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