POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
Prepared by Rabbi Ephraim Becker
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
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"!
1) DEFINING AN "OHEL" (from the Mishnah in Ohalos)
(a) (Tana Kama): A hole that the water or rodents
bored into the lower section of the banks of a
river or which appeared there after the earth
crumbled by itself, or a pile of stones or of
beams where some of them formed an Ohel over
others all have the Dinim of Tumas Ohel.
(b) (R. Yehudah): Only a man-made Ohel has the Din
1. This is learned as a Gezeirah Shavah (the
shared word Ohel) from Mishkan.
(c) Question: But the Beraisa indicates that,
according to R. Yehudah, the backs of oxen
(surely not man-made) create an Ohel!?
2. The Tana Kama understands the extra words
Ohel to add more types of Ohalos,
including natural ones.
1. As one of the many precautions from Tum'ah
mentioned regarding drawing water for the
Parah Adumah, we learn that the children
were brought to the Shiloach on the backs
of oxen, with platforms attached upon
which the children sat.
(d) Answer (R. Dimi citing R. Elazar): R. Yehudah
concedes the existence of natural Ohalos when
they are large (as seen in the cited Beraisa).
2. This created an Ohel which protected the
children from contracting Tum'ah from
unknown Tum'ah in the ground beneath them.
3. R. Yehudah taught that the children were
borne on the oxen themselves, without the
4. Thus we see that R. Yehudah recognized a
(e) Question: But we find that R. Yehudah objected
to the use of the platforms, presumably because
this is not a normal way to make an Ohel!?
(f) Answer (Abaye): R. Yehudah did not mean that
the platforms were invalid as Ohalos, but that
they were not needed since the wide oxen served
(g) Answer (Rava): R. Yehudah meant that they did
not use the platforms because the children were
used to them (unafraid) and might look over
their edge, exposing themselves to possible
Tum'ah (whereas they would stay scared in their
seats on the backs of the oxen).
(h) A Beraisa supports Rava in its report of R.
(i) Question: How could R. Yehudah permit sleeping
under a bed?
1. Given its width, it should be an Ohel,
just as the platform or the oxen
constitute an Ohel!
(j) Answer: A bed is made for use above it, thus
negating the Ohel status of that which is below
2. Yet in our Mishnah it is not an
intervening Ohel, while in the Mishnah
regarding Parah Adumah it is!
(k) Question: But oxen are also for use above
(l) Answer (Ravin citing R. Elazar): The underside
of the oxen provides shade and rain-cover for
(m) Question: If that is why it is an Ohel below,
then the same can be said of the bed which
protects the shoes beneath it!?
(n) Answer (Rava): Rather, oxen are an Ohel below
since their backs protect their lower parts (as
in the Pasuk).
(o) Alternate Answer: R. Yehudah requires that a
Sukah be a fixed dwelling and a bed is a
temporary dwelling, which is not Mevatel the
fixed dwelling above it (the Sukah).
(p) Question: But R. Shimon also requires a fixed
dwelling yet he holds that a temporary dwelling
does invalidate at fixed one!?
(q) Answer: Indeed, they are arguing over whether a
temp- orary dwelling invalidates the fixed
dwelling above it.
2) LESSONS FROM R. GAMLIEL AND FROM TAVI HIS SLAVE
(a) The Beraisa (like the Mishnah) learns the two
lessons from the Sichah (conversation) of R.
(b) Question: We typically speak of learning from
his words (Devarav) not from his Sichah
(c) Answer: This teaches us, inter alia, that even
the casual conversations of the sages warrant
3) "MISHNAH:" A SUKAH ON A BED
(a) (Tana Kama): It is permitted to place Sechach
on a bed with three walls of 10 Tefachim.
(b) (R. Yehudah): If the Sukah could not stand
independent of the bed it is Pesulah.
4) "MA'AMID L'SECHACH"
(a) Question: What is R. Yehudah's rationale?
(b) Answer: It is a Machlokes (R. Zeira and R. Aba
b. Mamel) whether the Pesul is because the bed
is not fixed or because the Sukah is being
supported by that which is Mekabel Tum'ah.
(c) Question: When will we see a difference between
(d) Answer: When a Sukah is built on iron poles
(which are fixed, but are Mekabel Tum'ah).
(e) (Abaye): The Pesul of R. Yehudah is only if the
Sechach is resting on the bed, but if the beds
are serving as the walls of the Sukah, while
the Sechach is on Kosher poles, the Sukah is
(f) Question: Why would such a Sukah be Kesheirah?
(g) Answer: Either because the poles are fixed or
because he is not resting the Sechach on that
which is Mekabel Tum'ah.
Index to Outlines for Maseches Sukah