THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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SUKAH 21-25 - my brother Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored one month of
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1) "CHAVOT RAMI"
OPINIONS: In the case of a Sukah which has two layers of Sechach, a lower
level and an upper level, the boards of which cover alternating areas, Abaye
says that the Sukah is only valid if the lower and upper boards and not more
than three Tefachim away from each other (and thus "Lavud" makes them into
one full, flat roof). If they are more than three Tefachim away from each
other, Abaye says that the Sukah is Pasul. Rava, though, argues and says
that the Sukah is valid because of the principle of "Chavot Rami" -- the
upper boards are considered to descend to the space between the lower
boards, completing the roof of the Sukah. The Halachah follows the opinion
of Rava, and "Chavot Rami" makes the Sukah valid.
The Gemara qualifies the principle of "Chavot Rami" and says that it works
only when the width of each board in the upper level is at least one Tefach.
The Rishonim argue whether this is the only requirement, or if there are
other conditions that are necessary in order to apply the principle of
(a) RASHI (end of DH v'Tani Alah) and TOSFOS (DH Koros) imply that this is
the only requirement; as long as the upper board has a width of one Tefach,
they are viewed as filling in the spaces below and making a complete roof.
The width of the space below them, between the lower boards, is immaterial.
(See CHIDUSHEI ANSHEI SHEM on the Rif, and the BACH OC 631.)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 631:5) rules like the Rambam (c), and the
REMA rules like the Ran (b).
(b) The RAN and RITVA add a second requirement. The space between the lower
boards must also be at least one Tefach wide. If the spaces below are less
than one Tefach wide, "Chavot Rami" does not apply. This is learned from the
Mishnah in Ohalos quoted by the Gemara, which says that between the lower
boards there must be at least one Tefach in order for "Chavot Rami" to work.
(Rashi and Tosfos, on the other hand, learn that the reason the Mishnah
there says that there must be a Tefach between the lower boards is merely
because it already stated that the width of the upper boards must be equal
to the space below them, and since it is necessary to have a Tefach in the
upper boards, it expresses this by saying that the space below them is one
Tefach wide. But even if the upper boards are one Tefach wide and the spaces
below are not, "Chavot Rami" still applies.)
(c) The RITVA cites a third opinion that maintains that the spaces between
the boards on the bottom row must not only be one Tefach wide, but they must
be wide enough to contain the boards on top (that is, if the boards on top
are two Tefachim, the spaces below must also be two Tefachim). Although the
Ritva rejects this opinion, the PISKEI RID rules like this opinion, and this
is also the ruling of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Sukah 5:21) according to the KESEF
2) MEASURING THE SHADE OF A SUKAH
QUESTION: The Gemara asks that our Mishnah (22a) and the first Mishnah in
the Maseches (2a) contradict each other. Our Mishnah states that when the
shade in the Sukah is more than the sunlight, the Sukah is valid, which
implies that if there is an equal amount of shade as sunlight, the Sukah is
Pasul. The first Mishnah, though, says that when the sunlight in the Sukah
is more than the shade, the Sukah is Pasul, which implies that if they are
equal, the Sukah is valid!
The Gemara answers that one Mishnah is referring to "on top" and the other
is referring to "on bottom." RASHI explains as follows. Sunlight spreads in
the Sukah as it gets farther away from the Sechach. Our Mishnah, which
implies that a Sukah with equal amounts of shade and sunlight is Pasul, is
referring to the level of the Sechach itself; it means that when there is an
equal amount of Sechach as there is open space, the Sukah is Pasul. Rashi
explains that it is Pasul because when the sunlight reaches the floor of the
Sukah, there is more sunlight than shade.
Rashi's words are difficult to understand. Why does Rashi say that the Sukah
is Pasul because there is more sunlight than shade at the floor of the
Sukah? He should say that it is Pasul simply because at the *top* of the
Sukah, there is not more Sechach than open space, and thus the open space is
not Batel to the Sechach (see Rashi beginning of 2a)! Why does Rashi say
that it depends on how much light there is at the bottom of the Sukah?
It must be that Rashi is following the opinion of Rav Papa who holds (15a)
that Parutz k'Omed (equal amounts of Sechach and open space) is valid.
Therefore, Rashi needs to give another reason why a Sukah with equal amounts
of Sechach and open space is *Pasul*, and so he says that there is more
sunlight than shade at the bottom of the Sukah.
We thus see from Rashi that (1) if the shade and the sunlight are equal the
Sukah is valid, and (2) that we measure the amount of shade and sunlight
that the Sukah produces by how much shade appears on the *floor* of the
Rashi, however, contradicts these points in his next words. Rashi explains
that when the Mishnah at the beginning of the Maseches implies that when
there are equal amounts of shade and sunlight, the Sukah is valid, it is
referring to when the shade and sunlight are equal on the *floor* of the
Sukah, because that indicates that there is *more* shade than sunlight at
the *top* of the Sukah, at the level of the Sechach. Rashi is now saying
that it depends how much shade is created at the *top* of the Sukah! Rashi
should have said that the Sukah is valid because we measure the amount of
shade on the floor of the Sukah, and since we rule that Parutz k'Omed is
valid, the Sukah is valid because there is an equal amount of shade as
sunlight! Instead, Rashi implies now that we measure the shade on top, and
not on bottom! Furthermore, he implies that there must be a *majority* of
shade (on top) and not equal amounts. Rashi contradicts himself in two
(a) The RASHASH, based on the RAN, answers that Rashi is purposely
contradicting himself. Rashi is explaining the two Mishnayos according to
two different opinions. First, Rashi explains that even according to Rav
Papa, who says that Parutz k'Omed is valid, the Sukah that has equal amounts
of Sechach and open space on top will be Pasul because we measure the amount
of shade on bottom, and there is less shade than sunlight. According to Rav
Papa's opinion, it is obvious why the Sukah is valid if there is an *equal*
amount of shade and sunlight on bottom, for Parutz k'Omed is valid.
Next, Rashi explains that the implication of the first Mishnah -- that when
there is an equal amount of shade as sunlight on the bottom of the Sukah --
holds true even according to Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua, who says that
Parutz k'Omed is Pasul. According to his opinion, we must say that the shade
is measured at the *top* of the Sukah, and not on the floor, and that is why
the Sukah is valid even when there is an equal amount of shade an sunlight
on the floor -- because we can assume that there is *more* shade than
sunlight at the level of the Sechach. Thus, the first half of Rashi is
working out our Mishnah according to Rav Papa, and the second half of Rashi
is working out the first Mishnah according to Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua.
However, we find that the TUR (OC 631) makes a statement similar to that of
Rashi. The Tur, though, is telling us the Halachah, and is not explaining to
us the meaning of the Gemara's answer. Why, then, should he be explaining
both opinions? Since the Tur rules like Rav Papa, that Parutz k'Omed is
valid (OC 628 and later in 631), he should have explained the Halachah only
according to Rav Papa!
(b) It appears that Rashi and the Tur hold like the ROSH. The ROSH (2:3)
writes that the argument of Parutz k'Omed applies only in a case when there
is half valid Sechach and half invalid Sechach. In the case of half valid
Sechach and half open space, the issue of Parutz k'Omed does not apply,
because there is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai which requires that there be a
*majority of shade* in the Sukah. (Similarly, the principle of "Lavud,"
which normally enables us to view an open space as closed, does not work to
validate the Sukah when there is more sunlight than shade). What, then, does
Rashi mean when he says that the Sukah that has an equal amount of Sechach
as open space is Pasul because it has more sunlight on bottom? He should
have said that it is Pasul because it is equal on top!
The answer is that when we measure the amount of shade in the Sukah, we look
for the total amount of shade that is cast from the top of the Sukah until
the floor. Therefore, just looking at the Sechach alone, or at the floor
alone, is not enough. Rashi says that if, at the level of the Sechach, the
shade and sunlight are equal, then we know that by the time they reach the
ground, there is more sunlight than shade, and thus the entire Sukah (from
top to bottom) has more sunlight than shade. On the other hand, if, at the
floor of the Sukah, the shade and sunlight are equal, then we know that at
the top of the Sukah, there is more shade than sunlight coming in. Although
the shade diminishes as it comes closer to the floor, since at the floor
they are equal, when we take into consideration the entire amount of shade
throughout the height of the Sukah, we know that there is more shade than
sunlight. (M. Kornfeld)