BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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SUKAH 21 (Rosh Hashanah) - sponsored by Hillel and Elisheva (Ali) Kagan of Baltimore. May Hash-m bless them with a year of Berachah and joy, and all of their prayers should be answered "l'Tovah"!
[a - 26 lines; b - 49 lines]
1a) [line 1] "ZOS HA'TORAH ADAM KI YAMUS B'OHEL ..." - "This is the law regarding a person who has died in a Ohel ..." (Bamidbar 19:14).
b) [line 3] "VA'YIFROS ES HA'OHEL AL HA'MISHKAN ..." - "And he spread the Ohel upon the Mishkan ..." (Shemos 40:19). The "Ohel" referred to in this verse were the goat skins used as roofing material for the Mishkan.
2) [line 4] OHEL OHEL RIBAH - The word "Ohel" is written many times [in order to stress that any kind of Ohel functions as such with regard to a dead body (Bamidbar 19:14)]
3) [line 7] HA'SELA - a stone platform
4) [line 7] CHALAL - a hollowed-out space [that was at least a Tefach high]
5) [line 8] KEVER HA'TEHOM - lit. a grave of the deep; the possibility of an unknown source of Tum'ah such as a corpse lying below ground. (It is not necessary to suspect that such Tum'ah exists in Eretz Yisrael; see below, entry 7:c.)
6) [line 8] NASHIM ME'UBAROS - pregnant woman
7) [line 9] PARAH (PARAH ADUMAH)
(a) A Parah Adumah is a red cow; if there are as many as two hairs of any other color it is not a Parah Adumah (see Maseches Parah 2:5). Only a cow which has never had a yoke placed upon it nor performed any other work is fit to be used as a Parah Adumah. A place is prepared for its slaughter on Har ha'Zeisim (also known as Har ha'Mishchah; "Mishchah" means oil), opposite the gate to the Azarah (the courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash). After it is slaughtered, its blood is sprinkled in the direction of the Beis ha'Mikdash seven times. Its carcass is then burned. A cedar branch, some Ezov branches, and a length of combed wool dyed crimson are thrown into the carcass of the cow as it is burning (Bamidbar 19:1-22).
(b) If a person (or utensil) becomes Tamei by touching a Mes or being in the same room as a Mes (or a part of a Mes which is Metamei b'Ohel), he (or it) must wait seven days before he (or it) is able to go to the Mikvah in order to become Tahor. On the third and seventh days, Mei Chatas is sprinkled on the person or utensil. Mei Chatas is a mixture of ashes of a Parah Adumah and spring water. A person who is Tahor dips three Ezov (hyssop) branches which have been bound together into the mixture, and sprinkles them on the person or utensil which is Tamei. After this process is complete, the person or utensil is immersed in a Mikvah. Once night falls, the purification process is complete (Bamidbar 19:17-19)
(c) The Tzedukim -- a sect who rejected the Oral Torah -- insisted that a Parah Adumah may not be burned by a Kohen who is a Tevul Yom. A Tevul Yom is one who has gone to the Mikvah and is Tahor, but must wait for sunset in order to be able to eat Kodshim. In order to demonstrate that this was erroneous, the Chachamim decreed that the Kohen who burned the Parah Adumah should intentionally be made Tamei and then go to the Mikvah before doing so. This could, however, give one the mistaken impression that it is not important for the Parah Adumah to be processed by one who is Tahor. In order to counteract such a supposition, all other aspects of the Parah were performed under much more stringent conditions of Taharah than was necessary.
8) [line 11] KOSOS SHEL EVEN - stone cups [that are not Mekabel Tum'ah]
*9*) [line 12] SHILO'ACH - a spring, also known as Gichon, located to the south of the Temple Mount. It is from this spring as well that water is drawn for the Nisuch ha'Mayim on Sukos (see Background to Yoma 26:25). The Mishnah quoted by our Gemara describes the drawing of water with which to mix the ashes of a previous Parah Adumah. The Mei Chatas thus created is then sprinkled upon the Kohen who was to burn the next Parah Adumah.
10) [line 13] V'YASHVU LA'HEM - and sat upon them
11) [line 14] MESHALSHEL - lower [the stone vessel that was tied to a rope]
12) [line 15] ELA SHEVARIM - but rather [the] oxen [themselves served as an Ohel that separated between the ground and the child riding upon its back]
*13*) [line 19] KI'MELO EGROF - [that an unintentionally created Ohel functions as such with regard to Tum'ah when its dimensions are] one cubic fist-width. The fist in question is that of Ben Avati'ach, a large man whose fist was as wide as an average human head (Bechoros 37b)
14a) [line 20] SHEKIFIN - overhangs formed when rocks break away from a mountainous surface
b) [line 20] NEKEIKEI HA'SELA'IM - overhangs formed by crevices in rocks
15) [line 25] KOL IKAR - whatsoever
16) [line 25] SHE'DA'ATO SHEL TINOK GASAH ALAV - the child feels especially secure [on top of the door]
17) [line 5] KREISOSEIHEN - their stomachs
18) [line 11] L'GABAH ASUYAH - it is intended for [one to lie] upon it
19) [line 13] MEGINIM - they shield
20a) [line 16] MIN'ALIM - shoes
b) [line 16] SANDALIM - sandals
21) [line 17] ASUYIM - their [backbone] is intended
22) [line 17] BNEI ME'AYIM - innards
23) [line 18] "OR U'VASAR TALBISHEINI, UVA'ATZAMOS V'GIDIM TESOCHECHENI" - "You clothed me with skin and flesh, and You covered me with bones and sinews" (Iyov 10:11). The word "Tesochecheni" is related to the word "Sechach".
24a) [line 20] DIRAS KEVA B'INAN (SUKAH DIRAS ARAI / KEVA B'INAN)
(a) There is a wide-ranging discussion and disagreement among the Amora'im as to whether the Sukah within one must sit on Sukos should be a temporary structure (Diras Arai) or a permanent structure (Diras Keva). The Torah states, "ba'Sukos Teshvu Shiv'as Yamim" -- "You (plural) should dwell for seven days in Sukos" (Vayikra 23:42). Rava (Sukah 2a) states that we learn from this Pasuk that the nature of a Sukah should be that it is a temporary structure, useful for only seven days. The Ran and others explain that the Torah clearly cannot intend for us to build a structure that will collapse after exactly seven days. The Torah must therefore intend that the dimensions of the Sukah must be those conform to that of a temporary structure (although the Sukah may be constructed with strong materials; see Gemara ibid.).
(b) In Sukah (7b), Abaye lists a number of Tana'im, all of whom are of the opinion that a Sukah requires some aspect of a Diras Keva. These include Rebbi, who requires that a Sukah be at least four-by-four Amos; Rebbi Yoshiyah, who requires that even the walls of a Sukah allow no more sunlight than they do shade; Rebbi Yehudah, who allows one to build a Sukah that stands more than twenty Amos tall; Rebbi Shimon, who requires more than three full walls for a Sukah (instead of only two plus); Raban Gamliel, who does not allow a Sukah built atop a wagon or boat; Beis Shamai, who require that a Sukah be large enough to fit one's head, most of one's body, and his table (for a total area of seven by seven Tefachim); Rebbi Eliezer, who requires that a Sukah have a discernable roof and walls (as opposed to slanted walls); and Acherim, who does not allow a circular Sukah. Abaye does not mean that all of these following opinions agree with each other; indeed, as TOSFOS (DH Kulhu) points out, many of them disagree with the other opinions quoted here. Rather, Abaye's intention in grouping them together is to point out that, in his opinion, we do not rule according to any of these opinions since they maintain that a Sukah has an aspect of a permanent dwelling ("Ein Halachah k'Shitah"; see, for example, ME'IRI to Daf 2a and 3a).
(c) While some of the opinions quoted by Abaye are clearly of the opinion that a Sukah must contain an aspect of Diras Keva, there is much discussion among the commentaries regarding whether these opinions all contend that this is true, or if some of them simply allow a Sukah to contain an aspect of Keva. Some opinions seem to state that one can be of the opinion that a Sukah requires Diras Keva and still prefer it to be a Diras Arai (see Pnei Moshe to Yerushalmi, Ma'asros 3:3; see also the second footnote of the Korban Nesanel on the Rosh to Sukah 7a). The Chafetz Chaim explains that the Halachah is that a Sukah must be a Diras Arai with certain aspects of Keva (Bi'ur Halachah O.C. 634 DH "Afilu Im").
b) [line 21] DIRAS ARAI - a temporary structure
25) [line 23] V'HA REBBI SHIMON ... - Rebbi Shimon requires a Sukah to have parts of four walls, an aspect of a permanent structure (see (b) above). Yet he still disagrees with Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah, and maintains that one may not sleep under a bed in a Sukah!
26) [line 28] SICHASO - [what appears to be the mere] idle chatter
27) [line 36] "[V'HAYAH K'ETZ SHASUL AL PALGEI MAYIM, ASHER PIRYO YITEN B'ITO,] V'ALEIHU LO YIBOL ..." - "[And he shall be like a tree planted next to streams of water, which yields it fruit in the proper season,] and whose leaves will not whither" (Tehilim 1:3). This verse refers to the he who "toils in Torah day and night" (Tehilim 1:2). The leaf is the lightest part of the tree; so, too, even the light conversation of a Talmid Chacham contains Torah and is "not withered".
28a) [line 37] HA'SOMECH SUKASO - one who places his Sechach
b) [line 37] B'KAR'EI HA'MITAH - upon the [ten-Tefach-tall] posts (lit. legs, since they continue down to the floor) of a bed
*29*) [line 41] SHE'EIN LAH KEVA - it does not have an aspect of a permanent dwelling. This means a) the bed is easily moved (RASHI); b) there are less than ten Tefachim between the top of the bed and the Sechach (TOSFOS DH she'Ein, quoting the Yerushalmi). See Insights #1 for further elucidation.
30a) [line 42] SHE'MA'AMIDAH - that he supported it
b) [line 42] B'DAVAR HA'MEKABEL TUM'AH
(a) All objects belong to one of the following three categories:
1. Sources of Tum'ah
2. Objects that can become Tamei
3. Objects that cannot become Tamei
(b) A source of Tum'ah is called an Av ha'Tum'ah. The exception to this is a corpse, which is referred to as the "Avi Avos ha'Tum'ah," due to the fact that it can generate more Tum'ah than any other object. When an object becomes Tamei from coming into contact with an object which is Tamei, that object does not receive the same Tum'ah as that of the first object, but rather a level of Tum'ah one degree weaker than the first. If an object came into contact with an Av ha'Tum'ah, it is called a Rishon l'Tum'ah, or Vlad ha'Tum'ah. Tum'ah received from a Rishon creates a Sheni l'Tum'ah, and that from a Sheni creates a Shelishi (in certain cases), etc.
(c) A metal utensil can become an Avi Avos ha'Tum'ah, an Av ha'Tum'ah, or a Rishon l'Tum'ah (see Insights to Pesachim 14b); a person and all utensils other than earthenware can become an Av ha'Tum'ah or Rishon l'Tum'ah (although Chazal decreed that one's hands sometimes have the status of a Sheni l'Tum'ah); Earthenware utensils can only become a Rishon l'Tum'ah; food and liquids which are Chulin can become a Rishon l'Tum'ah or a Sheni l'Tum'ah; Terumah can become a Shelishi l'Tum'ah as well; and Hekdesh can receive the status of a Revi'i l'Tum'ah.
(d) Any object other than a person, vessel, food, or drink cannot receive Tum'ah.
31a) [line 43] NA'ATZ - one implanted [in the ground]
b) [line 43] SHEFUDIN SHEL BARZEL - iron rods
32) [line 47] SIKECH AL GAV HA'MITAH - a) if one placed Sechach [on a frame] over a bed [with sides that function as the walls of the Sukah] (RASHI); b) if one placed Sechach on the bed posts [in such a way that the Sechach moves along with the bed] (RAN) (See Insights #1 for further elucidation.)
Index to Background for Maseches Sukah