the first of your dough.40 With regard to the ethrog also it is written, To you41 [implying that — it should be yours.42 With regard however to unleavened bread, does Scripture say, ‘your unleavened bread’? — Rabbah b. Samuel, or as some say, R. Yemar b. Shelemiah, replied. We deduce it from the word ‘bread’ which is common to both passages. In this connection it is written, The bread of affliction43 and there44 it is written,
(1) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(2) Since ‘ez (tree) or ‘wood’ and peri (fruit) are in juxtaposition.
(3) Lev. XIX, 23, the conclusion of which is ‘It shall not be eaten’.
(4) Apparently we do.
(5) Since ma'akal (food) and ‘ez (trees or ‘wood’) are in juxtaposition.
(6) Though low and similar to a vegetable plant which is exempt from ‘orlah.
(7) Deut. VIII, 9.
(8) In Lev. XXIII, 40.
(9) With the festive wreath.
(10) On account of its minute size.
(11) Peri in the sing.
(13) ‘The stable’.
(14) Of the current year.
(15) Of the previous year.
(16) And this can refer to the ethrog only whose fruit remains on the tree for two or three years.
(17) Agreeing with Rabbi but adopting a different form of exposition.
(18) ‘Which dwells’.
(19) Cur. edd., ‘Idor’.
(20) V.supra 31b.
(21) Since it is prohibited for use, it does not come within the category of ‘yours’. lakem (E.V., ‘unto you’).
(22) Since it is forbidden to derive any benefit from it.
(23) Cf. supra n. 15, mut. mut.
(24) Second Tithe, for instance, which may be eaten in Jerusalem would consequently be valid though it cannot be regarded as having monetary value since its owner according to R. Meir is not permitted to use it for such a purpose for instance as the betrothal of a wife (cf. Kid. 52b).
(25) An ethrog of tebel (v. Glos.) though forbidden to be eaten, would consequently be valid since benefit may be derived from it.
(26) Since unclean terumah may not be eaten.
(27) While permission to eat it is of no consequence.
(28) Cf. Shab. 25b.
(29) To validity.
(30) Who regards Second Tithe as sacred, not secular money (Kid. 52b).
(31) Lit., ‘of the Most High.’ And is therefore not ‘yours’ (cf. supra p. 156. n. 15).
(32) Sc. that an ethrog is invalid unless it satisfies both conditions, permissibility to eat it as well as the possession of monetary value and that an ethrog of Second Tithe is, according to R. Meir, invalid.
(33) Who regards Second Tithe as sacred money.
(34) Who regard it as secular property.
(35) Pes. 38a.
(36) To eat unleavened bread.
(37) Sc. on the first night of the Festival.
(38) The separation of a portion of one's dough for the priest (v. Glos.). The reason is discussed infra.
(39) That the use of Second Tithe is invalid.
(40) Num. XV, 21; while Second Tithe is sacred and not entirely ‘yours’.
(41) Lev. XXIII, 40.
(42) Cf. supra n. 5 mut. mut.
(43) Deut. XVI, 3.
(44) With regard to hallah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 35b
Then it shall be when ye eat of the bread of the land;1 just as in the latter case [the reference is to] what is yours and not of the tithe, so in the former case, [it must be] yours and not of the tithe.
Can we say that the following supports [this view]: Dough of the Second Tithe is exempt from hallah, according to R. Meir, while the Sages say that it is liable?2 — ‘Can we say that the following supports [this view]’! Is it not the identical statement? Rather [say that the question was whether we can say that] since they3 dispute in this instance,4 they also dispute in the others5 or perhaps dough is exceptional because Scripture repeated the words ‘your dough’.6 OR OF UNCLEAN TERUMAH, IT IS INVALID; because there is no permission to eat it.
IF IT WAS OF CLEAN TERUMAH, HE SHOULD NOT TAKE IT. R. Ammi and R. Assi disagree on the reason of the ruling. One explains, Because he [thereby]7 renders it susceptible [to ritual uncleanness],8 while the other explains. Because he depreciates its value.9 What is the practical difference between them? The case where one assigned the name of terumah to it10 except to its outer peel. According to him who explains, Because he renders it susceptible [to ritual uncleanness], this11 does apply;12 according to him who explains, Because he depreciates its value, it13 does not apply.14
BUT IF HE DID TAKE IT, IT IS VALID; [since] according to him who explains, Because there is no permission to eat it, this is permitted to be eaten,15 and according to him who explains, Because it has no monetary value, this surely has monetary value.16
IF IT WAS DEMAI. What17 is the reason of Beth Hillel?-Because, if he wishes, he may declare his property to be hefker18 and thereby become a pauper who is entitled to benefit [from demai] we may now also apply to it the expression ‘to you’. For we have learnt, Poor men and billeted troops may be fed with demai.19 [But on the view of] Beth Shammai20 a poor man may not eat demai; as we have learnt, Poor men and billeted troops may21 eat demai and R. Huna stated, A Tanna taught: Beth Shammai say that poor men and billeted troops may not be fed with demai, while Beth Hillel say that poor men and billeted troops may be fed with demai.
IF IT WAS OF SECOND TITHE . . . IN JERUSALEM. According to him who explained,22 Because he renders it susceptible [to uncleanliness] it is [here forbidden] since he renders it susceptible [to uncleanliness]; according to him who explained.22 Because he depreciates its value [it is forbidden] since here also he depreciates its value.
BUT IF HE TOOK IT, IT IS VALID. According to him who explains.23 Because there is no permission to eat it,24 [the ruling]25 is according to all.26 According to him who explains,23 Because it has no monetary value, according to whom [is the ruling]? According to the Rabbis.27
IF THE LARGER PART OF IT IS COVERED WITH SCARS. R. Hisda said, The following was said by our great Master,28 may the Omnipresent be his help! This was taught only [where they were] in one place, but if they were in two or three places, [the ethrog] is valid. Raba said,29 On the contrary! If they were in two or three places the ethrog is as though speckled and invalid. Rather if the statement was at all made, it was made in connection with the latter part [of our Mishnah]: IF ITS LESSER PART ONLY IS COVERED WITH SCARS . . . IT IS VALID. R. Hisda said, The following was said by our great Master, may the Omnipresent be his help! This was taught only [if they were] in one place, but if in two or three places the ethrog is as speckled and invalid. Raba said, But [if a scar is] on the oblate part,30 even if it is one of the slightest extent, the ethrog is invalid.
IF ITS NIPPLE IS REMOVED. R. Isaac b. Eleazar31 taught,32 If its peduncle was removed.33 IF IT IS PEELED. Raba ruled, An ethrog which was peeled so as to resemble34 a red date35 is valid. But have we not learnt, IF IT IS PEELED . . . IT IS INVALID? — This is no difficulty,
(1) Num. XV, 19.
(2) Pes. 28a.
(3) R. Meir and the Sages.
(5) Ethrog and unleavened bread; bind thus support is afforded to R. Assi's submission.
(6) In Num. XV, 20 and 21. In this case alone perhaps, where the fact that it must be one's property is emphasized, does R. Meir exempt it, but not in the case of ethrog or unleavened bread where Scripture laid no such emphasis.
(7) By using an ethrog of terumah in connection with the festive wreath.
(8) An article is not susceptible to ritual uncleanness until it has come in contact with water. The lulab is usually placed in water to keep it fresh (cf. infra 42a) and when the ethrog comes in contact with the wet lulab it also is rendered susceptible to similar uncleanliness.
(9) Since the peel of the ethrog becomes damaged by use.
(10) The ethrog.
(11) The prohibition to use it ab initio.
(12) Since the entire ethrog becomes susceptible.
(13) The prohibition to use it ab initio.
(14) Since the outer peel is no terumah.
(15) By a priest and, under certain conditions, by an Israelite also.
(16) A priest and, under certain conditions an Israelite also, being permitted to betroth a woman with it.
(17) Since demai may not be eaten.
(19) Demai III, 1.
(20) Who forbid the use of demai.
(21) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘not’.
(22) Supra p. 159.
(23) With regard to ‘orlah, supra.
(24) And that the question of monetary value is of no consequence.
(25) On Second Tithe.
(26) Both the Sages who say that the Second Tithe is secular property and R. Meir who says it is sacred property, since in either case it may be eaten.
(27) But (cf. prev. n.) not according to R. Meir.
(28) Rab. (V. supra 33b).
(29) Cf. Bah. Cur. edd. add ‘to him’.
(30) The part of the ethrog which slopes towards the nipple.
(31) In his Baraitha.
(32) Instead of ‘IF ITS NIPPLE’ etc.
(33) Reading buknah instead of pitmah.
(34) In colour, after it had been peeled.
(35) Ahina, a kind of inferior dates.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 36a
since the former refers to where all of it [was peeled], the latter to where only a part was peeled.1
SPLIT, PERFORATED. ‘Ulla b. Hanina2 learned,3 If it is completely perforated [it is invalid even if the hole is] of the minutest size; if it is not completely perforated [the hole must be of the minimum size] of an issar.4
Raba enquired: If there developed in an ethrog the symptoms [which render an animal] terefah,4 what is the law? — But concerning what does he inquire? If concerning [an ethrog which is] peeled,5 have we not [already] learnt it?6 If concerning one that is split5 have we not learnt it also?6 If concerning one that is perforated.5 have we not learnt it also?6 — The enquiry he raised was concerning [the law] ‘Ulla cited in the name of R. Johanan [who taught], If the [contents of the] lung pour out as from a ladle7 [the animal] is fit to be eaten,8 and Raba explained that this applies only when the arteries are still whole, but if the arteries are rotted [the animal is] terefah. Now what is the ruling here?9 Is it possible that this10 applies to the former case only, where, since the air cannot affect it,11 it could become healthy again,12 but not in the latter case where, since the air can affect it, it inevitably decays, or is it possible that there is no difference? — Come and hear: An ethrog which is swollen, decayed, pickled, boiled, and Ethiopian,13 white or speckled, is invalid. An ethrog which is round as a ball is invalid. And some add if two are grown together. If an ethrog is half-ripe, R. Akiba declares it invalid, and the Sages valid. If it was grown In a mould, so that it has the appearance of another species, it is invalid. At any rate it teaches ‘swollen or decayed’, which implies, does it not, swollen from without or decayed from within?14 No! Both refer to the exterior, and yet there is no discrepancy. The one refers to a case where the ethrog is swollen even although it is not decayed; the other to a case where it was decayed without being swollen.
The Master has said, An Ethiopian ethrog is invalid. But has it not been taught, If it is Ethiopian it is valid, if it is like an Ethiopian,15 it is invalid? — Abaye answered, In our Mishnah also we learned of one that is like an Ethiopian. Raba answered, There is no difficulty. The former refers to us,16 the latter to them.17
A half-ripe ethrog, R. Akiba declares invalid, and the Sages declare it valid. Rabbah observed, Both R. Akiba and R. Simeon say the same thing. As to R. Akiba there is the statement just quoted. But what is the ruling of R. Simeon? — That which we have learnt:18 R. Simeon declares ethrogs to be exempt [from tithes] when they are small.19 Said Abaye to him, But perhaps it is not so! R. Akiba may uphold his view only here, since the ethrog must be ‘goodly’, which [an unripe ethrog] is not, but there20 he may hold the opinion of the Rabbis;21 or else, R. Simeon may have maintained his view only here,20 since it is written, Thou shalt surely tithe all the increase of thy seed,22 [which confines liability to tithe to such fruit only] as men bring forth for sowing,23 but in the present instance he might agree with the Rabbis,
(1) It is invalid since it is ‘speckled’.
(2) Var. lec. Hinena (Bah).
(3) In connection with the ruling. IF IT IS PERFORATED BUT NAUGHT OF IT IS MISSING.
(4) V. Glos.
(5) Certain organs, if peeled, split or perforated, cause an animal to be terefah.
(6) In our Mishnah.
(7) Sc. the flesh inside is decayed and liquified.
(8) Hul. 47b.
(9) In the case of the ethrog. The seed kernels are regarded as corresponding with the arteries of the lungs.
(10) The permissibility.
(11) One of the internal organs.
(12) Were the animal alive. An injury which, were the animal alive, would disappear, does not render the animal terefah.
(13) V. infra.
(14) In which case it can be compared to an organ which is sound outside, but decayed from within.
(15) I.e., black, but not grown in Ethiopia.
(17) In Palestine, Ethiopian ethrogs are unknown and therefore they are declared invalid. In Babylon, Ethiopian ethrogs were common and valid (Rashi).
(18) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘as it was taught’.
(19) Ma'as. I, 4.
(20) With regard to its liability to tithes.
(21) Who regard it as liable to tithes.
(22) Deut. XIV, 22.
(23) I.e., ripe fruit.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 36b
and there is nothing more [to say about it].1
‘If it was grown in a mould, so that it has the appearance of another species, it is invalid.’ Raba stated, They taught this Only in the case where ‘it has the appearance of another species’, but if it has its natural shape it is valid. But is not this obvious, seeing that it was taught,2 ‘the appearance of another species’? — It3 was necessary only in a case where it4 was moulded in the shape of planks joined together.5
It was stated: An ethrog which has been gnawed by mice, Rab ruled, is no longer ‘goodly’.6 But it is not so? Did not R. Hanina in fact, taste a part of it,7 and fulfilled his obligation8 [with the remainder]? — Does not then our Mishnah9 present a contradiction against R. Hanina?10 — One might well explain that our Mishnah presents no contradiction against R. Hanina since the former might refer to the first day of the Festival,11 while the latter might refer to the second day; but [does not R. Hanina's ruling12 present] a contradiction against Rab?13 — Rab can answer you: [The gnawing by] mice is different, since they are repulsive.
Others says, Rab ruled that it14 is ‘goodly’ since R. Hanina tasted a part [of an ethrog] and fulfilled his obligation [with the remainder]. But does not our Mishnah9 present a contradiction against R. Hanina? — There is really no contradiction, since the former refers to the first day of the Festival, while the latter refers to the second day.
THE MINIMUM SIZE OF AN ETHROG etc. Rafram b. Papa observed: As is the dispute15 here, so is the dispute with regard to rounded pebbles. For it has been taught, It is permitted on the Sabbath16 to carry three rounded smooth pebbles17 into [a field] lavatory.18 And what must be their size? R. Meir ruled, The size of a nut, R. Judah ruled, That of an egg.
THE MAXIMUM SIZE etc. It was taught: R. Jose related, It happened with R. Akiba that he came to Synagogue with his ethrog on his shoulder.19 R. Judah answered him,20 Is this a proof? They21 in fact said to him, This ethrog is not ‘goodly’.
MISHNAH. THE LULAB22 MAY BE BOUND ONLY WITH [STRANDS OF] ITS OWN SPECIES; SO R. JUDAH. R. MEIR SAYS IT MAY BE BOUND EVEN WITH A CORD.23 R. MEIR OBSERVED, IT ACTUALLY OCCURRED THAT THE MEN24 OF JERUSALEM USED TO BIND THEIR LULABS WITH STRANDS OF GOLD. THEY25 ANSWERED HIM, BUT THEY BOUND IT WITH [STRANDS OF] ITS OWN SPECIES UNDERNEATH [THE STRANDS OF GOLD].26
GEMARA. Raba stated, A lulab may be bound even with bast, or even with [strips of] the roots of the date-palm. Raba further stated, What is the reason of R. Judah? He is of the opinion that the lulab22 must be bound so that if one uses another species, the wreath would contain five species.27
Raba further stated, Whence do I deduce that bast and roots of date-palms are species of the palm-tree? From what has been taught: [It is written,] Ye shall dwell in Sukkoth [booths],28 which implies a Sukkah29 made of any material; so R. Meir. R. Judah ruled, The Sukkah must be made of the same four species as the lulab. And logic demands it: If the lulab which does not obtain by night as by day,30 is valid only with the Four Species, is there not then much more reason that the Sukkah which obtains both by night and by day,30 shall be valid only with the Four Species? They answered him, Any a fortiori argument which begins with a restriction [of the law] and concludes with a relaxation [of it]31 is no valid argument.32
(1) Sc. no further arguments can be advanced since R. Simeon need not agree with R. Akiba nor need the latter agree with the former.
(2) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘we learned’.
(3) Raba's statement.
(4) The ethrog.
(5) ‘Angular’ (Jast.) ‘in the shape of the wheel of a water mill’ (Rashi); Raba's view being that such a shape may be regarded as natural.
(6) Cf. Lev. XXIII, 40.
(7) Lit., ‘differed with it’, sc. in some relish.
(8) Of taking the festive wreath.
(9) Which ruled an ethrog any part of which is missing to be invalid.
(10) Who, as stated, used an ethrog after a part of it had been removed.
(11) When, in accordance with an exposition of ‘and ye shall take’ in Lev. XXIII, 40, the ethrog must be whole.
(12) According to which an ethrog a part of which is missing is fit at least for the second day.
(13) Who does not regard such an ethrog as ‘goodly’, and consequently it is invalid even on the second day of the festival, v. supra 29b.
(14) An ethrog gnawed by mice.
(15) Between R. Meir and R. Judah on the minimum size of an ethrog.
(16) When the carrying of an object in certain domains is forbidden.
(17) To cleanse oneself.
(18) Which has no walls and the movement of objects into it on the Sabbath is otherwise Rabbinically forbidden.
(19) Owing to its huge size; which proves that there is no maximum size.
(20) R. Jose.
(21) The Rabbis at the Synagogue.
(22) Sc. the festive wreath consisting of the palm, myrtle and willow-branches.
(23) So separate edd. of the Mishnah, Alfasi and Asheri. Cur. edd. insert, ‘with a thread’.
(24) [אנשי ירושלם MS.M. יקירי ירושלם ‘The nobility’. V. infra p. 166, n. 3. Klein, S. מדעי היהדות I, p. 72ff regards both these terms as synonymous with נקײ הדעת. V. Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 131, n. 3].
(25) The Rabbis at the College.
(26) The former serving as binders and the latter as mere ornaments.
(27) Instead of the four prescribed in Lev. XXIII, 40. It is forbidden to add to a commandment.
(28) Lev. XXIII, 42.
(29) I.e., the Sukkah-covering.
(30) V. infra 43a for proof.
(31) As will soon be illustrated.
(32) Since the ultimate effect of the restriction is a relaxation.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 37a
For suppose he could not find all the Four Species, he would be sitting and doing nothing1 while the Torah said, ‘Ye shall dwell in booths for seven days.’ implying a Sukkah of whatever material. And so with Ezra it says, 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 to make Sukkoth, as it is written.2 And [what does] R. Judah [answer to this verse?] — He is of the opinion that the other [species] were for the walls, while the ‘myrtle branches and palm-branches and branches of thick trees’ were for Sukkah — covering. And [nevertheless] we have learnt, Planks may be used as a Sukkah-covering, these are the words of R. Judah.3 Thus4 it clearly follows that bast and roots of date-palms5 are a species of palm-tree.6 This is conclusive.
But did R. Judah rule that the Four Species alone [are valid]7 and not anything else? — Was it not in fact taught, ‘If he covered it8 with planks of cedar wood which are four handbreadths wide, it is invalid according to all.9 If they are not four handbreadths wide, R. Meir declares it invalid and R. Judah valid, but R. Meir admits that, if there is a space of one plank between every two planks, he may place laths between them and the Sukkah is valid’?10 — What is meant by ‘cedar’? Myrtle. This is in agreement with Rabbah son of R. Huna, since Rabbah son of R. Huna stated, In the school of Rab11 they said that there were ten species of cedar, as it is said, I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia tree, and the myrtle etc.12
R. MEIR SAYS EVEN WITH A CORD. It has been taught: R. Meir said, It occurred with the nobility13 of Jerusalem that they bound their lulabs with [strands of] gold. They said to him, Is that evidence? They bound it in fact with strands of its own species underneath.14
Rabbah said to those who bind the hoshanna15 at the house of the Exilarch, ‘When you bind the hoshannas at the house of the Exilarch, [be careful to] leave a handle16 so that17 there should be no interposition’.18 Raba [however] ruled, Whatever is used to beautify it19 constitutes no interposition. Rabbah further stated, A man shall not hold the hoshanna20 with a scarf, because it is required that the ‘taking’21 shall be complete, and in this case it is not. Raba, however, ruled, Taking hold by means of something else is also regarded as a valid ‘taking’. Whence, said Raba, do I derive that taking hold by means of something else is also regarded as a valid taking? From what we have learnt: If the hyssop22 is too short,23 it may be made to suffice with a thread or with a reed and so it is dipped and brought up, but one must hold the hyssop itself when sprinkling.24 Now why [is this25 permitted]? Did not the Divine Law say, And he shall take hyssop and dip?26 May we not then deduce therefrom that taking hold by means of something else is also regarded as a valid ‘taking’?27 — But whence the proof? That case28 perhaps is different; since [the thread or reed] was joined on [to the hyssop],29 it is regarded as part of it? — In fact [the deduction is made] from the following: [If the ashes of the Red Heifer] fell [of their own accord] from their tube into the trough they are invalid.30
(1) Sc. would be deprived of the performance of the precept of Sukkah.
(2) Neh. VIII, 15.
(3) Supra 14a.
(4) Since only that which is valid for the lulab is valid for the Sukkah.
(5) Which, in view of R. Judah's restrictions, must be understood to be the material of the planks which he permits for Sukkah-covering.
(6) Had they not been that, they would have been invalid for the Sukkah as well as for the lulab.
(7) As a Sukkah-covering.
(8) A Sukkah.
(9) I.e., even according to R. Judah.
(10) Supra 17b.
(11) Be-rab may also mean simply ‘in the school’.
(12) Isa. XLI, 19, which shows that myrtle is also called cedar.
(13) V. supra p. 164, n. 9.
(14) So that the gold bands above them served as a mere ornament.
(15) The term is used for the myrtle or the entire festive wreath, here it is to be understood in the latter sense.
(16) Below the binding.
(17) When the wreath is held in the performance of the precept.
(18) Between the hand of the holder and the wreath. Rabbah holds that according to Pentateuchal law, the binding is unnecessary hence it would form an interposition between one's hand and the wreath.
(19) The wreath.
(20) V. supra n. 7.
(21) With reference to Lev. XXIII, 40.
(22) Used for the sprinkling of the water containing the ashes of the Red Heifer. V. Num. XIX, 6.
(23) To reach the level of the water in the tube.
(24) Parah XII, 1.
(25) Dipping the hyssop by means of a thread or reed.
(26) Num. XIX. 18, the verb ‘to take’ being used here as in the case of the lulab.
(27) Nevertheless, in order that he may have a firmer grasp of it for the better sprinkling, he must take hold of the hyssop itself when performing the lustration.
(28) Parah XII, 1.
(29) I.e., to lengthen it.
(30) Parah VI, 1. The ashes were carried in tubes from which they were emptied into a stone trough containing tile water. If the ashes fall into the water of their own accord they become invalid since the putting into the water must be done with intention.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 37b
From this it follows that if the man himself threw them into the water they are [presumably] valid.1 Now why [should that be so]? Did not the Divine Law say, And they shall take of the ashes . . . and he shall put?2 May we not then3 deduce that taking by means of something else is also regarded as a valid ‘taking’.
Rabbah further stated, One should not thrust the palm-branch through the bound willow and myrtle4 lest some leaves are detached and thus form an interposition.5 Raba, however, ruled, A thing of the same species does not constitute an interposition.
Rabbah further stated, One should not shear the palm-branch while it is in the wreath,4 since loose leaves6 might remain and form an interposition,5 Raba however ruled, A thing of the same species does not constitute an interposition.
Rabbah further stated, it is forbidden to smell7 a myrtle branch [used] for the [fulfilment of the] commandment,8 but it is permitted to smell an ethrog [used] for the [fulfilment of the] commandment. What is the reason? — The myrtle — since it is used as perfume, when it is set apart [for ritual purposes] is set apart from [use as a] perfume: the ethrog, however, since it is used as food, when it is set apart [for ritual purposes] it is set apart [only] from [use as] food.
Rabbah further stated, If a myrtle is attached to the ground, it may be smelt;9 if an ethrog is attached to the ground, it may not be smelt. What is the reason? — The myrtle, since it is used as a perfume,10 [even] if you permit it [to be smelt], the man would not be tempted to cut it; the ethrog, however, since it is used for food, if you permit it [to be smelt] the man might be tempted11 to cut it.12
Rabbah further stated, The lulab [must be held]13 in the right hand and the ethrog in the left. What is the reason? The former constitutes three commandments14 and the latter only one.15
R. Jeremiah enquired of R. Zerika, Why in the blessing16 do we say only ‘To take the palm-branch’?17 — Because it towers above the others. Then18 why should not one lift up the ethrog and recite the blessing over it? — The reason is, the other answered him, that as a species it naturally towers above all of them.
MISHNAH. AND WHERE19 IS [THE LULAB] WAVED? AT THE COMMENCEMENT AND THE CONCLUSION OF THE PSALM, O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD20 AND AT SAVE NOW, WE BESEECH THEE, O LORD.21 THESE ARE THE WORDS OF BETH HILLEL. BETH SHAMMAI SAY, ALSO AT O LORD WE BESEECH THEE, SEND NOW PROSPERITY.22 R. AKIBA STATED, I WATCHED R. GAMALIEL AND R. JOSHUA, AND WHILE ALL THE PEOPLE WERE WAVING THEIR LULABS [AT OTHER VERSES], THEY WAVED THEM ONLY AT SAVE NOW, WE BESEECH THEE, O LORD.22
GEMARA. Who has ever mentioned the name of waving [of the lulab]?23 — It was mentioned previously:24 A lulab which has a length of three handbreadths, sufficient to wave with it, is valid,25 and in reference to this the Mishnah says, AND WHERE IS THE LULAB WAVED?
We have learnt elsewhere, As to the Two Loaves26 and the Two Lambs of Pentecost,27 how does one proceed? [The priest] places the two loaves upon the two lambs and places his hands beneath them and waves them forwards and backwards, upwards and downwards, as it is said, Which is waved28 and which is heaved29 up.30 R. Johanan explained, [One waves them] to and fro [in honour of] Him to Whom the four directions belong, and up and down [in acknowledgment of] Him to Whom are Heaven and Earth.
In Palestine31 they taught us thus: R. Hama b. ‘Ukba stated in the name of R. Jose son of R. Hanina, He waves them to and fro in order to restrain harmful winds; up and down, in order to restrain harmful dews. R. Jose b. Abin, or, as some say, R. Jose b. Zebila, observed, This implies
(1) Though, as in the case when they fell of their own accord, the man did not hold the ashes themselves but only the tube which contained them.
(2) Num. XIX, 17, the verb ‘to take’ being used.
(3) Since taking by means of a tube is here regarded as a valid taking.
(4) Lit., ‘hoshanna’ v. supra, p. 166, n. 5.
(5) Between the components of the wreath.
(6) Of the lulab.
(7) During the seven days of the Festival.
(8) Of Lev. XXIII, 40.
(9) This refers to the Sabbath. There is no need to fear that the man might be tempted to cut it down and thus transgress the Sabbath.
(10) And can well be enjoyed without plucking it.
(11) By its fragrance.
(12) In order to eat it. Cutting or even biting off a growing fruit is an act forbidden on the Sabbath.
(13) When the precept, Lev. XXIII, 40, is fulfilled.
(14) Those of the palm, the myrtle and the willow which are bound together.
(15) The right hand is regarded as the more important, and in it, therefore, one must hold the more important part of the species.
(16) On taking the Four Species of which the palm-branch is one.
(17) Omitting all mention of the others. Cf. P.B. p. 218.
(18) Since it is merely altitude that determines the blessing.
(19) In the course of the recital of the Hallel Psalms (CXIII-CXVIII) on Tabernacles.
(20) Ps. CXVIII.
(21) Ibid. 25.
(22) Ps. CXVIII, 25.
(23) Apparently none. Why then does our Mishnah tacitly assume that the lulab is to be waved.
(24) Lit., ‘there he stands’.
(25) Supra 29b.
(26) Cf. Lev. XXIII, 16f.
(27) Ibid. 20.
(28) Referring to the first two movements.
(29) Referring to the last two.
(30) Ex. XXIX, 27.
(31) Lit., ‘West’.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 38a
that even the dispensable parts1 of a commandment2 prevent calamities; for the waving is obviously a dispensable part of the commandment,3 and yet it shuts out harmful winds and harmful dews. In connection with this Raba remarked, And so with the lulab.4 R. Aha b. Jacob used to wave it5 to and fro, saying, ‘This6 is an arrow in the eye of Satan’.7 This, however, is not a proper thing [for a man to do] since [Satan] might in consequence be provoked [to let temptation loose] against him.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN WAS ON A JOURNEY8 AND HAD NO LULAB WHEREWITH TO PERFORM THE PRESCRIBED COMMANDMENT,9 WHEN HE COMES HOME HE SHOULD TAKE IT [EVEN IF HE IS] AT TABLE.10 IF HE DID NOT TAKE THE LULAB IN THE MORNING, HE SHOULD TAKE IT AT ANY TIME BEFORE DUSK, SINCE THE WHOLE DAY11 IS VALID FOR [TAKING] THE LULAB.
GEMARA. You said that he should take it [even if he is] AT TABLE. This then means that he must interrupt [his meal for the purpose]. But is not this in contradiction with the ruling,12 If they have begun13 they need not interrupt [it]?14 — R. Safra replied, There is no contradiction: The latter statement refers to where there is still time [to perform the commandment] during the day, while the former refers to where there is [otherwise] no time.
Raba retorted, What difficulty is this?15 Is it not possible [that the difference in ruling is due to the fact that] the former5 is a Pentateuchal commandment16 while the latter17 is only Rabbinical? Rather, said Raba, if a difficulty at all exists, it is this: [The ruling] HE SHOULD TAKE IT WHEN HE COMES HOME [EVEN IF HE IS] AT TABLE, clearly shows that he must interrupt [his meal], while [the ruling] subsequently taught, IF HE DID NOT TAKE IT DURING THE MORNING HE SHOULD TAKE IT AT ANY TIME BEFORE DUSK shows, [does it not], that he need not interrupt [his meal]? [To this] R. Safra might well reply, There is no difficulty: The latter refers to where there is still time during the day, the former where there is [otherwise] no time.
R. Zera retorted, What difficulty is this?18 Perhaps it is a religious duty to interrupt [one's meal for the purpose of taking the lulab] but if one did not interrupt it one should take [the lulab] at any time before dusk, since the whole day is valid for the taking of the lulab? Rather, said R. Zera, [The incongruity] indeed is as we said previously;19 and with regard to your difficulty [why the reply was not given20 that] the former was a Pentateuchal commandment while the latter was only Rabbinical,21 the fact is that here we are dealing with the second day of the Festival [the obligation of taking the lulab on] which is only Rabbinical.22 A deduction [from the wording of our Mishnah] also [shows that this is so], since it teaches IF A MAN WAS ON A JOURNEY AND HAD NO LULAB WHEREWITH TO PERFORM THE PRESCRIBED COMMANDMENT. Now if it could possibly have been assumed to refer to the first day of the Festival, [the difficulty would arise] is it permitted [to travel on that day]?23
MISHNAH. IF A SLAVE, A WOMAN, OR A MINOR RECITED [THE HALLEL]24 TO HIM, HE MUST REPEAT AFTER THEM WHAT THEY SAY,25
(AND A CURSE BE UPON HIM).’ IF A MAJOR RECITED TO HIM, HE REPEATS AFTER HIM [ONLY] HALLELUJAH.26 WHERE THE CUSTOM OBTAINS TO REPEAT [THE VERSES],27 HE SHOULD REPEAT; [WHERE THE CUSTOM IS] TO SAY THEM ONLY ONCE, HE SHOULD SAY THEM ONCE; [WHERE THE CUSTOM OBTAINS] TO RECITE THE BENEDICTION,28 HE SHOULD RECITE THE BENEDICTION. EVERYTHING IS DEPENDENT ON LOCAL CUSTOM.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis have taught, It has truly29 been laid down that a [minor] son30 may recite [the Grace after meals] for his father,31 a slave may recite it for his master, and a wife for her husband; but the Sages said, May a curse come upon that man whose wife and [minor] sons have to recite the benediction for him!32
(1) Lit., ‘remnants’.
(2) There are parts of a commandment whose performance is indispensable to the due fulfilment of that commandment, and the neglect to perform which renders it invalid. Others are prescribed but dispensable. The waving belongs to the latter category.
(3) Cf. Yoma 5a.
(4) It also must be waved to and fro, up and down.
(5) The lulab.
(6) The performance of God's commandments of which that of lulab is one.
(7) Whose aim is the seduction of man.
(8) During the festival of Tabernacles.
(9) Lit., ‘in his hand . . . to take’.
(10) Sc. if he did not remember it until he began his meal, he must interrupt his meal and take the lulab forthwith.
(11) The night only excluded.
(12) In connection with the reading of the afternoon prayer.
(13) Any of the acts (including that of eating) which must not be begun before the afternoon prayer has been read.
(14) Shab. 9b.
(15) To which R. Safra had to give an almost arbitrary answer.
(16) Being Pentateuchal it is more rigid than a Rabbinical rule. A meal must consequently be interrupted for its sake at all times.
(17) Statutory daily prayer.
(18) The one raised by Raba.
(19) That between our Mishnah and that of Shab. 9b.
(20) By R. Safra.
(21) The answer suggested by Raba.
(22) The Pentateuchal commandment referring only to the first day (cf. supra 30b). Hence the necessity for R. Safra's reply.
(23) The reference consequently must be to the second day when the duty of taking the lulab, like that of the daily statutory prayers, is only Rabbinical.
(24) Ps. CXIII-CXVIII.
(25) The Reader used to read the Hallel, and the congregation responded only with certain words (v. infra). Since, however, a minor, a slave and a woman are exempt from the Hallel, they cannot officiate for others, and each individual must repeat it after them word for word. (9) That he has not learnt to read himself, or if he has learnt, that he makes use in divine service of inferior or second rate deputies.
(26) For the words or passages after which the response is to be made cf. Sot. 30b. For a full discussion of the mode of recital, cf. I. W. Slotki, ‘Antiphony in Ancient Hebr. Poetry’. JQR., N.S., vol. XXVI, pp. 199-219.
(27) Of Ps. CXVIII, 21-29. Lit., ‘to double’.
(28) At the conclusion of the Hallel. The opening benediction is obligatory.
(29) Be'emeth, a formula introducing a generally accepted ruling.
(30) Who has attained the age of training, and who is subject to the duty of saying Grace after meals by Rabbinic law.
(31) This is explained in Ber. 20b to refer to one who ate only a small quantity of bread and who, like his son, is consequently obliged to say Grace after it by a Rabbinic law only. The two being subject to the same Rabbinic law, the latter may well exempt the former (cf. Ber. 20b).
(32) Cf. relevant note on our Mishnah.
Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 38b
One can deduce important decisions from the [present] custom of [reciting the] Hallel.1 [Thus], since he2 says Hallelujah3 and they respond Hallelujah,4 it may be inferred that it is a religious duty5 to answer Hallelujah.6 Since he7 says, Praise Him, ye servants of the Lord,8 and they [again] respond Hallelujah,9 it may be deduced that if a major recites [the Hallel] for one the latter10 responds Hallelujah.11 Since he7 says, Give thanks unto the Lord,12 and they respond, Give thanks unto the Lord, it may be inferred that it is a religious duty10 to make a response of the beginning of the sections.13 (So it was also stated; R. Hanan b. Raba ruled, It is a religious duty to make a response of the beginning of the sections.) Since he14 says, Save now, we beseech Thee, O Lord,15 and they16 answer, Save now, we beseech Thee, O Lord,17 it may be inferred that if a minor was reciting it for him, the latter18 answers after him what he says.19 Since he14 says, O Lord, we beseech Thee, send now prosperity,15 and they16 respond O, Lord we beseech Thee, send now prosperity, it may be inferred that if a man wishes to double [the verses] he may.20 Since he14 says, Blessed be he that cometh,21 and they22 answer, In the name of the Lord,21 it may be inferred that he who hearkens is as though he responded.20
They enquired of R. Hiyya b. Abba, If one listened but did not make the responses — what is the law?23 — He answered them, The Sages, the Scribes,24 the leaders of the people and the expounders laid down that if a man listened though he did not make the responses he has fulfilled his obligation. So it was also stated:25 R. Simeon b. Pazzi citing R. Joshua b. Levi who had it from Bar Kappara stated, Whence do we know that he who listens is as though he responds? From what is written, Even all the words of the book26 which the King of Judah27 hath read.28 For was it Josiah that read them? Was it not, in fact Shaphan who read them, as it is written, And Shaphan read it29 before the king.30 Consequently it may be inferred that he who listens is as though he responds. But perhaps Josiah read it after Shaphan had read it? — R. Aha b. Jacob replied, This cannot be thought of, since it is written, Because thy heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest29 what I spake;31 "When thou heardest’, not ‘when thou didst read’.
Raba ruled, One should not say Blessed be he that cometh’32 and then [pause and] say ‘in the name of the Lord,’32 but ‘Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord’32 all together.33 (R. Safra said to him,
(1) [In former days it was customary for the congregation to rely on the Reader for the recital of the Hallel, and in order to enable them to participate actively in the recital, a number of customs were introduced. In the days of Raba the congregation read it themselves, yet certain features of the former procedure were retained as reminders.]
(2) The Reader who leads the congregation in prayer.
(3) The first Hallelujah introducing the Hallel.
(4) [While the Reader does not proceed until the congregation has responded. This was the custom in Raba's place; v. Rashi and Tosaf.]
(5) For the whole congregation including even those who recite the Hallel themselves.
(6) After the Reader had said it.
(7) The Reader who leads the congregation in prayer.
(8) Ps. CXIII, 1.
(9) This too was the custom that obtained in Raba's place, though the congregation subsequently recited the Hallel themselves, v. n. 7.
(10) Where he relies on the Reader to recite it for him.
(11) [I.e., after every clause. As a reminder of this custom the congregants in the days of Raba responded Hallelujah after ‘Praise him, ye servants of the Lord’. This custom is not followed nowadays.]
(12) Ps. CXVIII, 1.
(13) Whereas the mere response of Hallelujah is sufficient for single clauses, this is not enough for the beginning of the sections.
(14) The Reader who recites to the congregation in the Synagogue.
(15) Ps. CXVIII, 25.
(16) Though they subsequently recite themselves all the Psalm.
(17) Thus repeating every word though it forms no part of the beginning of a section.
(18) [Lit., ‘he answers’. So MS.M.; cur. edd. ‘They answer’.]
(19) This custom (which is still retained to the present day) serving as a reminder of the original one when a minor may have acted as Reader.
(20) Cf. supra n. 15 mut. mut.
(21) Ps. CXVIII, 26.
(22) Neither repeating what the Reader has said nor responding Hallelujah. This custom does not obtain nowadays.
(23) Sc. Has that man thereby fulfilled his duty.
(24) Or ‘elementary teachers’ (Rashi).
(25) By Amoras.
(26) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘the words’.
(27) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘Josiah’.
(28) II Kings XXII, 16.
(29) Cur. edd. in parenthesis ‘all these words’.
(31) Ibid. 19.
(32) Ps. CXVIII, 26.
(33) Only in antiphonal chant is the breaking up of the distich allowed.
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