Suka 24b-25a


Suka 24b-25a

Menachem Av 25, 7581.  August 3, 2021

Topics discussed:

1- Using trees as the walls of a Sukkah. Tying the branches so they do not sway. 

2 – Canvas Sukkahs. What is considered ‘swaying’?

Easy-to-assemble, stable sukkah designs: Judaism

See Here

3 – Our Gemara cites a case of trees that have overhanging branches and leaves that reach the ground creating a רשות היחיד beneath them. : Red Japanese Maple Tree - Live Plant Shipped 1 Foot Tall by DAS Farms (No California) : Maple Trees : Garden & Outdoor

Japanese Maple


Should I Plant a Weeping Willow? - Bower & Branch

Weeping Willow Tree

4- קרפף שאינו מוקף לדירה

This is a big topic of which we scratched the surface. 

In short, a קרפף  refers to a large area that has full 4 walls surrounding it – meaning that מן התורה it is a רשות היחיד. 

הרב פנחס יוסף אקרב, עירובין דף סז (בשילוב תמונות ואיורים להמחשה)

However, this area of 75’ x 150’ or larger, if it is not designated for human habitation/living, like a yard or playground, the חכמים forbade one from carrying in it. In square feet it come out to about 9,400 sf. 

קרפף שאינו מוקף לדירה

What area is considered a דירה  and what is not?

The typical example of such an area, that is ‘not made for living’, not a דירה,  is a vegetable patch or an orchard. 

Enclosed vegetable garden - Rustic - Landscape - Minneapolis - by Landsburg Landscape Nursery | Houzz

This creates a myriad of issues: What about a baseball or tennis court? Zoos, stadiums or botanical gardens?

Walled garden - Wikipedia

What if in middle of a enclosed area (like in a summer colony) there is a large vegetable patch? If this patch does not have its own מחיצה is this קרפף מבטל the entire ערוב? 

There are many opinions on the status of such a קרפף. 

5 – After learning 25 daf about the structure of the Sukkah and the Schach, we began with the Mishnah that deals with the obligation to sit in a Sukkah. 

6- We observed that the Mishnah begins not with ‘who and when’ one is obligated to sit in a Sukka but with the negative, of who is not obligated to do so and also that eating or drinking ארעי is permitted outside the Sukkah!

7- We spoke about the העוסק במצוה פטור מן המצוה.  

Pin on End-Time Battle for the Temple Mount

This too is a wide ranging topic we will BL”N continue learning about. 

Here are the points we began to discuss:

A- The two opinions if one has the ability to perform both מצוות. Does he have an obligation to do so? Rashi, Tosfos and the Ran. 

B- Assuming it applies only to when he can only do one, then why would we need a פסוק to teach us that one needs to continue to perform Mitzvah A and not drop it and switch to Mitzvah B? Why is B more important than A? 

Merav Michaeli מרב מיכאלי on Twitter: "… "

C- Why did Rebbi, who organized the Mishnayos, wait until מסכת סוכה, to write this Halachah? Why not in מסכת פסחים that precedes סוכה?  


Shiur Sukkah 24a-b 07/27/21


Suka 24a-b

Menachem Av 18, 7581. July 27, 2021

1- We concluded the סוגיא  of Breira and continued. 

The Gemore reverses itself and states another reason Reb Meir says that one cannot use an animal as a Sukkah wall.  It’s (not because the animal may die or run away, but) because the definition of a מחיצה is something made of a material that humans can construct. Such as stone…Old Stone Wall – decorate with a wall mural – Photowall

or wood.

Old Wooden Wall Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 11087641.

That criterion excludes a wall made from animal.

Global Animals Wallpaper | Wallsauce US

2- The Gemore continues explaining the end of the Beraisa where Reb Yosi HaGlili says that one cannot write a divorce on an animal. 

[In passing, we spoke about the Tosafos in Shabbos 152b, mentioned a few Shiurim ago, that the we find in Shas case studies of Halachos that are far fetched] 

Our Gemara goes back and forth trying to explain the reasoning of Reb Yosi HaGlili and the opposing opinion of the  חכמים that allow such a גט. 

At one point the Gemore says that ‘one would think’ that just as with קידושין,  to get married, one gives his bride כסף, similarly, one can divorce a wife with כסף! 

Thirty pieces of silver | Life-Giving Water

Rashi explains that in theory it would work with the husband giving his wife  כסף. 

The Sfas Emes differs and says that logic would say that it would be the woman giving the husband כסף. 

Why? When the marriage begins, the husband in a sense ‘buys’ her, with the כסף making the קנין. 

When the divorce occurs, she is ‘buys’ herself back from him, therefore she needs to ‘pay’ her husband. 

For Thirty Pieces of Silver. – Snyder's Soapbox

3- We mentioned the Rosh Yeshivaת in 770 for many years, Reb Yisroel Piekarski. 

In his Shiurim would always he mentioned his illustrious Rebbe, Reb Arye Fromer, known as the Kozlogover Rov, who became the Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin after the passing of Reb Meir Shapiro.  See a biography here. 

In one of his shiurim Rabbi Piekarski said that his Rebbe had a novel idea to explain the concept of חופה. As we know, the marriage is a two step process. 

Rabbi Piekarski at Kinus Torah in 770 in 5734/1974

First the קנין, which is usually done with כסף. The second is the couple living as one union in a home. 

This second part is symbolized by the חופה with the bride and groom standing under one canopy and then entering the חדר יחוד. 

But Rav says (Kesubos 3a) חופה can accomplish both step simultaneously. 

The קנין and “living as one”. 

How does חופה create a קנין? Suggests the Kozlogover Rov, that it acts like a חצר. 

Boy Pulling Cow Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

And just as one is קונה an animal by bringing it into his חצר, similarly one is קונה his wife with חופה – חצר……..

4- Our Gemore discusses the idea that the Torah calls the גט a ספר כריתות. Book of disengagement. 

Does it mean it needs to be written on paper or parchment or any material works? 

שטר גט- וואדג’אן מרוקו ת”ש

In general – what does ספר mean? 

We mentioned in passing the famous case brought to the נודע ביהודה about a dispute of an estate. 

In short – a father wrote in his will that he is gifting to one of his sons “half my house and my ספרים’. Included in his collection of ספרים, was  a ספר תורה. 

After his passing the other brother claimed that the ספר תורה was not included in his father’s gift since ספרים means only printed books! 

See here – the נודע ביהודה shrugs of this reasoning

נודע ביהודה מג ,חושן משפט, מהדורה תנינא – 

Ancient Bible scrolls to go on exhibit at New Jerusalem House of Prayer

On the contrary, he writes, the word ספר means primarily a ספר תורה. We ‘borrow’ this word and use it for printed books. 

5- Speaking of marriage and divorce, we mentioned the מאמר of the Alter Rebbe where he quotes the Midrash story of the couple that were childless and Rashbi suggested to them to get divorced. He added that this divorce should be done with the same fanfare as the wedding. 

Here is a link to the מאמר. 

We mentioned the humorous addition to this story from the Magid Sholom Shvadron about what they wrote on the invitation inviting all to the divorce party…]  

A Tzaddik A Day, Rav Sholom Schwadron Z"tl - NES 4 NOSSON

6- We spoke of the weird results of a נדר being annulled. Ran in Nedorim, 85a. To be continued. 

דהתנן המקדש האשה על תנאי שאין עליה או עליו נדרים ונמצאו עליה או עליו נדרים אינה מקודשת ומדקתני אינה מקודשת משמע שאינה מקודשת כלל ויכולה להנשא לאחר אע”ג דתניא התם הלכה אצל חכם והתירה וכן הוא שהלך אצל חכם והתירו מקודשת אלמא אע”ג דמצי מיתשיל וחיילי קדושי למפרע כל אימת דלא מיתשיל לא חיישינן דלמא מיתשיל

7 – We ended off with the Tosafos that mentions the story of Tamar who was the daughter of שם the son of נח. 

בראשית רבה פה, י

אפרים מקשאה תלמידו של רבי מאיר אמר משום רבי מאיר תמר בתו של שם היתה דכתיב (ויקרא כא) ובת איש כהן לפיכך הוציאוה ותשרף

As a few pointed out, if one makes the calculation, Tamar, who married both of Yehuda’s sons was older that Yehuda himself!


Shiur Sukkah 23b-24a 07/20/21


Sukkah 23b-24a

Menachem Av 11, 7581. July 20, 2021

Some notes on Breirah ברירה. Retroactive choice. See here from Google. 


HD wallpaper: botte, wine, vintage, cellar, barrel, ancient, wood, barrels | Wallpaper Flare

One who purchases wine from among the Samaritans and there is reason to suspect that teruma and tithes were not taken, and he is not in a position to separate teruma, he acts as follows. If there are one hundred log of wine in the barrels, he says: 

Two log that I will separate in the future are teruma, as the mandated average measure of teruma is one-fiftieth or 2%; 

Korach: Terumah & Maaser | Everyday Jewish Living | OU Life

ten log are first tithe or 10% ; and 

a tenth of the remainder, or 10%, which is nine log, are second tithe. 

And he deconsecrates the second tithe that he will separate in the future, transferring its sanctity to money, and he may drink the wine immediately, relying on the separation that he will perform later. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir.

Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yosi and Rabbi Shimon prohibit one from doing so. 

2- According to the conclusion of the גמרא, the argument is whether this sort of giving תרומה ומעשרות has any validity at all. Or, using the term of the גמרא:

?יש ברירה, או אין ברירה. 

We discussed the following:

A- If you say יש ברירה  it works, and one can drink the wine immediately, relying on his separating תרומה ומעשרות at a later time, when he reaches close to the bottom of the barrel. 

The Three Ways to Retroactively Modify Child Support - Ciyou & Dixon, P.C.

See here the story of Rabban Gamliel on the ship.

If eventually he does not separate  this תרומה ומעשרות, [either  by drinking to the end of the barrel or if the barrel breaks] it is then retroactively acknowledged that there was no  תרומה ומעשרות given and this poor chap simply drank טבל. 

טעויות בהפרשת תרומות ומעשרות מיין | מכון התורה והארץ-'למעשה' אקטואליה הלכתית


B- If אין ברירה, it means that such a method of giving תרומה ומעשרות does not work.

OK. So what happens if a person does utter such words (2% Truma, 10% Maser and another 10% Meser Sheini)?

What happens with this barrel? 

Have You Ever 'Scraped the Bottom of the Barrel?' | Engoo

We discussed that this is a מחלוקת of the ראשונים if we say that since אין ברירה nothing happened and it’s still טבל.

Or, it does take effect. Meaning that his words did indeed create תרומה ומעשרות, it’s in the barrel somewhere, but since ,אין ברירה, we cannot know where in the barrel it is! 

Consequently, only a Kohen can drink from it! 

Reb Elchanan (Beitzah 35) has an interesting explanation as to why if יש ברירה and the barrel breaks it is deemed טבל,  and if אין ברירה we say that it is mixed תרומה ומעשרות.

3- We spoke about the rare expression in Tosfos. The question they ask is as follows: if one starts with 100 gallons and takes out 2 gallons for תרומה there are 98 gallons left. The next step of giving 10% of the remainder to a לוי would result in 9.8 gallons only. Not 10 gallons. Yet the Mishna says ’10 gallons to the Levi’? 

The simple answer is that the Mishna rounded the numbers.

.Tosafos writes that some say that one indeed needs to give the Levi a full 10 gallons! Why? Because in theory one doe not need to give 2% for תרומה. 

מן התורה   even one drop of wine is sufficient. So the Levi is owed a full 10 gallons. Therefore the Mishna states ‘10 gallons’ to the Levi. 

Tosafos categorically rejects this explanation: ‘This is totally incorrect’.  זה לא יתכן מכלל. Tosafos offers no explanation as to why not. 

We discussed the ריטב”א as to what Tosafos’s reason is. 

4- Reb Yehudah, who generally assumes that לא חיישינן למיתה, nevertheless says that on Yom Kippur, the כהן גדול, who needs to be married to do the עבודה, prepares another wife ‘waiting’ to become his wife if his current wife dies. 

Dead Cow Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 7940236.


The גמרא offers an explanation: מעלה עשו בכפרה. Meaning that Yom Kippur being the day of  כפרה results in taking extra precautions (מיתה)  that ordinarily we are not concerned with. 

We mentioned the Tosafos ישנים at the beginning of Yuma that writes that this entire idea of the Kohen Gadol being married is not מעכב. If he does the avodah and is single, it’s fine. 

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Yet, כפרה is so important that we go out of our way (according to Reb Yehuda) and arrange this ‘second’ wife in order to ensure proper כפרה if the needs arrives. 

Rabbi Yoel Kahn Sandek at Bris

We mentioned R’ Yoel A”H:

The elderly Rosh Yeshiva  asks the “new” bochur his name:

‘My name is Chaim Lipkin and I’m not a grandson of Reb Yisroel Slanter.’

‘Ver hot ba dir gefregt?!!’.  

Shiur Sukkah 23b 7/13/21


Sukkah 23b

Menachem Av 4, 7581. July 13, 2021

1- We discussed the concept of חזקת חיים. It’s an offshoot of the general idea of חזקה. Meaning status quo. 

Quo Status Stock Illustrations – 149 Quo Status Stock Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

If something is observed at a particular time, can we assume that it remains unchanged? If this object is unattended or not observed, how long can we take it for granted that it has not changed? 

We fill a Mikvah with 40 סאה. No doubt that the water will eventually evaporate. Until we check the water level can we assume that the original 40 are still intact?

Help, My Pool is Leaking! Or, Is It?

A married man leaves on a trip. How long can we assume that he still living? If he is a Cohen married to an Yisraelis, thus allowing her to eat תרומה, can she continue to eat the תרומה on the assumption that he is still alive? 


2- There is a thought about the above case from Reb Yehuda Aszod. Known by his famous book שו”ת מהר”י אסאד. See here


His point is that this woman has two :חזקות – 

1- That her husband is till alive.

2-   חזקת אוכלת בתרומה.


The Gift of Giving | Parashat Terumah: The Israel Forever Foundation

A few years ago we related a  fascinating story about Reb Yehuda Aszod. As he didn’t never allowed himself to be photographed, when he passed away some of his students propped him up and snapped a picture of him.  Their reason was that their goal was to donate the funds from the sale of this unique portrait to his unmarried daughters. 


The Hungarian Succession – HaMapah

Some say that these ‘machers’ didn’t do that well after this incident. ר”ל.

3- Another case our Gemore brings is if a person gives his wife a גט now, but on the condition that it will only become valid ‘one hour before I pass away’. 

So if he passes away, say in a month from now, at 12 PM, the divorce occurs at 11 AM. 


Tools And Supplies: Just Before Midnight - Stock Image I2099260 at FeaturePics

So technically, the wife is constantly in limbo. 

Why Stay Married When You Can Get Divorced | Transformed Hearts

What is she now? Married or divorced?

Well. No one knows now, but we will know in hour from now!

If he survives the next hour, she was still married. If he passes away, say at 2 PM, she was divorced at 1 PM. 

Can she eat Truma now? If we follow the חזקת חיים , she can. That is because we assume that he will indeed live for the next hour. If we don’t, חייש למיתה, she cannot. 

4- Question of the רש”ש: A Kohen who give his wife such a Get (  a גט now, but on the condition that it will become valid ‘one hour before I pass away’), how can he live with her at anytime? Perhaps he will pass away within the next hour. This triggers the Get to an hour before that….causing the Kohen to live with a גרושה !!!

5- We discussed the topics of טבל and תרומה. 

טבל  – Produce that is in its original form. No תרומה or מעשר has been taken from it. Prohibited from eating it. 

תרומה Produce that has been taken from טבל. Prohibited from eating it except a Kohen. 


טבל – ויקיפדיה

What is the איסור of טבל and תרומה?

We discussed the famous Rashi Yevomos 86b that says the reason for the prohibition to eat טבל is because it has (the potential) תרומה inside of it. 

The question asked is, if so, why can’t a Kohen eat טבל? Reb Yosef Engel and Reb Elchanan discuss it. 

(Yevamos 86a, Rashi, and Tosafos “Ma Toveles”, and R’ Y Engel, Asvun D’oraisa, klal 2 here)

Similar question now in regards to תרומה. Is the איסור of Truma the ‘remnants’ of טבל?

The fact that an Yisroel cannot eat תרומה is because to him the טבל prohibition is is still there or is it a new איסור called תרומה. 

To be continued.  

6- We began to discuss the sugya of ברירה. 

Shiur Sukkah 23a (2) 07/07/21


Sukkah 23a (2)

Tamuz 26, 7581. July 7, 2021

1- We continued on the topic of אינו ראוי או אסור מדרבנן נקרא אינו ראוי מן התורה .

Such as a Sukkah on a tree top. מדרבנן one cannot climb on a tree on Shabbos or Yom Tov. 

Stockfoto Silhouette Of Person Climbing On Palm Tree On

If however one does use this tree-top Sukkah, did he fulfill the מצוה? Or perhaps since the חכמים enacted their גזירה they uprooted this particular סוכה  and one is not יוצא  even מן התורה.

In different words: A Sukka must be a structure that can be used for the full 7 days of Sukkos.  The Schach needs to be in good shape (not dry and clubling) for the entire 7 days. ראוי לשבעה.

Now we have a Sukka, on top of a tree,  that מדרבנן, one will not be able to use on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Is such ‘valid for 7 days’?

The fact that such a Sukka cannot be used on Yom Tov makes it valid for only 6 days!

So it’s valid for 7 days מדאורייתא but מדרבנן for only 6.

Is this called ראוי לשבעה?

We mentioned the Reb Akiva Eiger who says although climbing a tree is prohibited on Shabbos and Yom Tov, if one climbs במזיד, he must stay on the tree all day. So when he will actually sit inside the Sukka he does it בהיתר. Therefore it is  it’s considered ראוי לשבעה! 

Illinois Man Trapped In Tree While Escaping Dog

2- We continued with the :ברייתא  Reb Meir says that any living thing (animals)  cannot be used for a דופן לסוכה, לחי, פסי ביראות  גולל.

In regards to גולל, it means that this anima does not become part of the ארון and קבר and not טמא.

We discussed the two opinions of the meaning of גולל. Rashi says it is the cover of a coffin. So Reb Meir is saying, that  an animal does not become טמא  like the rest of the ארון. 

Tomb with Round Stone in Israel | Saint Mary's Press

Rabeinu Tam says it’s inconceivable that anyone would place an animal, even temporarily, atop of a coffin. 

His opinion is that גולל means a מציבה. If one is buried and there is no stone around to mark the grave site, an animal would be tied temporarily to a stake on top grave site. 

The Tomb of Jesus: First Century Jewish Burials

3- We discussed the issue of הלכות in Shas that are very far fetched – meaning the odds of such occurrences to happen are  close to nil. Such as the גולל according to Rashi’s translation. 

Tosfos in Shabbos 152b says that Rashi is not bothered by the fact that no one places a horse, for example, on top of a corpse. 

“For we find in Shas many examples of cases that are not common and the Gemara has no issue with discussing its הלכות in great detail” דרוש וקבל שכר. 

And Tosfos goes on to numerate some of these far fetched examples. Such as ‘a cow giving birth to a calf with the newborn entering the womb of a another calf’! 

Cow & Calf

Our Gemara’s case of a cow hanging on a sling and creating a wall of a Sukkah is another example! See below. 

REGA rescuing cows from flood | Living In Geneva

4- We discussed the Alter Rebbe’s words in Tanya where he too cites   הלכות that are unlikely to occur. 

Let us understand [how this applies to] the details of the laws that never occur at all,וּלְהָבִין פְּרָטֵי הַהֲלָכוֹת דְּלָא   שְׁכִיחֵי כְּלָל, and possibly never actually existed,וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ מֵעוֹלָם בִּמְצִיאוּת, and certainly will not come to pass in the Time to Come; מִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא, for example, the detailed laws of pigul and the like. כְּמוֹ פְּרָטֵי דִּינֵי פִּיגּוּל וּכְהַאי גַוְנָא……….

Likewise, all the detailed queries of R. Yirmiya, who posed so many hypothetical possibilities that he was escorted from the House of Study, as the Gemara relates,6

וְכָל פְּרָטֵי הָאִבַּעְיוֹת דְּרַבִּי יִרְמְיָה,

Obviously, his queries involved situations that were entirely unlikely to ever take place.7

and [detailed queries such as] “If she wrapped him…,” in ch. 4 of Chullin,8 וּ”כְרָכַתּוּ כוּ'” פֶּרֶק ד’ דְּחוּלִּין.

The question discussed there is whether a firstborn animal can be considered to have directly “opened the womb” (and hence be sanctified) in either of two hypothetical cases. According to Rashi, it is a question of what happens if the person assisting in the birth entirely wraps up the animal as it is born. According to Rabbeinu Tam, the question involves a multiple birth, with a cow being born together with the firstborn bull, and wrapping itself completely around it—something extremely unlikely to ever occur. Nevertheless, all these detailed queries were given to Moses at Sinai.

5- Mentioned Rabbi Hirschsprung‘s quip regarding Reb Yirmiye. On Daf 23 in בבא בתרא it says that they ousted him for asking outlandish queries. On Daf 165b it says that due to another ruling by Reb Yirmiye he was allowed back in. 

How long was it from the time he was ousted to the time he was allowed back in? 

A Scholar Lectures - Maimonides' Life and Beyond in Pictures

Well, said Rabbi Hirschsprung, it depends on the type of Yeshiva he attended. If a Litvishe one, where the learning is slow and cover little ground, it may have taken many years…..If it was a Chassidisher Yeshiva where there is more emphasis on covering many Dafim then it took just a few months….

6-  We mentioned the tragedy that happened in Surfside ר”ל  with the collapsed building. 

Champlain Towers South Condo - 8777 Collins Ave, Surfside FL 33154 - Sunny Isles Condos®

We spoke briefly about a case of of body that is never found and the resulting tragedy of an Aguna. The הלכה is that no mourning is allowed and that a woman ‘should not wear black clothing’. Least people think her husband has been confirmed dead. Here. EH 17, 5 in the רמ”א.

Can You Build A Sukkah From An Elephant? - Sinai and Synapses

7- Our Gemare mentions the use of an elephant as wall of a Sukka. We mention the famous תשובה of the son of the נודע ביהודה ת Reb Shmuel Landau, who discusses the use of non Kosher animals materials in Mitzvos. It’s a long topic and we will elaborate some more on this next week בלי נדר. 

In the meantime here is the piece of his father coming to him in his dream to answer his question, Fascinating stuff. 

Shiur Sukkah 23a 06/29/21


Sukkah 23a 

Tamuz 19, 7581. June 29, 2021

 1_ We continued with controversial passage in the מהר”ל about the אסמכתא concept. See previous shiur. 

Thank’s to Dani Chitrik for the link to the discussion regarding the Problem with Likkutei Maharil – Mi Yodeya.

Another link with links to two scholarly articles about the above.

2- Surprisingly, the מגן אברהם  writes explicitly that “if one hears a Halacha’ and it seems to him to be correct, he may tell others that ‘this Halachah was said by a great and accepted Rav’ if this will cause people to accept it! 

See here: OC 156,

 שמע דין ונראה לו שהלכה כך מותר לאמרו בשם אדם גדול כי היכי דליקבלי מיניה

 [עירובין דף נ״א ופסחים דף קי״ב] ובסוף מסכת כלה איתא האומר דבר בשם חכם שלא גמרו ממנו גורם לשכינה 

שתסתלק וכ״ה בברכות דף כ״ז ע״ש וצ״ע. 

Can you build a sukkah on a boat or on top of a camel? - ISRAEL21c

3- A sukkah on a truck.

Although the our Mishnah permits it the Pri Megadim, OC 628, 4, says that it is only Kosher while parked. A Sukkah atop of a moving truck or flat bed is not considered a proper Sukkah. The ביכורי יעקב disagrees. 

World's Largest Sukkah Mobile?

We mentioned it seems from the Alter Rebbe 628, 4, that he would agree with the Pri Megodim.

About that rolling sukkah … | The Jewish Standard

That is interesting for all the Chabad Sukka mobiles. 

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg on Twitter: "A thread of groovy Sukkot situations, as discussed in the Mishnah (wikipedia for terms you don't know.) Photos from Neot Kedumim, link w/specific citations at end. 1/x

4- We scratched the surface of the huge topic of אינו ראוי מדרבנן נקרא אינו ראוי מן התורה .

Such as a Sukkah on a tree top. מדרבנן one cannot climb on a tree on Shabbos or Yom Tov. 

11 Incredible Sukkot You'll Love | Reform Judaism

If however one does use this tree-top Sukkah, did he fulfill the מצוה? Or perhaps since the חכמים enacted their גזירה they uprooted this particular סוכה  and one is not יוצא  even מן התורה! 

More on this topic BL”N next week. 

5- Interesting question from the Maharil:

מדרבנן one cannot climb a tree or ride atop of an animal on Shabbos or Yom Tov. 


Similarly, one is prohibited to read in front of a burning candle on Shabbos. The גזירה is that inadvertently he may adjust the flickering wick when needed. 

Jews Studying Under Candlelight | PishPoshPaints

However two people reading together may use a single candle to read since one will remind the other of the prohibition to adjust the wick. 

Asks  the Maharil;  would this permit two people to climb a tree at the same time or riding an animal together?

Oklahoma couple breeds longhorns for riding |

See here the מגן אברהם OC 285, 5, that answers that the leniency of two reading by candlelight applies on when learning. It would not apply to joy riding or tree climbing. 

So two people climbing a tree to eat in a Sukkah would be OK? 

To be continued…

Shiur Sukkah 22b 06/22/21


Sukkah 23a. 

Tamuz 12, 5781. June 22, 2021

1- Continued the Sugya of חבוט רמי. Basically, ‘lowering’ the upper planks into a space at a lower lever to create a contiguous cover. 

Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 631 - [A Sukkah] whose Sunlit Area Exceeds its Shaded Area, & Other Laws Governing S'chach - Texts & Writings

2- 3 opinions as to when we apply this rule.

a – Rashi- the lower space does not need to be a טפח. 

b – Ritva and Ramo in Shulchan Aruch (631, 5) – lower space needs to be at least a טפח.  

c – Ritva – citing an opinion, it needs to be a perfect fit. 

3- The קורה that creates a closed מבוי. There are a few of these  in Crown Heights. 


Cases discussed: If it doesn’t reach the opposite wall. 2 poles sticking out from both walls but do not touch each other. 

4 – We spoke about Reb Chaim Tzimerman.

audio - rabbi dr. chaim zimmerman |

Here.  Chabad connection here

5- Discussed the famous Maharil. Actually the ליקוטים at the end of this monumental book which is the primary source to the many מנהגים of Ashkenazim. 

Auction 51, Part 1 - Judaica Prices - 380 Auction Price Results - Kedem Auctions in il - Page 16


כל היכא דאיתמר מדרבנן הוא וקרא אסמכתא בעלמא’ הכי פירושו ודאי תקנתא דרבנן הוא והם יצאו ובדקו ומצאו להם סמך מקרא וסמכו דבריהם עליו כדי להחזיקם שיהיו סבורים דהוא מדאורייתא ויחמירו בו ולא אתו לזלול ולהקל בדברי חכמים

The sharp comment by Reb Yosef Engel who doubted that the מהרי”ל  ever said this. בית האוצר 190

We discussed that we do indeed find places where the חכמים  proclaimed something in the name of a great חכם in order for people to accept it. See Shabbos 115a. 

Heard various differences between the above Gemara and what Reb Yosef Engel disapproved. 

To be continued with the מגן אברהם’s take on this. 

Shiur Sukkah 22a 06/15/21


Sukkah 22a 

Tammuz 5, 5781

June 15, 2021

1- Placing the סכך on material that is מקבל טומאה, such as metal. 

The Kirsch Sukkah | The Marcos Kirsch Experience®

We read the text of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch. See here.

Basically, it boils down to this: the issue is what people will think and perhaps err. 

Galvanized Steel Outdoor Storage Shed 9' 1-1/4"W x 6'5"D x 7'1"H | 240574 -

If placing the סכך on a type of material that is פסול for schach will cause people to think that one can use this material for the actual סכך then it is אסור. 

If there is no chance for such an error, such as placing it on a stone wall, there is no issue. No one will conclude that placing the סכך on a stone means that one can use stones for the actual סכך. 

Stone Shed With Stone Roof In Kravice, Bosnia-Herzegovina Stock Photo - Image of farm, herzegovina: 145094054

So placing the schach on 2x4s aluminum poles that crisscross the Sukkah ……depends if an observer will/may conclude that the entire Sukkah can be covered with these aluminum poles.  Ditto for placing it on an aluminum frame. 


2- Discussed the outlier opinion that even the ‘support of the support’ מעמיד המעמיד, cannot be of material that is מקבל טומאה. Such as placing סכך atop wooden 2×2, which in itself is fine to support the סכך, on top of a metal support.  

See here

This translates into prohibiting even a nail to support the walls (if they cannot stand on their own) since that supports the סכך!

The consensus is that this opinion is not accepted.

3 – We learned the next Mishna about סכך that is layered. Staggered or one directly on top of the other. 

Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 631 - [A Sukkah] whose Sunlit Area Exceeds its Shaded Area, & Other Laws Governing S'chach - Texts & Writings

 The explanation of Rashi and Tosfos. The concept of חבוט רמי. 

4- Remember!  Always use Goldberg’s nails. They’re guaranteed to last over 2,000 years…..

Shiur Sukkah 21b 06/01/21


Suka 21b

Sivan 21, 5781 / June 1st, 2021

1- We reviewed the argument between Reb Yehuda and the Chachomim concerning if a Sukkah can be be קבע. Meaning a permanent structure. 



2- We came across the famous saying:

 אפי’ שיחת תלמידי חכמים צריכה לימוד

Reclaiming the Dignity of the Rabbinate: What in the World Happened, and What Can Be Done? - Jewish Action

3- Discussed the life of Reb Yaakov Yosef Katz, the senior תלמיד of the בעל שם טוב. The sign that he received from the בעש”ט  that would precede his passing. 

[Related the old Jewish quip about the peasant that was asked by the Rov as to why he is dancing on Simchas Torah when he has not learned all year. 

The peasant’s response: 

Former Chief Rabbinate official indicted for bribery - Israel National News

On Yom Kippur I said על חטא שחטאנו לפניך בכפת שוחד, (sin of accepting bribes). Well,  it obviously didn’t refer to me personally since I do not sit on Din Torahs…… But I said it anyway since ‘we’re all one and in it together’, so I’m dancing on Simchas Torah as well…….]

4- One of Reb Yaakov Yosef’s books is the Toldos Yakov Yosef.

See here. It was the first ספר  on Chassidus ever published. 

תולדות יעקב יוסף - בראשית שמות ויקרא - יעקב יוסף בן צבי הירש הכהן מפולנאה



Shul in Pollonoye

Story of the נודע ביהודה that opposed חסידות and placed this ספר under the foot of his table!

Leg of a wobbly table supported by a book Stock Photo - Alamy

When נודע ביהודה met once a תלמיד of Reb Yaakov Yosef he inquired about the character of his teacher. The student replied: My master was so humble that if you placed him under the table he would also take it in stride…….

5- In the תולדות יעקב יוסף, he quotes a ‘quip’ he once heard about the above saying 

אפי’ שיחת תלמידי חכמים צריכה לימוד


I heard in the name of a great person somewhat figuratively, on our Gemara here:  “שיחת חולין של תלמידי חכמים צריכין לימוד- the mundane Sicha or speech, of a Talmid Chochom require study”.

From the mundane words of this person (it is indicative that) he is a only a Talmid Chochom, (not a חכם per se) and he still requires study from others to become a Chochom.

 4- We moved on to the next Mishna and began to discuss the issue of placing the סכך upon metal or cement. 

To be continued next week bl”n. 






Shiur Sukkah 21a-b 05/25/21


Sukkah 21a-b

Sivan 14, 5781

May 25, 2021

1- We reviewed the Gemara of last shiur concerning the extraordinary measures enacted in the preparation of the ashes of the פרה אדומה.

Inner Courtyard Of The Tower Of David In Jerusalem Israel Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock 

Courtyards were built in Jerusalem over rock, and beneath them there was a hollow which served as a protection against a grave in the depths. And they used to bring there pregnant women, and there they gave birth to their children and there they raised them. And they brought oxen, upon whose backs were placed doors, and the children sat upon them with stone cups in their hands. When they reached the Shiloah spring they got down and filled the cups with water and then they ascended and sat again on the doors. Rabbi Yose said: each child used to let down his cup and fill it from his place

Shiloah Pool: Because this people has rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, And melts with fear at the display o… | Kings of israel, Isaiah 8, Rise above

As a result of the fierce argument with the צדוקים, the Kohen who prepared the ashes was intentionally made טמא! This was to show that the מסורה  of the חכמים was the true one, contrary to the opinion of the צדוקים. 

To counter this leniency, many practices were enacted to publicize that the process is very serious and needs to be made in a way that will preclude any chance that any טומאה was encountered. 

One of them was the camping out of the children in a secluded area until the next פרה אדומה  was processed. 

Family Camping in Jerusalem - Fun In Jerusalem


2- We discussed that these extreme measures (above and also the building of a suspended ramp from the  הר הבית to the הר המשחה see פרה  3, 6 ) caused others to go even more extreme to the point of Reb Akiva and Reb Yosi said  “enough – you are causing the צדוקים to mock you!”

Wilson's Arch - Madain Project (en)


3- Further along the Gemara brings a ברייתא concerning what the above Mishna says:

And they brought oxen, upon whose backs were placed doors, and the children sat upon them with stone cups in their hands.

 Reb Yehuda says that the children sat right on the oxen- not on top of the doors placed on the oxen. The reason being that a child on a ox will be afraid and not lean over the ox or stick his foot or hand over the side. 

If, however, he is sitting on a wide door, then “a child is restless” and (not being afraid of falling off) will play around and stick his hand out. 

4- We mentioned the story related by Reb Yoel Kahn of the young Lubavitcher  בחורים  in Tel Aviv, in the early 40s, who talked a newcomer בחור into performing תיקון חצות  by conning him that it was מנהג חב”ד and the resulting rebuke they received from their מנהל Reb  חיים שאול ברוק

In passing we spoke about Reb Chaim Shaul’s Brook quip about the nature of בחורים.

Rabbi Yoel Kahn Sandek at Bris

There is a old Yiddish saying אִם לֹא יוֹעִיל, לֹא יַזִּיק . Meaning there’s nothing to lose; even if doesn’t help, it can’t do any harm. 

Reb Chaim Shaul would reverse the saying and say:  אם לא יזיק, לא יועיל. If a בחור does not have at least a mild wild side to him,   ( שטיפען )   he’s not a מזיק, then לא יועיל, when he grows up he will not amount to much……

5- Our Gemara says concerning a bed that since its primary purpose is for sleeping on the top, the underside of the bed cannot be considered an אהל. 

The Gemara continues to ask that it is quite normal for people to place their shoes or sandals under the bed.

Creepy shoes under your bed Wood Print by Don Valentine

We discussed the prohibition of placing food or drinks under a bed. 

Bed Snack Drawer #snack #drawer | Room inspiration bedroom, Cute room decor, Room ideas bedroom

See here from the Alter Rebbe in his שלחן ערוך 

6- We corrected something mentioned in the last shiur concerning the  ספר רוקח   written by Reb Elozor of גרמיזא

The taking 3 steps when finishing שמונה עשרה is mentioned in the Gemara.

 תלמוד בבלי מסכת יומא דף נג עמוד ב

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: המתפלל צריך שיפסיע שלש פסיעות לאחוריו, ואחר כך יתן שלום. אמר ליה רב מרדכי: כיון שפסע שלש פסיעות לאחוריו – התם איבעיא ליה למיקם, משל לתלמיד הנפטר מרבו, אם חוזר לאלתר – דומה לכלב ששב על קיאו. 

However the taking 3 steps before שמונה עשרה is from the תקנות of the רוקח. The reason as the Alter Rebbe writes is to ‘make an approach’ prior to davning. 

We tried to figure out as to why before davening we take three steps backwards to then take three steps forward. 

Physical Movement in Jewish Prayer | My Jewish Learning

If one is standing in from of a wall or a table it makes sense. But if one standing in middle of the shul….why not just take three step forward? 

Good question. 

When completing שמונה עשרה, we take three steps back, as above Gemara, as a sign of respect when departing from the presence of a King. 

One needs to stay there a bit to complete this show of respect and then go back to his  original position. 

Why? To be continued.