1) AGADAH: REMEMBERING THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH
QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai instituted a Mitzvah d'Rabanan to hold the Arba'as ha'Minim on all seven days of Sukos outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Gemara explains that this enactment was made as a commemoration for the Beis ha'Mikdash ("Zecher la'Mikdash"). What is the source for the concept of making a Zecher la'Mikdash? The Gemara cites the verse, "For I shall raise up (A'aleh) for you a cure, and from your wounds I will heal you -- the word of Hash-m, for 'abandoned' did they call you: 'She is Tziyon -- no one remembers her'" (Yirmeyahu 30:17).
This verse, which teaches the concept of making a Zecher la'Mikdash, is cited only by the Gemara here and nowhere else. This implies that the verse specifically relates to the Arba'as ha'Minim. However, the verse makes no mention or hint of the Arba'as ha'Minim. In what way does the verse allude to the Arba'as ha'Minim?
ANSWER: The word "A'aleh" ("I shall raise up") is comprised of the first letter of each of the Arba'as ha'Minim: Esrog, Aravah, Lulav, Hadas. The Chachamim instituted that a Zecher la'Mikdash be made with the Arba'as ha'Minim in order to remind us that Hash-m will heal the wounds of Tziyon -- "from your wounds I will heal you."
A similar allusion to the Arba'as ha'Minim can be found in another verse: "May my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, [O Zion,] if I do not raise up (A'aleh) Yerushalayim above my foremost joy (Rosh Simchasi)" (Tehilim 137:6). This verse also hints to the concept of remembering the Beis ha'Mikdash on Sukos through the Mitzvah of Arba'as ha'Minim. "Rosh Simchasi" alludes to the time of Simchah -- Zeman Simchasenu, or Sukos, during which the celebrations of the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah occurred when the Beis ha'Mikdash stood. The Chachamim instituted that a Zecher la'Mikdash be made by holding the Arba'as ha'Minim -- the Esrog, Aravah, Lulav, and Hadas, to which the word "A'aleh" alludes -- on all seven days of Sukos. (M. KORNFELD)
(See also "Peninim mi'Shulchan ha'Gra" by Rav Dov Eliach, Vayikra 23:40, who cites in the name of the Vilna Ga'on that the Arba'as ha'Minim are alluded to in the verse "E'eleh v'Samar, Ochazah b'Sansinav..." (Shir ha'Shirim 7:9). Actually, the original source for this allusion is the Zohar in Ra'aya Mehemna, end of Ki Setzei 283a, and Tikunei Zohar #13. We later found that Rav Reuven Margoliyos, in Sha'arei Zohar and Nitzotzei Zohar, notes the allusion from the verse cited by the Gemara here.)
2) BUILDING THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH ON YOM TOV OR AT NIGHT
QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that at the same time that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai enacted that the Arba'as ha'Minim be held during the last six days of Sukos outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash, he also enacted that Chadash may not be eaten until the end of the day on the sixteenth of Nisan.
The Gemara asks why Raban Yochanan ben Zakai made the second enactment if, mid'Oraisa, one is permitted to eat Chadash at the beginning of the day on the sixteenth of Nisan (at daybreak) when there is no Korban ha'Omer. The Gemara answers that if people would be allowed to eat Chadash this year (when there is no Beis ha'Mikdash or Korban ha'Omer) at the beginning of the day, then the following year -- when the Beis ha'Mikdash is rebuilt -- they might mistakenly think that Chadash is also permitted at the beginning of the day (even before the Korban ha'Omer is offered), when in truth Chadash is not permitted until the Korban ha'Omer is offered.
The Gemara asks that if this is the concern that motivated Raban Yochanan ben Zakai, then why did he enact that Chadash may not be eaten until the end of the day? If the rebuilding of Beis ha'Mikdash is completed on the sixteenth of Nisan, then Chadash indeed becomes permitted at the beginning of the day (since, at the beginning of the day, the Beis ha'Mikdash was not yet built and there was no Korban ha'Omer). If the Beis ha'Mikdash is completed on the fifteenth of Nisan, then Chadash becomes permitted at midday of the following day (the sixteenth of Nisan) when the Korban ha'Omer is offered. Raban Yochanan ben Zakai should have enacted that people wait only until midday of the sixteenth to eat Chadash.
The Gemara answers that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was concerned that the Beis ha'Mikdash would be completed during the night after the fifteenth, and thus Chadash would not be permitted until the Korban ha'Omer is offered (at midday on the sixteenth), but, in practice, the Omer would not be offered until late in the day because there would not be enough time to prepare it by midday.
In its second answer, the Gemara suggests that his concern was that the Beis ha'Mikdash might be completed immediately before sunset at the end of the fifteenth, and there will not be enough time to prepare the Korban ha'Omer before midday of the sixteenth.
What is the difference between these two answers? Both answers express the exact same thing: Raban Yochanan ben Zakai's concern was that there will not be enough time between the completion of the Beis ha'Mikdash and midday of the sixteenth to prepare the Korban ha'Omer. In what way does the second answer differ from the first?
ANSWERS:
(a) RASHI and TOSFOS explain that both answers indeed are the same. The words "Iy Nami" here do not introduce a second answer (as they usually do), but they mean merely "or."
(b) TOSFOS cites others who explain that "close to sunset" does not refer to sunset after the fifteenth of Nisan, as the sixteenth enters. Rather, it refers to sunset after the fourteenth, as the fifteenth enters (that is, the sunset of Erev Yom Tov). Even though in such a case they would have an entire day from the time that the Beis ha'Mikdash is completed, since the day would be Yom Tov the emissaries of Beis Din would not be able to travel around Eretz Yisrael on that day to search for a place where the barley had ripened enough to be used for the Korban ha'Omer. Thus, they would not have time to prepare the Omer until after Yom Tov, and it would not be ready until late in the day on the sixteenth.
According to this explanation, there is a simple difference between the two answers of the Gemara. The first answer of the Gemara (the Beis ha'Mikdash might be built at night) applies only if we take into account the possibility that the Beis ha'Mikdash will be rebuilt by Hash-m Himself. The second answer (the Beis ha'Mikdash might be completed on the fifteenth of Nisan before sunset) does not take into account the possibility that the Beis ha'Mikdash will be built through a miracle (such that a Gezeirah would need to be made for such a concern). Rather, the only concern is that the Beis ha'Mikdash will be built through normal means, but there will not be enough time to prepare the Omer by midday of the sixteenth of Nisan. The Gemara gives the second answer in order to teach that even if the Beis ha'Mikdash is completed the day before, there still will not be enough time to prepare the Omer.
(c) The ME'IRI asks the question that Rashi asks: why are the Rabanan concerned that the Beis ha'Mikdash might be built on Yom Tov or at night? The Gemara in Shevuos (15b) states unequivocally that the Beis ha'Mikdash may not be built on Yom Tov or at night. (See Insights to Shevuos 15:3.)
The Me'iri's original answer to this question also explains the difference between the two answers given in the Gemara here. The Me'iri explains that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was concerned that a Beis Din To'eh (a mistaken Beis Din) will be responsible for the rebuilding of the Beis ha'Mikdash. Out of their zeal and fervor to build the Beis ha'Mikdash, they might overlook the Halachah and build it even when its construction is prohibited, such as on Yom Tov or at night. Such a Beis ha'Mikdash is valid, b'Di'eved, and may be used once it has been built.
The Me'iri in Shevuos (15b) suggests another answer. The Me'iri says that the Gemara in Shevuos and the Gemara here in Sukah actually argue about whether the Beis ha'Mikdash may be built on Yom Tov and at night. The Gemara here maintains that the Beis ha'Mikdash may be built on Yom Tov and at night, and the Gemara in Shevuos maintains that it may not.
The Me'iri's suggestions may answer the question on the Gemara here as well. The source from which the Gemara in Shevuos derives that the Beis ha'Mikdash may not be built at night is an explicit verse (Bamidbar 9:15). Another verse (Shemos 35:2) teaches that the Beis ha'Mikdash may not be built on Shabbos. However, there is no verse that explicitly states that the Beis ha'Mikdash may not be built on Yom Tov. It is assumed that the Beis ha'Mikdash may not be built on Yom Tov, since Yom Tov is also called "Shabbos" (Rashi to Shevuos 15b, DH Ein b'Inyan).
However, it is still possible that the Beis ha'Mikdash might be built on Yom Tov. The fact that Yom Tov is also called "Shabbos" is not so obvious, and thus it is conceivable that a Beis Din To'eh might mistakenly overlook the Halachah and build the Beis ha'Mikdash on Yom Tov (according to the Me'iri's first approach). According to the Me'iri's second approach, the Gemara here maintains that the Beis ha'Mikdash may be built on Yom Tov; it disagrees with the Gemara in Shevuos.
The first answer of the Gemara here says that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was concerned that the Beis ha'Mikdash might be built at night -- which can happen only if it is built by Hash-m Himself, because an explicit verse, which everyone knows, teaches that the Beis ha'Mikdash may not be built at night.
The second answer of the Gemara is that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was concerned that the Beis ha'Mikdash might be built on Yom Tov, on the fifteenth of Nisan, before sunset. Even if it is not built by Hash-m, it could be built by man on that day -- either because of a Beis Din To'eh, or because the Gemara follows an opinion that the Beis ha'Mikdash may be built on Yom Tov (but not on Shabbos).

41b----------------------------------------41b

3) HALACHAH: "NICHUM AVELIM" DURING YOM TOV
QUESTION: The Gemara records several statements that demonstrate how beloved the Mitzvos are to the Chachamim. Among these statements is that of Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok, who says that the practice of the people of Yerushalayim is "to carry their Lulavim in their hands while they leave their homes, walk to the synagogues, read the Shema, pray... go to visit the sick, and go to comfort mourners...." They express their love for the Mitzvah of Arba'as ha'Minim by holding the Arba'as ha'Minim wherever they go.
One part of Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok's statement is difficult to understand. Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok says that the people of Yerushalayim carry their Lulavim with them even when they "go to comfort mourners." However, the law is that if one's close relative dies shortly before Yom Tov, the seven-day period of mourning ("Shiv'ah") ceases at the arrival of Yom Tov (Moed Katan 19a, Shulchan Aruch OC 548:7), and thus there is no Mitzvah to comfort mourners during the festival. Similarly, if one's close relative dies during Yom Tov, the laws of Shiv'ah are suspended until after the festival departs (Shulchan Aruch OC 548:1), and thus there is no Mitzvah to comfort mourners until after the festival. What does Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok mean when he says that the people of Yerushalayim hold their Lulavim in their hands when they go to comfort mourners?
ANSWERS:
(a) When the Yerushalmi here cites the statement of Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok, it indeed omits the words "ul'Nachem Avelim" -- "to comfort mourners."
(b) The SHIBOLEI HA'LEKET (#368) cites this question in the name of the GE'ONIM. The Ge'onim answer that while there is no obligation of Nichum Avelim during the festival, one still is permitted to visit a mourner in order to help alleviate his distress and raise his spirits (see Shulchan Aruch OC 548:6). It is to this Mitzvah that Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok refers when he says that the people of Yerushalayim carry their Lulavim in their hands when they go to comfort mourners.

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