1- We finished discussing the opinion of Reb Yehudah that one must use the ד’ מינים for the Schach. So evergreen and bamboo cannot be used.
But how can one use an Esrog for סכך? An Esrog is a fruit and is מקבל טומאה? Answers of the כפות תמרים (it refers to the wood of the tree) and ערוך לנר (using an Esrog that was not מוכשר לקבל טומאה).
2- The next piece of Gemore touches upon two big topics of חציצה and נטילה על ידי דבר אחר. The opinions of Rabah and Rava.
3 – חציצה.
Are the rings that bind the Lulav considered a חציצה? Meaning that the hand of the Lulav holder is not actually touching the Lulav. Just as a חציצה in regards to טבילה that does not allow the water to touch the skin under a band aid.
Rabbah says one must hold the Lulav directly. The rings must be placed a bit higher to allow the hand to touch the actual Lulav. Even though the rings are made from the Lulav leaves, and it is מין במינו, Raba does not allow it.
Rava says that since rings add beauty the Lulav, it is בטל to the Lulav and therefore not considered a חציצה.
4 – נטילה על ידי דבר אחר.
Holding the Lulav with a towel or scarf.
Rabbah says one must hold the Lulav directly. Rava says that it is OK.
Is that the same concept as חציצה ? Or perhaps since the scarf is on one’s hand it is to be viewed as a glove – an extension of the hand and perhaps not considered a חציצה. The only issue is that one is holding the Lulav על ידי דבר אחר.
We discussed the ראשונים on this topic.
5- In general, the idea of doing a Mitzvah על ידי דבר אחר , is a wide topic.
Some examples discussed:
- A Dayan needs to hear a יבמה say that the יבם does not want to marry her. What if this Dayan is hard of hearing and can only hear with a horn that amplifies the sound? Is that שמיעה על ידי דבר אחר?
We mentioned the Tzemach Tzedek that discusses this. Here.
- One must be able to hear the מלך speak at the הקהל gathering. If not, he is פטור. Will a horn work? A hearing aid?
- Mitzvos that need to be seen – like the עדים witnessing the קידושין. Can they wear glasses to see the חתן כלה? Through a glass window? A telescope from a mile away?
6- Rava’s words (something that adds beauty cannot be considered a חציצה) was the basis of the huge מחלוקת of previous generations regarding the parchment of a Sefer Torah that was ‘shmeared’, coated with a thin white film to make the surface smooth and uniform.
Sefer Torah Shmeared with log
See here Ben Ish Chai, Torah Leshma, 243:
[Mentioned that if you ever pick up an old Sefer Torah and it seems very heavy it probably has the coat that was applied to it, adding many pounds].
The logic to allow it is, based on the Rovo above, that since this film adds beauty to the קלף is is בטל to it.
פנים מאירות ג, לב.
The Rabbonim that prohibited it claimed that this glazed film applied to the parchment was not בטל to the Sefer Torah and the letters written are on the film and not ‘on’ the Torah.