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Sukah 6


OPINIONS: Rebbi Yitzchak says that mid'Oraisa, if the majority of a person's body is covered by an intervening substance, and that person would prefer that the substance would not be on him or her, it serves as a Chatzitzah and invalidates the person's Tevilah. If the substance covers only a small part of the person, or if it covers most of the person but the person does not care about it, then mid'Oraisa the Tevilah is valid. The Rabanan, though, decreed that in all of these cases the Tevilah is invalid.

To what kind of Chatzitzah is the Gemara referring?

(a) RASHI (DH Rubo) explains that the Torah law refers only to one's *hair*. That is, if most of one's *hair* has an intervening substance which disturbs the person, then mid'Oraisa the Tevilah is invalid. Tosfos takes this to mean that if the intervening substance is on one's *body*, even if it covers only a small part of the body the Tevilah is invalid mid'Oraisa. (The SEFAS EMES, in order to answer questions that Tosfos poses on this opinion, adds that if the intervening substance covers only a small part of the body it will be a Chatzitzah mid'Oraisa only if the person prefers that the substance would not be on him, i.e., the person is "Makpid.")

(b) TOSFOS (DH Davar Torah) and other Rishonim disagree and explain that the Torah law refers to most of one's *body*. Thus, only if a majority of one's body is covered by the intervening substance will the Tevilah be invalid mid'Oraisa. Even if it covers *all* of one's hair, the Tevilah is valid mid'Oraisa.

(c) The RITVA explains that perhaps Rashi agrees with Tosfos, that "Rubo" applies to the body as well. Rashi, however, means to rule in accordance with the Ge'onim (cited by the Rambam, Hil. Mikva'os 2:15 -- who disagrees with their ruling). The Ge'onim maintain that we measure the proportion of the hair that is covered and the proportion of the body that is covered individually. If most of the hair is covered, even though the rest of the body is not it will still be considered a Chatzitzah mid'Oraisa. (The SEFAS EMES asserts that *all* of the [clumps of] bodily hair is taken into account when measuring whether "most of the hair" is covered according to the Ge'onim, and not just the hair on top of the head or the facial hair.)

The SEFAS EMES points out that Rashi might have come to this conclusion based on Rav's wording. If Rav meant that only the *size* of the Chatzitzah is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, why did he say that "Chatzitzin" themselves are Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai? According to the Ge'onim, Rav meant that indeed the Chatzitzin themselves are Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, in the case of hair. The Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai teaches that a Chatzitzah that affects the hair alone is also considered to be a Chatzitzah.

QUESTION: The Tana Kama and Rebbi Shimon argue in a Beraisa whether a Sukah consists of two full walls and a third Tefach long wall (Tana Kama), or *three* full walls and a fourth Tefach long wall (Rebbi Shimon). In one suggestion, the Gemara proposes that they both hold "Yesh Em l'Mikra," in which case the Torah mentions Sukah six times (i.e., three times in plural). The Gemara appears to assume that two of the times (i.e., one full word "ba'Sukos") are necessary 'l'Gufei," for the simple meaning of the verse, as was suggested earlier in the Sugya, leaving only four more "Sukos" (MAHARAM; RAN Sanhedrin 4a). The Tana Kama and Rebbi Shimon argue whether one of these four verses must be used to teach that Sechach is necessary leaving only three verses for walls, or whether the verses all refer to the number of walls, disregarding the Sechach.

Rashi (DH Sechachah) explains the reason why Rebbi Shimon holds that the verses all refer to the number of walls and do not discuss the Sechach. It is not necessary to tell us that a Sukah must have Sechach on it, Rashi explains, for without Sechach it is not called a Sukah! Therefore, the verse that came "l'Gufei" already taught us that there must be Sechach.

What, then, is the view of the Tana Kama? Rebbi Shimon is certainly correct; the word Sukah which was used for its simple meaning already included the necessity of Sechach, for without neither Sechach nor walls it certainly could not be called a Sukah! Why is it necessary to write Sukah again to teach that there must be Sechach on top?


(a) The Aruch La'ner cites a RAN in Sanhedrin (4a) who asks this question. The Ran answers that we indeed would have known that a Sukah must have Sechach even without the extra verse, according to the Rabanan. However, the extra verse teaches us that the Sechach has Halachic requirements that it must fulfill. For instance, it must be "Ta'aseh v'Lo Min ha'Asuy," it must not be made with objects that are able to be Mekabel Tum'ah etc.

(b) The ARUCH LA'NER himself suggests that the Rabanan do not use one "ba'Sukos" for its simple meaning, l'Gufei. Rather, they use all six to refer to the walls and the Sechach; three for the walls, and *three* for the Sechach. Why three for the Sechach? To show that each of the three walls must rise until it *meets* the Sechach, without leaving a three Tefach or more gap between the wall and the Sechach (see Sukah 7b, Tosfos DH v'Im).

(c) Perhaps it is not necessary to repeat the word "Sukah" to teach that Sechach is necessary. However, when we learn the number of walls from the number of times the word Sukah is repeated, the Tana Kama holds that it is natural for the count to include the *total number* of walls and Sechach, since the Sechach and the walls together make up the Sukah. Thus, since the Torah is counting the total of Sechach plus walls, we only see a need for three walls -- the fourth word "Sukah" refers to Sechach, which we already know from the Sukah that was written "l'Gufei," and not to new walls. Rebbi Shimon, on the other hand, holds that the four walls are a complete unit unto themselves. The Sechach need not be included in the count since it serves a different purpose. (M. Kornfeld)


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