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The Edge of the Roof

Daf 18 Sukkah

Susan Suna

On today’s daf we discuss the Halacha of Moshe from Sinai of פי תקרה יורד וסותם  – the edge of the roof extends downward and forms a Halachic wall. Our daf discusses the case of an enclosed alleyway with houses on three sides that have an overhang extending from the front of the houses. The overhang is called an אכסדרה and in our case it does not have  supporting columns on the open side. If one laid Sechach from the edge of one overhang to the other, would that be a Kosher Sukkah? Can we say that  the edge of the overhang extends downwards to create walls for the Sukkah using the rule of פי תקרה יורד וסותם?  Or does this ruling not apply here as the walls that are coming down are not enclosing the area under the overhang itself but creating a wall for the Sukkah which is an outer area. According to Abayee we would be able to say פי תקרה יורד וסותם. According to Rava this ruling would not apply and at a minimum one would need to create Halachic walls using Lavud – posts within three Tefachim of each other. 


The Gemara now tries to line up the above dispute between Abayee and Rava with the dispute regarding the application of פי תקרה יורד וסותם between Rav and Shmuel where there is a roofed אכסדרה standing on four legs in a valley. Can one carry under it on Shabbat? Rav says yes and Shmuel says that one can only carry within four amot as this area is considered a Carmalit.  The discussion continues through tomorrow’s daf. But on today’s daf we have the Ein Mishpat Ner Mitzvah pointing to the Rambam’s Halachic ruling in this case.


The Rambam rules that for the area under the אכסדרה to be considered a private domain for Shabbat,  פי תקרה יורד וסותם would only work for the fourth wall. There needs to be three standing walls. Now according to whom is his opinion? Rav or Shmuel? The אכסדרה is translated as portico according to Rabbi Steinzaltz z”l’ who gave the Greek translation. The images in the Gemaras with pictures show a roof with four poles and no walls. Rabbi David Fuchs of Alon Shvut answered that the Jastrow dictionary does not explain אכסדרה as a portico but as a parlor according to the Latin translation. He claims that this is how the Rambam viewed the אכסדרה. He brings his proof from הלכות תפילין ומזוזה וספר תורה פ”ו ה”ג where the Rambam explains אכסדרה as an area with three walls and a roof. This clarifies the Rambam’s ruling according to Rav. For a Sukkah it appears that the Rambam rules according to Rava and we don’t say פי תקרה יורד וסותם  see:  הלכות סוכה פ”ד ה”ח.

*Please note that there is much discussion in understanding when and how to apply regarding the above topic.

Alon Shvut Women's Daf Yomi

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