Shiur Sukkah 16a-b 01/26/21


Sukkah 16a-b 


1- We began with the Mishnah that discusses walls of a Sukkah that either do not reach up to the סכך or walls that are ‘hanging’, meaning that they do reach the ground. 

Outdoor dining in NYC will be closed on Wednesday due to a massive snow storm

Whereas ‘stretching’ the walls up, גוד אסיק, is accepted by all as creating a kosher סוכה, conversely, if the wall does not reach the ground level there is a מחלוקת between the חכמים and Rebi Yosi. 

Sukkot! | Denise Morris


2- When we speak of ‘not reaching the floor’ we mean that they are 3 טפחים off (above) the floor. If the bottom of the wall reaches within 3 טפחים  it is considered as if they actually touch the floor. This is the concept of לבוד- anything less than 3 טפחים is considered as none existent and/or connected.  

The Sukkah Project Walls for your Sukkah | Sukkot, Backyard decor, Feast of tabernacles

3- The Gemore quotes a similar מחלוקת in regards to the Halachos of שבת. Do the walls of a רשות היחיד need to reach the floor level? 

It discusses reasons as to why סוכה should perhaps be more stringent than שבת, or why שבת should be more stringent than סוכה. 

The Gemara suggests that perhaps even a דרבנן of שבת is more stringent than סוכה that is a מצות עשה!

These may be America's proudest 'Shabbos goys' | The Times of Israel

We discussed the Ramban who writes that the ‘spirit of keeping  שבת’ like sitting in one’s office, buying and selling, although not one of the 39 מלאכות, is contrary to the entire idea of Shabbos.

See also Chasam Sofer. CM, 195. 

Likutei Sichos here. Footnote #11. 

 4- In regards to a wall not reaching the ground the Gemare brings the following story:

When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: One time they forgot and did not bring a Torah scroll to the synagogue on Friday. 

The next day, on Shabbat, to avoid violating the prohibition against carrying, they spread and suspended sheets on post that were fixed along the path from the house in which the Torah scroll was stored to the synagogue, establishing partitions. And they brought a Torah scroll along that path and read from it.

The question is in regard to these sheets being that they did not reach all the way to ground level. 

Tzipori, Archaeology in Israel

Since this story happened in Tzipori where the Rov was Rebi Yosi, they must have followed his ruling in regard to ‘hanging walls’. Unless it happened after his passing and his son, Rebi Yishmoel, disagreed with his father. 

We spoke about this idea of a son not following a Minhag of his father. We mentioned the ב”ח. CM end of 25 whether a new Rav needs to follow the Minhag instituted by his predecessor. 

אחר רבי יוסי לציפורי לא על פי ר”י נעשה אלא ע”פ ר’ ישמעאל ב”ר יוסי נעשה שכבר נפטר ר’ יוסי אלמא דאע”פ שהיו נוהגים להחמיר כר’ יוסי מ”מ לאחר מיתתו נהגו להקל כבנו

We also discussed the novel idea of the שערים המצויינים בהלכה (written by Rabbi Braun’s grandfather) that a Minhag that occurs  rarely, like a ‘hanging wall’ then it would not be an issue to change the Minhag. 

5- We began to talk about putting up walls on Shabbos, like a מחיצה. 

To be continued. 

6- We spoke about נחשון בן עמינדב. 

החרות לבחור, רחל גבירצמן - יוצרים סביבה

Here it is in Hebrew:

זה קרבן נחשון בן עמינדב

בקרבנות הנשיאים, אצל כולם כתיב נשיא לבני …

אבל בקרבן של שבט יהודה של נחשון לא נכתב נשיא. כבשאר הנשיאים. 

ע’ חזקוני ואוה”ח. ועוד. 

וי”ל בדרך אפשר: 

דהנה בסוטה לז, א פליגי מי קפץ לים תחילה. ר”מ אומר: שבט בנימין כמ”ש בתהילים סח. 

ואנשי שבט יהודה רגמו אותם באבנים! עיי”ש בתוס’. 

ר’ יהודה אומר: לא כך היה המעשה. נחשון קפץ תחילה. יעו”ש במפרשים וכן במפרשים בעיון יעקב. 

לא מצאתי מפורש שלדעת ר”י כל שבט יהודה קפצו. ואדרבא – משמע שרק נחשון קפץ.

[ואולי לא פליגי. נחשון לבד קפץ תחילה ושבטו הססו. ושבט בנימין הם השבט כולו הראשון שקפצו לים] 

ואם כנים הדברים,  שרק נחשון קפץ לים – מובן למה לא נזכר נשיא בקרבן של נחשון. כי הוא הקריב ראשון רק בזכותו. לא מפאת היותו נשיא לשבטו (שקפצו אחרי שבט בנימין).  

ואכן בהיסטורי’ שלנו היו מנהיגים גדולים אבל ה’עם’ שלהם היו…….






Shiur Sukkah 16a 01/19/21


Sukkah 16a

6 Shvat 5781 January 19, 2021

Some brief notes:

1- We continued on the topics of last week. 

The Torah states, for example, that to create a רשות היחיד we need three walls. Its simple meaning is that these three walls should be solid walls  – with no gaps or holes. 

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However, if most of these walls are solid and only a minority of the length are holes and gaps, it is still OK.  We follow the רוב. 

Open cinder block wall created by staggering the blocks. From the Design Within Reach catalog | Cinder block walls, Concrete block walls, Breeze block wall

What about 50-50? 

The question is whether the Torah states that ‘most of the walls should be solid’.  Thus 50-50 would not work. 

Or perhaps the Torah meant to say that these walls should not be mostly gaps, thus 50-50 would work. 

Ditto with a Sukkah. 50% kosher Schach and 50% non kosher. 

2- Speaking of a 50-50 a situation that it is not a רוב but neither is it  a מיעוט, we mentioned the Minhag of Chabad and others of wearing (at least during davening) a jacket that buttons right on left. See here

CORONA VICTIM: HaRav Leibel Groner ZTL, Longtime Secretary Of Lubavitcher Rebbe - The Yeshiva World

Reb Moshe Feinstein exiting the Rebbe’s room. The Rebbe can be seen getting up in his honor. Rabbi Groner is helping him with his coat. Note Reb Moshe’s kapote that is right on left. 

Humorously, we asked  if one wears a jacket that zippers up? It’s not right on left all right . But….neither is it left on right ….. Zipperstop Wholesale YKK- Extra Heavy Duty Jacket Zipper YKK #10 Brass- Metal Teeth Separating -Chaps Zippers for Crafter's Special Color Navy #560 Made in USA -Custom Length (28 inches)

3- Our Gemore discusses using סכך from something that originally was פסול but ‘became’ kosher. Such as parts of pottery. Or food. In their original state both are פסול since they are מקבל טומאה. 

However when they are broken or fragmented, they are no longer מקבל טומאה. 

Roof top of Casa Batllo designed by Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain showing trencadis broken pottery mosaic art Stock Photo - Alamy

The Halachah is that one cannot use these items since at one point they were unfit for סכך. 

4- We mentioned the ערוך לנר that connect this to the concept of דיחוי. That is an issue that is found in dozens of places in Sha”s. 

One  example of דיחוי is if there are Kohanim standing on line to spray blood on the מזבח and something happens to the structure of the  מזבח making it פסול. The Kohanim stop their movements.

Now, if the מזבח is immediately repaired, is there an issue with the Kohanim continuing their עבודה  since there was a time from the start of this particular עבודה there was no מזבח?

Masechet Zevachim 86a-92b | Everyday Jewish Living | OU Life

This blood was נדחה. Or ‘pushed away’ and perhaps cannot be ‘brought back’. 

We will have more on this on 33b in the case of the הדס that has too many berries making it פסול. What if Yom Tov morning these berries fell off. Do we say that once the הדס  is פסול, it cannot be ‘brought back’. 

Myrtle facts and health benefits

5- Our Gemara speaks about the person that burrows into a pile of hay to create a Sukkah. That is what the Mishnah uses as the classical case of  תעשה ולא מן העשוי. It’s פסול because the סכך was originally placed not for a צל. 

Sukka 16a-b: A Sukka in a Stack of Grain – Aleph Society

However if there was a hollow space of a טפח when this pile was created, since the hay was placed on top of an empty space, it is considered a ‘cover’. So enlarging this space to 10 טפחים high would be OK. 

6- From here we went to a topic that surprisingly is not mentioned in the Gemara of even ראשונים. 

That is – can the סכך be placed before proper walls are put up. Like a pop-up Sukkah that the frame is erected first. Now, if one was to place the Schach on the frame prior to attaching the canvas walls would that be OK?

The first one to mention this is the הגהת מיימונית and is brought down by the Ramo. See here. OC 635 end of Seif 1. See מגן אברהם and the ט”ז there. 


Shiur Sukkah 15a-b, 01/13/01


Sukkah 15a-b

Teves 28, 5781. January 13, 2021

Some brief notes. 

Orange Chandeliers.jpg

1- Our Mishna states that 50% of Kosher סכך and 50% of פסול סכך  validates a Sukkah.  This, despite  the general rule is that סכך needs to create more shade than the sunlight.

How do these two concepts jive?

This הלכה opens up two vast topics that are called ש”ס סוגיות, where we find intricate discussions concerning various scenarios in multiple places in ש”ס. 

Topic #1. 

When the Torah requires one to perform an action we assume that doing just רוב, a mere majority of it, is considered as “done”. 

Job Half Done Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

[Obviously, not when the Torah states a measurement. Such as eating a כזית of מצה. Eating רוב of a כזית is insufficient].

For example, to create a רשות היחיד one needs  to be enclosed by 3  walls. Now if there are gaps in the walls, one needs to measure both, total of both, all the open gaps and the closed walls to be certain that the majority is closed or walled. 

What if it is exactly 50/50? Is it considered a רשות היחיד? 

We find that there are two opinions in this case and other similar cases. Such as by שחיטה where one needs to shecht the ‘majority’ of the air and food pipe. What would be if one shechts just 50% and the other 50% remains uncut? 

NoExcusesHR: "You Don't Do Anything Halfway"

Rav פפא is of the opinion that 50/50 is as good as רוב. 

His reasoning is, in the case of the walls concerning a רשות היחיד, that the Torah, by stating that we need a רוב (in regards to a רשות היחיד) meant to say that there
should not be a רוב of gaps! So by having 50% of walls and 50% of gaps there is no majority of gaps or holes. 

On the other side we have רב הונא with the opinion that 50/50 is not considered as רוב. 

Why?  His reasoning, in the case of the walls concerning a רשות היחיד, is that the Torah by stating that we need a רוב meant to say that there should be a רוב of walls! So by having 50% of walls and 50% of gaps the majority is not walled.  

This topic is known as  פרוץ כעומד – when we have gaps פרוץ, that equals the walls עומד. 

Our Mishna, which validates a 50/50 sukkah, seems to accept the opinion of רב פפא.

Topic #2

According to רב פפא, that a 50-50 scenario is as good as a רוב, thereby allowing one to cover a Sukkah with 50% of Kosher סכך and 50% of פסול סכך one must make sure that it is indeed 50% of Kosher סכך and not less!

So here is the second vast topic known as אפשר או אי אפשר לצמצם. This manifests itself in the realm of time and place. 

Time– Can two things occur at the same time?  

Place– Can anything be split exactly 50-50? 

The issue is more complex since on the surface it is seems , in both of the above, that yes,  it indeed can! And why not? 

Let’s see. Time. 

In regards to בכור of an animal that one needs to gift to a Kohen. If a calf that never gave birth happenes to give birth to twin animals at the same time. 

Photo finish - Wikipedia

If they were both indeed born simultaneously and we can ascertain this fact, then both are קדוש and belong to the Kohen.

The question: Can it be possible for both to have been born at the exact same time? 

That is a universal מחלוקת between the רבנן and רבי יוסי. 

The רבנן  say אי אפשר לצמצם. Meaning it cannot happen at the exact same time. 

Infinitely Divisible Distribution | by HW Roh | Towards Data Science

We discussed what that means. According to the Rambam and Rashi, in nature two things can never happen at the exact same time. 

Why not? Good question. 

[We mentioned the equally puzzling ירושלמי that states that nothing created by Hashem is perfectly square! See here a letter from the Rebbe from 1948 to Rabbi Sholom Rivkin]. 

The perfect cube | 3D CAD Model Library | GrabCAD

Tosfos says that of course things can happen at the same time. It’s just that Halachically one cannot ascertain that it did indeed occur at the same time. 


Does the Torah allow to cover one’s Suka with 50% of Kosher סכך and 50% of פסול סכך? 

Can a human really calculate that he placed 50% of Kosher סכך? 

The Most Precise Measurement of an Alien World's Size | NASA

If he placed only 49.999% of the Kosher סכך  it would invalidate his Suka. 

We discussed much more – and will continue  BL”N.