Shiur Sukkah 35b – Purim 03/15/22


Sukkah 35b- Purim 

2nd Adar 12, 5782. March 15, 2022

1- Continued the topic of the need for the Esrog to be edible. היתר אכילה. 

Caution: Don't Eat Esrog

2- Our Gemara states that to be יוצא the מצוה of Matzah it needs to be לכם. Meaning that it needs to belong to the eater. 

We discussed the issue of eating the Pesach סדר as a guest and the the host gives you his Matzah. Does it belong to you at the time of eating it?

It’s a big topic as to ownership of food given to a guest. 

We began with the רמ”א (EE 28, 17) who writes that ‘if a guest uses his portion of food to be מקדש a woman she is מקודשת’! The Shulchan Aruch disagrees.   See Taz there and many others. 

הנכנס לבית חבירו ולקח לו כלי או אוכל וכיוצא בהם וקידש בו אשה, ובא בעל הבית אע”פ שאמר לו למה לא נתת לה דבר זה שהוא טוב ממה שנתת לה אינה מקודשת. שלא אמר לו דבר זה אלא כדי שלא להתבייש עמו, והואיל וקידש בממון חבירו שלא מדעת חבירו הרי זה גזל ואינה מקודשת, ואם קדשה בדבר שאין בעל הבית מקפיד עליו כגון תמרה או אגוז ה”ז מקודשת מספק:

הגה אורח שיושב אצל ב”ה ונוטל חלקו וקידש בו הוי מקודשת (הגהות אלפסי):

One who enters his fellow’s house and takes a dish, a piece of food or something like this and uses it to betroth a woman, and then the homeowner comes, even if he says to him: Why didn’t you give her this thing that is better than the thing you gave her, she is not betrothed, for he said this only so that the other wouldn’t be embarrassed. And since he betrothed her using his friend’s property without his friend’s acknowledgment, behold he has stolen and she is not betrothed. But if he betrothed her with something that the homeowner doesn’t really care about, like a date or a nut, behold she is doubtfully betrothed. Hagah: A guest who is sitting with a homeowner [dining], and he takes his portion [of food] and uses it to betroth [her], behold she is betrothed [Hagahot Alfasi].

We mentioned the tragic story in Chulin 94a (below) that seems to show that a  guest’s food is not considered theirs.

ומעשה באחד שזמן ג’ אורחין

In Shulchan Aruch OC 170,19, it says that a guest should not offer the food to his host children lest it may embarrass the host.

אורחים הנכנסין אצל בעל הבית אינם רשאים ליטול מלפניהם וליתן לבנו או לעבדו של בעל הבית אלא אם כן נטלו רשות מבעל הבית:

Does this imply that the guest’s food does not belong to the guest? 

Abraham, Sarah & Guests 24" x 24" - Richard McBee Artist and Writer

3 –  The Gemara discusses using an Esrog of דמאי which is one that we are unsure if מעשר  was given. Obviously, we are talking about a case where there is no option of giving מעשר on it now. Such as if one only has this Esog and no other produce. 

Etrog Pictures, Etrog Stock Photos & Images | Depositphotos®

The rule of the דמאי is that under certain circumstances we are lenient and allow the use and eating of דמאי. For example – a poor person. The חכמים allowed him to eat דמאי produce without the need to give מעשר on it. 

The Gemara says that בית הלל allows everyone, poor or wealthy, the use of an Esrog from דמאי. 

Masbia of Flatbush

Their reason is that one can in theory be מפקיר all his assets and immediately turn  c”v into a ‘poor person’ allowing him to eat דמאי. 

4- We spoke about this concept and wondered if a person does actually do such a הפקר. He then would need to re-acquire all his assets for them to belong to him. So far so good.  

Law Concept: Newspaper Headline Null And Void On White Background, 3D Rendering Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 59817174.

But what about the debts owed to him? Once he is מפקיר everything, it also includes his debts, and no one owes him anything. His loans become null. How does he re-acquire them? 

Good question. 

5- For Purim we related a cute מגילה idea from Reb Yisroel Zilberstein who comes up with brilliant ideas. 

We prefaced it with discussing the spelling of Jewish names. Generally,  לשון קודש names end with the letter ה. Like נחמה, אהבה, גילה.

Names that are not in לשון הקודש end with the letter א.  Like ביילא, זושא, שיינא.

Rebbetzin Shaina Horenstein Art Print by ChanaVoola | Society6

Sheina Horenstein

6- Speaking of  שיינא, we related the tragic story of שיינא the daughter of the פריערדיקער רבי, and her husband, who were killed in Treblinka in 1942. Although it was obvious that שיינא didn’t survive the war, nothing about her was printed during the life of  the previous  רבי. It was only in 1951 that the Rebbe (who regularly  recited קדיש for her on the second day ראש השנה) dedicated a קונטרס מאמרים in her memory. See here

The Rebbe added the information of an eye witness that was in Treblinka with שיינא and her husband Reb Menachem Mendel Horenstein.  See link above for the entire story. 

In a footnote the Rebbe writes that his father in law used to spell her name שיינא with two יודין. 

1930s Paris « Jeanne Mandello: Photographer in Exile

[In passing we mentioned that שיינא and her husband lived in Paris in the late 30’s.  They rented an apartment in the same building as that of the Rebbe. 

A famous  ‘historian’ claimed that the Rebbe was living in Paris under an assumed  name – Menachem Mendel Horonstein! 

 His error was caused by the city records showing such a person living at the same apartment building where the Rebbe lived at that time] 

7- Back to the מגילה. 

The name of חרבונא appears twice in the מגילה. The first time (1,9) as one the servants sent by אחשוורוש to bring  ושתי to his party. 

י בַּיּוֹם, הַשְּׁבִיעִי, כְּטוֹב לֵב-הַמֶּלֶךְ, בַּיָּיִן–אָמַר לִמְהוּמָן בִּזְּתָא חַרְבוֹנָא בִּגְתָא וַאֲבַגְתָא, זֵתַר וְכַרְכַּס, שִׁבְעַת הַסָּרִיסִים, הַמְשָׁרְתִים אֶת-פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ. 

Erasing the Name of Haman the Wicked: The Origin of the Grogger

The second time חרבונא appears (7, 9) is when אחשוורוש is told by Ester that המן in his decree against all Jews, included her as well. In middle of the king’s anger, חרבונה suggests that ‘there is the tree that המן built upon which to hang מרדכי’ which caused the king to say ‘hang המן on the tree’. 

ט וַיֹּאמֶר חַרְבוֹנָה אֶחָד מִן-הַסָּרִיסִים לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, גַּם הִנֵּה-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה הָמָן לְמָרְדֳּכַי אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר-טוֹב עַל-הַמֶּלֶךְ עֹמֵד בְּבֵית הָמָן–גָּבֹהַּ, חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה; וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ, תְּלֻהוּ עָלָיו.  י וַיִּתְלוּ, אֶת-הָמָן, עַל-הָעֵץ, אֲשֶׁר-הֵכִין לְמָרְדֳּכָי; וַחֲמַת הַמֶּלֶךְ, שָׁכָכָה.

The Midrash says that this second appearance was actually אליהו הנביא who appeared to look like חרבונה. 

 What is the source for this מדרש? 

Says Reb Yisroel, simple. 

Look at the difference in the spelling of חרבונא. The first is spelled חרבונא  ending with an אלף. The second time around it’s spelled חרבונה ending with a ה. 

The reason is that the first time were referring to a goy, and as above (5), non Hebrew names end with an אלף. The second time it refers to אליהו הנביא, and therefore it ends with a ה!!

למה פעם אחת כתוב באות אלף ופעם באות הא? בספר בית שמואל דן לעניין
כתיבת שמות בגיטין האם לכתוב ב”א” או ב”ה” וכתב ששם הקודש כותבים
ב”ה” ושם חול ב”א” ומעתה שמו של סריס זה הוא חול כיון שהיה נכרי ועל כן
נכתב ב”א” אבל בפרק ז’ אמרו חז”ל שזה היה אליהו הנביא שהופיע בדמות
חרבונא וא”כ הרי זה שם קודש ולכן נכתב באות “ה”.

Purim at Sha'ar Zahav: Latkes, Hamentaschen, & Megillah, Oh My! - Sha'ar Zahav

This is the reason we say וגם חרבונה זכור לטוב. Generally, we do not praise evil people. However, the Charvona  who we honor with a mention is the חרבונה, with a ה! 

  אליהו הנביא

Happy Purim  to all. 






Suka 35a (2)  03/08/22


Suka 35a (2) 

2nd Adar 5, 5782. March 8, 2022

Many interesting topics were discussed this week. Here are few. 

1- The Esrog needs to have the following : 

A –  ‘Ownership’ and B – ‘Usage’

(See discussion in previous shiur here)

Yes it's mine | Production Ready Artwork for T-Shirt Printing

A – We know that ownership is a must, ולקחתם לכם, at least on the first day. The Esrog must belong to its user 100%. Borrowing or renting is insufficient. 

Additionally, owning must mean that there is a monetary value to it. An item that is worthless cannot be considered fully ‘owned’. (see ahead more on this). 

Thus, as Esrog in the first 3 years of its planting, ערלה, which cannot be eaten and must be burned, is אסור בהנאה. It has no monetary value so in a sense it is not ‘owned’ by the owner. At least it is not a true לכם, which means ‘yours’ in the full sense of the word. 

America's Only Etrog Farmer Isn't Even Jewish - Tablet Magazine

B – Usage  – the Esrog must be edible. That too is an extension of the לכם, as Rashi phrases it: לכם, yours to use in every possible way, including the eating of it. (see ahead more on this). 

Citron whole Candied Fruit Cedro - 900 Gram - Italian Product - Frank and Sal


2- מעשר שני, must be brought to Yerusholayim and eaten there. Thus, an Esrog of מעשר שני, definitely passes the ‘usage’ bar. 

דף מידע על תרומות ומעשרות

But does the owner of the produce have full ownership? That is an argument between Reb Meir who says it’s ממון גבוה, and the חכמים who say it’s ממון בעלים. So according to Reb Meir, an Esrog from מעשר שני cannot be used since it lacks ownership. 

In God We Trust | Northstar Church

3 – On the topic of ownership – Items which are אסור בהנאה, like חמץ  or ערלה; one cannot use them. One cannot be מקדש  a woman with it because it has no value. But does it belong to him? Can someone just take it from the owner? 

That is a big topic. 

4- We mentioned a famous question that was posed by these three: Reb Akiva Eiger, the brother of the קצות and the Rov of Berdichev in a letter to the Alter Rebbe. 

File:Akiva Eger.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Reb Akiva Eiger – Printed in the Vilna Shas. BK 90b. 

קצות החושן סימן ת”ו – Ketzos 406 

(ב) והפקירו קודם שעמד בדין ואחי הרב המופלג מוהר”ר יהודה כהן ש”ן הקשה בהא דאמרינן פרק החובל דף צ’ שור שהמית ואח”כ הזיק אם הוא מועד דנין אותו ד”מ ואח”כ דנין אותו דיני נפשות קדמוהו ודנוהו דיני נפשות אין חוזרין ודנין אותו דיני ממונות ופריך וכי קדמוהו ודנו אותו דיני נפשות ליהדר ולדייני אותו ד”מ ע”ש ומאי פריך הא אמרינן בכריתות (דף כ”ד) שור הנסקל שהוזמו עדיו כל הקודם וזכה בו זכה בו משום דאפקורי אפקר ליה וכיון דקדמוהו ודנו אותו דיני נפשות הרי נעשה הפקר ואיך איפשר ליהדר ולדייני דיני ממונות כיון דהפקירו קודם שהעמידו בדין ע”כ:

 נפתלי הירש מסטאנוב – Berditchev Rov, 

The Rov of Berditchev wrote a lengthy question (concerning סרכות, lesion on lungs of cows)  to the Alter Rebbe and having a bit of space at the end of the page he added this question.




The AR responds to the main topic of his letter and at the very end also answers this question.  

The question was concerning a  שור הנסקל, after it was sentenced, becoming איסורי הנאה, if the owners can be מפקיר it. 

Wall Street Bull' Sculptor Dies—and More Art News –

The קצות,  based on many ראשונים says that איסורי הנאה does still belong 100% to the owners. No one can steal it from them. Many ראשונים say that one loses ownership to such items. 

5- The Chitas of this day begins with the words וְאִם מִנְחַת מַרְחֶשֶׁת קָרְבָּנֶךָ, סֹלֶת בַּשֶּׁמֶן תֵּעָשֶׂה . A Minchah that was brought in a deep pot.

TV chef call pan-tastic for Cookley business | Wok, Tv chefs, Wok cooking

We spoke about the popular ספר by this name. ספר מרחשת 

Written by Reb חנוך העניך אייגש one of the Rabbonim in Vilna before the war. His Sefer is a classic Yeshiva Sefer of למדות. Reb Henech was tragically killed in WW2. One of the reasons he named his Sefer מרחשת was because ‘it is very deep’….

In the first chapter of his sefer he writes at length about this topic.

איסורי הנאה אם הם שלו. 

6- B – Usage. 

The Gemara says that one must be able to have the option to eat the Esrog. As mentioned earlier that being able to eat it  is an extension of the לכם, to use in every possible way, including the eating of it. 

So an Esrog before תרומות ומעשר  were given is considered טבל. The inability to eat the Esrog since it is טבל, disqualifies such an Esrog for the Mitzvah. תוספות.

Siracusa lemon - Wikipedia

7- We discussed 2 other scenarios of an Esrog not being edible. 

1- If the Esrog became טריף. How? If it fell into a pot of חלב (fats) that is non-kosher. Or if it was soaked overnight in a liquid that is טריף.

Usable or not? 

The Mogen Avrohom 649, 20 says although some say that one cannot use such an Esrog since it is inedible, his opinion is לאו דווקא. His reasoning is that the איסור comes from an external factor. As opposed to an Esrog of ערלה for example, the איסור is מחמת עצמו. 

2- Back to the מרחשת! In Chapter 20 he discusses an Esrog that became inedible because of a סכנה! Such as a poisonous animal bit into it. Or, better yet, it was left overnight under a bed. 

Snake with an Apple Fruit in Its Mouth Stock Image - Image of copyspace, apple: 164896573

His question on this is  very interesting. The prohibition to consume food items because of a סכנה – is that a Torah איסור or a ‘human/moral’ איסור. If it’s only a moral issue, then Halachically, such an Esrog would be Kosher to use on Sukkos.   

There was more discussed and will BL”N be continued at the next shiur. 



Shiur Sukkah 35a 03/01/22


Sukkah 35a

1st. Adar 28, 5782. March 1, 2022

We continued with the weird story discussed in the תרומת הדשן about the Esrog that was diced or sliced and sent around to a few towns. 

There is an interesting general ruling at the end of this תשובה. 

After ruling that the cutting up of an Esrog is not advisable for many reason, he concludes by saying:

‘Even if all my proofs are not valid, ruling that such an Esrog is Kosher, would be perplexing to all. And as the הגהות מיימונית writes that one is not permitted to be מתיר something that would ‘raise eyebrows’;  – “דבר התמוה לרבים”. 

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2- We diverged to the time when Reb Moshe ruled that governmental supervision is sufficient in regards to חלב ישראל. 

BUT in another place:

שו”ת אגרות משה יורה דעה חלק ב סימן לה

בדבר חלב הקאמפאניעס שבמדינתנו, … ב’ ..מנ”א תש”ל. מע”כ ידידי מוהר”ר יוסף דוד ליינער שליט”א.

בדבר חלב הקאמפאניעס שבמדינתנו שבארתי בספר אגרות משה סימן מ”ז בחיו”ד שליכא איסור חלב שחלבו עכו”ם ואין ישראל רואהו, אבל מ”מ מן הראוי לבעלי נפש להחמיר, שמטעם זה ודאי ראוי למנהלי ישיבות קטנות שיתנו להתלמידים חלב של אלו הקאמפאניעס שמעמידין ישראל לראות החליבה, ואף שהוא ביוקר מעט שלהישיבות עולה זה סך גדול במשך השנה והמצב של הישיבות דחוק בשנים אלו שבשביל זה מקילים באיזו ישיבות, מ”מ כדאי להחמיר כי גם זה הוא מעניני חינוך ולמוד שידעו שכדאי וראוי לבני תורה להחמיר אף כשיש רק חשש איסור, דמזה יתבוננו לראות איך לירא מאיסורין, וכל הוצאות הישיבה הרי הוא כדי לחנך דור נאמן לה’ ולתורתו, ומעניני חינוך אין לצמצם. אבל במקומות הרחוקות שאין שם קאמפאניעס מחלב שישראל רואהו, והוא דבר קשה מאד להשיג חלב שישראל רואה בשעת החליבה אף ליחידים אין להם להחמיר.

Was that a דבר תמוה at  the time? 

Story with the appeal for Reb Moshe’s Yeshiva and Haagen Dazs. 

Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - Shop Ice Cream & Treats at H-E-B

3 –  The famous words of the Rambam in regards to identifying the אתרוג with the words פרי עץ הדר. Introduction to Mishna 8. From Sefaria

And we have also not found a disagreement in that which the verse states (Leviticus 23:40), “פרי עץ הדר,” such that one would say it is a citron (etrog), and the other say it is quinces or pomegranates or other [fruit] beside it. And we have also not found a disagreement about a “leafy tree” that it is [anything but] a myrtle.

זני הדרים לגינה הביתית

And when you see in the Talmud [that] they are investigating and disagreeing with one with another in the pattern of investigation and bringing proofs for one of these explanations, and similar to these – for example, that which the statement of the verse stated, “the fruit of a beautiful tree,” maybe it will be pomegranates or quinces or other [fruits] besides them, until (Sukkah 35a – Chapter 3) they bring a proof about it from that which it stated, “the fruit of a beautiful (hadar) tree,” and [one teacher] said it is a tree the taste of its fruit and its [bark] which are the same; and another said, it is a fruit that resides (hadar) in its tree from one year to the next; and [yet] another said, it is a fruit that dwells upon all waters – they did not bring these proofs because the matter had become garbled for them, until it became known to thee from these proofs. But [rather] without a doubt, we have seen from Yehoshua until now that they would hold a citron with the palm branch (lulav) every year. And there is no disagreement about it, but [rather] they were probing for the hint that is found in Scripture for this.

4- Our Gemara suggest that perhaps פרי עץ הדר  are small peppercorns. The rebuttal is that since it says ולקחתם, it means to imply that the ‘taking’ has to be noticeable. A small peppercorn would not be noticeable when in the palm of a person. 


Black Pepper Plants for Sale –

Hand Offering Whole Peppercorn Stock Image - Image of hand, corn: 36241417

We mentioned the query of Reb Yosef Engle if one takes 2 לולבים ,  one of which  (unknown which one) is stolen. At first glance one would say that he is יוצא since regardless whichever one is the Kosher one, he did shake it. But says Reb Yosef, perhaps not, since the Kosher one is not ‘noticeable’…

5- We read the text of the Chasam Sofer that is the basis of all discussions concerning the authenticity of locations where we are sure that the Esrogim are not מורכבים. 

lemon tree grafts – The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

Lemon Tree Grafts

Th Rebbe quotes this תשובה  as well. 

OC 207.  

His basic point is that an Esrog must come only from a location that has a מסורה that the trees are not מורכבים.  He acknowledges that there are others who say that there are 4 identifying characteristics that differentiate a non מורכב to a מורכב. But one cannot rely on this alone. 

Fruit of Pompia, citron, sour orange and lemon: a) fruit side, b) inside view of the fruit cut along the equatorial plane. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the Web version of this article.)

Thus, the only place to get Esrogim from are from Calabria, Italy, where ‘the great Rabbis of France and Germany got their אתרוגים. 

These Esrogim were transferred to the port of Genoa from where they were shipped by boat to the rest of the world.  Hence the name Yanover (or Genoese) Esrogim. 

He likens this to the consumption of an עוף טהור. Despite the identifying characteristics of all Kosher birds (as opposed to non-Kosher ones) that we find in the גמרא, we do not rely on them. We only eat the ones that we have a מסורה that Jews have been eating it for many generations. 

Brakel ‐ The Poultry Club of Great Britain

Brakel Chicken Story


More on this next week. 

Shiur Sukkah 34b – 02/23/2022


Sukkah 34b

1st. Adar 22, 5782. February 23, 2022

 1- We continued with the  מחלוקת amongst the ראשונים on how to reconcile a seeming contradiction of the last two Mishnayos if a הדס that has its top cut off is Kosher. 

We discussed the famous text of the ראב”ד where, to bolster his opinion, he invokes the  רוח הקודש that ‘appeared in our בית מדרש‘.

How did we get the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) | Biblical Truth

 2- We discussed the issue concerning  the פסולים of the Daled Minim as they apply to the first day of Sukkos versus the other 6 days. 

לכם –  1 –  ownership. As opposed to borrowing or stealing. 

Sukkah 36: Lulav in the Sukkah | Torah In Motion

2- לקיחה תמה – Meaning that one needs to take all of the four מינים.  If one has 1, 2 or 3 it is as if he has none. 

3- לקיחה תמה – Meaning that the four מינים need to be ‘whole’. If it’s missing a piece, חסר,  it’s פסול. 

4 – הדר – they need to be beautiful. At the very least the אתרוג. 

Traditional Jewish Holiday Sukkot. Jewish torah Lulav date palm, Etrog citron, Arava willow and Hadas myrtle isolated on transparent. Modern poster, j Stock Vector Image & Art - Alamy

Are the above פסול only of the first day or for the rest of the days as well?

The 4 above are discussed in Tosafos at the beginning of our פרק. 

 There are many others, and the issue is which ones apply on the first day only and which ones apply for the entire Sukkos. Some פסולים may be used even with a ברכה, when no other ones are available. בשעת הדחק. 

 See the Alter Rebbe’s concise list here. 649, 19. 

 3- We mentioned the issue of adding more הדסים and ערבות. 

Order your own Lulav & Etrog — Chabad of Shelton & Monroe

Topics discussed: The Rambam, additional הדסים yes, but no more that 2 ערבות, his letter explaining his שיטה, the various opinions if he changed his mind. 

The כסף משנה that the Rambam had a גמרא that seems to say that adding הדסים is fine as opposed to ערבות. Where is this גמרא? The Minhag Chabad.

From Sefer Haminhagim:

One does not take more than one esrog, one lulav, and two willow twigs – but more than three myrtle twigs may be taken.[543]

I have heard of various individuals being instructed to take four, twelve, thirteen or twenty-six myrtle twigs, but not nine,[544] sixty-eight or sixty-nine.[545]

 4-  Discussed the topic of בל תוסיף. The famous תוספות in Rosh Hashana 28, b, that performing   a מצווה twice cannot be considered בל תוסיף. Only when adding a new type, like adding a rose to the Lulav, is considered בל תוסיף. 

5- Mentioned from a previous Shiur the fascinating story of the dream the Recanati (Rikanti) had concerning the holding of the Lulav and Esrog side by side. 

Sefer Recanati by the Kabbalist - Bidspirit auction

 6- We began with the Mishna of  the הלכות אתרוג. 

One item is the חסר, – a piece missing from the Esrog which will be discussed by the גמרא further on. 

On this topic we read the text of the תרומת הדשן of a question posed to him that shows the pretty sad status of Jews at his time. 

Candied Esrog Recipe - The Sukkah Project®

Preparing Esrog for delivery to customers

The story is about a cluster of towns that were able to acquire only one Kosher esrog. Being that only one town would be able to use the entire Esrog on יום טוב, they literally cut the Esrog into small pieces and sent every town a slice!!!! 

 They asked Reb Yisrael Iserlin if what they did was correct. His response (2, 52) was a definite no. One of his reasons was: We do indeed find opinions of some, that in certain cases where the only Daled minim that one can get his hands on are of questionable כשרות or even outright פסול, one may use them. 

Fresh lemon on palm tree leaf on white background. Premium Photo


See Alter Rebbe 649 22-24

However, these cases are when there can be no mistake that in future years people will err in thinking that one can use these פסולים to begin with. לכתחילה. 

How to Dry Etrog Slices - Jewish Moms & Crafters

Slicing an Esrog לכתחילה, he writes, is something that others may think that since they have a piece of an Esrog, that is sufficient.

[We weren’t  exactly clear how that would happen]. 

Delightful Candied Etrog Slices | Recipe

7- The Mishna states that according to Rebi Yehuda an Esrog needs to be the size of an egg or larger.

11,699 Giant Egg Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
We mentioned the Chasam Sofer (OC 181), that was asked about small Esrogim that were the size of an egg. There is  the opinion that the eggs we see today are smaller than the eggs of the time of the ש״ס.

Would that mean that egg sized Esrogim today are too small?

Miniature Dollhouse Lemon Tree In The Pot | Dollhouse miniatures, Doll house,  Miniatures

We mentioned that this תשובה is where the חתם סופר often quoted saying is mentioned- חדש אסור מן התורה.








Shiur Sukkah 34a-b 02/15/2022


Sukkah 34a-b

1st. Adar 14 , 5782. February 15, 2022

1- Our גמרא discusses items that had their names changed over time. It adds the ramification of these changes. 

חילפא גילא with serrated, saw-like, leaves “זעגעלאך”

Rav Chisda said: These three objects had their names changed since the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed.

One example: That which was once called ערבה (kosher for ערבות) was called in later generations  צפצפה (not kosher),  and that which was called צפצפה was called ערבה. 

Getting a Name Change Before Divorce: How to Become "Yourself" Again

The Gemore asks: What is the practical halakhic difference that emerges from the name change? The גמרא answers: It is with regard to the mitzva of taking the lulav, as one of the species bound with the lulav is a ערבה branch, which is now called tzaftzafa.

The other 2 are:

 שִׁיפּוּרָא — חֲצוֹצַרְתָּא, חֲצוֹצַרְתָּא — שִׁיפּוּרָא. A straight Shofar as opposed to a Shofar that is ‘crooked’. 

Antlers vs. Horns | Words On Wildlife

A small table versus a larger table. פָּתוּרְתָּא — פָּתוּרָא, פָּתוּרָא — פָּתוּרְתָּא

Furniture for dolls - Country style table for miniature dollhouse – купить на Ярмарке Мастеров – A1SU1COM | Doll furniture, Moscow

We mentioned the reason for these name changes. These words would bring agony to people that lived thru the destruction on the Beis Hamikdosh. Uttering the words ערבה שופר and שולחן, would arouse memories and result in sadness. Thus the name changes. 

Dan Rivoli on Twitter: "The Malbone St. Wreck will no longer be lost in history. 101 years after New York's deadliest train crash, it has a street and subway station plaque in

Name Change due to painful memories

2- Abaya adds another example concerning the names of some of the stomachs a cow or bull have. 

מחט שנמצאת בבית הכוסות


The House of Mugs – Collettsville, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

House of Cups

פניני הלכה הלכות חלב גיד הנשה וניקור | Other - Quizizz


Rav Yosef adds yet another example. בבל and בורסיף. It seem that Bursif, as opposed to  בבל,  was a country that was not held in great esteem by the  חכמים. 

In time, the names of these two independent countries switched. 

The גמרא offers the practical reason for the importance of knowing that this changed occurred. 

.לענין גיטי נשים. 

As Rashi explains in Shabbos 36b,  when writing a גט one needs to mention the name of the city. It is therefore important to know what country is now called בבל and what is called בורסיף.

City with the longest name. The longest names of cities in the world

Try writing a גט here.

3 – We mentioned the fascinating תשובה from the חתם סופר that goes thru the entire idea of how to identify and spell the name of the city where the גט is written. 

He questions our גמרא concerning בבל and בורסיף.

What need is there to state such matters to begin with? Anyone that writes גט needs to inquire what is the current name of the city. So if בבל is now called בורסיף, let it be so. Write , of course, בורסיף as logic would require! What is the חידוש of our גמרא? 

We scratched the surface of the תשובה where the חתם סופר sets parameters on how to spell the name of cities – especially when Jews use a different name than the non-Jewish population. 

Example:  Jews call a particular Romanian city שאץ. (The Rebbe of Shatz, or Shatzer Matzohs). Whereas the official name of the City is Suceava. 

Where is Suceava Located? What Country is Suceava in? Suceava Map

Another example we mentioned a few weeks  ago was צעהלים, . 

Jewish Community of Deutschkreutz

Prague or  Praha. 

Golem & Rabbi Loew of Praha. A golem is an animated human-like being, created entirely from inanimate m… | Retro illustration, Comic illustration, Character design

He further addresses the issue of a city changing names. This can occur in different ways.

A – Officially changed by the government. 

Constantinople, Turkey , which Jews called קושטא, to Istanbul. (Contemporary examples would be Leningrad to Petersburg and (until further notice) back to Petersburg. Yekaterinoslav to Dnipropetrovsk). 

B- Unofficial name changes that occur by the people beginning to use a slightly different name or spelling. 

C- The slow and evolving pronunciation changes of the cities. 

The חתם סופר offers clarity on these issues. 

4- We mentioned the issue of Chicago. Is it טשיקגו or שיקגו

טשיקגו – Chicago, Maxwell St, 1903

5- Also spoke about writing a גט in Melbourne Australia where the local river is the Yarra River. 


The aborigines  call this river Yarra Yarra. The newcomers shortened it to a single Yarra. What do we write in a גט? 

איין יארא אדער צוויי יאראס?

6- We mentioned from a previous shiur the letter from the Ragatchover concerning a פנקס  found with instructions from the Alter Rebbe to write ימא זוטא when a city is adjacent to a lake. 

Shiur Makkos 4a, 06/24/2014

(See there comment at bottom from Alex Heppenheimer). 

7- The next Mishna specifies the amount of each of the ד’ מינים one needs to take. 

We mentioned that despite the many מנהגים to add הדסים of various amounts, we must remember that the שלחן ערוך says that the מדקדקים use only 3 הדסים. So let’s look in our Siddur and not at our neighbor’s skimpy looking  lulav…..


6- We discussed the wording in the Mishnah where is seems that הדסים that have been cut off at the top are Kosher! This is in direct contradiction to the previous Mishnah where it states explicitly 

נקטם ראשו פסול. 

How to Grow Willow From Cuttings - Dengarden

We began to discuss the huge argument amongst the ראשונים on how to reconcile this seeming contradiction.

We read the famous text of the ראב”ד where, to bolster his opinion, he invokes the  רוח הקודש 

that ‘appeared in our בית מדרש‘.

Rambam Lulav 8,5.

הדס שנקטם וכו’. כתב הראב”ד ז”ל כבר הופיע רוח הקודש בבית מדרשנו מכמה שנים והעלינו שהוא פסול כסתם מתני’. ודברי רבי טרפון שאמר אפילו שלשתן קטומים כשר ענין אחר הוא ולא שנקטם ראשו והכל ברור בחבורנו ומקום הניחו לי מן השמים עכ”ל:

We will IY”H continue next week.  







Shiur Sukkah 34a 02/08/22


Suka 34a

1st. Adar 7 , 5782. February 8, 2022

1- We again learned the Mishna concerning ערבות. The גמרא cites opinions whether or not they actually need to grow on a river bank. Tosafos says that since according to Abba Shaul, our ערבות must be from a plant that is adjacent to a river as the literal translation of ערבי נחל. 

Plant Image Gallery

We mentioned the Rosh (and others) who says that he has never seen this in practice. The words ערבי נחל mean a species that usually grows on a river bank. 

Salix x 'Americana' Willow Variety Grown by Lakeshore Willows | Wainfleet, ON

The Alter Rebbe 647, 1 agrees and uses the term רוב מין זה גדל על נחלי מים. 

2- Going back to the question of dates of a Lulav tree and if it a prerequisite to use one only if the tree actually bears fruit – we mentioned the Rogatchover, Rambam, Lulav P7:

אך גבי לולב אם צריך דוקא שיהיה מן דקל שעושה תמרים

His point is that it must indeed produce fruit or at least be a species that is fruit bearing. (Meaning that a species of a fruit bearing palm tree that is located in a cold climate that hinders the growth of fruit would also be Kosher). 

His interesting proof is from the Gemara in Menochos 27a  that says concerning the ד’ מינים that 2 of 4 come from fruit bearing trees and two do not. He asks why is it only two?

דארבעה מינים שבלולב שנים מהם עושין פירות ושנים מהן אין עושין וקשה הא גם בהדס יש פירות

A הדס also produces berries as we discussed at length in previous shiurim.

Cotoneaster salicifolius (Willow Leaf Cotoneaster)

The Rogatchover derives from this that the Kosher הדס is when it does not have fruit! As the הלכה is that if it has berries that are black or red it is פסול since then the berries are considered fruit. (as opposed to green ones). 

Plants to Avoid — Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley

Conversely, the גמרא, when it says that 2 of 4 produce fruit,  it meant to say that the 2, Lulav and Esrog, must produce fruit! 

3 – We continued to discuss the concept of when is it Shabbos and Yom Tov למעלה. Since there are different world time zones causing Shabbos and Yom Tom to occur at different times on earth, when is it Shabbos and Yom Tom in עולמות הרוחניים?   

Four Reasons Shabbat Is Compared to Bride and a Queen - Shabbat

We learnt the text of the Alter Rebbe that explains that it actually corresponds to the location of each individual. 

GPS coordinates, latitude and longitude with interactive Maps

Shabbos is here

This week we looked at  perhaps a somewhat different take on this.  

In short- There is an expression in the זהר “The שכינה is constantly present among בני ישראל on Shabbos and Yom Tov, even on Shabbos that is on a weekday”

What does ‘Shabbos of the weekday’ mean?  Is it שבת or חול? 

We spoke about Reb Yehuda Rosanes who lived in קושטא or  Constantinople,  Turkey, today called Istanbul. He is known for the massive book on the Rambam, the משנה למלך. Additionally he penned a Book of Droshos called פרשת דרכים. Sefer Detail: פרשת דרכים -- רוזנס, יהודה בן שמואל, 1657-1727


In one (#23) of the דרשות he  writes about this perplexing Zohar. One explanation offered is that Shabbos can also be a weekday when someone is lost in a desert, not knowing what day of the week it is.

היה מהלך במדבר ואינו יודע אימתי שבת – מונה ששה ימים ומשמר יום אחד

The Halachah is that he needs to count 6 weekdays and the seventh day is ‘his Shabbos’. In a sense, that would be a ‘Shabbos of the weekday’. 

Biblical Moses Walks Through The Sinai Desert, The Wilderness, In Search Of The Promised Land, 3d Render Painting Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 132579174.

He then offers another explanation concerning the time zones. ‘We believe that just as there are weekdays and Shabbos on earth, there is also this difference in heaven. Such as in regards to the  גיהנום on Shabbos. 

Heaven or Earth? - Church of Christ Articles

So what time zone is used למעלה? 

earth globe time zones map spin Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free) 29986624 | Shutterstock

The consensus amongst Kabbalists is that Shabbos is primarily established on the Shabbos hours of  Yerushalayim, the other time zones are merely an offshoot of the Shabbos hours of Yerushalayim. So in heaven, that is the ‘real Shabbos’. 

Israel Time Zone Converter Difference Calculator

So in a sense, outside ארץ ישראל, all other times around the world are a weekday in comparison to the ‘real’ Shabbos in Yerushalayim. And that is the meaning in the זהר: Shabbos and Yom Tov and that is on a weekday. Meaning a Shabbos that is outside Yerushalayim when in  Yerushalayim it is a week day! 

Does this jive with what the Alter Rebbe writes? 

You be the judge. 



Shiur Sukkah 33b 02/01/2022


Suka 33b. 

Shvat 30, 5782. February 1, 2022

1- The conclusion of  the יש דחוי אצל מצוות או לא  topic.

We used an example of the minus and plus symbols. – +. 

Plus Minus Signs Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

Minus is when the מצוה object is not usable –  it is a minus. 

When it reverses, and becomes usable, it is a plus

2- There are two scenarios in objects of דיחוי.  Meaning that a certain time it was not useable, not כשר, to perform a מצוה with . The question is if it can regain the כשר status. 

We discussed which is more logical to disqualify.  a or b. 

a- Minus, plus. דיחוי מעיקרא

b- Plus, minus, plus. נראה, נדחה ונראה

Example for ‘a’: – +

If a הדס  was trimmed at the top and after  Yom Tov begins, a berry grows on the top. 

So when the Yom Tov arrived and the הדס is unusable, that’s  a minus. דיחוי מעיקרא. It starts off פסול.

When the berry grows and makes it usable, כשר, that’s a plus

So we have a minus plus


Example for ‘b’: + – +

A הדס has many green berries, so it’s כשר. Plus

In the middle of Yom Tov, they turn black. The הדס becomes  פסול. Minus

One then picks off the berries (באיסור), the הדס is back to being כשר. Plus.  

So we have a plus minus plus. נראה ונדחה ונראה

3- We touched on the topic of אינו מתכוון and מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה. 

The difference between intent and purpose. 

young girl drags plastic garden chair across lawn Stock Photo - Alamy

Moving a bench across a vegetable patch to bring it to a deck for a Kiddush. 

The dragging may create a long ditch that can be used to plant seeds in it the next day. 

That’s ‘plowing’. חורש. 

His intent is not to plow but to move the bench from one location to another. 

That is אינו מתכוון. Without intent. 

Bed In A Grain Field- Concept Of Good Sleep Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 20129611.

…Just trying to move the bed

On the other hand, if someone needs gravel for a project and digs into the vegetable patch, his intent is indeed to dig. (as opposed to dragging the bench where his intent is not to dig). 

What is lacking is the purpose. The digging is for the earth, not for the hole (to plow).  

Headless Chicken – Stronger Generations Initiative

4- We discussed the concept of פסיק רישא. 

5- We began the new Mishna concerning ערבות. We will discuss next week if they actually need to grow on a river bank or not. 

Israel's adopted eucalyptus trees are the bee's knees | The Times of Israel

Eucalyptus in Israel

See here about using a branch from a eucalyptus tree

6- Concerning a Lulav, although the תורה says כפות תמרים, which means branches from a date tree, do they need to produce dates? 

date palm | Description, Uses, & Cultivation | Britannica

What if it is a date producing tree but due its location in cold climates it does not? 

Can Palm Trees Survive Snow? [The answer may surprise you!] - Garden Tabs

The consensus based of the Chasam Sofer is that the tree does need to be of a type that can produce dates, but it is fine if it does not actually produce dates.

See here

Disclaimer: The authors in this link do not necessarily express opinions that are accepted by all. 

7- A final note about the translation of the word ירוק. We mentioned the Rashi from this week’s פרשה.

Tekhelet: The Mystery of the Long-Lost Biblical Blue Thread - Mitzvahs &  Traditions

ותכלת” – צמר צבוע בדם חלזון וצבעו ירוק

“Wool that is dyed with the blood of the Chilazon and the color is Yarok”.

Green Tzitzit Set of 4 (Handmade Tzitzits),#Tzitzit, #Green, #Set, #Tzitzits | Active wear for women, Handmade, Green

We know that the חלזון is the fish from which the תכלת for ציצית is produced. And that is ….blue.

Yet, רש”י  used the word ירוק.



Shiur Sukkah 33a-b 1/25/22


Suka  33 a-b. 

Shvat 23, 5782. January 25, 2022

1- We continued to discuss the . יש דחוי אצל מצוות או לא  topic… 

We discussed the three stages of דיחוי:

1- Prior to the time of the מצווה. 

2- After the start of the מצווה period. 

3- The ‘gray area’. FLHFULIHUA 2PCS Forward Reverse Shift Switch for Kids Ride-On Toys Accessories Forward Stop Backward Switch Children's Electric Ride On Car Toys Replacement Parts : Toys & Games

In our case – in regards to a lulav with  הדסים which are פסול and then became ‘Kosher’. 

Before Sukkos. That is not considered דיחוי. 

After sundown on Sukkos. That is definitely considered דיחוי, since Yom Tov has begun. 

how to make lulav rings – The Blue Monkey Restaurant & Pizzeria

Before Yom Tov, but after it is bound:  

If binding a Lulav is obligatory, then the מצווה has begun even before Yom Tov. 

2- We continued to discuss the example mentioned last week concerning an Israeli who is in חוץ לארץ, if he keeps one or two days Yom Tov. Ditto for an American visiting Israel. The controversy within Chabad as what to do. One or two days?  Was there a change in the Rebbe’s opinion?
We spoke about the ‘final’ version of the Alter Rebbe Shulchan Aruch, 1, 8

8  The time of midnight is always [calculated] in the same manner in summer and winter— twelve hours after noon. This is the actual midpoint of the night, and a time of Divine favor above, at all times and in all places. Although the length of the days and the nights varies according to the climates [i.e., the various latitudes] and the longitudinal distances between one country and another, that does not change the above. This resembles the times for reciting Shema and Shemoneh Esreh and the times at which the Shabbos or the festivals commence, which are also [calculated] for each country according to the times of its own day and night.

(For the time of  “עֵת רָצוֹן” above, and the  יִחוּדִים עֶלְיוֹנִים effected by the recitation of Shema and Shemoneh Esreh, and the sanctity of Shabbos and the festivals — all transcend the limits of space and time, though they radiate “downward” into the physical realms to each and every place at the time appropriate for it. This also explains why a sublime holiness pervades in the Diaspora on the second day of a festival; hence inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael who are temporarily in the Diaspora are obliged to observe the holiness of that day, even though they intend to return [to Eretz Yisrael].68 This will be explained in the laws pertaining to the festivals.69)

חוּזְמַן חֲצוֹת לַיְלָה פז הוּא שָׁוֶה בַּקַּיִץ וּבַחֹרֶף,66 לְעוֹלָם שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁעוֹת אַחַר חֲצִי הַיּוֹם, שֶׁהוּא אֶמְצַע הַלַּיְלָה מַמָּשׁ, וְהִיא “עֵת רָצוֹן” לְמַעְלָה,פח בְּכָל זְמַן וּבְכָל מָקוֹם.

וְאַף שֶׁהַיָּמִים וְהַלֵּילוֹת מִשְׁתַּנִּים לְפִי הָאַקְלִימִים וְרִחוּק הַמְּדִינוֹת זוֹ מִזּוֹ מִמִּזְרָח לְמַעֲרָב – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם.67 וּכְמוֹ זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּתְפִלָּה וּזְמַן כְּנִיסַת שַׁבָּת פט וְיוֹם־טוֹב, שֶׁהוּא גַּם כֵּן בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה לְפִי זְמַן הַיָּמִים וְהַלֵּילוֹת שֶׁלָּהּ. (כִּי “עֵת רָצוֹן” שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה, וְיִחוּדִים עֶלְיוֹנִים שֶׁבִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּתְפִלָּה, וּקְדֻשַּׁת שַׁבָּת וְיוֹם־טוֹב – הוּא לְמַעְלָה מִגֶּדֶר הַמָּקוֹם וְהַזְּמַן, רַק שֶׁמֵּאִיר לְמַטָּה לְכָל מָקוֹם וּמָקוֹם בִּזְמַנּוֹ הָרָאוּי לוֹ. וְזֶהוּ גַּם כֵּן הַטַּעַם שֶׁשּׁוֹרָה קְדֻשָּׁה עֶלְיוֹנָה בְּחוּץ לָאָרֶץ בְּיוֹם־טוֹב שֵׁנִי שֶׁל גָּלֻיּוֹת. וְלָכֵן גַּם בְּנֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּאִים לְחוּץ לָאָרֶץ חַיָּבִים בִּקְדֻשַּׁת הַיּוֹם אַף שֶׁדַּעְתָּם לַחֲזֹר,68 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת יוֹם־טוֹב).צ, 69

We read the text of the above that is the basis of the various opinions. 

Next week bl”n, we will discuss the fascinating פרשת דרכים on this topic. 

How to assemble A Lulav - Minhag Chabad - YouTube

3- As the Gemara mentioned a few times, there is a dispute if the binding of the Lulav is a must. Rebi Yehuda says it’s a חיוב, whereas the חכמים say it is not. Nevertheless, even the חכמים agree that at the very least it is a מצווה of  – נוי מצווה.  זֶה אֵלִי וְאַנְוֵהוּ

Binding a Lulav makes it presentable so it’s not just a bunch of items held by the holder’s hand. 

4- We discussed if a woman [or a goy] can bind the Lulav. In general, the rule is that only people obligated to perform a particular מצוה can create the מצוה. Such as תפילין. 

Mini Lulav and Etrog for a Tabletop Sukkah | Bible Belt Balabusta

We discussed if a woman can perform a Bris. See here. YD 264, 1. 

Planning a Brit Milah (Bris) | My Jewish Learning

In regards to Lulav, a woman is not obligated to Bentch on it, so perhaps she can bind it, since, as above, there is no חיוב to bind it! On the other hand, there is a Mitzvah to bind. See here. OC 649, 1. And MA 8. 

5- Today’s Chitas was about the laws of שומרים and  שואל. 

We concluded with the words of the Rebbe said by the Bar Mitzvah of Reb Shmuel Heber in 1942. He was a sweet Chosid that lived in S Louis. 


To listen to some snippets of his חזנות see here

A נשמה is ‘loaned’ to every person for the duration of one’s life. When he returns it, as with every return of a loaned item, it needs to be returned in good condition.
The laws of a שואל, a borrower, are more stringent than that of a renter or of a שומר. Both, whether a   שומר or שואל, are obviously required to return the item to its owner. However, a  שואל’s responsibility is a ‘general and no fault liability’. If it was stolen or lost, or even if an אונס happened,  he is obligated to pay for the lost object he borrowed. 

So all excuses one may have for not returning his נשמה in good condition, will not be accepted. 

Love the story, hate the headline: On guilt and fitness messaging – FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

So what does one do, asked the Rebbe? 

There is an exception to this general liability, answered the Rebbe. As the תורה writes : בעליו עמו לא ישלם.  Mishnah, Bava Metzia, 94a

מתני׳ השואל את הפרה ושאל בעליה עמה או שכר בעליה עמה שאל הבעלים או שכרן ואחר כך שאל את הפרה ומתה פטור שנאמר (שמות כב, יד) אם בעליו עמו לא ישלם

If the owner/lender is present at the time of the borrowing and is ‘borrowed with the object’ then there is no liability from the  borrower.  [There are various reasons given for this interesting Halachah – see discussion here]. 

So if one wants to insure that his נשמה, when it is returned to its ‘owner’, does not incur any ‘payment for damages’ ח”ו, then the owner must be there at the time of the borrowing. And that is the מודה אני that one says every morning. 

מדבקה | מודה אני לפניך

When borrowing our נשמה every morning, prior to anything else, we must borrow the ‘owner’ with it. By doing that we are absolved from any damages that the נשמה may encounter during the day. 

This is what the Rebbe told Reb Shmuel at his Bar Mitzvah. See here.  רשימות קל. Also ויצא תשמ״ח.




shiur Sukkah 33a 01/18/2022


Suka  33a. 

Shvat 17, 5782. January 18, 2022

1- We once again began to discuss a global

Sha”s topic. יש דיחוי אצל מצוות, או לא


In general it means: 

“Pushed off.” This concept applies to cases in which a specific object is chosen for the fulfillment of a Mitzvah. If at one point, the item is unfit for use as required, then Dichuy says that it may no longer be used,  even if afterwards it becomes fit. 

Myrtle Branch With Berries Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

Hadas which grew a Tamar on Yom Tov

If, for example, one sanctifies an animal that has a Mum (blemish), this Dichuy idea  would not allow that animal to be offered upon the Mizbe’ach even after it has healed.

This wide ranging topic has many many facets. 

2- Pertaining to our Gemara – To simplify the concept we chose an example that is a bit humorous. A fellow walks into shul on the first day of Sukkos and shows off his Lulav. He points out that this year he was able to acquire some ‘designer’ הדסים…. Not only are the  leaves a bright neon green , they are also adorned with red berries! 

Detail of a Myrtle Bush with Berries in Autumn Stock Photo - Image of botanical, natural: 161281880

The Rov points out to him that since there are more berries than leaves his designer הדסים are פסול. As we learned in the Mishna on 32b, – If it has more berries than leaves – פסול

So this fellow walks out of Shul with his Lulav, and quietly bites off the berries. [If he ate them, then he made a שהכל as per last week’s shiur. And he ate them in a Sukkah….] 

Man Eating Berries stock photo. Image of hold, cropped - 86080328

He walks back, all smiles, into the Shul. ..

3- So the question now is: What is the status of such a Lulav? 

Here is where דחוי אצל מצוות comes into play. Since, prior to his removing the berries, the Lulav was פסול, can it be brought ‘back to life’ or not. If one accepts the idea of דיחוי, that would mean that such a Lulav can never be re-Koshered. 

Bring Your Wilted Flowers Back To Life With Only Three Ingredients - The Plant Guide | Wilted flowers, Plants, Flower pot design

Brought back to life

[The other issue is that he Koshered his Lulav by default. Since it was already bound, and פסול, his Lulav became Kosher indirectly – תעשה ולא מן העשוי. More on this next Shiur IY”H]

4- In regards to קדשים this דחוי concept is accepted by all. Example: If on the way to pour blood on the מזבח, the Kohen temporarily hands the bowl to an ישראל, the blood is considered דחוי. [see Zevochim 34b].
Or if in the middle of the קרבן process the מזבח becomes פסול and is then repaired. דיחוי. 

However in regards to מצוות, Rav Yirmiya is unsure. Are מצוות like קדשים/קרבנות or not? 

5- We mentioned the fundamental idea from the Rosh. His explanation is the basis for this discussion. 

In Short: In קדשים, we are dealing with an object. If the item becomes invalid, even if only temporarily, it cannot not come back to its original state. יש דיחוי. 

Siyum on Massechet Yoma: Blood and the Avodah of the Kohen Ha'Gadol. | Thoughts from the Shteiblech.

In regards to  מצוות however, it is the person that is מחוייב, and whether or not the object is valid to use or not, his personal חיוב never changed. 

6- We mentioned another interesting example, this one involving the ‘time’ factor of a מצווה.  A family is on a cruise ship, making Aliyah to ארץ ישראל. Once they arrive, they will become Israelis and need to keep only one day of Yom Tov. 

Photos: Odyssey of the Seas arrives in Israel | Royal Caribbean Blog

Arriving at Haifa

[We digressed to discuss this topic and

מנהג חב”ד, and will bl”n talk about it next week. Very interesting topic]. 

This family arrives early in the morning on the second day of Yom Tov.  Before disembarking, they were ‘from  חוץ לארץ ‘ and needed to keep two days Yom Tov. They made Kiddush the night before. 

They get off the boat and realize the men have not davened yet. Had they davened on the boat they would not put on Tefillin since they are still in Yom Tov mode. Now, when they set foot in ארץ ישראל, since it is a regular weekday, they need to daven with תפילין. 

Simple enough. 

Or….. maybe not! 

Since at the beginning of the day (the time frame for תפילין) they were פטור, perhaps the concept of דיחוי  would cause a פטור for the rest of the day! 

7- We spoke about the מחלוקת of the Maharam of Rutenberg and his student the רא”ש, concerning a boy who became a גדול during שבעה R”L. Prior to becoming a Gadol,  he was not obligated to sit שבעה. If the idea of דיחוי applies to מצוות as well, he may not need to sit שבעה  at all.  Rosh MK, 3, 96.

Misaskim to Suspend Shiva Supplies Delivery

8- Also discussed was a boy becoming Bar Mitzvah in the middle of Shabbos, meaning that for the first few hours of Shabbos he didn’t have a שבת at the דאורייתא level. What is his Shabbos status after becoming a גדול? 

9 – We concluded with discussing the human nature to forget….. and the מנהג to close the ספר  when stepping out of the room.

Difference between Forgot and Forgotten | Forgot vs Forgotten

The Sha”ch (YD 277) writes that the ‘demon’ that causes to forget one’s learning is called Shin Daled. שומר דפין. Keeper of the Pages . Therefore one should always close the sefer prior to leaving the room.

10 – We mentioned what the Arizal (EC 15) says that the demon’s name is  MAS. מ”ס. Which equals 100. He connects it with the Gemora in Chaggiga (9a) about the importance of learning everything 101 times. By reviewing one more than 100, he overpowers this demon (100)  and will not forget. See Tanya chapter 15. 

101 Lifestyle | MECCA

…ובזה יובן מ”ש בגמרא דעובד אלהים היינו מי ששונה פרקו מאה פעמים ואחד

פרק טו, תניא

11 – We concluded with the

כלי יקר

 ואתחנן  ) that points out that the word זכר, to remember equals 227. On them other hand, שכח to forget, equals 328. A difference of 101. 

Meaning that forgetfulness has a natural  advantage over remembering by 101. 

This forgetfulness is overcome by reviewing 101 times!!! 

in his words: Every time one reviews his learning he weakens this מלאך that causes to forget. If he reviews 101 time he totally weakens this מלאך and enters into the domain of the מלאך that is in charge of remembering. 

וכשחזר ק”א פעמים החליש כל כוחותיו היתרים ונכנס תחת יד המלאך הממונה על הזכרון ולא ישכח עוד.



Shiur Sukkah 32b(2) – 1/11/22


Sukkah 32b(2) – 33a. 

Shvat 9, 5782. January 11, 2021

1 – We reviewed the issue of the Lulovim that are of a different species – unlike the ones that have been used as far back in time as we can trace. 

2 – Having completed the laws of Lulav the next Mishna discusses הדסים. 

Myrtle - Garden In Delight

Hadasim – Myrtle

The Torah says that we need to use ענף עץ עבות. A stem that has braided leaves. That’s not very specific. What type of twig/stem/leaf is that? 

Watercolor olive branch on white background. Hand drawn watercolor illustration, painting the olive tree. Stock Illustration | Adobe Stock

Olive Branch

The Gemara suggested that perhaps ענף עץ עבות means a plant called הירדוף. It then says that it cannot mean this implant since Torah laws are meant to be pleasant. 

What is Hirdof? And what is not pleasant about it? 

 Rashi says it is a poisonous plant no less! 

הרדוף הנחלים – סידור עלים “משולש”

Tosfos says it cannot mean that, since הירדוף is a plant that can be used for…. מרור. It can indeed be bitter….. But not poisonous. 

So Tosfos suggests that הירדוף is a thorny plant. Using it would scratch the user. On the other hand, for מרור it would work, since this plant can be ground into small pieces and the thorns would be crushed. 

תני דבי שמואל אלו ירקות שאדם יוצא בהן ידי חובתו בפסח בחזרת בעולשין ובתמכא ובחרבינין ובחרגינין ובהרדופנין …. אמר ליה רב רחומי לאביי: ממאי דהאי מרור מין ירק הוא? … ואימא הירדוף? דומיא דמצה, מה מצה מין זרעים אף מרור מין זרעים וכו'” (פסחים, לט ע”א).

We mentioned, that in passing, we see that for the מצווה of מרור one can grind it. Some מחמירים actually bite into a solid piece of מרור.
See הגדה מעשה ניסים. And Rashash here.

Was this the Rebbe’s מנהג? 

The berries of a הדס 

3 – The opinion of Reb Eliezer ben Yaakov is: we know that ענף עץ עבות  – a branch of a braided or plaited tree – means הדסים because the Torah means to imply a tree/bush that produces a fruit that has the same taste as the tree or stem itself. The הדס bush fit this category since the berries that grow on the הדס tastes like the stem it grows on. 

Detail Of A Myrtle Bush With Berries In Autumn Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 90880842.

Myrtle with Berries

[Some say that the meaning here of עצו, does not mean the stem. Rather it means the outside shell of the הדס berry and the אתרוג. More on this in the future bl”n]. 

4- The obvious question is that we all know that only the אתרוג has that characteristic. As we will see further on (35a) תנו רבנן, ‘פרי עץ הדר’ –  עץ שטעם עצו ופריו שווה הוי אומר זה אתרוג” 

The answer discussed is that the berries of the הדס tree are not considered ‘fruit’ per se. This is because the הדס tree itself is not considered a ‘fruit tree’. 

Myrtle Berries picture

Myrtle Berries

The ברכה  one makes on these הדס berries is actually שהכל !
(according to the Arizal you make האדמה. Thanks Zev Sero). Here

See here

Alter Rebbe, OC 203.

We spoke about the יאגידע”ס (berries in Russian ягоды) on which the Alter Rebbe says one should make a אדמה, if they are black in color. Is he referring to blueberries? Blackberries? 

Антифейк: Минэкологии опровергло информацию о штрафах за сбор ягод в Алданском районе — ЯСИА

5 – Our Mishnah says that if a הדס has more berries than leaves then it is פסול. One may remove these berries to make a הדס כשר. It adds ‘but one may not remove the berries on Yom Tov’.

Rashi explains that removing them would be a מתקן מנא- like fixing/repairing an object on Yom Tov  which is prohibited מדרבנן. 

Kosher Innovations Shabbos Bottle Opener – DB Electronics

Some say opening a bottle on Shabbos is prohibited because of מכה בפטיש or מתקן מנא. Above is the “Shabbos Bottle Opener”

See here

We mentioned an interesting מרדכי that says that in the case of the הדס, such a ‘fixing’ is prohibited מדאורייתא. His reason is based on a universal concept  [discussed in previous שיעורים] that when performing a mitzvah, even if the act is considered ‘minor’, the מצווה gives this act ‘importance’. It elevates such an act from ‘simple and small’ to ‘large and important’. 

מרדכי, סוכה , תשמז

Thus says the מרדכי, snipping off these berries on Yom Tov, since it creates an object to use as a מצוה, a Kosher הדס, this act is now prohibited מן התורה. 


6- Yud Shvat. 

We spoke about the Frierdiker Rebbe, in the באתי לגני which he prepared for Yud Shvat, discusses the importance of time since ‘who knows when he will pass away’! 

7- Our Gemara says that a הדס needs to have 3 leaves on one row. According to Rashi, it needs to have three leaves coming out of one (of the mini) stem(s). Tosafos says that it  is almost impossible to find. 

Sukka 32a-b: The Leaves of the Myrtle – Aleph Society

A הדס that does not have 3 leaves on each row is called a הדס שוטה

שוטה like a בכור שוטה . A half בכור. 

A הדס is sometimes called שיטותא. So הדס\שיטותא has two meanings. The Hodos branch and ‘foolishness’. 

8- Interestingly, in the מאמר above, he brings the story of  רב שמואל בר רב יצחק who danced at a wedding with a הדס. Some colleagues mocked him, thinking that is was unbecoming for a תלמיד חכם to act so. At his funeral, a pillar of fire ‘separated his coffin from the crowd’. 

People realized then that his dancing using a הדס, which seemed ‘foolish’ was actually very proper to do. Using the הדס to dance, which seemed ‘foolish, שיטותא, was the cause for the fire!  

9- We spoke about the מדרש פליאה.

  אדם דואג על איבוד דמיו ואינו דואג על איבוד ימיו

Will write it out bl”n at a future time. 



Thus we read (Kesubbos 17a) that “it was said of Rebi Yehudah the son of Rebi Ilai that at weddings he would twirl a sprig of myrtle as he danced before the bride.”

The Talmud goes on to say that “as Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak danced, he would juggle three (‘twigs of myrtle’ — Rashi). Said Rebi Zeira: ‘This venerable sage is embarrassing us’ (‘by making light of the respect due to Torah scholars through his undignified behavior’ — Rashi).

MGL Sisters :: Missionaries of God's Love Sisters :: MGL :: Keep the Fire Burning 3: The Wandering Israelites

When Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak passed away, “a pillar of fire appeared, separating him from all those who were near him.”

Rebi Zeira thereupon retracted his previous remark.

[Three versions of his retraction are recorded in the Talmud.]

The first:

“The venerable sage has been well served by his sprig” (Shot-ie-ah), (‘the sprig of myrtle with which he used to dance’ Rashi).

The second version:

“The venerable sage has been well served by his folly” (Shtusay), (‘for he clowned like a fool’ — Rashi).

The third version:

“The venerable sage has been well served by his policy” (Shitosay), (‘by his customary course of conduct’ (Rashi).

Folly of this kind transcends understanding, and thus represents a wondrously superior mode of conduct.

[The following citation from the Talmud throws light on the nonrational — i.e., superrational — conduct of the above-named Sages at weddings.]

“If a man (Ish) and a woman (Isha) are found worthy, the Divine Presence abides between them.

אתיות השם: God's Name in Our Bodies

For Ish is composed of Esh (‘fire’) and the letter Yud; Isha is composed of Esh and the letter Heh.

When a man and a woman are found worthy, [i.e., when they approach marriage in a G‑dly way], the letters yud and heh combine to spell the Name of G‑d: the Shechinah dwells in their midst.” (Moreover, the Divine Presence then becomes manifest in the kind of marriage that is called — “an everlasting edifice.”)

Because a marriage thus elicits such prodigious spiritual power, the joy of the Sages at weddings would burst the conventional bounds of propriety.

Indeed, in the wake of the dancing of Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak, he was granted a sublime revelation of Divine favor: “a pillar of fire appeared, separating him from all those who were near him” — a true revelation of Divine light.