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Tractate Sukkah: Synopsis of Subjects


MISHNA I. About the legal height and width of the booth which is to be used during the seven days of Tabernacles. What was to be done when it was higher or lower than the prescribed size? If one has placed four poles and roofed them, how is the law? The different opinions of R. Jacob and the sages on this point. Whence is deduced from biblical passages the size prescribed by the sages? Did the Shekhina descend from heaven to earth; and also Moses and Elijah, did they ascend to heaven, or not? And in the latter case, how are to be explained the passages which state that they did? The ells which are mentioned in the Scriptures, how many spans did they contain? When there is a difference in the biblical passages between the Massorah (i.e., how they are written) and the reading of it, what must be considered for practice? How shall the Succah be considered--as a temporary or permanent dwelling? The booths of potters or watchmen, can they be used for a legal Succah?

MISHNAS II. to VIII. How about an old Succah? What is called an old Succah? How about a Succah under a tree, or if a cloth was spread over the roof of the Succah? If one Succah was over another? What kind of material must be used for the roof of the Succah? How to beautify the religious duties for the sake of the Lord, and from what passage of the Scriptures this is deduced. If bundles of straw, wood, or twigs may be used for the roof of the Succah. The two things which R. Jacob heard from R. Johanan and the three things which Rabha bar bar Hana has heard in the name of the same, and they could not imagine the real meaning of then and how the latter Amoraim tried to find it out. What Hana bar Abba, and R. Hisda in the name of Rabina bar Shila, and Meremar said and lectured about the roofing of the Succah. How it is when one wants to cover the Succah with boards, the size of same, and how they are to be laid. What is to be done if small rafters, over which is no ceiling, are to be used for a booth. The difference of opinion between the schools of Shammai and Hillel, and R. Jehudah and R. Meir,

MISHNAS IX. to XIII, If one likes to roof his booth with iron spits. If one likes to suspend textile walls from the roof downwards. If the roof was three spans distant from the walls. How is the case with a court surrounded by balconies? The law of a crooked wall. If one likes to make a Succah in the form of a cone. About a reed mat made for sleeping on, whether a Succah can be covered with it; the size of it. A mat made of bark or papyrus, if large, may be used for a cover,


MISHNAS I. to VII. How is it when one sleeps under a bed in the booth? About Tabbi, the slave of Rabban Gamaliel, who was a scholar. If one likes to support the Succah with a bedstead. If a Succah is covered thinly, what must be more-the sunshine or the shadow? If one constructs a Succah on top of a wagon, or on board of a vessel. What happened to Rabban Gamaliel and R. Aqiba when they were on board of a vessel, and the latter made there a Succah. Whether a Succah can be made on the back of a camel. Can a living animal be used as a wall to the Succah? How is it with an elephant-a living or dead one? How is the law about a partition not made by human hands, if it can be considered legally as a wall to the Succah? If one makes a Succah between trees which form side-walls. How is it about the delegates for religious purposes--are they obliged to or exempted from the duty of the Succah? How is it with a mourner, with a bridegroom and his attendants, concerning the duty of the Succah? How is it with those who are on the road in the day-time, and those who are on the road in the night-time only. How is it with the watchman of a tower, or the gardens? How is it with the sick? How is it about those who are afflicted? What Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai did when two dates were brought to him to taste out of the Succah, and Rabban Gamaliel when ajar of water was brought to him when he was out of the Succah; and what R. Zadok did when food less than the size of an egg was brought to him out of the Succah,

MISHNAS VIII. to X. How many meals must be eaten in the Succah during the seven days? The difference of opinion between R. Eliezer and the sages on that point. How they both deduce it from the passages of the Scriptures. If one makes amends with extra dishes in the Succah, has he done his duty? The manager of the house of Agrippa the king asked R. Eliezer about his two Succahs and his two wives, which he had in two different cities in Palestine, and what the latter answered. If it is allowed to build a Succah in the intermediate days, and what is to be done when a Succah becomes ruined during the seven days. Can one fulfil his duties in his neighbor's Succah, or must each one have his own Succah? What R. Eliezer said to R. Ilai when he came to visit him in the city of Lud. What happened to R. Eliezer when he took his rest in the booth of R. Johanan bar Ilai in the city of Kisri. There was not one tribe in Israel from which a judge did not descend (see the explanation of it, p. 35, footnote). What happened to the same when he took his rest in Upper Galilea, and was asked thirty Halakhas about the law of the Succah. What was said of Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai the Master of R. Eliezer, of all his habits and customs, and that R. Eliezer his disciple conducted himself similarly. About the eighty disciples of Hillel the Elder. Who was the greatest of all, and who the least, and what was said about the latter. What the Elders of the schools of Shammai and Hillel said when they visited R. Johanan b. Hahoronith, and found him sitting with his head and the greater part of his body in the booth, and the table was in the house. How is it with women, slaves, and minors-are they exempt from the Succah? What shall be the age of a minor to be considered so? What Shammai the Elder did when his daughter-in-law gave birth to a son during the Feast of Tabernacles. How the Succah shall be used during the seven days of the festival as a regular domicile, and the house as an occasional abode. How is it when it rains? Where the finest vessels and utensils must be kept during the time of Tabernacles, and which of the inferior of them are allowed to be kept in the Succah. What R. Joseph did when a wind blew the chips of the covering into the dish, when he was sitting in the Succah, and what Abayi asked him. What an eclipse of the sun means to the whole world. When the sun and the moon are eclipsed, it is an ill omen to the enemies of Israel, so maintains R. Meir. On account of four things the sun is eclipsed. For four things the property of householders becomes annihilated,


MISHNAS I. to III. The law about the palm branch, the size of it, if it was acquired by test or dried, or if it was from a grove. What R. Huna. said to the sellers of myrtles--what they shall do when they buy myrtles of Gentiles. How is the law if a public street is roofed for the purpose of a Succah. What R. Na'hman said to the sages when an old woman complained that the exilarch and all the sages of the house of the exilarch are sitting in a robbed Succah. If a citron cannot be found, can it be replaced by a lemon or not? If the point of the citron was broken off. If the leaves of the palm branch were torn off. How the law is if the "twins" of the Lulab are divided. The prescribed size of a Lulab and a myrtle. How many boughs of myrtle? How the law is if a bough of a myrtle has more berries than leaves. If it was a Tzaphtzapha. If a greater number of leaves have dropped off. If the tip has been broken off. If a Lulab must be tied up, and how it shall be tied together with the myrtle and the willow. Of what places must a willow be taken. The difference of opinion between R. Ishmael, R. Tarphon, and R. Aqiba about the prescribed sizes of the Lulab, myrtle, willow, and citron. What Samuel said to the sellers of myrtles,

MISHNAS IV. to VII. How is it with a citron which was taken off a tree less than three years old? What, if it was of Demai? What is the minimum size of a small citron and the maximum of a large one? How is the law if a citron has been peeled and gets the color of a red date? If it has a hole. How is an unripe citron? What makes a citron unbeautiful? The Lulab which must be tied with its own kind only, according to R. Jehudah, what is to be called its own kind? The objection of R. Meir, who relates that the inhabitants of Jerusalem tied a Lulab with gold lace, and what the sages answered to this. What Rabba said to the men who tied the Hoshanoth for the exilarch. How to prevent an intervention between the Lulab and the other things which are to be tied with it. The myrtle bough used for religious duties--may it be smelled, or not? And how is it with the citron? With what hands the Lulab and the citron must be handled. Why do we pronounce the benediction on the Lulab only? When must the Lulab be shaken? How is it to be shaken? What is the law if one is on the road and has no Lulab? When is Hallel to be read? Who must read it? From what chapters of the Psalms the Hallel is said. What the reader shall say, and what the congregation shall answer in the saying of Hallel. What verses are to be repeated in Hallel,

MISHNAS VIII. to XI. What is the law when one buys a Lulab from a common man in the Sabbatical year. Is a citron equal to a tree in all respects? Does the fruit of the Sabbatical year become exchanged, if it is done in the manner of buying and selling? The Sabbatical year holds the money exchanged for its fruits. May both the fruit of Sabbatical year and of second tithe be exchanged for wild game, cattle, and fowl, when they are alive or slaughtered? How the Lulab was used in the second Temple, and in the country at that time, and what R. Johanan b. Zakkai has ordained after its destruction. When the first day of Tabernacles falls on a Sabbath. What happened to Rabban Gamaliel, R. Elazar b. Azariah, and R. Aqiba when the former bought a citron for a thousand Zuz, and what he did with it. What R. Elazar b. Zadok relates how the custom of the men of Jerusalem was. When the Lulab may be put in water, when water may be added, and when it must be changed. At what age a minor has to shake the Lulab, to perform the duties of Tzitzith, Tefilin, and his father to teach him the Torah, and to read with him the Shema,


MISHNA I. The Lulab and willow to surround the altar were sometimes used on six days, and sometimes on seven days of the festival. The Hallel and the eating of peace-offerings took place on eight days, and the pipes were played on sometimes five, sometimes six days, In which case was the Lulab used seven days? Whence do we deduce this from the Scriptures? Why do we use the Lulab seven days in memory of the Temple, and not the willow? Do the Lulab and the willow violate the Sabbath or not? Can one fulfil the ceremony of the willow with that which is tied to the Lulab? May a man go more than ten Parsaoth on the eve of Sabbath?

MISHNAS II. to IV. How was the commandment to take the willow fulfilled in Jerusalem? What was said when they went around the altar with the willow? The saying of R. Simeon b. Jochai, that he could exempt the whole world from the day of judgment, since he was born till that time, etc. Must the benediction on the Lulab be pronounced all the seven days, or on the first day only? Shall the benediction of the time be pronounced with the Lulab and the Succah, and when? Come and see: The usages of the Holy One, blessed be He, are not as the usages of human beings. Can the citron be eaten during the seven days, or on the eighth day only? The difference of opinion between the Tanaim and Amoraim, if the ceremony of the willow is based upon a tradition of the prophets, or it is only a custom of theirs. Must the benediction of the time be pronounced on the eighth day of the Tabernacles, which is a separate holiday? The Hallel and the enjoying of the peace-offerings were for eight days. How so? How was the pouring out of the water? Why the people called out to him who poured out the water "Raise thy hand." Why were the holes of the two silver basins of which the wine and water were poured out not equal in size? The saying of R. Elazar, that the doing of charity is greater than all the sacrifices. Charity is rewarded only in accordance with the kindness with which it is done. in three things is the bestowing of favors greater than charity,


MISHNAS I. and II. The difference of opinion about the music of the sacrifices, if it was instrumental or vocal. How pious and distinguished men danced before the people with lighted flambeaux in their hands, and what they said. After reaching the gate they turned westward; what they said about their ancestors and themselves. The beauty of the Temple which was rebuilt by Herod the Great, and the advice which the sages gave to him. The beauty of the diuplustin (double portico) of Alexandria in Egypt, all that it contained, the seventy-one golden chairs for the Sanhedrin, and how all this was destroyed by Alexander of Macedonia. The separate places for males and females in the Temple, and how they were changed in order to prevent levity. About the lamentation of the death of Messiah ben Joseph, and the death of the evil angel. The tradition of the two Messiahs, ben Joseph and ben David, and the different explanations of the verse Zechariah, vii. 10, according to the believers of the old tradition and the believers of the Messiahship of Christ. About the evil angel--how he appears in the beginning and how he grows in the nature of human beings. What the Messiah ben David will ask of the Lord. The seven names of the evil angel. The evil angel is hidden in man's heart. How he tempts scholars more than any one else. How Abayi watched a man and a woman who went on the road. What one shall do when the hideousness has attacked him. The three verses of the Scriptures which clear Israel on the judgment day. Who are meant by the four carpenters mentioned in Zechariah, ii. 3? Who are the seven shepherds and the eight anointed men mentioned in Micah, v. 4? The four lads who held jars of oil containing 120 lugs. Was it in all 120 lugs, or did each jar contain so much? Who said: Well be to our youth which does not disgrace our age? and who said vice versa? What Hillel the Elder said when he was engaged in the enjoyment of the pouring of the water. For what purpose the fifteen songs of degrees were said by David. What is the meaning of "we belong to God" and "we raise our eyes to God"?

MISHNAS III. to VI. How many times was the trumpet blown in the Temple every day, and how many on the festivals? The different opinions of the Tanaim about this point. When was the maximum of forty-eight times blown? For what purpose were the seventy bullocks offered on the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles? And for what purpose was the one bullock offered [Numb. xxix. 36]? Three times in the year all the twenty-four orders of priests were alike entitled to share the pieces of offerings of the festival, and in the shewbread, for what purpose? Whence do we deduce that all the orders of priests had equal shares in the offerings; that were said to be sacrificed on the festivals? If a festival falls before or after a Sabbath, all the twenty-four orders share alike in the shewbread. What is meant by before or after? About the order of Bilgah, when Miriam his daughter becomes an apostate, and what she said when the enemy entered the sanctuary, and what was done to the whole order,

Sources: Biblical Texts