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July 24, 2021 | ט״ו באב תשפ״א

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

Sukkah 17

The mishna and gemara raise more cases of dofen akuma, when the disqualified s’chach is within four cubits of the walls, we view the wall as if it continues onto the s’chach and it does not disqualify the sukkah. Air space in the s’chach disqualifies the sukkah is it covers a space of three handbreadths. There are two different versions regarding a debate about whether non-kosher s’chach disqualifies a sukkah at four handbreadths or at four cubits.

מתני׳ הרחיק את הסיכוך מן הדפנות שלשה טפחים פסולה

MISHNA: If one distanced the roofing from the walls of the sukka at a distance of three handbreadths the sukka is unfit, because three handbreadths of open space, even adjacent to the walls, render the sukka unfit.

בית שנפחת וסיכך על גביו אם יש מן הכותל לסיכוך ארבע אמות פסולה

In the case of a house that was breached, creating a hole in the middle of the roof, and one roofed over the breach, if from the wall to the roofing there are four or more cubits of the remaining original roof, it is an unfit sukka. If the roofing is less than four cubits from the wall, the sukka is fit, based on the principle of curved wall; the remaining intact ceiling is considered an extension of the vertical wall.

וכן חצר שהיא מוקפת אכסדרה סוכה גדולה שהקיפוה בדבר שאין מסככין בו אם יש תחתיו ארבע אמות פסולה

And likewise, in the case of a courtyard that is surrounded on three sides by a portico, which has a roof but no walls, if one placed roofing over the courtyard between the different sides of the portico and the roof of the portico is four cubits wide, the sukka is unfit. Similarly, a large sukka that was surrounded at the edge of its roofing with material with which one may not roof a sukka, e.g., vessels susceptible to ritual impurity, if there are four cubits beneath the unfit roofing, the sukka is unfit. The principle of curved wall does not apply to unfit roofing that measures four cubits or more.

גמ׳ כל הני למה לי צריכא דאי אשמעינן בית שנפחת משום דהני מחיצות לבית עבידן אבל חצר המוקפת אכסדרה דמחיצות לאו לאכסדרה עבידי אימא לא צריכא

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Why do I need all these cases based on the identical principle of curved wall? The Gemara explains: It is necessary to cite all the cases, as, if the mishna had taught us only the case of the house that was breached, I would have said that the principle of curved wall applies there because those walls were established for the house. Therefore, when the house is transformed into a sukka, the walls continue to serve their original function as walls of the sukka. However, with regard to a courtyard surrounded on each of the three sides by a portico, where its walls were established not for the portico but for the house that opens into the portico, and they happen to serve as the interior walls of the portico, I could say no, they are not considered as connected to the roofing at all. Consequently, it is necessary for the mishna to cite that case as well.

ואי אשמעינן הני תרתי משום דסככן סכך כשר הוא אבל סוכה גדולה שהקיפוה בדבר שאין מסככין בו דסככה סכך פסול הוא אימא לא צריכא

And if the mishna taught us only these two cases, one would have said that the principle of curved wall can apply because all of their roofing is fit roofing, and the preexisting roof of the house and the portico is unfit only due to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared. However, here, in the case of a large sukka that was surrounded at the edge of its roofing with material with which one may not roof a sukka, where some its roofing is unfit and the fit roofing does not actually reach the wall, one could say no, the roofing is unfit. Therefore, it is necessary to state that case as well.

אמר רבה אשכחתינהו לרבנן דבי רב דיתבי וקאמרי אויר פוסל בשלשה סכך פסול פוסל בארבעה

§ Rabba said: I found the Sages of the school of Rav, who were sitting and saying in the name of Rav: Space without roofing renders the sukka unfit with a measure of three handbreadths of space. However, unfit roofing renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four handbreadths.

ואמינא להו אנא אויר דפוסל בשלשה מנא לכו דתנן הרחיק את הסיכוך מן הדפנות שלשה טפחים פסולה סכך פסול נמי לא ליפסיל אלא בארבע אמות דתנן בית שנפחת וסיכך על גביו אם יש בין הסיכוך לכותל ארבע אמות פסולה

And I said to them: From where do you derive that space renders the sukka unfit when it amount to three handbreadths? It is as we learned in the mishna: If one distanced the roofing from the walls of the sukka at a distance of three handbreadths, the sukka is unfit. If, indeed, this mishna is the source of the halakha, also in the case of unfit roofing, let it render the sukka unfit only if the roofing measures four cubits, as we learned in the same mishna: With regard to a house that was breached and one roofed over the breach, if from the wall to the roofing there is four or more cubits of the remaining original roof, the sukka is unfit.

ואמרו לי בר מינה דההיא דרב ושמואל אמרי תרוייהו משום דופן עקומה נגעו בה

And they said to me: Cite proof from the mishna, apart from this case, as both Rav and Shmuel said that in this case, the Sages in the mishna touched upon the principle of curved wall. In other words, the fact that this house is a fit sukka is unrelated to the minimum measure of unfit roofing. It is fit due to the principle of curved wall.

ואמינא להו אנא מה אילו איכא סכך פסול פחות מארבעה ואויר פחות משלשה מאי כשרה מלייה בשפודין מאי פסולה ולא יהא אויר הפוסל בשלשה כסכך פסול הפוסל בארבעה

And I said to them: What if there is a sukka with less than four handbreadths of unfit roofing and an adjacent space of less than three handbreadths; what would be the status of the sukka? The sukka would be fit, since it lacks the minimum measure of both space and unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit. If one then filled the space with skewers, what would be the status of the sukka? It would be unfit, as there would be more than four handbreadths of unfit roofing. But shouldn’t space, which is more stringent, as it renders the sukka unfit with only three handbreadths, be as stringent as unfit roofing, which renders the sukka unfit only with four handbreadths of unfit roofing?

ואמרו לי אי הכי לדידך נמי דאמרת סכך פסול פוסל בארבע אמות מה אילו איכא סכך פסול פחות מארבע אמות ואויר פחות משלשה מאי כשרה מלייה בשפודין מאי פסולה לא יהא אויר הפוסל בשלשה כסכך פסול הפוסל בארבע אמות

And they said to me: If so, according to you, who said that unfit roofing renders a sukka unfit only with four cubits of unfit roofing, the same question arises. Just as, if there were a sukka with less than four cubits of unfit roofing and an adjacent space measuring less than three handbreadths, what would be its status? It would be fit. If one then filled the space with skewers, what would be its status? It would be unfit. Here too, the question arises: Shouldn’t space, which is more stringent, as it renders the sukka unfit with only three handbreadths of space, be as stringent as unfit roofing, which renders the sukka unfit with only four cubits of unfit roofing?

ואמינא להו אנא האי מאי בשלמא לדידי דאמינא ארבע אמות

And I said to them: What is this comparison? Granted, according to my opinion, that I say that the measure of unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit is four cubits,

משום שיעורא ולאו שיעורא הוא האי לאו שיעורא הוא כיון דלא שוו שיעורייהו להדדי לא מצטרפי

the status of the sukka is determined on the basis of whether it is the requisite measure or it is not the requisite measure. In other words, the difference between unfit roofing that is four cubits and unfit roofing that is less is a unique halakha, completely unrelated to the principle of curved wall. Similarly, it is a unique halakha that three handbreadths of space in a roof render a sukka unfit. In this case, there is not the requisite measure according to either halakha; and since their measures are not equal to each other, they do not combine to render the sukka unfit. The sukka is rendered unfit only when the measure of unfit roofing reaches four cubits.

אלא לדידכו דאמריתו שיעור משום הפלגה מה לי איתפלג בסכך פסול מה לי אתפלג בסכך פסול ואויר

However, according to you, who say that the measure of four handbreadths for unfit roofing is due to the distance between the wall and the fit roofing, which renders the sukka unfit, what is the difference to me if it was distanced due to unfit roofing, and what is the difference to me if it was distanced due to a combination of unfit roofing and space? In either case, the distance between the roofing and the wall should prevent connecting the roofing to the wall. This concludes Rabba’s account of his exchange with the Sages of the school of Rav.

אמר ליה אביי ולמר נמי נהי דלא שוו שיעורייהו בסוכה גדולה בסוכה קטנה מי לא שוו שיעורייהו

Abaye said to Rabba: And according to the Master, too, although their measures are not equal in a large sukka, which is larger than four cubits, in a small sukka aren’t their measures equal? In a minimally sized sukka, seven by seven handbreadths, three handbreadths of unfit roofing must render the sukka unfit. If the measure of fitness were to remain up to four handbreadths, that would mean that a sukka with a majority of unfit roofing is fit, which is unreasonable. Therefore, Rabba’s contention that the measures of unfit roofing and space are totally different is not precise.

אמר ליה התם לאו משום דשוו שיעורייהו להדדי הוא אלא משום דליתיה לשיעורא דסוכה הוא

Rabba said to him: There, in the case of the minimally-sized sukka, the fact that the sukka is unfit is not due to the fact that their measures are equal. Rather, it is due to the fact that in a case where the unfit roofing is three handbreadths, the sukka lacks the minimum required measure of fit roofing. In other words, it is not the amount of unfit roofing that creates the problem; rather, it is that the fit area of the sukka is too small.

וכל היכא דלא שוו שיעורייהו להדדי לא מצטרפי והתנן הבגד שלשה על שלשה השק ארבעה על ארבעה העור חמשה על חמשה מפץ ששה על ששה

Rabba maintains that since the two requisite measures of unfitness are not equal, they do not join together. The Gemara asks: And anywhere that their measures are not equal, do they not combine to constitute the requisite measure? But didn’t we learn in the mishna: The garment must be at least three by three handbreadths in order to become a primary source of ritual impurity by means of ritual impurity imparted by treading of a zav; and the sackcloth made from goats’ hair must be at least four by four handbreadths; and the animal hide must be five by five; and a mat must be six by six?

ותני עלה הבגד והשק השק והעור העור והמפץ מצטרפין זה עם זה

And a baraita is taught concerning the mishna: The garment and the sackcloth, the sackcloth and the hide, and the hide and the mat join together with one another. If one attaches a piece of material that has a smaller, more stringent measure for ritual impurity to a piece of material that has a larger, more lenient measure, the combined cloth is susceptible to contract ritual impurity if together they compose the larger measure. Apparently, two items whose measures are not equal combine to compose the more lenient measure.

התם כדקתני טעמא אמר רבי שמעון מה טעם הואיל וראוי לטמא מושב כדתנן המקצע מכולן טפח על טפח טמא

The Gemara rejects this. There, it is as the reason is taught that Rabbi Shimon said: What is the reason that these different fabrics combine? They combine since all the component materials are fit to become ritually impure through the ritual impurity imparted to a seat upon which a zav sits, as they can each be used to patch a saddle or saddlecloth. Since they are all suitable for the same use, they join together with regard to the halakhot of ritual impurity.As we learned in a mishna: In the case of one who trims and processes a piece of any of the above-mentioned materials measuring one handbreadth by one handbreadth, that piece is capable of becoming ritually impure. There is a certain halakha for which each of the different materials has the same measure; they therefore join together in other areas as well.

טפח על טפח למאי חזי ואמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש משום רבי ינאי הואיל וראוי (ליטלו) על גבי החמור

The Gemara asks: For what use is a cloth that is one handbreadth by one handbreadth fit? After all, a rag that has no use does not contract ritual impurity. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said in the name of Rabbi Yannai: Since it is suitable for use as a patch on a donkey’s saddlecloth, it is capable of contracting ritual impurity. This ends the discussion of the exchange between Rabba and the Sages of the school of Rav.

בסורא אמרי להא שמעתא בהאי לישנא בנהרדעא מתנו אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל סכך פסול באמצע פוסל בארבעה מן הצד פוסל בארבע אמות ורב אמר בין מן הצד בין באמצע בארבע אמות

The Gemara notes: In Sura, they stated this halakha in that language cited above. In Neharde’a, however, they taught it as follows: Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: Unfit roofing in the center of the sukka renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four handbreadths of unfit roofing. Along the side of the sukka, it renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing. And Rav said: Both along the side and in the center, it renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing.

תנן נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה בשלמא לרב דאמר בין באמצע בין מן הצד בארבע אמות משום הכי כשרה אלא שמואל דאמר באמצע בארבעה אמאי כשרה הכא במאי עסקינן מן הצד

We learned in a mishna: If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. And the Gemara asks: Granted, according to Rav, who said that both along the side and in the center, a sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing, it is due to that reason that the sukka is fit. However, according to Shmuel, who said that in the center of the sukka, the sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four handbreadths of unfit roofing, why is the sukka fit? The Gemara answers: With what are we dealing here? It is with a case where he placed the beam along the side; but had he placed it in the center, then according to Shmuel the sukka would indeed be unfit.

תא שמע שני סדינין מצטרפין שני נסרים אין מצטרפין רבי מאיר אומר נסרים כסדינין

The Gemara cites a proof with regard to Rav’s opinion. Come and hear: Two sheets placed over the roofing of the sukka join together to render the sukka unfit. However, two boards placed on the sukka do not combine to render the sukka unfit. Rabbi Meir says: Even boards have the same legal status as sheets, and they combine to render the sukka unfit.

בשלמא להך לישנא דאמר רב בין באמצע בין מן הצד בארבע אמות מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות אלא להך לישנא דאמר רב באמצע בארבעה היכי דמי אי דאית בהו ארבעה למה להו אצטרופי אי דלית בהו ארבעה קניא בעלמא נינהו

The Gemara clarifies: Granted, according to that version from Neharde’a that Rav said: Both along the side and in the center, a sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing, what is the meaning of join together? It means that the two unfit objects join together to comprise four cubits. However, according to this version from Sura, in which Rav said: A sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four handbreadths of unfit roofing in the center, 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; they are merely reeds?

לעולם דאית בהו ארבעה ומאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד

The Gemara answers: Actually, it is a case where each of the boards has four handbreadths in its width, and what is the meaning of join together? It means they join together to constitute four cubits along the side. This understanding fits both versions of Rav’s opinion.

תא שמע סככה בנסרין של ארז שיש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה אין בהן ארבעה רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר

Come and hear proof from another baraita: If one roofed the entire sukka with cedar beams that have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If they do not have four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems the sukka unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit.

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

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Sukkah 17

מתני׳ הרחיק את הסיכוך מן הדפנות שלשה טפחים פסולה

MISHNA: If one distanced the roofing from the walls of the sukka at a distance of three handbreadths the sukka is unfit, because three handbreadths of open space, even adjacent to the walls, render the sukka unfit.

בית שנפחת וסיכך על גביו אם יש מן הכותל לסיכוך ארבע אמות פסולה

In the case of a house that was breached, creating a hole in the middle of the roof, and one roofed over the breach, if from the wall to the roofing there are four or more cubits of the remaining original roof, it is an unfit sukka. If the roofing is less than four cubits from the wall, the sukka is fit, based on the principle of curved wall; the remaining intact ceiling is considered an extension of the vertical wall.

וכן חצר שהיא מוקפת אכסדרה סוכה גדולה שהקיפוה בדבר שאין מסככין בו אם יש תחתיו ארבע אמות פסולה

And likewise, in the case of a courtyard that is surrounded on three sides by a portico, which has a roof but no walls, if one placed roofing over the courtyard between the different sides of the portico and the roof of the portico is four cubits wide, the sukka is unfit. Similarly, a large sukka that was surrounded at the edge of its roofing with material with which one may not roof a sukka, e.g., vessels susceptible to ritual impurity, if there are four cubits beneath the unfit roofing, the sukka is unfit. The principle of curved wall does not apply to unfit roofing that measures four cubits or more.

גמ׳ כל הני למה לי צריכא דאי אשמעינן בית שנפחת משום דהני מחיצות לבית עבידן אבל חצר המוקפת אכסדרה דמחיצות לאו לאכסדרה עבידי אימא לא צריכא

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Why do I need all these cases based on the identical principle of curved wall? The Gemara explains: It is necessary to cite all the cases, as, if the mishna had taught us only the case of the house that was breached, I would have said that the principle of curved wall applies there because those walls were established for the house. Therefore, when the house is transformed into a sukka, the walls continue to serve their original function as walls of the sukka. However, with regard to a courtyard surrounded on each of the three sides by a portico, where its walls were established not for the portico but for the house that opens into the portico, and they happen to serve as the interior walls of the portico, I could say no, they are not considered as connected to the roofing at all. Consequently, it is necessary for the mishna to cite that case as well.

ואי אשמעינן הני תרתי משום דסככן סכך כשר הוא אבל סוכה גדולה שהקיפוה בדבר שאין מסככין בו דסככה סכך פסול הוא אימא לא צריכא

And if the mishna taught us only these two cases, one would have said that the principle of curved wall can apply because all of their roofing is fit roofing, and the preexisting roof of the house and the portico is unfit only due to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared. However, here, in the case of a large sukka that was surrounded at the edge of its roofing with material with which one may not roof a sukka, where some its roofing is unfit and the fit roofing does not actually reach the wall, one could say no, the roofing is unfit. Therefore, it is necessary to state that case as well.

אמר רבה אשכחתינהו לרבנן דבי רב דיתבי וקאמרי אויר פוסל בשלשה סכך פסול פוסל בארבעה

§ Rabba said: I found the Sages of the school of Rav, who were sitting and saying in the name of Rav: Space without roofing renders the sukka unfit with a measure of three handbreadths of space. However, unfit roofing renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four handbreadths.

ואמינא להו אנא אויר דפוסל בשלשה מנא לכו דתנן הרחיק את הסיכוך מן הדפנות שלשה טפחים פסולה סכך פסול נמי לא ליפסיל אלא בארבע אמות דתנן בית שנפחת וסיכך על גביו אם יש בין הסיכוך לכותל ארבע אמות פסולה

And I said to them: From where do you derive that space renders the sukka unfit when it amount to three handbreadths? It is as we learned in the mishna: If one distanced the roofing from the walls of the sukka at a distance of three handbreadths, the sukka is unfit. If, indeed, this mishna is the source of the halakha, also in the case of unfit roofing, let it render the sukka unfit only if the roofing measures four cubits, as we learned in the same mishna: With regard to a house that was breached and one roofed over the breach, if from the wall to the roofing there is four or more cubits of the remaining original roof, the sukka is unfit.

ואמרו לי בר מינה דההיא דרב ושמואל אמרי תרוייהו משום דופן עקומה נגעו בה

And they said to me: Cite proof from the mishna, apart from this case, as both Rav and Shmuel said that in this case, the Sages in the mishna touched upon the principle of curved wall. In other words, the fact that this house is a fit sukka is unrelated to the minimum measure of unfit roofing. It is fit due to the principle of curved wall.

ואמינא להו אנא מה אילו איכא סכך פסול פחות מארבעה ואויר פחות משלשה מאי כשרה מלייה בשפודין מאי פסולה ולא יהא אויר הפוסל בשלשה כסכך פסול הפוסל בארבעה

And I said to them: What if there is a sukka with less than four handbreadths of unfit roofing and an adjacent space of less than three handbreadths; what would be the status of the sukka? The sukka would be fit, since it lacks the minimum measure of both space and unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit. If one then filled the space with skewers, what would be the status of the sukka? It would be unfit, as there would be more than four handbreadths of unfit roofing. But shouldn’t space, which is more stringent, as it renders the sukka unfit with only three handbreadths, be as stringent as unfit roofing, which renders the sukka unfit only with four handbreadths of unfit roofing?

ואמרו לי אי הכי לדידך נמי דאמרת סכך פסול פוסל בארבע אמות מה אילו איכא סכך פסול פחות מארבע אמות ואויר פחות משלשה מאי כשרה מלייה בשפודין מאי פסולה לא יהא אויר הפוסל בשלשה כסכך פסול הפוסל בארבע אמות

And they said to me: If so, according to you, who said that unfit roofing renders a sukka unfit only with four cubits of unfit roofing, the same question arises. Just as, if there were a sukka with less than four cubits of unfit roofing and an adjacent space measuring less than three handbreadths, what would be its status? It would be fit. If one then filled the space with skewers, what would be its status? It would be unfit. Here too, the question arises: Shouldn’t space, which is more stringent, as it renders the sukka unfit with only three handbreadths of space, be as stringent as unfit roofing, which renders the sukka unfit with only four cubits of unfit roofing?

ואמינא להו אנא האי מאי בשלמא לדידי דאמינא ארבע אמות

And I said to them: What is this comparison? Granted, according to my opinion, that I say that the measure of unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit is four cubits,

משום שיעורא ולאו שיעורא הוא האי לאו שיעורא הוא כיון דלא שוו שיעורייהו להדדי לא מצטרפי

the status of the sukka is determined on the basis of whether it is the requisite measure or it is not the requisite measure. In other words, the difference between unfit roofing that is four cubits and unfit roofing that is less is a unique halakha, completely unrelated to the principle of curved wall. Similarly, it is a unique halakha that three handbreadths of space in a roof render a sukka unfit. In this case, there is not the requisite measure according to either halakha; and since their measures are not equal to each other, they do not combine to render the sukka unfit. The sukka is rendered unfit only when the measure of unfit roofing reaches four cubits.

אלא לדידכו דאמריתו שיעור משום הפלגה מה לי איתפלג בסכך פסול מה לי אתפלג בסכך פסול ואויר

However, according to you, who say that the measure of four handbreadths for unfit roofing is due to the distance between the wall and the fit roofing, which renders the sukka unfit, what is the difference to me if it was distanced due to unfit roofing, and what is the difference to me if it was distanced due to a combination of unfit roofing and space? In either case, the distance between the roofing and the wall should prevent connecting the roofing to the wall. This concludes Rabba’s account of his exchange with the Sages of the school of Rav.

אמר ליה אביי ולמר נמי נהי דלא שוו שיעורייהו בסוכה גדולה בסוכה קטנה מי לא שוו שיעורייהו

Abaye said to Rabba: And according to the Master, too, although their measures are not equal in a large sukka, which is larger than four cubits, in a small sukka aren’t their measures equal? In a minimally sized sukka, seven by seven handbreadths, three handbreadths of unfit roofing must render the sukka unfit. If the measure of fitness were to remain up to four handbreadths, that would mean that a sukka with a majority of unfit roofing is fit, which is unreasonable. Therefore, Rabba’s contention that the measures of unfit roofing and space are totally different is not precise.

אמר ליה התם לאו משום דשוו שיעורייהו להדדי הוא אלא משום דליתיה לשיעורא דסוכה הוא

Rabba said to him: There, in the case of the minimally-sized sukka, the fact that the sukka is unfit is not due to the fact that their measures are equal. Rather, it is due to the fact that in a case where the unfit roofing is three handbreadths, the sukka lacks the minimum required measure of fit roofing. In other words, it is not the amount of unfit roofing that creates the problem; rather, it is that the fit area of the sukka is too small.

וכל היכא דלא שוו שיעורייהו להדדי לא מצטרפי והתנן הבגד שלשה על שלשה השק ארבעה על ארבעה העור חמשה על חמשה מפץ ששה על ששה

Rabba maintains that since the two requisite measures of unfitness are not equal, they do not join together. The Gemara asks: And anywhere that their measures are not equal, do they not combine to constitute the requisite measure? But didn’t we learn in the mishna: The garment must be at least three by three handbreadths in order to become a primary source of ritual impurity by means of ritual impurity imparted by treading of a zav; and the sackcloth made from goats’ hair must be at least four by four handbreadths; and the animal hide must be five by five; and a mat must be six by six?

ותני עלה הבגד והשק השק והעור העור והמפץ מצטרפין זה עם זה

And a baraita is taught concerning the mishna: The garment and the sackcloth, the sackcloth and the hide, and the hide and the mat join together with one another. If one attaches a piece of material that has a smaller, more stringent measure for ritual impurity to a piece of material that has a larger, more lenient measure, the combined cloth is susceptible to contract ritual impurity if together they compose the larger measure. Apparently, two items whose measures are not equal combine to compose the more lenient measure.

התם כדקתני טעמא אמר רבי שמעון מה טעם הואיל וראוי לטמא מושב כדתנן המקצע מכולן טפח על טפח טמא

The Gemara rejects this. There, it is as the reason is taught that Rabbi Shimon said: What is the reason that these different fabrics combine? They combine since all the component materials are fit to become ritually impure through the ritual impurity imparted to a seat upon which a zav sits, as they can each be used to patch a saddle or saddlecloth. Since they are all suitable for the same use, they join together with regard to the halakhot of ritual impurity.As we learned in a mishna: In the case of one who trims and processes a piece of any of the above-mentioned materials measuring one handbreadth by one handbreadth, that piece is capable of becoming ritually impure. There is a certain halakha for which each of the different materials has the same measure; they therefore join together in other areas as well.

טפח על טפח למאי חזי ואמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש משום רבי ינאי הואיל וראוי (ליטלו) על גבי החמור

The Gemara asks: For what use is a cloth that is one handbreadth by one handbreadth fit? After all, a rag that has no use does not contract ritual impurity. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said in the name of Rabbi Yannai: Since it is suitable for use as a patch on a donkey’s saddlecloth, it is capable of contracting ritual impurity. This ends the discussion of the exchange between Rabba and the Sages of the school of Rav.

בסורא אמרי להא שמעתא בהאי לישנא בנהרדעא מתנו אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל סכך פסול באמצע פוסל בארבעה מן הצד פוסל בארבע אמות ורב אמר בין מן הצד בין באמצע בארבע אמות

The Gemara notes: In Sura, they stated this halakha in that language cited above. In Neharde’a, however, they taught it as follows: Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: Unfit roofing in the center of the sukka renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four handbreadths of unfit roofing. Along the side of the sukka, it renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing. And Rav said: Both along the side and in the center, it renders the sukka unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing.

תנן נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה בשלמא לרב דאמר בין באמצע בין מן הצד בארבע אמות משום הכי כשרה אלא שמואל דאמר באמצע בארבעה אמאי כשרה הכא במאי עסקינן מן הצד

We learned in a mishna: If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. And the Gemara asks: Granted, according to Rav, who said that both along the side and in the center, a sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing, it is due to that reason that the sukka is fit. However, according to Shmuel, who said that in the center of the sukka, the sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four handbreadths of unfit roofing, why is the sukka fit? The Gemara answers: With what are we dealing here? It is with a case where he placed the beam along the side; but had he placed it in the center, then according to Shmuel the sukka would indeed be unfit.

תא שמע שני סדינין מצטרפין שני נסרים אין מצטרפין רבי מאיר אומר נסרים כסדינין

The Gemara cites a proof with regard to Rav’s opinion. Come and hear: Two sheets placed over the roofing of the sukka join together to render the sukka unfit. However, two boards placed on the sukka do not combine to render the sukka unfit. Rabbi Meir says: Even boards have the same legal status as sheets, and they combine to render the sukka unfit.

בשלמא להך לישנא דאמר רב בין באמצע בין מן הצד בארבע אמות מאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות אלא להך לישנא דאמר רב באמצע בארבעה היכי דמי אי דאית בהו ארבעה למה להו אצטרופי אי דלית בהו ארבעה קניא בעלמא נינהו

The Gemara clarifies: Granted, according to that version from Neharde’a that Rav said: Both along the side and in the center, a sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four cubits of unfit roofing, what is the meaning of join together? It means that the two unfit objects join together to comprise four cubits. However, according to this version from Sura, in which Rav said: A sukka is rendered unfit with a measure of four handbreadths of unfit roofing in the center, 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; they are merely reeds?

לעולם דאית בהו ארבעה ומאי מצטרפין מצטרפין לארבע אמות מן הצד

The Gemara answers: Actually, it is a case where each of the boards has four handbreadths in its width, and what is the meaning of join together? It means they join together to constitute four cubits along the side. This understanding fits both versions of Rav’s opinion.

תא שמע סככה בנסרין של ארז שיש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה אין בהן ארבעה רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר

Come and hear proof from another baraita: If one roofed the entire sukka with cedar beams that have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If they do not have four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems the sukka unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit.

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