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Tractate Sukkah: Chapter 2

Regulations concerning the situation in which a booth may be placed, what must be done in it, etc.

Regulations concerning the situation in which a booth may be placed, what must be done in it, etc.

MISHNA: He who sleeps under a bed in the booth has not fulfilled his duty (of sleeping there). Said R. Jehudah: We were in the habit of sleeping under a bed in the presence of the elders, and they never said anything to us. Said R. Simeon: It happened that Tabbi, the slave of R. Gamaliel, used to sleep under a bed. But R. Gamaliel said to the elders: Do you see my slave Tabbi? He is a scholar (Talmud Hakham), and knows that slaves are exempt from the duty of Succah. Therefore he sleeps under a bedstead. From this we infer that he who sleeps under a bed has not fulfilled his duty.

GEMARA: Why? The bed is usually not ten spans high? Samuel explained this, that the case is when the bed is high ten spans. (But if so,) what is the reason of R. Jehudah's decree? This is according to his theory elsewhere, that the Succah must be a permanent dwelling, and the bed is only a temporary dwelling, and a temporary dwelling cannot make ignored a permanent one. But did not R. Simeon held the same theory, that a Succah must be a permanent dwelling (because his decree is that it must have four walls), and nevertheless he does not allow to sleep under the bed? This is the point of their difference: according to R. Simeon a temporary dwelling makes ignored, and according to R. Jehudah it does not.

"It happened once that Tabbi the slave," etc. We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Simeon said: From R. Gamaliel's remarks we have learned two things: That slaves are free from the duty of a Succah, and that one who sleeps under a bed has not fulfilled the duty of Succah. Let him say, "from R. Gamaliel's decree," he comes to teach us by the way that R. A'ha bar Adda, according to others the same in the name of R. Hamnuna, quoting Rabh, said: Whence do we know that even a remark of a scholar must be studied? Because it is written [Ps. i.] "And the leaf does not wither," even a slight thing as a leaf is not valueless.

MISHNA: If one supports his Succah with a bedstead, it is valid. R. Jehudah said: A Succah that cannot stand by itself is invalid.

GEMARA: What is the reason of R. Jehudah's decree? R. Zera and R. Abba bar Mamel differed: One says: Because so it is not made a permanent dwelling; and one says: Because he supports it with a thing subject to defilement. What is the difference? If one put iron spits and covered it, according to them who say because it is not permanent, the iron spits are permanent; but according to those who say because he supports with a thing subject to defilement, the iron spits are subject to defilement, and are invalid. Said Abayi: They differ only if he supports the booth with the bedstead; but if he has roofed the bed itself, all agree it is valid. Why so? Because to them who say, because it is not permanent, it can be said the bed is permanent; and to them who say because he supports with a thing subject to defilement, it can be said the roof is not subject to defilement.

MISHNA: A Succah covered thinly, if there is more shadow than sun, is valid; if the covering is close, like the roof of a house, though the stars are not visible through it, it is nevertheless valid.

GEMARA: What is meant by thin covering? Said Rabh: Scanty covering (too much empty space between one stick and the other). And Samuel said: Irregular covering--one twig down, one twig up, that is. Rabh interpreted that the Mishna teaches only one case, a poor Succah, in which there is more shadow than sun, is valid; and according to Samuel, the Mishna teaches two things: first, that a Succah with an irregular covering is valid; and secondly, that all Succahs where the shadow is more than the sunshine are valid. Said Abayi: The Mishna refers to a case where there is not three spans distance from one twig to the other; but if there is, it is invalid. Rabha, however, said: Even if there were three spans between, provided the twig was not wide at the top a span, it is invalid; but if it was, it is valid, because we say: Havit rami1 and it is valid.

"If there is more shadow than sun." From this we may infer, that if they were equal, it is not valid; but in the first chapter the Mishna teaches, if the sunshine was more than the shadow it is invalid, from which we may infer that if they were equal it is valid? It presents no difficulty. If on the top the empty place was equal to the covering, because on the ground the sunshine would appear larger; but if on the ground the sunshine and the shadow are equal, it is valid, because then on the top there must be more covering than empty space. Said R. Papa: This is according to what people say: If on the top it is of the size of a Zuz, it appears on the ground the size of a Sela. 1

"If close like the roof of a house." The rabbis taught: If it was close as a roof of a house, although the stars cannot be seen through it, it is valid; but if the rays of the sun do not penetrate, Beth Shammai hold it is not valid, and Beth Hillel hold it is.

MISHNA: If one constructs a Succah on the top of a wagon, or on board a vessel, it is valid, and he may ascend thereto on the festival. If he has constructed the Succah on the top of a tree, or on the back of a camel, it is valid; but he must not ascend thereto on the festival days. If two walls are formed by a tree, and one by human hands, or two by human hands and one by a tree, the Succah is valid, but one must not ascend thereto on the festival. This is the rule: Whenever the Succah can stand by itself, even should the tree be removed, the Succah is valid, and it is lawful to ascend thereto on the festival.

GEMARA: This Mishna is in accordance with R. Aqiba only, as we have learned in a Boraitha: If a Succah was made on a ship, Rabban Gamaliel makes it invalid, and R. Aqiba makes it valid. It happened once that Rabban Gamaliel and R. Aqiba were on a ship, and R. Aqiba constructed a Succah on the ship. On the morrow a wind blew it off, and Rabban Gamaliel said to him: Aqiba, where is thy Succah? Said Abayi: If the Succah cannot withstand an ordinary wind from land, all agree that it is not a Succah at all; if it can hold out a storm on land, all agree it must be regarded as a Succah; but if it can hold out an ordinary wind from land, but not an ordinary wind from the sea, there is the point of their difference: R. Gamaliel holds it must be a permanent dwelling, and as it cannot withstand an ordinary wind from the sea, it is not considered as anything; but R. Aqiba holds that only a temporary dwelling is needed, and so soon as it is proof against an ordinary wind from land, it is called a temporary dwelling.

"Or on the back of a camel." The Mishna is in accordance with R. Meir. as we learn in the following Boraitha: If one has made his Succah on the back of an animal, it is valid, according to R. Meir; but not according to R. Jehudah. What is the reason of R. Jehudah? Because it is written [Deut. xvi. 13]: "The feast of tabernacles shalt thou hold seven days." From this we infer that a booth fit for all seven days may be called a Succah, but not otherwise (and as the sages prohibited to mount an animal on the festival, it is not fit for the first day of the festival). But what would R. Meir answer to this? Biblically it is fit, but only the rabbis prohibited as a precautionary measure to mount an animal (and if biblically fit, it is called a Succah).

If the animal was used as a wall to the Succah? R. Meir makes it invalid, and R. Jehudah makes it valid. Because R. Meir used to say: All things which have life must not be made a wall to the Succah, nor a side-beam to an entry, nor an enclosure to a well, nor a covering of a grave; and in the name of R. Jose the Galilean it was said: Also, a letter of divorce must not be written on it. What is the reason of R. Meir? Abayi said: Because it may die. R. Zera said: Because it can run away. If an elephant were tied to a wall and used as a wall, all agree it is valid, because, even if it should die, its carcass measures more than ten spans. In what they differ is, when the elephant is not tied: according to them who fear its death, it is valid; but according to those who fear its flight, it is not valid. But did Abayi say that R. Meir feared its death, and R. Jehudah did not? Have we not heard the contrary from him in Gittin, that R. Meir feared it, and R. Jehudah did not? Read these conversely: Abayi said R. Meir feared its death, and R. Jehudah did not. But did we not learn in Tract Yomah, R. Jehudah declares: To the high-priest another wife must be prepared for the Day of Atonement, lest his wife die? (So he apprehends death.) Is it not taught, in addition to the same Mishna: R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said, that for forgiving the sins an exceptional rule was made?

Let us see: According to both sages--who apprehend death or flight--biblically it is valid as a wall; and only as a rabbinical precautionary measure is it forbidden. Why is it not subject to defilement when it covers a grave, according to R. Meir? Said R. A'ha bar Jacob: R. Meir holds that all partitions not made by human hands are not called partitions at all.

MISHNA: If one makes a booth between trees which form side-walls, it is valid.

GEMARA: A'ha bar Jacob said: All partitions that are not proof against an ordinary wind are not partitions at all. An objection was raised from our Mishna, which teaches that if the trees were used as walls, it is valid; but did not the trees shake by an ordinary wind? The case is, when they are old trees. But even if old trees, are there not branches? If one weaves the branches into the walls. If it is so, what does he come to teach us? Is it not self-evident? One might say that perhaps it shall be prohibited as a precautionary measure, lest on the festival he climb the tree, he comes to teach us that such a measure is not taken.

MISHNA: Delegates for a religious purpose are free from the duty of Succah; also sick persons, and those who nurse them. One may occasionally eat or drink something outside of the booth.

GEMARA: Whence do we deduce this? From what the rabbis taught: It is written [Deut. vi. 7]: "When thou sittest in thy house": that means, except when thou art occupied by a religious observance; [ibid.] "When thou walkest by the way" means, except when thou goest to marry. From this is said, that he who marries a virgin is exempt, but he who marries a: widow is not. But how can this be inferred? Said R. Huna: From the expression "on the way," as one goes on the way, means as a voluntary act, and this is to exclude one occupied by a religious duty. R. Abba bar Zabda said in the name of Rabh: A mourner is not exempt from the duty of the Succah. Is not this self-evident? One might say, because the same authority says elsewhere that one who is afflicted by something is exempt from the duty of Succah, and a mourner is certainly afflicted, one might say that he is exempt, he comes to teach us that it is when the affliction is caused by the Succah; but here, when he afflicts himself, he must divert his attention, and fulfil the duty of Succah. The same says again in the name of Rabh: A bridegroom and his attendants and all who belong to the wedding-party are exempt from the Succah all the seven days. Why so? Because they must enjoy themselves. But let them enjoy themselves in the Succah? No enjoyment can be had outside of the house where the wedding is. But let them eat in the Succah and enjoy themselves in the house. There is no enjoyment except where the banquet is. But let the house where the wedding takes place be made in the Succah? Abayi said, it cannot be made, because the bride must not be left with strangers; and Rabha said, because the bridegroom will find it inconvenient. What is the difference? when even in the house, where men come in and go out, they are not in privacy, but it is inconvenient. According to Abayi, it may be made in the Succah, and according to Rabha it may not. R. Zera said: When I was a bridegroom, I ate in the Succah, and enjoyed myself in the bride's house, and I enjoyed myself the more because I fulfilled two religious duties.

The rabbis taught: A bridegroom and his attendants and all the wedding-party are exempt from prayers, from phylacteries, but they must read Shema. In the name of R. Shila it was said: Only the bridegroom is exempt, but all the others are not. A Boraitha states, R. Hanania b. Akabia said: Writers of the holy scrolls, or tefilin, or mezuzoth, they and the wholesale sellers and the retail sellers, and all men engaged in work for Heaven, including also the sellers of blue threads for tzitzith, are exempt from the reading of Shema, from praying, from tefilin, and all the religious duties commanded in the Torah. He said so to confirm the words of R. Jose the Galilean, who said: Who is engaged in one religious work, is free from another one.

The rabbis taught: Those who are on the road in the day are exempt from the duty of Succah during the day, but not during the night; and if they travel by night, it is conversely. If they travel during both, they are exempt wholly. But who goes on a religious mission, is exempt from the duty of Succah both by day and by night. As it happened, R. Hisda and Rabha bar R. Huna coming on a Sabbath falling on one of the intermediate days, to the exilarch to hear his lecture, they slept on the bank of a river of Sura. They said, we are delegates for a religious purpose, and exempt from the duty of Succah.

The rabbis taught: The watchmen of a tower who watch by day are exempt from the Succah by day, but not by night; and those who watch by night are exempt for the night, and those who watch during both are entirely exempt. Those who watch gardens and vineyards are exempt from the Succah by day and by night. But let them make the booths there, and sit in them? Said Abayi: It is written: "Ye shall dwell in booths." It must be where the dwellings are. And Rabha said: The hole brings the thief (i.e., he will not be able to watch carefully). What is the difference? When the whole of the fruit would be visible from his position in the Succah (he should sit in one).

"Sick persons and their nurses." The rabbis taught: Not only those who are dangerously sick, but if there is no danger, if one has sore eyes or a headache, he is also exempt. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel told: It once happened I had sore eyes when I was in Cæsarea (Kisrin), and R. Jose the Great allowed me and my servants to sleep outside of the Succah. Rabh, however, allowed R. A'ha of Bardla to sleep under a canopy in a booth (though ten spans high), to prevent mosquitoes. Rabha allowed R. A'ha bar Ada to sleep outside of the Succah, because it was freshly whitewashed. And Rabha acted according to his theory elsewhere, that whoever suffers is exempt. But have we not learned in our Mishna that only sick persons are exempt, and we may infer, not those who are in sorrow? Nay, in case of a sick person, he and his nurses are exempt, but he who is in sorrow may only himself stay out, not his servants.

"Men may occasionally eat," etc. What is meant by something? Said R. Joseph: Two or three eggs. Said Abayi to him: But many times a man finds three eggs sufficient for a meal? Therefore said Abayi: As much as a young scholar partakes before he goes to hear the lecture.

The rabbis taught: One may eat a hasty meal outside of the Succah, but one must not take a nap outside. Why so? Said R. Ashi: As a precautionary measure, lest he fall profoundly asleep for the whole night. Said Abayi to him: If it is so, why does a Boraitha allow a man to take a nap with his tefilin on, but not to sleep long? Let it be apprehended lest he fall asleep? Said R. Joseph bar Ilai: This is the case when he has engaged a man to wake him up. Rabha, however, said: There is no appointed time for sleeping; concerning the tefilin, it is for a different reason (as will be explained in Tract Benedictions). Rabh said: One must not sleep by day longer than a horse sleeps. How long is it? So as to be able to make sixty respirations. Said Abayi: My Master used to sleep by day as long as Rabh, and Rabh as Rabbi, and Rabbi as King David, and David slept as long as a horse. And how long is the sleep of a horse? Sixty respirations. Abayi himself sleeps as long as it would take to walk from Pompeditha to Be Kubi. Exclaimed R. Joseph about him the verse in Proverbs [vi. 9]: "How long, O sluggard, wilt thou lie down? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?"

MISHNA: It happened that a dish was brought to R. Johanan b. Zakai to taste, and two dates and a jar of water to Rabban Gamaliel. Each of them said: Bring it to the booth. But when food less than an egg was brought to R. Zadok, he took it in the napkin, and ate it outside of the booth, but did not pronounce the benediction after meals for it.

GEMARA: Is it customary to adduce an act as a contradiction to the former teaching of the Mishna above (which says a hasty meal may be eaten outside of the Succah)? The above Mishna is not completed, and must read so: If one wants to make it more rigorous for himself, he may do so, without it being said he is vain; and it also happened with R. Johanan b. Zakai and Rabban Gamaliel that a dish and dates were brought to them, and they said they should be carried to the Succah.

"And when food less than the size of an egg," etc. But if the size of a whole egg? Then the Succah is needed? Shall we assume that this will be an objection to the teaching of R. Joseph and Abayi (which states above, three eggs, or as much as a young scholar, which is at any rate not less than an egg)? Nay, it may be explained that if it would be of the size of an egg, the legal washing of hands before and benediction after the meal would be needed (but Succah would not be needed).

MISHNA: Fourteen meals must be eaten in the Succah, one in the morning and one at night (of each day of the festival), according to R. Eleazar; but the sages say it is not fixed by law, except that one must eat in the Succah on the first night. R. Eleazar said again: He who has not eaten on the first night can make amends for it by eating in the booth on the last night of the festival; but according to the sages no amends can be made, and they apply it to the verse [Eccl. i. 15]: "What is crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is defective cannot be numbered."

GEMARA: What is the reason of R. Eleazar? Because it is written: "Ye shall dwell." And as in a dwelling it is usually eaten in the morning and in the evening, so must it be done also in the Succah; but according to the sages, it is as a dwelling, where one eats or not, at his pleasure. If it is so, why is he bound to eat the first evening of the festival? Said R. Johanan in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozodok: It is written here in the fifteenth, and about the Passover the word fifteen is written: there is an analogy of expression, as on Passover the first night must Matzah be eaten, and later it is optional, so on the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles it must be eaten in the Succah, and henceforth it is optional. But whence is it known that on Passover it is obligatory? Because it is written [Ex. xii. 18]: "At evening shall ye eat unleavened bread." This verse makes it obligatory.

"R. Eliezer said again," etc. But did not R. Eliezer say that it is obligatory to eat fourteen meals in the Succah: every day one meal in the morning and in the evening? Said Bira in the name of R. Ami: R. Eliezer retracted what he had said. But with what shall he make amends? Shall he eat another meal? A man cannot eat more than he needs. With extra dishes for dessert. We have also learned in a Boraitha, if one makes amends with extra dishes, he has done his duty. The manager of the house of Agrippa the king (επιτροπος) asked R. Eliezer: I, for instance, who eat only one meal in twenty-four hours, may I do so in the Succah--eat one meal and fulfil my duty? And he answered him: Did you not make every day many dishes of delicacies for the sake of yourself, and can you not add one dish for the sake of your Creator? He asked him again: I, for example, who have two wives, one in Tiberia and one in Ziporeth, and have also two booths, one in Tiberia and one in Ziporeth, may I go from one Succah to the other, and my duty shall be fulfilled? And he answered: Nay, because I say who goes from one booth to another abolishes the religious duty he has done in the first.

We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Eliezer said: One must not go out from one Succah to another (to eat in one and sleep in another), and a Succah must not be made in the intermediate days. The sages, however, say: Both may be done. All agree that if the Succah has fallen, he may rebuild it on the intermediate days. What is the reason of R. Eliezer? Because it is written [Deut. xvi. 13]: "Seven days shall ye hold the feast of tabernacles." From this we infer the Succah shall be made to be fit for seven days. The rabbis, however, explained this passage so: On the Feast of the Tabernacles ye shall make a booth (during the whole feast). They all agree that if the Succah falls, it may be rebuilt. Is not this self-evident? We might assume that the second Succah cannot be made for seven days, and therefore shall not be made at all. He comes to teach us that it is not so.

We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Eliezer said: As a man cannot fulful his duty with a Lulab belonging to his neighbor on the first day, as it is written [Lev. xxiii. 40]: "And ye shall take unto yourselves on the first day the fruit of the tree hadar, branches of palm trees," etc.--"unto yourselves," that means, your own, but not those belonging to your neighbor; so also a man cannot fulfil his duty in a Succah belonging to his neighbor, because it is written: "Seven days shalt thou make unto thee the feast of the tabernacles," and we infer from "for thee" it shall be thy own. The sages, however, said: Although it was said that a man cannot fulfil his duty with the Lulab of his neighbor, he may nevertheless do his duty of Succah in the neighbor's Succah, because it is written [ibid.]: "All that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths." From this we learn that all Israelites may sit in one Succah. But how will the sages account for the expression "unto thee"? They say it is to exclude a robbed Succah, but a borrowed Succah may be used.

The rabbis taught: It happened once to R. Ilai that he came to see R. Eliezer his Master in the city of Lud on the festival; and the latter said to him: Ilai, thou art not of those who rest on the festival, because R. Eliezer used to say: I praise the sluggards, who do not go out on the festival from the house, because it is written [Deut. xiv. 26]: "Thou shalt rejoice, thou and thy household." This is not so: did not R. Itz'hak say: Whence do we know that a man must visit his teacher on the festival? Because it is written [II Kings, iv. 23]: "Wherefore art thou going to him to-day? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath?" From this we may infer that on a new moon and a Sabbath it is obligatory to visit one's Master? It presents no difficulty: If one's Master is in the same city, where one can go and return the same day, he must; but not otherwise.

The rabbis taught: It happened once that R. Eliezer took his rest in the booth of Johanan bar Ilai in the city of Kisri, of Upper Galilea, according to others in Kisrion, and the sun reached the Succah. And the host asked R. Eliezer: Shall I spread a sheet on it? And he answered: There was not one tribe of Israel from which a judge did not descend. 1 The sun reached the middle of the Succah, and he asked again: How if I should spread a sheet on it? And he answered: There was not one tribe of Israel from which prophets have not descended, and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin chose kings at the command of the prophets. Finally the sun reached R. Eliezer's feet, and Johanan took a sheet and spread it over the Succah; and R. Eliezer took his garments and shouldered them, and left the booth. This was not because he did not want to teach him the law, but because R. Eliezer never decided a thing which he had not heard from his Master. But how could R. Eliezer do this? Did he not himself declare that a man must not go out from one Succah to another? They answered: That was not on the Feast of Tabernacles at all; it was another festival, and they sat in the Succah only for fresh air. But did not R. Eliezer declare: I praise the sluggards who do not leave on a festival their houses? It was not on a festival; it was an ordinary Sabbath.

The rabbis taught: It happened with R. Eliezer that he took rest in Upper Galilea, and he was asked thirty Halakhoth about the law of Succah. To twelve he answered: So I have heard; and to eighteen he answered: I did not hear them. R. Jose b. R. Jehudah says: On the contrary, to eighteen he answered: I have heard; and to twelve: I have not heard. And they asked him: Are all your decisions only from what you have heard? He answered: You compelled me to tell you one thing which I had not heard from my Masters. That is, never in my life came a man to the house of learning before me and I never slept in the house of learning a long or a short time; I never left a man in the house of learning when I went away, and I never talk about worldly affairs, and I never decided a thing which I had not heard from my Masters.

It was said of R. Johanan b. Zakai: Never in his life did he talk of worldly affairs; he never walked four ells without studying the Law and without tefilin; he was never anticipated by another in turning to the house of learning, and did not sleep in the house of learning even a short time; he did not teach about the Law in dirty alleys; he did not leave a man in the house of learning when he went away; he was never to be found silent, but always studying aloud, and never anybody opened the door for his disciples but himself; he never decided a thing he had not heard from his Master, and he never said it was time to go out of the house of learning except on the eves of Passover and on the eves of the Days of Atonement. And R. Eliezer his disciple conducted himself similarly.

The rabbis taught: Hillel the Elder had eighty disciples: thirty of them were worthy that the Shekhina should rest on them as on Moses our Master; thirty of them were worthy the sun should be stopped for their sake, as it did before Joshua the son of Nun, and twenty were mediocre. The greatest of all the disciples was Jonathan b. Uziel, the least of all was R. Johanan b. Zakai. It was said of the latter, that he did not leave out the Bible, the Mishna, the Gemara, Halakhoth, and Agadoth (legends), the observations of the Bible, observations of the Scribes, lenient ones and vigorous ones, the analogies of expression, equinoxes, geometries, the language of the angels and the language of the evil spirits and the language of the trees, the fables, the great things, the heavenly chariots and small things, the discussions of Abayi and Rabha, to confirm what is written [Prov. viii. 21]: "That I may cause those that love me to inherit a lasting possession and their treasures will I fill." And when the least of all was so, how much the more was the greatest of all. It was said of Jonathan b. Uziel, that when he studied the Law every bird that flew over him was burned.

MISHNA: If the head and greater part of a man's body is in the booth, and his table in the house, Beth Shammai say he has not fulfilled the duty of Succah, but Beth Hillel say he has. Said Beth Hillel to Beth Shammai: Did it not happen that the elders of Beth Shammai and those of Beth Hillel visited R. Johanan b. Hahoronith, and found him sitting with his head and greater part of his body in the booth, and his table was in the house? and they said to him nothing. Beth Shammai replied: Do you adduce this as a proof? They said to him: If such has always been your custom, you have never in your life properly fulfilled the duty of Succah.

Women, slaves, and minors are exempt from the Succah. A boy that needs no longer the nursing of his mother must obey the command of Succah. It happened that the daughter-in-law of Shammai the Elder gave birth to a son on the festival, so he caused the roof to be taken off, and covered it as a Succah for the sake of the infant.

GEMARA: Whence is all this deduced? From what the rabbis taught: The verse could say Ezrah ("an Israelite born"). That would include the women. But it is written Ha'ezrah, "the Israelites born," which means the certain Israelites, and to exclude women. And by the word "all" it is meant to include minors. Shall we assume that the expression "Israelites born" includes women also? Did not we learn in a Boraitha (concerning the Day of Atonement), where it is written, "the Israelite born," which means to include women, for whom it is as obligatory to fast as for males? From this we see that when it is written, "Israelites born," only males are meant? Said Rabha: That is not deduced from the passages, but it is all Sinaic, and the passages were taken as a support. But which passage, and which Sinaic law? And, again, to what purpose was a verse or a Sinaic law needed at all? Is not the Succah a commandment dependent on a certain season, and from all commands depending on certain seasons women are free? This is concerning Succah; and concerning the Day of Atonement this is deduced from what R. Jehudah says in the name of Rabh; and so also taught the disciples of R. Ishmael. It is written [Num. v. 6]: "If any man or woman commit a sin." From this we see that the verse made the man and the woman equal in all penalties of the Torah. Said Abayi: That a woman is exempt from the Succah is a Sinaic law, and nevertheless this support of a verse was needed, because one might say it is written, "Ye shall dwell"; and as in a dwelling are usually a man and wife, we might think that in the Succah there should also be a man and wife, it comes to teach us that it is not so. Rabha said: It is needed lest one say, by an analogy of expression, it is written about Passover on the fifteenth, and here, as on Passover, it is obligatory for women, so it is also on the Feast of Tabernacles, it comes to teach us that it is not so. Now, when you say there is a Sinaic law, why is the passage needed? It comes to include the proselytes; one might say the Israelites born, but not a proselyte, we are taught that they also are included. But the Day of Atonement, that is inferred from the above saying of R. Jehudah in the name of Rabh. Why is the Sinaic law here needed? This is needed for the addition to the Day of Atonement from the preceding day, which is biblical, but has no capital punishment. One might say that because the addition has no punishment, the women are exempt; the Sinaic law comes to say it is not so.

The Master says: All, to include the minors. But have we not learned in our Mishna, that women, slaves, minors, are free from Succah? This presents no difficulty: The Mishna means a case in which the minor is not yet old enough to be trained in a religious duty, and the Boraitha means a case of a minor old enough for that. But in case of a minor who has reached such an age, the duty is only rabbinical? Yea, the passage is taken only as a support.

"A minor that needs not the nursing of his mother." What is meant by this? A minor who can obey the call of nature without the aid of his mother. So said the disciples of R. Yanai. But Resh Lakish said: A child that on awakening does not cry: Mother! mother!

"It happened that the daughter-in-law of Shammai," etc. Is not this act a contradiction to the former teaching? The Mishna is not completed. It must be read so: "And Shammai the Elder is more rigorous, and it happened also that his daughter-in-law gave birth to a son, so he caused the roof to be removed, and covered it as a Succah for the sake of the infant."

MISHNA: During the seven days of the festival one must use the booth as the regular domicile, and the house only as an occasional abode. If it rains, when is he permitted to remove from the Succah? When a mess of porridge has been spoiled. The elders illustrate this by a comparison: What does such a circumstance resemble? As if a servant presented a goblet to his master, who throws a bowl full in his face.

GEMARA: The rabbis taught: All the seven days one must use the booth as one's regular domicile. How so? If he has fine utensils, he shall place them in the Succah; if he has fine bedding, he should transfer it to the Succah; and he should eat, and drink, and walk only in the Succah. Whence is this deduced? From what the rabbis taught: It is written: "Ye shall dwell"; it means, it shall be as a regular dwelling, and from this was deduced that all the seven days one shall make the Succah his regular dwelling, and his house a temporary one. He shall eat, drink, and study in the Succah. Is it so? Did not Rabha say that only to read the Bible and to learn a Mishna one may in the Succah, but study one may not? This presents no difficulty. The Boraitha means to repeat what he had studied already, and Rabha--to study something new, as Rabha and Rami, while studying under R. Hisda, used to repeat his lecture among themselves first, and afterwards tried to find out the reasons of it. Rabha said: The vessels for drinking shall be kept in the Succah; but the vessels for eating, outside. A pitcher of clay, outside of the Succah, a candlestick of clay in the Succah, and according to others, outside, and they do not differ; it means, in a large Succah it may; in a small one, it may not, because it is dangerous.

"If it rains." We have learned in a Boraitha: When a mess of gris is spoiled (which is spoiled easily).

Abayi was sitting in the presence of R. Joseph in the Succah, and a wind blew the chips from the covering into the dish, and R. Joseph said: Take off the dishes, and we will go out. Said Abayi to him: Have we not learned in the Mishna: Till the porridge is spoiled? And he answered: As I am delicate, the chips do me as great harm.

The rabbis taught: If one ate in the Succah and rain fell, and he went away and took his meal in the house, when it clears again we do not trouble him to interrupt his meal, and to go back to the Succah. If he was sleeping in the Succah and it rained, and he went away to sleep in the house, he is not aroused when it clears again, till the next morning.

"What does such a circumstance resemble?" The schoolmen asked: What is meant by this? Come and hear. We have learned in a Boraitha: As if the master threw the pitcher into the servant's face, and said to him: I do not want your service more.

The rabbis taught: An eclipse of the sun is an ill omen to the whole world. What does this resemble? A human king making a banquet for his servants, and placing a great lantern before them, when he gets angry he says to his servant: Take away the light, let them sit in the dark.

We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Meir said: When the sun and the moon are eclipsed, it is a bad sign to the enemies of the Israelites (meaning, the Israelites themselves), because they are used to troubles: it is equal to the teacher's coming to the school with his whip in his hand. Who is more afraid? The child used to being beaten. This is the case when Israel do not do the will of the Creator; but when they do, they need not fear anything, as it is written [Jeremiah, x. 82]: "Thus hath said the Lord: Do not habituate yourselves in the way of the nations, and at the signs of the heavens be ye not dismayed; although the nations should be dismayed at them."

The rabbis taught: On account of the following four things the sun becomes eclipsed: When a chief judge dies, and is not lamented becomingly; when a betrothed virgin calls for help in the town, and is not aided; unnatural vice; when two brothers are killed on the same day; and on account of the following four things both the sun and the moon are eclipsed: Forgery, false witness, when fruit-bearing trees are cut out, and when sheep and goats are kept in Palestine. On account of four things the property of householders is transferred (confiscated) to the government: When paid notes are kept; usury; and when men had the power to prevent, but would not; and when charity was promised to the people, and was not given. Rabh said: For four things the property of householders becomes annihilated: When they keep workers, and do not pay them in time; for robbing them; when the strangers free themselves from the yokes on their necks and put them on their neighbors' necks; and for arrogance. And arrogance is the worst of all. But of those who are modest is written [Ps. xxxvii. 11]: "But the meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves because of the abundance of peace."


27:1 This expression has the same meaning as gad achith, explained in Erubin, p. 6, and means, if the twig was a span at the top, it is considered whether the top lies over the empty place. And Rashi explains this, that the twigs were not lying but standing upright, and therefore the top when wide a span is considered to be lying.

28:1 Two coins, the first a one, the second very large.

35:1 Rashi explains this as follows: The Judges of the Book of Judges, i.e., the Rulers of Israel since Joshua's death to the prophet Samuel: From the tribe Ephraim was Joshua; from Benjamin, Ehud; Manasseh, Gideon--that is, from the children of Rachel. Samson was of Dan, Barak of Kaddesh was of Naphtali--Bilha's children. Ibzan, or Boaz, from Judah; Eli of Levi, Tola from Issachar, Elun from Zebulun; Othniel, Jephthah, Shamgar, Abdan--it is not known of what tribes they were descended. From the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Gad, and Asher, I have not found, says Rashi, explicitly that judges were descended from them. But it may be the Judges whose tribes were not named were traditionally said to be of those.

Sources: Sacred Texts