Sukkah 5b (2) Adar 7 03/04/20



Sukkah 5b (2) . Adar 7 , 5780. March 4th, 2020

1- Still on the topic of the minimum height of a Sukkah which is 10 טפחים. 

The Gemara talks about the two human faces of the spiritual מרכבה. We discussed the Gemara in Chagiga 13 b that relates the story of the first vision of Yechezkel where he saw the מרכבה and one of the four figures was an ox. After complaining that it was a symbol of the חטא העגל it was switched to the face of a child. 

כתוב אחד אומר (יחזקאל א, י) ודמות פניהם פני אדם ופני אריה אל הימין לארבעתם ופני שור מהשמאל לארבעתן וגו’ וכתיב (יחזקאל י, יד) וארבעה פנים לאחד פני האחד פני הכרוב ופני השני פני אדם והשלישי פני אריה והרביעי פני נשר ואילו שור לא קא חשיב אמר ר”ל יחזקאל ביקש עליו רחמים והפכו לכרוב אמר לפניו רבש”ע קטיגור יעשה סניגור

The Secret of the Ma'aseh Merkava According to Maimonides

Engraved illustration of the “chariot vision” in Ezekiel, after an earlier illustration by Matthaeus Merian (1593-1650)

So now, the מרכבה has two human faces. An adult and a child.   אפי רברבי ואפי זוטרא

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2- On the topic of the כרובים and their wings we mentioned the Zohar that seems to say that 3 times a day these golden-winged cherubim actually flapped. See here the Alter Rebbe’s Maamor on this. 

3- After a page and a half of identifying the source of the minimum inside height of the Sukkha from the height of the ארון and the כפורת the Gemara retracts. 

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It first establishes the space under the wings of the כרובים (the ones Shlomo Hamelech built for the Beis HaMikdosh in addition to the original ones on top of the ארון) and the floor was 10 Amos. Being the היכל was 30 Amos high it means that the כרובים span was ⅓ of the building height. 

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In the משכן that would mean that the span was 10 טפחים. Since the word used for the wings hovering over the ארון is סוככים – it implies that to be considered סכך the space underneath it needs to be 10 טפחים. Hence the Halacha with a Sukkah. 

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4- We briefly touched the topic of מקום הארון אינו מן המדה. Meaning that miraculously the ארון didn’t take up any space. See here. מקום הארון והכרובים

Image result for ark too big for mishkan

5- The Gemara linked above also explores if the כרובים were also אינו מן המדה. It’s a good Sha”s trivia question: Where in Sha”s is there a picture of the winged כרובים? 

6- The Gemara mentions the Machlokes of how many טפחים are in an Amah. We learned the Rashi that quotes the Gemore of the “two measuring sticks” that were placed on top of the “Eastern Shushan Gate”. This gate had an image [skyline?] of Shushan drawn on it! 

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This was built by “the command of the King of Persia to engrave the image of Shushan on one of the gates of the Temple was meant to preserve the fear of the Kings of Persia for all generations and to guarantee that the people would never revolt against them”. 

See here many links regarding this interesting gate

The two measuring sticks, one the length of an Amah plus ½ a finger the other an Amah and a full finger, were used as the standard to know the exact length of an Amah for posterity.

הָאַמָּה שֶׁאָמְרוּ, בָּאַמָּה הַבֵּינוֹנִית. וּשְׁתֵּי אַמּוֹת הָיָה בְשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה, אַחַת עַל קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית וְאַחַת עַל קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית דְּרוֹמִית. שֶׁעַל קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית הָיְתָה יְתֵרָה עַל שֶׁל משֶׁה חֲצִי אֶצְבַּע. שֶׁעַל קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית דְּרוֹמִית הָיְתָה יְתֵרָה עָלֶיהָ חֲצִי אֶצְבַּע, נִמְצֵאת יְתֵרָה עַל שֶׁל משֶׁה אֶצְבָּע. וְלָמָּה אָמְרוּ אַחַת גְּדוֹלָה וְאַחַת קְטַנָּה, אֶלָּא שֶׁהָאֻמָּנִין נוֹטְלִין בַּקְּטַנָּה וּמַחֲזִירִין בַּגְּדוֹלָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבֹאוּ לִידֵי מְעִילָה:

Mishna, Keilim, 17:9

We discussed the reason for both. 

To be continued. 

Speaking of Shushan…a happy Purim to all!

le’Chaim.  Drink responsibly.