More Discussions for this daf
1. Dichuy Etzel Mitzvos 2. Commentaries on the Daf regarding the Pesulim of Arba'as ha'Minim 3. Mehudar By Aravah

Eliyahu asks:


There are two commentaries which I don't understand about this daf. can you please help me understand them?

The first is commentary by The Chazon Ish, which can be found here: - I don't understand the whole paragraph starting from ??) ??? ???"?

The second is Aruch Hashulchan, which can be found here: - I don't understand ??' ????' ???? ?', ?'

Thank you very much,

Have a nice day

Eliyahu, Toronto, Canada

The Kollel replies:

Shalom Eliyahu,


(a) To explain the words of the Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim 146:32), it is first necessary to look at the earlier sources upon which his ruling is based. The Chazon Ish here cites the commentaries of Rashi, Rif, Ran, RI, Rosh, Magid Mishneh, and the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch and Magen Avraham, so we will need to explain briefly what these sources wrote.

(b) We will note that the topic to which the Chazon Ish relates is that of the leaves of the Hadas which hang downwards. To undersatnd what he writes, we must go to the beginning of the Sugya. In fact, it all actually starts with the Mishnah (Sukah 29b) which states "Nifretzu Alav Pasul." The simple translation of this is that if the leaves of the Lulav are spread out, the Lulav is invalid. Rashi in the Mishnah writes that this means that the leaves have spread out from the spine of the Lulav and are connected only by being tied up with the bundle. Tosfos (29b, DH Nifretzu) writes that according to Rashi it would appear that the leaves have become totally detached from the spine of the Lulav. Tosfos disagrees with Rashi's explanation. At the end of his comments, Tosfos writes that the way the Lulav grows is that the leaves are double. "Nifretzu Alav" means, according to Tosfos, that somebody split these double leaves into two leaves. This is the way of making a "Chufya" -- a broom -- which is the way Rav Papa describes (32a) the meaning of "Nifretzu Alav."

(c) Accordingly, the view of Rashi is a Kula, a leniency, since we may be lenient and say that it is only if the leaves of the Lulav have been totally removed from the spine that the Lulav is Pasul. In contrast, Tosfos is more Machmir and maintains that the Lulav is Pasul if all of its leaves have been split into two, even though they are still connected to the spine.

(d) The next step is to look at the position of the Rosh. The Rosh (#3) cites both Rashi and Tosfos. He writes (end of #10)that the view of Tosfos (which he calls the view of the Ri, since the Ri is one of the major Ba'alei ha'Tosfos) applies only to the Lulav but not to the Hadasim and Aravos, because the leaves of the latter cannot be split and made into brooms. This is a very important point, because the Mishnah later indeed states that a Hadas which is "Nifretzu Alav" is Pasul (32b), and that an Aravah which is "Nifretzu Alav" is Pasul (33b). The Rosh writes that in the case of Hadas and Aravos, the Ri agrees with Rashi that "Nifretzu Alav" is Pasul only when most of the leaves have totally fallen off the branch.

(e) However, a major Rishon disagrees with the Rosh. This is the Magid Mishneh on the Rambam (Hilchos Lulav 8:6). (The Magid Mishneh lived just after the Rosh.) He writes that according to the Rambam and the Rif, the meaning of "Nifretzu Alav" which is Pasul for Aravah is that the leaves are hanging down from the branch of the Aravah to which they are connected. The Magid Mishneh writes that this is similar to the Rif and Rambam's interpretation of "Nifretzu Alav" for Lulav.

(f) The question now is: Does the Halachah follow the Rosh or the Magid Mishneh? This is where the Chazon Ish comes in.

Let us examine the Chazon Ish's ruling on the leaves of Hadasim and Aravos.

(1) The Shulchan Aruch (OC 647:2) writes that if most of the leaves of the Aravah have fallen off, the Aravah is invalid. As we saw above in (d), this is the way the Rosh explains the Mishnah (33b) that Nifretzu Alav is Pasul for Aravos. The Magen Avraham there adds that the Magid Mishneh explains the Mishnah differently and, in this instance, it transpires that the Magid Mishneh's opinion is more stringent. This is because the Magid Mishneh writes that even if the leaves have not fallen off but merely hang down from the stalk, or the leaves have been split, the Aravah is invalid. The Magen Avraham concludes that one should be stringent and use only Aravos which meet the standards of all the different opinions, since Aravos are easy to find.

(2) This is where the Chazon Ish comes in, making an important point which is relevant to the practical Halachah. He understands that the Magen Avraham is saying a Chumra, and that according to the basic Halachah the Aravos are valid if the leaves have merely been split. The Chazon Ish sees this from the fact that the Magen Avraham said only that one should be strict because Aravos are easy to obtain. This implies that the "Ikar ha'Din," the basic Halachah, really follows the Rosh, but since there is an abundance of Aravos and it is not difficult to follow the Magid Misnheh's opinion also, one should try to do so.

(3) The Chazon Ish proceeds to discuss the question of leaves which are still attached to the stem but are hanging down. He cites the Shulchan Aruch (OC 645:2) who says that in the case of a Lulav, this is Pasul, and this is the meaning of Nifretzu Alav according to the Rif. The Chazon Ish now goes one step further and writes that it should follow that the same problem applies to Hadasim and Aravos since, according to the Rif and the Shulchan Aruch, the Pesul of Nifretzu Alav is considered as "Nital" -- it is as if the leaves have been totally removed from the stem.

(4) The Chazon Ish continues and points out that the Ran (last line on 14a of the pages of the Rif) writes that Rashi and the Rif explain Nifretzu Alav to mean that the leaves have been removed ("Nital") from the place where they were attached to the spine. This statement of the Ran is important, because we see from it that he understands that the opinions of Rashi and the Rif are identical. Accordingly, we may now add Rashi to those (the Rif and Shulchan Aruch) who maintain that for Lulav, Nifretzu Alav does not mean that the leaves have totally fallen off, but even if they are merely hanging down the Lulav is also Pasul.

(5) Now, based on the assumption that one can compare the Din of Lulav to the Din of Hadas, the Chazon Ish comes to the important conclusion that one should be very careful when selecting Hadasim not to choose Hadasim with the leaves hanging down. He writes that this is a common problem with Hadasim.

(6) However, he adds that from the words of the Magen Avraham (see (2) above), it seems that if the leaves are merely hanging down from the stem, the Hadas or Aravah is not Pasul according to the Ikar ha'Din. The Chazon Ish concludes that this question requires further study.

(7) In conclusion, the practical Halachah that emerges from the Chazon Ish is that one should make a great effort to ensure that the leaves of the Hadas do not hang down from the stem. However, if no other Hadasim are available, there is room to say that they are acceptable, beacuse it may be that the Halachah follows the opinion of the Rosh that Hadasim and Aravos are Pasul only when the leaves have totally fallen off.


(a) The Aruch ha'Shulchan (Orach Chaim 647:6) writes that although the Rosh justifies the use of Aravos which do not grow near a river, and from the words of the Rambam it is also clear that it makes no difference where they grow, and in fact the prevalent custom is to be lenient, nevertheless it is problematic for us to perform a Mitzvah every year in a way that is totally invalid according to the view of Tosfos. Also, according to Rashi, using Aravos that did not frow near a rive is not the choicest way to fulfill the Mitzvah, and it is valid only b'Di'eved.

(b) The Aruch ha'Shulchan offers a novel explanation in order to justify our custom according to Rashi and Tosfos. First, he asks some questions on the words of the Beraisa cited at the end of Daf 33b. Why does the Beraisa state, "I know only that Aravos of the 'Nachal' are valid. How do I know that the Aravos of the 'Sedeh ha'Ba'al' (a field which does not require irrigation) or the Aravos of the hills are also valid?" This terminology suggests that "Sedeh ha'Ba'al" and the hills are the opposite of "Nachal," but why should this be so? One cannot say that it is because "Nachal" is exclusively a place of water, because if that is true then the Beraisa should have said, "How how do I know that even Aravos not of the Nachal are valid?"

Second, wherever we find "Sedeh Ba'al" mentioned in the Gemara, we always find the term "Beis ha'Shelachin" (fields which require irrigation) mentioned together with it. (See, for example, Moed Katan 2a). Why, then, does the Beraisa not ask, "How do I know that Aravos of the 'Sedeh ha'Ba'al' and of the 'Sedeh Beis ha'Shelachin' are also valid?" (It cannot be that the reason why the Beraisa does not mention Beis ha'Shelachin is that Aravos of Beis ha'Shelachin are in fact invalid, because if that were true then the Beraisa should certainly have mentioned this novel ruling.)

(c) To answer these questions, the Aruch ha'Shulchan gives a new explanation based on the different meanings of the word "Nachal." (See Insights to Sotah 46:1.) The word "Nachal" in Hebrew can mean either a river (which is the simple meaning of the word in Devarim 21:4, "Nachal Eisan") or a valley (as in Bereshis 26:19, where the servants of Yitzchak dug in the "Nachal," which means they dug in the valley or flatlands).

According to this, when the Beraisa says, "I know only that the Aravos of the Nachal are valid," this refers both to Aravos growing near the river and to Aravos growing in the valley or flatlands. The Beraisa continues, "How do I know that the Aravos growing in the Seder ha'Ba'al (which is different from a river because it receives its water from the heavens; similarly, Sedeh Beis ha'Shelachin differs from a river because water is not present there but must be provided by irrigation) are valid?" It is necessaru for the Beraisa also to ask, "How do I know that Aravos of the hills are valid," because these are the opposite of the Aravos of the valley or flatlands, which have already been derived from "Nachal."

According to this explanation, the simple meaning of Arvei Nachal is Aravos either from the river, or from the valley or flatlands. Hence, it is necessary only to find a source to include Aravos that grow in cultivated fields or in mountains. The Aruch ha'Shulchan concludes that our practice to use Aravos is now justified, because "Nachal" means both a river or valley/flatlands, which is where most of our Aravos come from.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom