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October 21, 2021 | ט״ו במרחשון תשפ״ב | TODAY'S DAF: Rosh Hashanah 12

Today's Daf Yomi

July 21, 2021 | י״ב באב תשפ״א

Masechet Sukkah is sponsored by Jonathan Katz in memory of his mother Margaret Katz (Ruth bat Avraham).

Sukkah 14

Can one change the status of handles of items from being susceptible to impurity to not being susceptible to impurity by rendering it useless through one’s thoughts or is it necessary to do an action? Can one use wooden boards for sechach? Did the rabbis forbid it as it looks like a ceiling and people may come to think they can use their house for a sukkah? Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda disagree. Rav and Shmuel disagree regarding the case in which Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda disagree – were they referring to boards that are four handbreadths wide, but all would agree that less than four handbreadths would be allowed? Or do they disagree regarding boards that are 3-4 handbreadths but ones that are four are forbidden by all? The gemara brings tannaitic sources and tries to see how they fit with Rav and Shmuel’s opinions.

יורדין לידי טומאה במחשבה ואין עולין מטומאתן אלא בשינוי מעשה מעשה מוציא מיד מעשה ומיד מחשבה מחשבה אינה מוציאה לא מיד מעשה ולא מיד מחשבה

descend into their state of ritual impurity by means of thought? Although an unfinished vessel ordinarily cannot become ritually impure, if the craftsman decided to leave it in its unfinished state, it immediately assumes the legal status of a completed vessel and can become ritually impure. However, they ascend from their state of ritual impurity only by means of a change resulting from an action. Merely deciding to complete the unfinished vessel does not alter its status. It loses its status as a vessel only when he takes action to complete it. Action negates status created by action and status created by thought; however, thought negates neither status created by action nor status created by thought. Therefore, once the straw of the grain harvested for food is considered a handle and is susceptible to ritual impurity, its status cannot be negated by thought alone.

וכי תימא הני מילי כלים דחשיבי אבל ידות דלצורך אכילה נינהו במחשבה נעשה ובמחשבה סלקא והתנן כל ידות האוכלין שבססן בגורן טהורות (ורבי יוסי מטמא)

And if you say: There is a distinction between the cases, as this principle applies only to vessels, which are significant, but with regard to handles that are not independently significant but are merely for the purpose of handling food, perhaps by means of thought they become handles and by means of thought they emerge from that status; but didn’t we learn in the mishna to the contrary? All handles of food that one besasan on the threshing floor are ritually pure, as through one’s actions he indicated that has no use for them and does not consider them significant. And Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure.

בשלמא למאן דאמר בססן התיר אגודן שפיר אלא למאן דאמר מאי בססן בססן ממש מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara elaborates: Granted, according to the one who said that besasan means that one untied their binding, it works out well. Although no action was performed on the sheaves, nevertheless, since their only purpose is to facilitate binding the sheaves, he indicated by unbinding them that the handles no longer suit his needs. However, according to the one who said: What is the meaning of besasan? It means he actually trampled them, what can be said? According to that opinion, only an action can negate the status of the handles. What, then, is the rationale for the opinion of the Rabbis, who hold that thought alone can negate their status?

הכא נמי שבססן ממש אי הכי מאי טעמייהו דאחרים דאמור כרבי יוסי דתנן רבי יוסי מטמא

The Gemara answers: Here too, the dispute between the Rabbis and Aḥerim with regard to using grain for roofing the sukka is in a case where one actually trampled them, and that is the reason that they are no longer susceptible to ritual impurity. The Gemara asks: If so, and a change was made to the grain itself, what is the rationale for the opinion of Aḥerim, who nevertheless prohibit their use as roofing? The Gemara answers: It is because Aḥerim state their opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, as we learned in the previously cited mishna: Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure even after trampling.

האי מאי בשלמא התם טעמא דרבי יוסי חזיא לכדרבי שמעון בן לקיש דאמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש הואיל וראויות להופכן בעתר

The Gemara asks: What is the basis of this comparison between the cases? Granted, there, in the dispute concerning the ritual impurity of the grain on the threshing floor, the rationale for the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, i.e., that the handles remain susceptible to ritual impurity, is that they are suitable for use. This is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, as Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: Even after the grain is trampled the straw suits his needs, since the straw is suited to facilitate turning over the grain with a pitchfork, as the straw prevents the grain from falling between the prongs of the pitchfork.

אלא הכא למאי חזיא חזיא לכי סתר למנקט להו בגילייהו

However, here, where one needs the straw only for roofing the sukka, for what are the handles suited after they have been trampled? They serve no purpose in terms of handling the grain. The Gemara answers: They are suited when one dismantles the roofing, in order to hold the grain by the straw, so that it will scatter. Therefore, Aḥerim hold that the straw remains capable of contracting ritual impurity.

גופא כל ידות האוכלין שבססן בגורן טהורות ורבי יוסי מטמא מאי בססן רבי יוחנן אמר בססן ממש רבי (אליעזר) אומר התיר אגדן

Apropos the dispute between the Rabbis and Rabbi Yosei, the Gemara discusses the matter itself: All handles of food that one besasan on the threshing floor are ritually pure, and Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of besasan? Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It means that one actually trampled them under foot. Rabbi Elazar says: It means he untied their binding.

בשלמא לרבי (אליעזר) דאמר בססן התיר אגדן היינו דמטמא רבי יוסי אלא לרבי יוחנן דאמר בססן ממש אמאי מטמא רבי יוסי אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש הואיל וראויות להופכן בעתר

The Gemara notes: Granted, according to Rabbi Elazar, who said that besasan means that he untied their binding, this is the reason that Rabbi Yosei deems the handles capable of contracting ritual impurity. However, according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, who said that besasan means that one actually trampled them, why does Rabbi Yosei deem the handles capable of contracting ritual impurity? Didn’t one thereby render them insignificant? Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: Even after the grain is trampled, the straw suits his needs, since the straw is suited to facilitate turning over the grain with a pitchfork.

אמר רבי (אליעזר) למה נמשלה תפלתן של צדיקים כעתר לומר לך מה עתר זה מהפך את התבואה בגורן ממקום למקום אף תפלתן של צדיקים מהפכת דעתו של הקדוש ברוך הוא ממדת אכזריות למדת רחמנות

Apropos a pitchfork, the Gemara cites a related aggadic teaching: Rabbi Elazar said: Why are the prayers of the righteous likened to a pitchfork [eter]? It is written: “And Isaac entreated [vayetar] the Lord for his wife, because she was barren” (Genesis 25:21), to say to you: Just as this pitchfork overturns the grain on the threshing floor from place to place, so too, the prayers of the righteous overturn the mind of the Holy One, Blessed be He, from the attribute of cruelty to the attribute of mercy, and He accepts their prayers.

מתני׳ מסככין בנסרים דברי רבי יהודה ורבי מאיר אוסר נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ובלבד שלא יישן תחתיו

MISHNA: One may roof the sukka with boards like those used in the ceiling of a house; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Meir prohibits their use. If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. He fulfills his obligation, provided he does not sleep beneath the board.

גמ׳ אמר רב מחלוקת בנסרין שיש בהן ארבעה דרבי מאיר אית ליה גזרת תקרה ורבי יהודה לית ליה גזרת תקרה אבל בנסרין שאין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה ושמואל אמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה

GEMARA: Rav said: The dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, the standard size for boards used in house ceilings, as Rabbi Meir is of the opinion that the Sages issued the decree of the roof. In that case, the roofing of the sukka with boards that wide could be confused with a ceiling. If it were permitted to roof the sukka with a board that size, one might come to sleep beneath the ceiling of his own home during the Festival. And Rabbi Yehuda is not of the opinion that the Sages issued the decree of the roof. However, with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is fit. And Shmuel said: The dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width; however, if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit.

אין בהן ארבעה ואפילו פחות משלשה הא קנים בעלמא נינהו

The Gemara asks: According to Shmuel, the dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, and apparently the same would hold true even if their width were less than three handbreadths. In that case, aren’t they merely reeds; why would Rabbi Meir prohibit their use?

אמר רב פפא הכי קאמר יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה פחות משלשה דברי הכל כשרה מאי טעמא קנים בעלמא נינהו כי פליגי משלשה עד ארבעה מר סבר כיון דליתנהו שיעור מקום לא גזרינן ומר סבר כיון דנפקי להו מתורת לבוד גזרינן

Rav Pappa said that this is what Shmuel is saying: If they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If their width is less than three handbreadths, everyone agrees that the sukka is fit. What is the reason? It is because they are merely reeds. When they disagree in the mishna, their disagreement pertains to a case where the boards are from three to four handbreadths wide. In that case, one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that since they are not the measure of a significant place, we do not issue a decree prohibiting their use. And one Sage, Rabbi Meir, holds that since they have departed from the halakhic status of being joined [lavud], which applies only to gaps of less than three handbreadths, we issue a decree prohibiting their use as roofing.

תנן נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ובלבד שלא יישן תחתיו בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה משום הכי לא יישן תחתיו אלא לרב דאמר בשיש בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל אין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה לרבי יהודה אמאי לא יישן תחתיו

The Gemara cites proof with regard to the dispute between Rav and Shmuel. We learned in the mishna: If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. He fulfills his obligation, provided he does not sleep beneath the board. Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, however, if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit roofing, it is due to that reason that one should not sleep beneath the board. However, according to Rav, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, however, if they do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is fit, according to Rabbi Yehuda, why may one not sleep beneath it?

מי סברת דברי הכל היא סיפא אתאן לרבי מאיר

The Gemara answers: Do you hold that this last halakha in the mishna, about not sleeping beneath the board, is a ruling with which everyone, including Rabbi Yehuda agrees? Rather, in the latter clause of the mishna we have come to the opinion of Rabbi Meir. He alone, not Rabbi Yehuda, holds that one may not sleep beneath the board. Therefore, no proof can be cited from the mishna.

תא שמע שני סדינין מצטרפין

The Gemara cites an additional proof. Come and hear: Two sheets placed over the roofing of the sukka join together to constitute four handbreadths, the measure of unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit.

שני נסרין אין מצטרפין רבי מאיר אומר אף נסרין כסדינין

However, two boards placed on the sukka do not combine. Rabbi Meir says: Even boards are like sheets, in that they join together to constitute the measure of unfitness.

בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבעה

The Gemara elaborates: Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, but if they have four handbreadths in their width everyone agrees that it is unfit; what is the meaning of that which Rabbi Meir said: Boards join together? It means that boards less than four handbreadths wide combine to measure four handbreadths, which renders the sukka unfit.

אלא לרב דאמר בשיש בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל אין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה היכי דמי אי דאית בהו ארבעה למה להו לאיצטרופי אי דלית בהו ארבעה אמאי והא קנים בעלמא נינהו

However, according to Rav, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, but if they do not have four handbreadths in their width everyone agrees that it is fit, what are the circumstances? If each of the boards has four handbreadths in its width, why must they join together to render the sukka unfit? If each board is four handbreadths wide, each is capable of rendering the sukka unfit on its own. And if each of the boards does not have four handbreadths in its width, why would Rabbi Meir prohibit their use? But aren’t they merely reeds according to Rav? Just as one may roof the sukka with reeds, one should be permitted to roof the sukka with these narrow boards.

לעולם דאית בהו ארבעה ומאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד

The Gemara answers: Actually, explain that there are four handbreadths in the width of each board and each renders the sukka unfit on its own. However, what is the meaning of: Boards join together? It is with regard to a completely different matter. They join together to constitute four cubits from the side. If one placed these unfit boards adjacent to one of the walls of the sukka, they do not render the sukka unfit, due to the halakhic principle of curved wall, which views that roofing as an extension of that wall. However, that principle applies only up to four cubits of unfit roofing. If these boards join together to measure four cubits, the sukka is unfit according to Rabbi Meir. According to this explanation, the mishna can be explained in accordance with the opinion of Rav as well.

לישנא אחרינא בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד

There is another version of the above exchange. Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, but if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit, what is the meaning of that which Rabbi Meir said: Boards join together? It means that they join together to constitute four cubits from the side, which renders the sukka unfit.

אלא לרב בשלמא לרבי מאיר מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד אלא לרבי יהודה דאמר אפילו יש בהן ארבעה כשרה מאי אין מצטרפין קנים בעלמא נינהו איידי דקאמר רבי מאיר מצטרפין אמר רבי יהודה אין מצטרפין

However, according to Rav, granted, according to Rabbi Meir, what is the meaning of: Boards join together? It means that they join together to constitute four cubits from the side. However, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who said that even if they have four handbreadths in their width, the sukka is fit, what is the meaning of: Boards do not join together? They are merely reeds, which is fit roofing and fit roofing that joins together remains fit roofing. The Gemara answers: Since Rabbi Meir used the phrase: Join together, Rabbi Yehuda, although it is irrelevant according to his opinion, also said: Do not join together.

תניא כוותיה דרב תניא כוותיה דשמואל

The Gemara notes: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav, and it is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel.

תניא כוותיה דרב סככה בנסרים של ארז שאין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה יש בהן ארבעה רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav: If one roofed the sukka with cedar boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is fit. If there are four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems it unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit.

אמר רבי יהודה מעשה בשעת הסכנה שהביאנו נסרים שהיו בהן ארבעה וסיככנו על גבי מרפסת וישבנו תחתיהן אמרו לו משם ראיה אין שעת הסכנה ראיה

Rabbi Yehuda said: There was an incident during a time of danger, when the gentiles decreed that it is prohibited for Jews to construct a sukka, at which point we brought boards that had four handbreadths in their width, and we roofed the porch with them so that it would not appear to be a sukka, and we sat beneath them. Evidently, boards four handbreadths wide are fit roofing for a sukka. They said to him: Is there proof be cited from there? There is no proof from actions performed during a time of danger. It is possible that the sukka that they built on the porch was unfit, and they built it merely to commemorate the mitzva that they were unable to fulfill. From this baraita, it is apparent that the dispute between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda is in a case of boards that are four handbreadths wide, in accordance with the opinion of Rav.

תניא כוותיה דשמואל סככה בנסרים של ארז שיש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה אין בהן ארבעה רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר ומודה רבי מאיר שאם יש בין נסר לנסר כמלא נסר שמניח פסל ביניהם וכשרה ומודה רבי יהודה שאם נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ואין ישנים תחתיו והישן תחתיו לא יצא ידי חובתו

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel: If one roofed the sukka with cedar boards that have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If there are not four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems it unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit. And Rabbi Meir concedes that, if there is between one board and another board a gap the complete width of a board, then one places fit roofing from the waste of the threshing floor and the winepress, and the sukka is fit. And Rabbi Yehuda concedes that if one roofed the sukka with a board that is four handbreadths wide adjacent to one of the walls, the sukka is fit based on the principle of curved wall; and, nevertheless, one may not sleep beneath that board, and one who sleeps beneath it does not fulfill his obligation. In any event, there are two baraitot, each in accordance with one of the two views presented.

אתמר הפכן על צידיהן רב הונא אמר פסולה ורב חסדא ורבה בר רב הונא אמרי כשרה

§ It is stated that there is an amoraic dispute: If one turned the unfit boards on their sides, and the width of the side is less than the measure that renders them unfit, do the boards remain unfit, or are they fit because in their current placement their width is narrower? Rav Huna said: The sukka is unfit, and Rav Ḥisda and Rabba bar Rav Huna said: It is fit.

איקלע רב נחמן לסורא עול לגביה רב חסדא ורבה בר רב הונא אמרי ליה הפכן על צידיהן מהו אמר להו פסולה נעשו כשפודין של מתכת

The Gemara relates: Rav Naḥman happened to come to Sura. Rav Ḥisda and Rabba bar Rav Huna entered before him. They said to him: If one turned these boards on their sides and roofed the sukka, what is the halakha? They sought to ascertain whether his ruling is in accordance with their opinion or in accordance with the opinion of Rav Huna. He said to them: The sukka is unfit; since the boards are unfit roofing when placed flat, their legal status became like that of skewers [shapudin] of metal, which are unfit under all circumstances.

אמר להו רב הונא לא אמרי לכו אמרי כוותי אמרו ליה ומי אמר לן מר טעמא ולא קבלינן מיניה אמר להו ומי בעיתו מינאי טעמא ולא אמרי לכו

When they related this encounter to Rav Huna, Rav Huna said to them: Didn’t I tell you that you should say the halakha in accordance with my opinion? Even Rav Naḥman agrees with me. They said to him: And did the Master actually say a reason for this ruling to us, and we did not accept it from him? Rav Naḥman not only issued a ruling, he also explained his ruling to us. He said to them: And did you ask me for the reason and I did not say it to you?

לימא מסייע ליה אינה מחזקת כדי ראשו ורובו ושולחנו או שנפרצה בה פרצה כדי שיזדקר בה גדי בבת ראש או שנתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים אף על פי שלא הכניס לתוכה אלא שלשה טפחים פסולה

The Gemara notes: Let us say that this baraita supports the opinion of Rav Huna: With regard to a sukka that does not hold one’s head, most of his body, and his table; a sukka whose wall was breached with a breach large enough for a goat to jump through headlong, i.e., three handbreadths; a sukka that one placed atop it a board that is four handbreadths wide, even if he only introduced three handbreadths of the board into the sukka, in all these cases, the sukka is unfit.

היכי דמי (מאי) לאו כגון שהפכן על צידיהם לא הכא במאי עסקינן כגון דאנחה אפומא דמטללתא דעייל תלתא לגיו ואפיק חד לבר דהוה ליה פסל היוצא מן הסוכה וכל פסל היוצא מן הסוכה נידון כסוכה

What are the circumstances of the case where one introduces only three handbreadths of a board that is four handbreadths wide? What, is it not that he turned the board on its side, thereby diminishing its width from four to three handbreadths, in accordance with the opinion of Rav Huna? The Gemara rejects this: No, with what are we dealing here? It is a case where one placed the board over the entrance of the sukka, where there is no wall. He introduced three handbreadths into the sukka and took one handbreadth out of the sukka, so that the legal status of that part of the board would be like that of roofing that protrudes from the sukka, and the halakha is that the legal status of any roofing that protrudes from the sukka is considered like that of the sukka. However, since this board is not adjacent to the wall of a sukka, the principle of curved wall does not apply. Therefore, it is four handbreadths of unfit roofing; it is prohibited to sleep beneath that board, and the entire sukka is rendered unfit. Consequently, there is no support for or against the opinion of Rav Huna from this baraita.

Masechet Sukkah is sponsored by Jonathan Katz in memory of his mother Margaret Katz (Ruth bat Avraham).

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Sukkah 14: What Are Your Intentions?

A follow-up to the hyssop/"eizov" discussion. Also, continuing the case of one who harvested grain and then decided not to...

Sukkah 14

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Sukkah 14

יורדין לידי טומאה במחשבה ואין עולין מטומאתן אלא בשינוי מעשה מעשה מוציא מיד מעשה ומיד מחשבה מחשבה אינה מוציאה לא מיד מעשה ולא מיד מחשבה

descend into their state of ritual impurity by means of thought? Although an unfinished vessel ordinarily cannot become ritually impure, if the craftsman decided to leave it in its unfinished state, it immediately assumes the legal status of a completed vessel and can become ritually impure. However, they ascend from their state of ritual impurity only by means of a change resulting from an action. Merely deciding to complete the unfinished vessel does not alter its status. It loses its status as a vessel only when he takes action to complete it. Action negates status created by action and status created by thought; however, thought negates neither status created by action nor status created by thought. Therefore, once the straw of the grain harvested for food is considered a handle and is susceptible to ritual impurity, its status cannot be negated by thought alone.

וכי תימא הני מילי כלים דחשיבי אבל ידות דלצורך אכילה נינהו במחשבה נעשה ובמחשבה סלקא והתנן כל ידות האוכלין שבססן בגורן טהורות (ורבי יוסי מטמא)

And if you say: There is a distinction between the cases, as this principle applies only to vessels, which are significant, but with regard to handles that are not independently significant but are merely for the purpose of handling food, perhaps by means of thought they become handles and by means of thought they emerge from that status; but didn’t we learn in the mishna to the contrary? All handles of food that one besasan on the threshing floor are ritually pure, as through one’s actions he indicated that has no use for them and does not consider them significant. And Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure.

בשלמא למאן דאמר בססן התיר אגודן שפיר אלא למאן דאמר מאי בססן בססן ממש מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara elaborates: Granted, according to the one who said that besasan means that one untied their binding, it works out well. Although no action was performed on the sheaves, nevertheless, since their only purpose is to facilitate binding the sheaves, he indicated by unbinding them that the handles no longer suit his needs. However, according to the one who said: What is the meaning of besasan? It means he actually trampled them, what can be said? According to that opinion, only an action can negate the status of the handles. What, then, is the rationale for the opinion of the Rabbis, who hold that thought alone can negate their status?

הכא נמי שבססן ממש אי הכי מאי טעמייהו דאחרים דאמור כרבי יוסי דתנן רבי יוסי מטמא

The Gemara answers: Here too, the dispute between the Rabbis and Aḥerim with regard to using grain for roofing the sukka is in a case where one actually trampled them, and that is the reason that they are no longer susceptible to ritual impurity. The Gemara asks: If so, and a change was made to the grain itself, what is the rationale for the opinion of Aḥerim, who nevertheless prohibit their use as roofing? The Gemara answers: It is because Aḥerim state their opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, as we learned in the previously cited mishna: Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure even after trampling.

האי מאי בשלמא התם טעמא דרבי יוסי חזיא לכדרבי שמעון בן לקיש דאמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש הואיל וראויות להופכן בעתר

The Gemara asks: What is the basis of this comparison between the cases? Granted, there, in the dispute concerning the ritual impurity of the grain on the threshing floor, the rationale for the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, i.e., that the handles remain susceptible to ritual impurity, is that they are suitable for use. This is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, as Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: Even after the grain is trampled the straw suits his needs, since the straw is suited to facilitate turning over the grain with a pitchfork, as the straw prevents the grain from falling between the prongs of the pitchfork.

אלא הכא למאי חזיא חזיא לכי סתר למנקט להו בגילייהו

However, here, where one needs the straw only for roofing the sukka, for what are the handles suited after they have been trampled? They serve no purpose in terms of handling the grain. The Gemara answers: They are suited when one dismantles the roofing, in order to hold the grain by the straw, so that it will scatter. Therefore, Aḥerim hold that the straw remains capable of contracting ritual impurity.

גופא כל ידות האוכלין שבססן בגורן טהורות ורבי יוסי מטמא מאי בססן רבי יוחנן אמר בססן ממש רבי (אליעזר) אומר התיר אגדן

Apropos the dispute between the Rabbis and Rabbi Yosei, the Gemara discusses the matter itself: All handles of food that one besasan on the threshing floor are ritually pure, and Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of besasan? Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It means that one actually trampled them under foot. Rabbi Elazar says: It means he untied their binding.

בשלמא לרבי (אליעזר) דאמר בססן התיר אגדן היינו דמטמא רבי יוסי אלא לרבי יוחנן דאמר בססן ממש אמאי מטמא רבי יוסי אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש הואיל וראויות להופכן בעתר

The Gemara notes: Granted, according to Rabbi Elazar, who said that besasan means that he untied their binding, this is the reason that Rabbi Yosei deems the handles capable of contracting ritual impurity. However, according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, who said that besasan means that one actually trampled them, why does Rabbi Yosei deem the handles capable of contracting ritual impurity? Didn’t one thereby render them insignificant? Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: Even after the grain is trampled, the straw suits his needs, since the straw is suited to facilitate turning over the grain with a pitchfork.

אמר רבי (אליעזר) למה נמשלה תפלתן של צדיקים כעתר לומר לך מה עתר זה מהפך את התבואה בגורן ממקום למקום אף תפלתן של צדיקים מהפכת דעתו של הקדוש ברוך הוא ממדת אכזריות למדת רחמנות

Apropos a pitchfork, the Gemara cites a related aggadic teaching: Rabbi Elazar said: Why are the prayers of the righteous likened to a pitchfork [eter]? It is written: “And Isaac entreated [vayetar] the Lord for his wife, because she was barren” (Genesis 25:21), to say to you: Just as this pitchfork overturns the grain on the threshing floor from place to place, so too, the prayers of the righteous overturn the mind of the Holy One, Blessed be He, from the attribute of cruelty to the attribute of mercy, and He accepts their prayers.

מתני׳ מסככין בנסרים דברי רבי יהודה ורבי מאיר אוסר נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ובלבד שלא יישן תחתיו

MISHNA: One may roof the sukka with boards like those used in the ceiling of a house; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Meir prohibits their use. If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. He fulfills his obligation, provided he does not sleep beneath the board.

גמ׳ אמר רב מחלוקת בנסרין שיש בהן ארבעה דרבי מאיר אית ליה גזרת תקרה ורבי יהודה לית ליה גזרת תקרה אבל בנסרין שאין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה ושמואל אמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה

GEMARA: Rav said: The dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, the standard size for boards used in house ceilings, as Rabbi Meir is of the opinion that the Sages issued the decree of the roof. In that case, the roofing of the sukka with boards that wide could be confused with a ceiling. If it were permitted to roof the sukka with a board that size, one might come to sleep beneath the ceiling of his own home during the Festival. And Rabbi Yehuda is not of the opinion that the Sages issued the decree of the roof. However, with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is fit. And Shmuel said: The dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width; however, if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit.

אין בהן ארבעה ואפילו פחות משלשה הא קנים בעלמא נינהו

The Gemara asks: According to Shmuel, the dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, and apparently the same would hold true even if their width were less than three handbreadths. In that case, aren’t they merely reeds; why would Rabbi Meir prohibit their use?

אמר רב פפא הכי קאמר יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה פחות משלשה דברי הכל כשרה מאי טעמא קנים בעלמא נינהו כי פליגי משלשה עד ארבעה מר סבר כיון דליתנהו שיעור מקום לא גזרינן ומר סבר כיון דנפקי להו מתורת לבוד גזרינן

Rav Pappa said that this is what Shmuel is saying: If they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If their width is less than three handbreadths, everyone agrees that the sukka is fit. What is the reason? It is because they are merely reeds. When they disagree in the mishna, their disagreement pertains to a case where the boards are from three to four handbreadths wide. In that case, one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that since they are not the measure of a significant place, we do not issue a decree prohibiting their use. And one Sage, Rabbi Meir, holds that since they have departed from the halakhic status of being joined [lavud], which applies only to gaps of less than three handbreadths, we issue a decree prohibiting their use as roofing.

תנן נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ובלבד שלא יישן תחתיו בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה משום הכי לא יישן תחתיו אלא לרב דאמר בשיש בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל אין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה לרבי יהודה אמאי לא יישן תחתיו

The Gemara cites proof with regard to the dispute between Rav and Shmuel. We learned in the mishna: If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. He fulfills his obligation, provided he does not sleep beneath the board. Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, however, if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit roofing, it is due to that reason that one should not sleep beneath the board. However, according to Rav, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, however, if they do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is fit, according to Rabbi Yehuda, why may one not sleep beneath it?

מי סברת דברי הכל היא סיפא אתאן לרבי מאיר

The Gemara answers: Do you hold that this last halakha in the mishna, about not sleeping beneath the board, is a ruling with which everyone, including Rabbi Yehuda agrees? Rather, in the latter clause of the mishna we have come to the opinion of Rabbi Meir. He alone, not Rabbi Yehuda, holds that one may not sleep beneath the board. Therefore, no proof can be cited from the mishna.

תא שמע שני סדינין מצטרפין

The Gemara cites an additional proof. Come and hear: Two sheets placed over the roofing of the sukka join together to constitute four handbreadths, the measure of unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit.

שני נסרין אין מצטרפין רבי מאיר אומר אף נסרין כסדינין

However, two boards placed on the sukka do not combine. Rabbi Meir says: Even boards are like sheets, in that they join together to constitute the measure of unfitness.

בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבעה

The Gemara elaborates: Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, but if they have four handbreadths in their width everyone agrees that it is unfit; what is the meaning of that which Rabbi Meir said: Boards join together? It means that boards less than four handbreadths wide combine to measure four handbreadths, which renders the sukka unfit.

אלא לרב דאמר בשיש בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל אין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה היכי דמי אי דאית בהו ארבעה למה להו לאיצטרופי אי דלית בהו ארבעה אמאי והא קנים בעלמא נינהו

However, according to Rav, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, but if they do not have four handbreadths in their width everyone agrees that it is fit, what are the circumstances? If each of the boards has four handbreadths in its width, why must they join together to render the sukka unfit? If each board is four handbreadths wide, each is capable of rendering the sukka unfit on its own. And if each of the boards does not have four handbreadths in its width, why would Rabbi Meir prohibit their use? But aren’t they merely reeds according to Rav? Just as one may roof the sukka with reeds, one should be permitted to roof the sukka with these narrow boards.

לעולם דאית בהו ארבעה ומאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד

The Gemara answers: Actually, explain that there are four handbreadths in the width of each board and each renders the sukka unfit on its own. However, what is the meaning of: Boards join together? It is with regard to a completely different matter. They join together to constitute four cubits from the side. If one placed these unfit boards adjacent to one of the walls of the sukka, they do not render the sukka unfit, due to the halakhic principle of curved wall, which views that roofing as an extension of that wall. However, that principle applies only up to four cubits of unfit roofing. If these boards join together to measure four cubits, the sukka is unfit according to Rabbi Meir. According to this explanation, the mishna can be explained in accordance with the opinion of Rav as well.

לישנא אחרינא בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד

There is another version of the above exchange. Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, but if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit, what is the meaning of that which Rabbi Meir said: Boards join together? It means that they join together to constitute four cubits from the side, which renders the sukka unfit.

אלא לרב בשלמא לרבי מאיר מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד אלא לרבי יהודה דאמר אפילו יש בהן ארבעה כשרה מאי אין מצטרפין קנים בעלמא נינהו איידי דקאמר רבי מאיר מצטרפין אמר רבי יהודה אין מצטרפין

However, according to Rav, granted, according to Rabbi Meir, what is the meaning of: Boards join together? It means that they join together to constitute four cubits from the side. However, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who said that even if they have four handbreadths in their width, the sukka is fit, what is the meaning of: Boards do not join together? They are merely reeds, which is fit roofing and fit roofing that joins together remains fit roofing. The Gemara answers: Since Rabbi Meir used the phrase: Join together, Rabbi Yehuda, although it is irrelevant according to his opinion, also said: Do not join together.

תניא כוותיה דרב תניא כוותיה דשמואל

The Gemara notes: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav, and it is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel.

תניא כוותיה דרב סככה בנסרים של ארז שאין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה יש בהן ארבעה רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav: If one roofed the sukka with cedar boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is fit. If there are four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems it unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit.

אמר רבי יהודה מעשה בשעת הסכנה שהביאנו נסרים שהיו בהן ארבעה וסיככנו על גבי מרפסת וישבנו תחתיהן אמרו לו משם ראיה אין שעת הסכנה ראיה

Rabbi Yehuda said: There was an incident during a time of danger, when the gentiles decreed that it is prohibited for Jews to construct a sukka, at which point we brought boards that had four handbreadths in their width, and we roofed the porch with them so that it would not appear to be a sukka, and we sat beneath them. Evidently, boards four handbreadths wide are fit roofing for a sukka. They said to him: Is there proof be cited from there? There is no proof from actions performed during a time of danger. It is possible that the sukka that they built on the porch was unfit, and they built it merely to commemorate the mitzva that they were unable to fulfill. From this baraita, it is apparent that the dispute between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda is in a case of boards that are four handbreadths wide, in accordance with the opinion of Rav.

תניא כוותיה דשמואל סככה בנסרים של ארז שיש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה אין בהן ארבעה רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר ומודה רבי מאיר שאם יש בין נסר לנסר כמלא נסר שמניח פסל ביניהם וכשרה ומודה רבי יהודה שאם נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ואין ישנים תחתיו והישן תחתיו לא יצא ידי חובתו

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel: If one roofed the sukka with cedar boards that have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If there are not four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems it unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit. And Rabbi Meir concedes that, if there is between one board and another board a gap the complete width of a board, then one places fit roofing from the waste of the threshing floor and the winepress, and the sukka is fit. And Rabbi Yehuda concedes that if one roofed the sukka with a board that is four handbreadths wide adjacent to one of the walls, the sukka is fit based on the principle of curved wall; and, nevertheless, one may not sleep beneath that board, and one who sleeps beneath it does not fulfill his obligation. In any event, there are two baraitot, each in accordance with one of the two views presented.

אתמר הפכן על צידיהן רב הונא אמר פסולה ורב חסדא ורבה בר רב הונא אמרי כשרה

§ It is stated that there is an amoraic dispute: If one turned the unfit boards on their sides, and the width of the side is less than the measure that renders them unfit, do the boards remain unfit, or are they fit because in their current placement their width is narrower? Rav Huna said: The sukka is unfit, and Rav Ḥisda and Rabba bar Rav Huna said: It is fit.

איקלע רב נחמן לסורא עול לגביה רב חסדא ורבה בר רב הונא אמרי ליה הפכן על צידיהן מהו אמר להו פסולה נעשו כשפודין של מתכת

The Gemara relates: Rav Naḥman happened to come to Sura. Rav Ḥisda and Rabba bar Rav Huna entered before him. They said to him: If one turned these boards on their sides and roofed the sukka, what is the halakha? They sought to ascertain whether his ruling is in accordance with their opinion or in accordance with the opinion of Rav Huna. He said to them: The sukka is unfit; since the boards are unfit roofing when placed flat, their legal status became like that of skewers [shapudin] of metal, which are unfit under all circumstances.

אמר להו רב הונא לא אמרי לכו אמרי כוותי אמרו ליה ומי אמר לן מר טעמא ולא קבלינן מיניה אמר להו ומי בעיתו מינאי טעמא ולא אמרי לכו

When they related this encounter to Rav Huna, Rav Huna said to them: Didn’t I tell you that you should say the halakha in accordance with my opinion? Even Rav Naḥman agrees with me. They said to him: And did the Master actually say a reason for this ruling to us, and we did not accept it from him? Rav Naḥman not only issued a ruling, he also explained his ruling to us. He said to them: And did you ask me for the reason and I did not say it to you?

לימא מסייע ליה אינה מחזקת כדי ראשו ורובו ושולחנו או שנפרצה בה פרצה כדי שיזדקר בה גדי בבת ראש או שנתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים אף על פי שלא הכניס לתוכה אלא שלשה טפחים פסולה

The Gemara notes: Let us say that this baraita supports the opinion of Rav Huna: With regard to a sukka that does not hold one’s head, most of his body, and his table; a sukka whose wall was breached with a breach large enough for a goat to jump through headlong, i.e., three handbreadths; a sukka that one placed atop it a board that is four handbreadths wide, even if he only introduced three handbreadths of the board into the sukka, in all these cases, the sukka is unfit.

היכי דמי (מאי) לאו כגון שהפכן על צידיהם לא הכא במאי עסקינן כגון דאנחה אפומא דמטללתא דעייל תלתא לגיו ואפיק חד לבר דהוה ליה פסל היוצא מן הסוכה וכל פסל היוצא מן הסוכה נידון כסוכה

What are the circumstances of the case where one introduces only three handbreadths of a board that is four handbreadths wide? What, is it not that he turned the board on its side, thereby diminishing its width from four to three handbreadths, in accordance with the opinion of Rav Huna? The Gemara rejects this: No, with what are we dealing here? It is a case where one placed the board over the entrance of the sukka, where there is no wall. He introduced three handbreadths into the sukka and took one handbreadth out of the sukka, so that the legal status of that part of the board would be like that of roofing that protrudes from the sukka, and the halakha is that the legal status of any roofing that protrudes from the sukka is considered like that of the sukka. However, since this board is not adjacent to the wall of a sukka, the principle of curved wall does not apply. Therefore, it is four handbreadths of unfit roofing; it is prohibited to sleep beneath that board, and the entire sukka is rendered unfit. Consequently, there is no support for or against the opinion of Rav Huna from this baraita.

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