Sukka 3b 01/28/20


Suka Shiur #5

Suka 3b (2) 

Shvat 2, 5780. January 28, 2020

Some topics discussed. 

1 – Reducing the height of a Sukkah that is more than 20 amos high:  

 Raising the floor and thereby reducing the distance from the floor to the סכך to less than 20 Amos.

A-By placing pillows and blankets on the floor. The issue here is the fact that these items will not remain on the floor permanently.

Image result for huge pile of pillows"

B- By placing gravel or straw. The issues here is that although these are usually meant to remain on the floor permanently, if one places them without the explicit thought to never remove them; ‘Stam’. 

Image result for piles of straw"

C- By building a platform that is 7 x 7 טפחים. Thus the height from the platform to the סכך is now less than 20 Amos. The issue discussed is if the platform does not cover the entire  סוכה. To be continued. 

Other options are discussed in the Gemara further along. 

2- Issues with a Sukkah that is less than 10  טפחים which is פסול. 

A- Can one dig and lower the floor? To be discussed next week. 

Image result for digging with shovel"

B- If the  סוכה is 10 טפחים but some branches drop down into this tiny Suka. Does it invalidate it? 

Image result for drooping palm fronds"

3- The question of the Rashash. The height of a  person is 4 Amos which is 24 טפחים.  

So how can a person stand in a Sukkah that is only 10  טפחים high?

The חידוש  of the ערוך לנר. 

4- We spoke Shiurim and about the size of people in ancient times. Were they shorter than us contemporaries? Taller? 

Image result for chinese midget"

See here about the growth of the Japanese in the last 50 years. 

We spoke about the ancient people of Cappadocia, Turkey. See here

This area and its people are actually mentioned in Chumash! They’re called the ‘button people’. Why? See ahead. 

בראשית (י, יד) וְֽאֶת־פַּתְרֻסִ֞ים וְאֶת־כַּסְלֻחִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָצְא֥וּ מִשָּׁ֛ם פְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים וְאֶת־כַּפְתֹּרִֽים׃

דברים פרק ב פסוק כג


וְהָעַוִּים הַיֹּשְׁבִים בַּחֲצֵרִים עַד עַזָּה כַּפְתֹּרִים הַיֹּצְאִים מִכַּפְתּוֹר הִשְׁמִידֻם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ תַחְתָּם.

Image result for כַּפְתֹּרִים הַיֹּצְאִים מִכַּפְתּוֹר"

But the Avim, who dwell in open cities, up till Gaza — the Caphtorites, who came from Caphtor, exterminated them, and dwelt in their stead.

The Targum translates כפתור as Cappadocia. 

תרגום אונקלוס:

וְעַוָאֵי דְּיָתְבִין בִּרפִיחַ עַד עַזָה קְפוּטקָאֵי דִּנפַקוּ מִקְפוּטקְיָא שֵׁיצִיאוּנוּן וִיתִיבוּ בַאֲתַרהוֹן :

In Yecheskel 27, 11 they are also mentioned. The Targum there translates it as ‘midgets’. See here. ‘They are celled button because like a button they are thick and short’. 

Some of their cave dwellings still exist and the only way we can understand them living in these tiny homes is to conclude that they were very very short. See here



Reb Chaim Naeh, the famous Posek who established the commonly used Shiurim, also discusses this topic at length. See his bio here

His monumental book- Shiurei Torah. See here. And here

רבי אברהם חיים נאה



Sukkah 3b 01/20/20

Sukkah 3b 24 Teves, 5780. Jan 20, 2020

Topics discussed. 

1- Our Gemara enumerates various places where the Torah uses the term בית and the minimum measurement is 4 x 4 Amos. 

Image result for 4 x 4 3d cube

‘A house in which there is not an area of four cubits by four cubits (about 6’ x 6’) is not considered a house. Consequently, it is exempt from the mitzvah of placing a mezuzah on its doorpost’. 

Related image

And that is the Halocho. Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah 286:13. See here

2- We spoke about the opinion of the Rambam that the 4 x 4 Amos need not be square; meaning, that as long as it has 16 Amos squared it is considered a בית.  So a rectangular room or closet would be חייב במזוזה. 

However, some argue and say that it needs to be a minimum of 4 x 4 – length and width. See the ש”ך  there (23) that one should affix the mezuzah in a room that is not 4 x 4 square without a ברכה.

3- We mentioned the interesting dialogue between the בנין ציון and the מהר”מ שיק. See here

Portrait of Rabbi Jakob Ettlinger.jpg

 יעקב אטלינגר- ערוך לנר 

The Binyan Tzion, AKA as the ערוך לנר lived in Altoona. See here a letter he wrote in German that was auctioned off. 

The case in question is where to affix a mezuzah on the entrance of a small foyer that leads to a large room. Right side or left side. 

Image result for mezuzah foyer which side

What we discussed was the Binyan Tzion’s idea of affixing two mezuzas! One on each side of the door to alleviate the doubt as to which side to put it upon. 

The מהר”מ שיק countered that there is an issue of בל תוסיף. One may not do a mitzvah twice. 

The classic case of בל תוסיף is if one has a coat with five corners, we need to tie ציצית to four corners only. If one adds ציצית to the fifth corner that is בל תוסיף

Image result for 2 pairs of tefillin

On the other hand, we do put on two pairs of Tefillin? Why is that not בל תוסיף?

The answer is that only one pair is right. Rashi or Rabeinu Tam. 

  • At least according to נגלה דתורה. We spoke many years ago about the amazing story in the סדר הדורות concerning this famous מחלוקת. 

So the second pair is – nothing. So there is no בל תוסיף.

Image result for 5 corners tzitzit

The case of the 5 cornered coat, the four corners are kosher ציצית, so adding a fifth is בת תוסיף. 

Our case, of a doubt on which side of the door to place the mezuzah, if we put up 2 mezuzas, is that like the 5th corner of a בגד,  or is that like Rashi and Rabeinu Tam? 

To be continued. 


Sukkah 3a (2) 01/14/2020

Suka 3a (2) 17 Teves, 5780. Jan 14, 2020

Some points discussed:

1- The effect of a תקנת חכמים on a מצוה דאורייתא. This is a big topic. 

Famous Tosafos on our Daf where they state that a Takanah of  Chachamim, once enacted, invalidates any other way it can be performed. Even מן התורה. Meaning that one must follow their ruling and if not he is not יוצא even on a דאורייתא level. 

Example: our Sugya- (One of the 6 rare instances when) the Halachah is like Beis Shammai and sitting inside a Sukkah while eating out of a plate that is inside a house (or out if the Suka)  is prohibited lest one accidentally ‘follow his table’ and consume his food inside the house or out of the Suka).

Image result for raining in sukkah

This is a גזירה of the Chachamim. Now, says Tosafos, if one does it on the first night of Sukkos, he is not יוצא even on a דאורייתא level. His eating is as if he did nothing. 

The Ran and others disagree. Their opinion is that one is יוצא מן התורה. It’s just that he is not יוצא מדרבנן. 

What is the practical difference? Regardless, one would need to eat again (properly, meaning the plate being inside the Sukkah)   – whether מן התורה (Tosfos) or מדרבנן (Ran). 

We mentioned a few ideas. 

A- Sha’gas Arye (96) – If for example, there was a prohibition for him to eat in a Sukkah. Such as if one made a נדר not to eat anywhere outside a house. On the first night of Sukkos one would need to eat in a Sukkah regardless since the מצות עשה of Sukkah would outweigh the prohibition of נדר. 

Now that he ate in a Sukkah but didn’t follow the ruling of the Chachamim, according to the Ran he would not be permitted to eat in a Sukkah since he has already fulfilled his תורה obligation. Tosafos, on the other hand would say that his first act is considered nil. So he still has a Torah obligation to eat in a Sukkah. 

Image result for eat in sukkah

B- Minchas Chinuch. (10:2). The rule is that Beis Din must force people to observe Mitzvos. But that rule only applies to Mitzvos דאורייתא. 

ועשאג”א נ”מ אי א”י מן התורה או דרבנן אם מן התורה א”י ואח”ז נזדמן לו איסור תורה שעדל”ת מותר וחובה לאכול דעדל”ת אבל אכל דבר שיצא מן התורה רק מדרבנן ל”י ונזדמן לו אח”כ איסור כיון דמה”ת יצא אינו חייב בעשה ואדל”ת וערש”י כתובות צ”א דדוקא במצות דאורייתא כופין עד שת”נ אבל במצוה דרבנן אין כופין. אם כן נ”מ ג”כ אי מן התורה ל”י כופין אותו אח”כ עד שת”נ אבל אם מדרבנן ל”י אין כופין. אך התו’ כתובות פ”ו השיגו ע”ז.

ועיין בשאג”א (see above)  דאם אין לו מצה של היתר בגוונא דעדל”ת כגון חדש יאכל האיסור דעדל”ת. ולכאור’ יש לספק אם יש לפנינו חדש וטבל דרבנן וטבל דרבנן אינו נדחה מפני מצה ע’ בש”ס אם יכול לאכול החדש דעדל”ת כיון דקיימא לן כ”מ שאפשר לקיים שניהם אין ל”ת נדחה וכאן מדאורייתא אפשר לקיים בטבל דרבנן וא”צ לדחות הל”ת אם כן מיקרי אפשר.

So in our case according to Tosafos, Beis Din would need to force him to re-eat since his first meal amounted to nothing. According to the Ran, he basically fulfilled his Torah obligation despite transgressing the דרבנן edict. 

Image result for force to eat

C- Perhaps there would be a difference if he would need to say a Brachah on the second time . Please oAccording to Tosafos he surely would be obligated. According to the Ran- maybe not. 

D- Blowing the Shofar on ראש השנה that occurs Shabbos. Does he make שהחיינו on the second day?  

2- Discussed another aspect of the above. 

Image result for blowing shofar

Kiddush Shabbos night. מן התורה one must sanctify Shabbos. זכור את יום השבת לקדשו- בדברים. Doing it verbally is sufficient. 

The Chachamin enacted that one should do it on a cup of wine (and drink it as well). 

In reality, once one says at Kabbalas Shabbos ברוך אתה ה’ מקדש השבת he is יוצא  מן התורה! 

So unless he has כוונה not to do the Mitzvah of מקדש את השבת, he is done! 

Does that mean that his קידוש  before the meal is only דרבנן. 

How can he then make Kiddush for his wife? He is doing it only מדרבנן (on wine) she, on the other hand, is still at the De’Oiraise obligation! YG says: Unless she greets him with a “Gut Shabbos”…. See below. 

Image result for fiddler on roof, shabbos
!גוט שבת

Or, once the Chachamim enacted to be מקדש on wine, any other way is not valid at all –  one is not יוצא even on a דאורייתא level. Thus his Kiddush on wine is דאורייתא. 

See Mincahs Chinuch (31). 

אך עתה שתקנו חכמינו זכרונם לברכה הנוסח דהיינו להתחיל בשם ומלכות ולסיים והוא לא עשה כן רק אמר דברים מעצמו למעלת היום אפשר אף מן התורה לא יצא כמ”ש התוס’ סוכה גבי לא קיימת מצות סוכה מימיך

3- We discussed the famous Rav Akiva Eiger’s ruling that just by saying “Gut Sabbos” one is יוצא ! See here

See here as well. Humorous story at the end.

Image result for calendar question 

4- We spoke about Rav Akiva Eiger’s ‘Gut Shabbos’ ruling in Japan in 1941.  

To be continued. 


Sukkah 3a 1/7/20

Sukkah 3a.

10 Teves 5780. January 7, 2020

We discussed these topics: 

1- Machlokes Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel concerning the minimum width and length of a Sukkah:

Either 6 x 6 or  7 x 7 Tefachim. 

In inches that’s 18 x 18” or 21 x 21″.  A person takes up a square amah when standing or sitting, which is 6 x 6 Tefachim. 

Image result for tiny sukkah

All agree that a Sukkah needs to contain Rosho v’Rubo, ראשו ורובו.  Beis Shamai requires an extra Tefach for a table as to fit in as well. 

2- Explanation of the Rashash on how someone is supposed to sleep in 18” x 18”, as normal sleeping requires one to lie down. So how does Rosho v’Rubo fit while lying down? 

A- Rosho vRubo means the majority of one’s vital organs. Thus they can fin into an 18” x 18” space. 

B- One can sleep in a leaning position. 

3- Where do these measurements come from? The Pri Megodim writes that it is a Halachah LeMoshe miSinai. 

We discussed the question of how there can be an argument concerning such Halachos. 

Story of the 3,000 Haachos that were forgotten when Moshe Rabeinu passed away.

Temurah 16b

גופא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל שלשת אלפים הלכות נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה …

אמר רבי אבהו אעפ”כ החזירן עתניאל בן קנז מתוך פלפולו 


4- Sitting in  a large Suka but one’s table is out of the Sukkah or in a house. That is another Machlokes Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel if the Chachamim enacted a Gezeira to prohibit this. 

The 2016 Sukkot farm-to-table dinner at Aluma Farm in Adair Park, which drew about 80 people, has spawned the Marcus JCC’s first Sukkot Farm-to-Table Festival.
Beautiful, Kosher…Empty Sukkah

The concern is that one may eventually move his body out of the Sukkah. 

5- We discussed 2 Takanos Chachamin which were historically enacted for fascinating reasons:

A- Chazoras Hashatz. No one less than the Rambam enacted (At least in Egypt) that there should be no Chazoras Hashatz!!!!

This was, as he writes,  because ‘no one listens anyway, people just schmooze. Our non Jewish neighbors mock us!!!

Image result for laughing

This Minhag lasted for hundreds of years until the Radvaz, the Rabbi of Egypt reinstated it. 

See here in Hebrew. And an excellent article here.  

English version.

B- The Avel (Mourning) wearing of a headgear to cover his eyes and face.  Despite this Halocho being mentioned in Tanach and Gemore (Mo”K 15,a) since “it causes a great mockery in the eyes of gentiles and our household servants, one should not wear this over one’s head”. 

Image result for mourner's hood

See Shulchan Aruch, Ramo and Shach here

6- We mentioned the interesting idea of Tzizis. The only mitzva we know how to do it because of it’s Brocho!

According to The Geonim “Since the Brocho is להתעטף בציצית, we therefore know that a talis must wrap the person as the Yishmelim wrap themselves. Any garment that does not accomplish עיטוף, meaning a full warp, is פטור מציצית”. 

The Halocho is not like the Geonim’s reasoning. All four cornered garments require ציצית. 

Image result for bedouin shawl

See here for the Alter Rebbe’s SHulchan Aruch.

7- Discussed a case where the Chachamim say a Sukkah is Posul. For example using planks of wood for the Schach. The Gezeira is that one may conclude that sitting in his house and calling it a Sukkah will work as well. If one does use this Sukkah, is he יוצא min Hatorah? 

If he then enters a kosher Sukkah, does he make a Brachah? If he was יוצא min Hatorah then he doesn’t. If the Chachamim uprooted the entire Mitzvah than he should make a Brachah since he has yet to sit in a proper Sukkah. 

More on this in the future. 


Sukkah 2b 12/31/19

Suka 2b –  Gimel Teves, 5780-  12/31/20

We discussed 3 points concerning the story of Queen Hilni (Helena)

Tomb of the Kings in Jerusalem

First the story and the dialogue. From Sefaria

Rabbi Yehuda said: There was an incident involving Queen Helene in Lod where her sukka was more than twenty cubits high, and the Elders were entering and exiting the sukka and did not say anything to her about the sukka not being fit.

The Rabbis said to him: Is there proof from there? She was, after all, a woman and therefore exempt from the mitzva of sukka. Consequently, the fact that her sukka was not fit did not warrant a comment from the Elders.

Rabbi Yehuda said to them in response: Didn’t she have seven sons and therefore require a fit sukka? And furthermore, she performed all of her actions only in accordance with the directives of the Sages.

Image result for Queen Helena sukkah

Before analyzing the objection being raised from the baraita, the Gemara seeks to understand its content. Why do I need Rabbi Yehuda to teach: And furthermore, she performed all of her actions only in accordance with the directives of the Sages? His first contention was sufficient.

The Gemara answers that this is what Rabbi Yehuda is saying to them: If you say that Helene’s sons were minor sons and minors are exempt from the mitzva of sukka, and that is why the Elders said nothing; since they were seven sons, then it is not possible that there was not at least one among them who no longer needed his mother to look after him. The halakha is that a minor who no longer needs his mother has reached the age of training and is required to fulfill the mitzva of sukka by rabbinic law. Even if she gave birth to them in consecutive years, the oldest would be seven years old, and at that age a child does not need his mother to constantly look after him.

Image result for mother hen and chick

And if you say that a child who no longer needs his mother is obligated in the mitzva of sukkah only by rabbinic law, and Queen Helene did not observe rabbinic law, come and hear that which Rabbi Yehuda said: And furthermore, she performed all of her actions only in accordance with the directives of the Sages.

1- Chinuch means performing the Mitzvah 100%. 

Hilni was educating her children – Chinuch – חינוך, her Suka was higher than 20 Amois  and R’ Yuhuda says that it proves that 20+ Amos is kosher. So it seems to imply that she was required not only to have them sit in a Sukkah but a Kosher Sukkah. 

The Ritvah points this out and says that indeed, Chinuch means ensuring the child performs the Mitzvah 100%. “And many have erred on this”. 

So buying a non Kosher Esrog for a child to use is not חינוך. 

We mentioned that this may not be the opinion of everybody. As one example we cited the Halachah that on the first day of Sukkos one should bentch on the Lulav first and only then give it to a boy under Bar Mitzvah. That is because a katan can acquire but cannot gift or sell. 

Image result for child with lulav

[parenthetically we related what Rabbi Marlow OBM said about Bar Mitzvah boys who are not Halachicly גדולים and the issue of them standing on line to bench on the Rebbe’s Lulav and Esrog.]

The Shulchan Aruch adds that another solution is to hold on to the Lulav together with the Koton. Thus, the child is not  קונה and it remains the property of the father. 

But doing that means that the קטן is not using a lulav that is his- לכם!! Meaning that his father is being מחנך him to do the Mitzvah in a way that he is not יוצא. More on this bl”n in another Shiur. 

Image result for child with lulav

2- The Chachomim tell Rabbi Yehudah that the Sukkah was פסול since it was 20 Amos+. But there was no need to tell Queen Hilni that it was Posul since she was a woman that has no obligation to sit in a Suka. 

But what about a brachah? If Hilni was under the impression that the Suka was kosher surely she would be making a Brocho. So there surely a point in informing her that the Suka she was in was Posul and that she should not make a Brocho. 

The Chacham Tzvi  (שו”ת ח”צ עם ליקוטי הערות ח”ב ע’ 18) brings proof from our Gemara that indeed, the Rambam and others were correct in their famous argument against the other Rishonim, and that women are not allowed to recite a brachah on מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא. 


We discussed this famous machlokes and what the practice is today. Sfardim and Ashkenazim.  See here

See    ישועות יעקב סימן יז

End of ס”ק א:

Image result for sephardic vs ashkenazi

3- In passing we mentioned the topic of the custom of many Rabonim (primarily Sefardim) who would ad the letters ס”ט after their signature. Common knowledge say it means ספרדי טהור.

But the Chacham Tzvi was a pure Ashkenazy and yet he also added ס”ט after his signature.

So perhaps it means סוף טוב. As it is customary to finish off all letters and publications on a good note.

Or, as some say, it ‘s an acrostic of סין טין, which means in Aramaic ‘dirt and mud’. The signer would add this to the end of his letter as a sign of ביטול and humbleness.  Much like the many who add the word הקטן right before their signature.

4- We spoke about:

A-  the Gemara in Nazir 29a. That states explicitly (according to most opinions) that women are have no  to obligation to be mechanech their children. 

B- The Tosfes Yeshonim in Yuma 82 that asks about Hilni and our Gemara. 

C- The question of Reb Akiva Eiger.

5- We mentioned the Maharil who wrote that the Maharsh ruled that one should write numbers on the walls of the Suka and the following year he should place them in the exact same position. The Baer Heitev (630, 6) brings this in Shulchan Aruch. The reason is because we compare the Sukkah walls to the walls of the Mishkan that were always placed in the same position. 

Image result for mamilla market, numbers on wall
Mamilla Mall, Jerusalem – numbered stones

6-  From here we mentioned the Halacha of Tzitzis that the Shalo HaKodosh writes that a Talis needs an Atarah so it will be placed on the body in the same way. It needs to be identified with a front and back. 

Image result for rabbi in talis with silk

The Ariza”l, on the other hand, says that it is not necessary. See here Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch Siman 8. 

The Minhag Chabad is a bit complicated. We don’t have an Atara but we do have a piece of cloth under the part of the head. To be continued. 

See here for discussions on this topic. Here