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Simchat Beit HaShoeivah – Sukkah – Gefet 7

Gefet: Gemara Rashi and Tosafot.

Delve into commentaries on the daf in this advanced level shiur with Rabbanit Yael Shimoni.

Disclaimer: you do not have to be a daf learner to study Gefet.

The texts are in Hebrew, the class teaching is in English. Gefet is a collaboration with Drisha Institute.

Simchat Beit Hasho鈥檈va

 

 

The fifth perek of Masechet Sukkah opens with a code, which is deciphered by the mishna: “讛讞诇讬诇 讞诪讬砖讛 讜砖讬砖讛”. The mishna explains:聽

讛讞诇讬诇 讞诪砖讛 讜砖砖讛, 讝讛讜 讛讞诇讬诇 砖诇 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛 砖讗讬谞讜 讚讜讞讛 诇讗 讗转 讛砖讘转 讜诇讗 讗转 讬讜诐 讟讜讘. (住讜讻讛 谞 注”讗)

The mishna explains that the flute聽 that is mentioned, is the one that is played at the simchat beit hasho鈥檈va, and this does not override shabbat. Therefore sometimes the simchat beit hasho鈥檈va lasts for six days and sometimes for five. The gemara brings a surprising argument on this mishna:聽

讗讬转诪专, 专讘 讬讛讜讚讛 讜专讘 注讬谞讗. 讞讚 转谞讬: 砖讜讗讘讛, 讜讞讚 转谞讬: 讞砖讜讘讛.聽

The gemara reports that the formulation of the mishna is the subject of an amoraic argument: is the correct wording 鈥溩椬溩欁 砖诇 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛鈥 or 鈥溩椬溩欁 砖诇 讘讬转 讞砖讜讘讛鈥? The continuation of the sugiya clarifies that this argument actually reflects an argument as to the source and meaning of this simcha, and introduces two different sources and meanings for this simcha on Sukkot. We will look at the continuation of the gemara:

讗诪专 诪专 讝讜讟专讗: 诪讗谉 讚转谞讬 砖讜讗讘讛 诇讗 诪砖转讘砖, 讜诪讗谉 讚转谞讬 讞砖讜讘讛 诇讗 诪砖转讘砖. 诪讗谉 讚转谞讬 砖讜讗讘讛 诇讗 诪砖转讘砖 – 讚讻转讬讘 讜砖讗讘转诐 诪讬诐 讘砖砖讜谉. 讜诪讗谉 讚转谞讬 讞砖讜讘讛 诇讗 诪砖转讘砖 – 讚讗诪专 专讘 谞讞诪谉: 诪爪讜讛 讞砖讜讘讛 讛讬讗, 讜讘讗讛 诪砖砖转 讬诪讬 讘专讗砖讬转.

Mar Zutra brings the sources of these different names, and determines that both are actually correct: the name 鈥溩┳炞椬 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛鈥 comes from a pasuk in Yeshayahu: 讜旨砖讈职讗址讘职转旨侄诐志诪址謻讬执诐 讘旨职砖讉指砖讉謶讜止谉 诪执诪旨址注址讬职谞值謻讬 讛址讬职砖讈讜旨注指纸讛. The name 鈥溩┳炞椬 讞砖讜讘讛鈥 comes from the statement of Rav Nachman who says that this simcha is significant since it is connected to the six days of creation.聽

These two sources seem to be riddles themselves: what do they mean? What is the connection between Yeshayahu and Sukkot? What is the connection between the simcha of the holiday of Sukkot and the six days of creation? Rashi approaches these questions and adds another layer of understanding. We will examine his words:

讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛 – 讻诇 砖诪讞讛 讝讜 讗讬谞讛 讗诇讗 讘砖讘讬诇 谞讬住讜讱 讛诪讬诐, 讻讚诪驻专砖 “讜砖讗讘转诐 诪讬诐 讘砖砖讜谉”.

Rashi explains that the pasuk in Yeshayahu reveals that the heart of the simcha is dependent on the water libation. The drawing of the water and pouring it onto the mizbeach is what determines this special simcha. Rashi鈥檚 interpretation adds a layer of understanding, but we are still left with half of our questions. He did not explain why the drawing and pouring of the water on the mizbeach causes such great happiness. The alternate version: “讞砖讜讘讛” which聽 is explained in the gemara as connected to the six days of creation, is explained by Rashi in his commentary on the sugiya. He writes:

诪砖砖转 讬诪讬 讘专讗砖讬转 – 讚讗诪专谉 诇注讬诇: 砖讬转讬谉 谞讘专讗讜 诪砖砖转 讬诪讬 讘专讗砖讬转 诇拽讘诇 讛谞住讻讬诐.

Rashi sends us backwards to daf 49a where there is an argument regarding the 砖讬转讬谉. The 砖讬转讬谉 are two holes in the mizbeach where the wine libations were poured throughout the year, and wine and water libations were poured on Sukkot. It seems that there is an argument regarding their depth and the way they were created:

讗诪专 专讘讛 讘专 讘专 讞谞讛 讗诪专 专讘讬 讬讜讞谞谉: 砖讬转讬谉 诪砖砖转 讬诪讬 讘专讗砖讬转 谞讘专讗讜, 砖谞讗诪专 讞诪讜拽讬 讬专讻讬讱 讻诪讜 讞诇讗讬诐 诪注砖讛 讬讚讬 讗诪谉. 讞诪讜拽讬 讬专讻讬讱 – 讗诇讜 讛砖讬转讬谉, 讻诪讜 讞诇讗讬诐 – 砖诪讞讜诇诇讬谉 讜讬讜专讚讬谉 注讚 讛转讛讜诐, 诪注砖讛 讬讚讬 讗诪谉 – 讝讜 诪注砖讛 讬讚讬 讗讜诪谞讜转讜 砖诇 讛拽讚讜砖 讘专讜讱 讛讜讗. 转谞讗 讚讘讬 专讘讬 讬砖诪注讗诇: 讘专讗砖讬转, 讗诇 转讬拽专讬 讘专讗砖讬转 讗诇讗 讘专讗 砖讬转. 转谞讬讗, 专讘讬 讬讜住讬 讗讜诪专: 砖讬转讬谉 诪讞讜诇诇讬谉 讜讬讜专讚讬谉 注讚 转讛讜诐, 砖谞讗诪专 讗砖讬专讛 谞讗 诇讬讚讬讚讬 砖讬专转 讚讜讚讬 诇讻专诪讜 讻专诐 讛讬讛 诇讬讚讬讚讬 讘拽专谉 讘谉 砖诪谉. 讜讬注讝拽讛讜 讜讬住拽诇讛讜 讜讬讟注讛讜 砖专拽 讜讬讘谉 诪讙讚诇 讘转讜讻讜 讜讙诐 讬拽讘 讞爪讘 讘讜. 讜讬讟注讛讜 砖专拽 – 讝讛 讘讬转 讛诪拽讚砖, 讜讬讘谉 诪讙讚诇 讘转讜讻讜 – 讝讛 诪讝讘讞, 讜讙诐 讬拽讘 讞爪讘 讘讜 – 讗诇讜 讛砖讬转讬谉.聽

转谞讬讗, 讗诪专 专讘讬 讗诇注讝专 讘专 爪讚讜拽: 诇讜诇 拽讟谉 讛讬讛 讘讬谉 讻讘砖 诇诪讝讘讞 讘诪注专讘讜 砖诇 讻讘砖, 讜讗讞转 诇砖讘注讬诐 砖谞讛 驻专讞讬 讻讛讜谞讛 讬讜专讚讬谉 诇砖诐 讜诪诇拽讟讬谉 诪砖诐 讬讬谉 拽专讜砖 砖讚讜诪讛 诇注讬讙讜诇讬 讚讘讬诇讛, 讜讘讗讬谉 讜砖讜专驻讬谉 讗讜转讜 讘拽讚讜砖讛, 砖谞讗诪专 讘拽讚砖 讛住讱 谞住讱 砖讻专 诇讛’

Rashi connects the opinion of Rabbi Yochanan which is brought by Raba bar bar Chana to the opinion which says that the water libation is an important mitzvah as it is connected to the six days of creation. If we try to understand Rashi鈥檚 words, we will suggest the following: According to Rabbi Yochanan鈥檚 opinion, and the opinion of the beit midrash of Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Yossi, the 砖讬转讬谉 connect the mizbeach to the abyss, meaning they create a connection between the waters that are under the earth, the ancient waters of creation, to the waters which are poured onto the mizbeach. In light of this, the water libation on Sukkot is connecting water to water, new water to ancient water – water of creation and the abyss, and this connection has a special significance.

Until now we have seen Rashi鈥檚 commentary which revealed deep layers in understanding the water libation. The first opinion: 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛 describes a simple simcha – this is a once a year libation of water and that warrants a special celebration. The second opinion deals with an important simcha which is connected to a deep secret which connects us to the waters of the abyss, the waters of聽 creation which crawl under the beit hamikdash. We will move on to Tosfot and will see that they add meaning to the first opinion as well:聽

讞讚 转谞讬 砖讜讗讘讛 – 讘讬专讜砖诇诪讬 诪驻专砖 砖诪砖诐 砖讜讗讘讬诐 专讜讞 讛拽讜讚砖 砖讛砖讻讬谞讛 砖讜专讛 诪转讜讱 砖诪讞讛 讚讻转讬讘 讜讬讛讬 讻谞讙谉 讛诪谞讙谉 讜转讛讬 注诇讬讜 专讜讞 讛’ 讜诪讬讬转讬 注讜讘讚讗 讚讬讜谞讛 讘谉 讗诪讬转讬 砖讛讬讛 诪注讜诇讬 专讙诇讬诐 讜讘砖诪讞转 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛 砖专转讛 注诇讬讜 砖讻讬谞讛.

Tosfot send us to the Yerushalmi and say that the drawing of the water is not really drawing water, rather drawing ruach hakodesh. We will examine this source on its own before we analyze its content and the significance of bringing it, in light of Rashi鈥檚 interpretation:

讗”专 讬讛讜砖注 讘谉 诇讜讬 诇诪讛 谞拽专讗 砖诪讛 讘讬转 砖讜讗讘讛 砖诪砖诐 砖讜讗讘讬诐 专讜讞 讛拽讜讚砖 注诇 砖诐 [砖诐 讬讘 讙] 讜砖讗讘转诐 诪讬诐 讘砖砖讜谉 诪诪注讬谞讬 讛讬砖讜注讛….. 讗”专 讬讜谞讛 讬讜谞讛 讘谉 讗诪讬转讬 诪注讜诇讬 专讙诇讬诐 讛讬讛 讜谞讻谞住 诇砖诪讞转 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛 讜砖专转 注诇讬讜 专讜讞 讛拽讜讚砖 诇诇诪讚讱 砖讗讬谉 专讜讞 讛拽讚砖 砖讜专讛 讗诇讗 注诇 诇讘 砖诪讞 诪”讟 [诪诇讻讬诐 讘 讙 讟讜] 讜讛讬讛 讻谞讙谉 讛诪谞讙谉 讜转讛讬 注诇讬讜 专讜讞 讗诇讛讬诐. 讗”专 讘谞讬诪讬谉 讘专 诇讜讬 讜讛讬讛 [讚祝 讻讙 注诪讜讚 讗] 讻谞讙谉 讘诪谞讙谉 讗讬谉 讻转讬讘 讻讗谉 讗诇讗 讜讛讬讛 讻谞讙谉 讛诪谞讙谉 讜转讛讬 注诇讬讜 专讜讞 讗诇讛讬诐.

In the Yerushalmi we see that the chiddush which understands that the drawing done at the simchat beit hasho鈥檈va is not physical but rather spiritual is the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi. This is how he interprets the pasuk in Yeshayahu. It seems that this interpretation fits with the pshat of the pasuk. The springs from which water is drawn in this prophecy of nechama are springs of salvation. Salvation is spiritual rather than physical, and this means that the drawing is not really of water, rather of ruach hakodesh. The Yerushalmi continues and brings a statement of Rabbi Yonah, about the prophet who shares his name – Yonah. Yonah the prophet is a figure who accompanies us on Yom Kippur, and Rabbi Yonah says that Yona鈥檚 root is in Sukkot. The moment that Yonah became a prophet was the simchat beit hasho鈥檈va, where ruach hakodesh rested upon him. The statement of Rabbi Yonah takes us a step further – why are we happy at the simchat beit hasho鈥檈va? According to the interpretation that this is an important simcha, they understand that the mitzvah of the water libation arouses happiness in us. However, according to the statement of Rabbi Yonah, happiness is the tool with which we draw the ruach hakodesh. There is a switch here between cause and effect. The flute plays in order for there to be simcha – the simcha is the tool for drawing the ruach hakodesh since ruach hakodesh only rests upon a happy soul.聽

After we have examined the Yerushalmi, we will go back and sharpen the chiddush of the Tosfot in their bringing the Yerushalmi.聽

Rashi explains that “砖诪讞转 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛” in an almost technical interpretation – the special mitzvah of the water libation is the reason for the special simcha that we have on Sukkot. The more mysterious interpretation is “砖诪讞讛 讞砖讜讘讛”, as it hints to the opinion that the 砖讬转讬谉 of the mizbeach reach the abyss – the waters of creation which crawl under the beit hamikdash, and on Sukkot, we connect water to water.聽

Tosfot take the technical interpretation and turn it into an interpretation of mystery, ruach hakodesh, and prophecy as well. By examining the Yerushalmi, we see an additional chiddush: here the simcha is not a result, rather is the cause. We are happy in order to draw the ruach hakodesh on Sukkot.

We will note that the statement of the Yerushalmi leaves us with a problem. In our time, there is no longer prophecy, and if the main significance of simchat beit hasho鈥檈va is to draw ruach hakodesh and prophecy, how is this relevant to us? Perhaps we stand opposite it in longing and pain, just like the longing for the avodah of the cohen gadol on Yom Kippur?

The 注诇讬 转诪专 on the Yerushalmi words this question more sharply:

讜诇讻讗讜专讛 拽砖讛, 讛专讬 讗诪专讜 讘住讜祝 住讜讟讛 诪砖诪转讜 谞讘讬讗讬诐 讛讗讞专讜谞讬诐 谞住转诇拽讛 专讜讛”拽 诪讬砖专讗诇, 讜讘专讜专 砖讻讜讜谞转 讛诪讗诪专 讛讜讗 讗祝 讘转拽讜驻转 讘讬转 砖谞讬

The 注诇讬 转诪专 asks in light of the wording of the mishna and the sugiya in Masechet Sotah: the mishna speaks about the days of the second temple, and in Masechet Sotah, it says that with the death of the last prophets, ruach hakodesh left Yisrael. Could it be that we are describing the simcha of something that no longer exists? We will examine his answer:

讗讜诇诐 注讬讬谉 诪”砖 讘讝讛 讘住讜讟讛 驻”讟 讛讬”讙, 砖讛砖诐 专讜讛”拽 讛讜讗 砖诐 诪砖讜转祝 诇砖诇砖 讚专讙讜转 砖诇 专讜讛”拽 讗) 专讜讛”拽 谞讘讜讗讬, 讘) 专讜讛”拽 砖诇 讘转 拽讜诇, 讙) 专讜讛”拽 砖诇 讗爪讬诇讜转 注诇讬讜谉 砖诇 专讜讞 讗诇讜拽讬 注诇 讗谞砖讬 住讙讜诇讛 砖诇讗 驻住拽讛 讘砖讜诐 讚讜专, 讜讗祝 讘讚讜专讜转 讛讗讞专讜谞讬诐 讘讘讞讬谞转 专讜讞 讗诇讜拽讬诐 讚讘专 讘讬 讜诪诇转讜 注诇 诇砖讜谞讬. 讜专讜讛”拽 诪讛住讜讙 讛讗讞专讜谉 砖讗讘讜 讘砖诪讞转 讘讬转 讛砖讜讗讘讛 讘转拽讜驻转 讘讬转 砖谞讬 注诪”砖 砖诐 讘讗专讬讻讜转.

The 注诇讬 转诪专 answers that there are three levels of ruach hakodesh: a. prophecy b. bat kol c. Godly spirit on worthy people.

It is true that the first two ruchot have disappeared for now, however, the last ruach never disappears, and this is what we are drawing at the simchat beit hasho鈥檈va. B鈥檈zrat Hashem we should be worthy of it.聽聽

(Translated by Daphna Ansel-Nizan)

 

Rabbanit Yael Shimoni

Rabbanit Shimoni has learned at Migdal Oz, Matan, and the Susi Bradfield Women鈥檚 Institute for Halakhic Leadership at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She holds a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and a BEd in Torah Shebe鈥檃l Peh and Jewish Thought from Herzog College. She is currently studying towards an MA in Jewish Thought Education at Herzog College. Rabbanit Shimoni taught gemara and halakha at Pelech High School and served as a ramit for shana bet at Migdal Oz. She directs Meshivat Nefesh, the online responsa program of the rabbaniyot of Beit Hillel. She is also a plastic artist and member of 鈥淎 Studio of Her Own.
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