POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
Prepared by Rabbi Ephraim Becker
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
1) RAVA'S INTERPRETATION OF THE "MISHNAH"
(a) (Rava): A large mat is normally meant for
Sechach (but if made for sleeping is Mekabel
1. (Tana Kama): An undesignated small mat is
subject to Tum'ah and is Pasul for Sechach
(b) Question (Abaye): The language of R. Eliezer in
the Mishnah implies that the large is like the
small, not the reverse (a Tana normally
mentions the obvious case first, and then the
case that he is learning from it)!?
2. (R. Eliezer): Both a small and a large mat
are Kosher for Sechach.
(c) Second Question (Abaye): It seems clear that R.
Eliezer is the Machmir position (as implied in
2) R. PAPA'S INTERPRETATION OF THE "MISHNAH"
(a) (R. Papa): All agree that an undesignated small
mat is for lying on, and they argue about a
1. (Tana Kama): As we understood before, an
undesignated large mat is for Sechach.
2. (R. Eliezer): A large mat is also for
lying on (and may not be used).
i. Question: Then what did R. Eliezer
mean when he spoke of a mat made for
Shechivah (imply- ing that this is
not its assumed state)?
ii. Answer: He meant that its
undesignated use is li'Shechivah.
3) ANOTHER "BERAISA" ON MATS
(a) (Tana Kama): Large mats made of soft grasses
may be used as Sechach, while small mats of the
same material are presumed to be made for
1. Those made of harder rushes are Kosher if
twisted (and thus are thick and lumpy) but
if woven (are smooth enough to sleep on
and) are not Kosher.
(b) (R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi citing his father):
All of the harder rushes may be used as
Sechach, even if woven.
2. Small rush mats, even when they are
twisted are not Kosher for Sechach,
because they are fit for sleeping on
(small reed mats are Kosher when they
are twisted, their leniency deriving from
their being hard).
(c) R. Dosa cited R. Yosi the same way.
(d) Question: But elsewhere we find R. Dosa holding
not like R. Yosi and considering such a mat as
1. R. Dosa declares Chotzelos to be Kelim and
subject to becoming Tameh.
i. They become a Rishon, but not an Av
(through the appropriate contact with
a Zav, which they would be if they
were Tamei Medras).
2. (R. Avdimi b. Hamduri): Chotzelos are the
leather satchels of shepherds.
ii. The Chachamim say that they are
even subject to becoming Tameh
Medras (and whatever can become a
Medras, will become a Rishon, should
it touch an ordinary Av).
3. (Resh Lakish): Chotzelos are mats.
i. Resh Lakish spoke in reverence about
R. Chiya (Hareini Kaparas R. Chiya
ii. This is because Ezra, Hillel and R.
Chiya each came from Bavel to
reinstate Torah in Eretz Yisrael.
(e) Answer: That is speaking of a mat which has a
raised lip around it (making it a Kli) while we
are speaking of a flat mat.
iii. R. Dosa and the Chachamim agree about
the mats of Usha (Tameh) and those of
Teveriah (Tahor) and they argue about
whether people normally sit on the
other mats of the world.
4. Thus, according to Resh Lakish, R. Dosa
declares mats to be Tameh!?
(f) Question: In another Beraisa, R. Dosa teaches
that Chotzelos are subject to Tumas Mes (not
Medras, while the Chachamim add Medras).
1. This is understandable according to R.
Avdimi b. Hamduri.
(g) Answer: They each have a use.
i. One might use a satchel made of
rushes for large fruit, and one made
of sack-cloth or horse-hair for
legumes and smaller fruit.
2. However, according to Resh Lakish, once R.
Dosa has taught that they are not made for
sleeping, mats are useless!?
ii. This is due to the difference in the
way they are woven (with or without
large gaps in the weaving).
1. A mat made of sack-cloth or horse-hair
might be used as a curtain or sifter.
(h) The above question and answer could also be
reframed as a question on R. Avdimi (trying to
discover the use of the sacks), while
understanding the use of the mats according to
2. A mat made of rushes may serve as a cover
for a beer-barrel.
(i) (R. Chanayah citing an old man he met in
Bavel): One may use mats for Sechach.
1. R. Yehoshua, his uncle agreed with the old
(j) (Ula): The mats of the B'nei Mechuza would have
been eligible for Sechach had they not had rims
(a Beraisa supports this distinction).
2. R. Chisda added that this ruling would
only apply to a mat that had no lip.
4) "MISHNAH:" SLEEPING IN THE SUKAH
(a) (Tana Kama): One may not sleep underneath a bed
in the Sukah.
(b) (R. Yehudah): It is permitted (a temporary Ohel
cannot negate a permanent one) and supports his
view from his experience.
(c) Tavi, R. Gamliel's slave, once slept under a
bed in a Sukah and R. Gamliel boasted that Tavi
was a scholar, knowing the relevant Halachos
(that one Ohel is Mevatel another and that
slaves are exempt from Sukah).
(d) We learn from R. Gamliel's statement that
someone who sleeps under a bed in the Sukah has
not fulfilled his obligation.
5) SLEEPING UNDER A BED
(a) Question: But given that beds are less than 10
Tefachim off the ground, why would it be
considered an interrupting Ohel?
(b) Answer (Shmuel): The Mishnah is speaking of a
bed raised 10 Tefachim from the ground.
Index to Outlines for Maseches Sukah