Shiur Sukkah 14b(3), 12/29/20


Suka 14b

Teves 14, 5781. December 29, 2020

1- גזירת תקרה. 

We continued with the topic of covering a Sukkah with planks of wood. 

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Reb Yehuda allows using planks, whereas Reb Meir does not because of  גזירת תקרה, meaning that if a Sukkah where the סכך is made of plywood was כשר, one may think that since his house is also covered with plywood so why not remain at home and declare it a Sukkah!  

Rav’s opinion is that Reb Yehuda allows planks of wood to cover the entire Sukkah. He does not agree with  גזירת תקרה . So one could indeed place plywood boards over the entire Sukkah. Reb Meir prohibits it if is wider than 4 טפחים – about 12.5 inches.

Shmuel’s opinion is that all agree to פסל  if the planks are wider than 4 טפחים. The argument between Reb Yehuda and Reb Meir is if the boards are between 3-4 טפחים.  

2- Our Gemara quotes 2 Beraisos one supporting Rav’s opinion the other Shmuel’s. 

3- What about placing the planks upright – not flat? The boards only  cover the Suka with their thin width. 

2 opinions.  The one that prohibits it says ‘these planks are like spits of steel’. Meaning that once the חכמים ruled that planks (which in reality are perfectly Kosher סכך just like evergreen branches), are פסול, using them in any fashion is פסול  as well. נעשו כשפודין של מתכת

We discussed the opinion that prohibits placing the planks upright. Does that mean that they are considered as lying flat, thus it is סכך פסול.

Or perhaps it means that one of these planks in itself does not create סכך פסול since it is not 4 Tefochim in width. What it means is that each one of such planks can combine with another to create an area of 4 Tefochim of סכך פסול.

4-  נעשו כשפודין של מתכת. 

We mentioned the Rebbe using this concept in numerous places. 

 . תענית בכורות בערב פסח. LKS 17, 66. 

When the first day of Pesach occurs on a Sunday the fast is ‘pushed back’ to Thursday. If someone forgets to fast on Thursday, can he make up and fast on Friday? 

Perhaps not as some opinions say.  Why? 

Using the example of the  גזירת תקרה, disallowing the use of boards, the boards become סכך פסול in any fashion even if placed in a way that it does not lie flat on the Suka. 

Similarly, when the Chachomim moved the fast from Friday to Thursday,  Friday is not considered a fast day at all. 

See Likkutei Sichos Vol 19,  Devarim (5), p 30 and Vol 30 and 135 for other examples using this concept. 

5- We discussed a topic mentioned in the past. 

This  idea of the נתיבות, Toras Chesed  – and –  Reb Yosef Engel ( אתוון דאורייתא כלל י, כב ) that as opposed to something that is prohibited Min HaTorah where the actual item (such as food) is prohibited, when something is prohibited only MideRabbanan the prohibition is only on the person. It does not make the item itself an Issur.


2020-08-10 (2).jpg

תעודת הכשר מהגר”י ענגיל ע”ה – קראקא תרע”ג

Based on this idea, for example, if one unintentionally eats something that is prohibited only MidRabananת it would not be considered eating something treif!

Why Chicken and Cheese Became Prohibited

בשר עוף בחלב – מדרבנן

We mentioned that the Alter Rebbe in Tanya (8) seems to disagree with this idea.

שאף מי שאכל מאכל איסור בלא הודע לשם שמים לעבוד ה’ בכח אכילה ההיא וגם פעל ועשה כן וקרא והתפלל בכח אכילה ההיא אין החיות שבה עולה ומתלבשת בתיבות התורה והתפלה כמו ההיתר מפני איסורה בידי הס”א משלש קליפות הטמאות ואפי’ הוא איסור דרבנן שחמורים דברי סופרים יותר מדברי תורה כו’


Shiur Sukkah 14a(2) 12/22/20


Sukkah 14a (2)

Teves 7, 5781.  December 22, 2020. 

Some brief  notes from the Shiur: 

1- Firstly, since tomorrow, Friday,  is Asarah b’Teves it is worth noting that the Slichos we will say 

אֲבוֹתַי כִּי בָטְחוּ, בְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהֵי צוּרִי, גָּדְלוּ וְהִצְלִיחוּ, וְגַם עָשׂוּ פֶרִי. וּמֵעֵת הֻדָּחוּ, וְהָלְכוּ עִמּוֹ קֶרִי, הָיוּ הָלוֹךְ וְחָסוֹר, עַד הַחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי

was composed by Reb Efraim of Regensburg, (רבינו אפרים) the ראשון. We mentioned a few weeks ago concerning if what today we call ‘canvas’ is actually flax/linen or a different species. He was a student of Rabbeinu Tam and had some (fierce) disagreement with him. 

Reb Efraim hinted to his name in the first four letters of the last four stanzas. 






2- Our Mishnah /Gemore topic was if one may use planks of wood for סכך. Reb Yehuda allows it whereas Reb Meir does not. 

Rav’s opinion is that Reb Yehuda allows any size planks of wood to cover the entire Sukkah. Meaning that one could place plywood boards over the entire Sukkah. Reb Meir prohibits it if is wider than 4 טפחים – about 12.5 inches.

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Shmuel’s opinion is that all agree to פסל it if the planks are wider than 4 טפחים. The argument between Reb Yehuda and Reb Meir is if the boards are between 3-4 טפחים.  

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3- We returned to the topic if סכך  that does not allow rain to drip into the Sukkah is Kosher. 

The issue is if thick סכך that protects one not only from shade but from rain as well is considered more a house than a temporary Sukah. The ראשונים have different opinions about this. 

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See here the Alter Rebbe. 631, 5.

4- We spoke about using water as סכך. It comes from the ground and according to some is not מקבל טומאה, so perhaps one can use it. ערוך השולחן. 

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How does one use water a סכך? 

If one lives in Siberia can he use a block of ice as סכך? Unlike brittle leaves that are פסול since they will not last 7 days, it is so cold there that ice will not melt.

Even in warmer climates, if one can keep it frozen, would it be כשר? 

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Assuming one can indeed use a block of ice, but since the ice block would not allow rain to seep thru, it may be  פסול. …..we pointed out that one would need to puncture holes in it….

Stay warm and have an easy fast.


Shiur Sukkah 14a 12/08/20


Suka 14a

Kislev 23, 5781. December 8, 2020

1- Our Gemore discusses a topic that is found in many aspects of Halacha:. 

אין מחשבה מוציא מידי מעשה 

Meaning that once the status of an object has been established, to change its statusת an action is required. Changing one’s mind is insufficient to change its status. 

The case in question in regards to סכך is as follows:

One cuts a limb of a tree that has a cluster of fruit. Now, other than the fruit, all parts of this tree, trunk, branches, leaves and stems, are Kosher to use as סכך. The fruit is not. To calculate if the majority of the Suka is covered with proper סכך we need to measure the percent of the fruits versus the rest –  trunk and all. 

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However, as we learned last week, in regard to טומאה וטהרה, the last three טפחים of the stem closest to the actual fruit are considered as part of the fruit since they ‘service’ the fruit. ידות 

Thus, when calculating the percentage of fruit versus the Kosher portion of the leaves etc. Kosher סכך, these last 3 טפחים are considered as fruit. 

Horizontal Caliper Measures Orange Fruit. Concept Of Orange With.. Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 75077125.

Now, the rule of ידות, classifying the last 3 טפחים as fruit, is only if one plans to use these stems as ידות to help him handle, move around or eat the fruit. If one plans to detach the fruit from their stems they are not considered as fruit. 

A person's hand holding the stem of a vine above a bunch of black grapes Stock Photo - Alamy

Our case is about one who cut  off a branch with fruit with the intention of taking it home to eat the fruit, The rules of ידות apply. The last 3  טפחים classify as fruit. 

If he then decides to use the branch and fruit as סכך, his change of mind is insufficient to change the ידות classification. 

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One would need to do a מעשה to accomplish that. 

2-  Another example the Gemore brings is of a tanner who plans on turning a large piece of hide into a table top. Halachically, the end of the job is when he completes it as a table top. It is then considered finished and is מקבל טומאה. 

If the tanner changes his mind after the tabletop is complete, and decides to use the leather for shoe laces, by eventually cutting it into small strips, just his change of mind is insufficient to reclassify the status of the leather. It is still considered finished even though he plans to continue to work on it- cutting it into strips. 

He will need to actually cut it into smaller strips.

As above – One needs to do a מעשה to accomplish that. 

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3- We discussed briefly the question of expanding a Shul into the adjacent rooms when one of them served as a restroom. 

4-  The Gemore discusses the use of a ‘pitchfork’ as a term for תפילה. 

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From Sefaria:

א”ר (אליעזר) למה נמשלה תפלתן של צדיקים כעתר לומר לך מה עתר זה מהפך את התבואה בגורן ממקום למקום אף תפלתן של צדיקים מהפכת דעתו של הקב”ה ממדת אכזריות למדת רחמנות:

Apropos a pitchfork, the Gemara cites a related aggadic teaching: Rabbi Elazar said: Why are the prayers of the righteous likened to a pitchfork [eter]? It is written: “And Isaac entreated [vayetar] the Lord for his wife, because she was barren” (Genesis 25:21), to say to you: Just as this pitchfork overturns the grain on the threshing floor from place to place, so too, the prayers of the righteous overturn the mind of the Holy One, Blessed be He, from the attribute of cruelty to the attribute of mercy, and He accepts their prayers.

We mentioned the Munkatcher’s explanation of this. 


Shiur Sukkah 13b(2) 12/01/2020


Suka 13b (2)

15 Kislev, 5781. December 1, 2020

1- Our Gemara discusses topics of Meseches עוקצין, the last Mesechta in Shas. - Digital Mishnah Original #32 Bava Metzia

ידות and שומר

Briefly, a fruit or grain, after it is picked and comes into contact with water, can be מקבל טומאה.  

פיתוח ישראלי: ''אריזה'' אכילה ששומרת על הטריות של ירקות ופירות | גיקטיים

However, it’s not only the fruit that is מקבל טומאה. The ‘handles’ and ‘protectors’ of the fruits, such as the (ידות) stems, the  פיטום, and the peels (שומר) that are close to the fruit are also מקבל טומאה.

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2- The reason for this is because these ‘handles’ and ‘protectors’ of the fruit are needed to eat, protect and/or to handle these produce. Thus, they are considered part of the fruit.

This works in two directions: If something that is טמא touches the fruit, the טומאה is transferred to the stem or peels. If something that is טמא touches the stem or peels the טומאה is transferred to the fruit. 

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3- The Gemore now takes the above ideas of ידות, being considered as the fruits themselves, to the הלכות of Suka. 

We used the example of using a banana tree for סכך. If one places the trunk, branches, leaves and bananas to cover a Sukkah. There is no issue with the trunk, branches and leaves as they are Kosher סכך since they are not מקבל טומאה. The cluster of banana fruits pose a problem since they can be מקבל טומאה. 

Banana Tree With Fruit And Inflorescence Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 17036395.

At first glance, as long as the trunk, branches and leaves will cover over 51% of the Sukkah it would not be a problem. The 49% of the bananas are בטל to the trunk and leaves. 

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However, since  the branches that are attached to the actual bananas are considered ידות, they are considered ‘fruit’ (just like the bananas), we would therefore need the just trunk and leaves (without the bananas and the branches) to equal 51%. 

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4- We mentioned the query of Reb Elchanan Wasserman in Kovetz Shiurim 2. Chulin 118,a. 

Attached is the preface his children wrote for his famous book “Kovetz Shiurim”. On the last page is the fascinating story of his heroic and holy stance before he was killed by the Germans YM”S.

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Elchonon Wasserman

He suggests that one  can explain the  טומאה of ידות in two ways: 

A-  ידות – Stem or peels actually become טמא. 

B- The ידות are not מקבל טומאה but they are conduits for טומאה based on a גזירת הכתוב. 

One of the proofs he brings to support position A is from our Gemore.

How? The fact that the stems- ידות , are considered סכך פסול show that the תורה views them as actual fruit, not just as conduits.