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SUKA 42 (42nd of Omer/27 Iyar) - Dedicated by Gitle Bekelnitzky in honor of
the 1st yahrzeit of her father, Zev ben Ephraim v'Chaya Krause.
1) A CHILD'S OBLIGATION IN THE MITZVAH OF LULAV
QUESTION: The Gemara rules that a Katan (minor) who knows how to shake the
Lulav properly is obligated to observe the Mitzvah of Lulav. However, the
Gemara earlier on this Amud teaches that by merely picking up the Lulav one
fulfills the Mitzvah. If so, why must a Katan be able to *shake* the Lulav
in order to be obligated in the Mitzvah of Lulav?
(a) The CHASAM SOFER (Chidushim on Lulav Hagazul) proposes that shaking the
Lulav is a Mitzvah mid'Oraisa, learned from a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai. (As
the Mishnah says, the Torah requires a 4-Tefach Lulav so that it should
protrude from the Hadas and Aravah one Tefach "in order to shake it.")
Although the Gemara says (on top of this page) that as soon as one picks up
the Lulav he has fulfilled the Mitzvah mid'Oraisa, that is only if he is at
least *fit* to shake the Lulav. A young child or sick person who is not
physically able to shake the Lulav, though, cannot be Yotzei the Mitzvah,
since "Kol she'Eino Ra'uy l'Bilah, Bilah Me'akeves." (This is, of course, a
(b) RABEINU MANOACH (Hilchos Shevisas Asor 2:10) writes that the Rabanan
instituted an obligation for a Katan to perform a Mitzvah for Chinuch
purposes only if the Mitzvah is being performed completely in accordance
with the way it would be performed by an adult; anything less is not
considered Chinuch. (See also BRISKER RAV, Erchin 2a, who reaches the same
Perhaps we can add that the reason for this is because a Katan is required
to perform Mitzvos in order that he learn how to fulfill the Mitzvos when he
becomes an adult. Training him to perform only part of the details of the
Mitzvah will not achieve this goal; to the contrary -- "Shabeshta, Keivan
d'Al, Al" (once a person learns a mistake, the mistake stays with him;
Pesachim 112a and Bava Basra 21a). Therefore, the Rabanan only obligated a
Katan to fulfill the Mitzvah of Lulav if he is able to shake the Lulav
2) THE MITZVAH OF LULAV OUTSIDE OF THE "MIKDASH"
OPINIONS: We learned earlier (29b) that there is a difference between the
first day of Sukos and the other six days with regard to the Mitzvah of
Lulav. On the first day of Sukos, the Mitzvah is mid'Oraisa. On the other
six days of Sukos, in all areas of the "Medinah" and "Gevulin" (outside of
the Beis ha'Mikdash), the Mitzvah is mid'Rabanan, as the Mishnah states
earlier (41a). The Gemara once again raises this point in its discussion of
when and where the Lulav may be taken on Shabbos.
When the Mishnah and Gemara refer to the "Medinah" or the "Gevulin," where
the Mitzvah of Lulav is mid'Oraisa only on the first day of Sukos, to what
areas do they refer?
(a) RASHI (41a, DH b'Medinah) explains that "Medinah" refers to any part of
Eretz Yisrael outside of the Mikdash, including the city of Yerushalayim.
Only in the Mikdash itself is the Mitzvah mid'Oraisa all seven days. Even
though the words "Medinah" and "Gevulin" imply places that are far away,
here it refers to any place outside of the Mikdash.
(b) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos 3:10, Ma'aser Sheni 3:4, Shekalim 1:3,
Rosh ha'Shanah 4:1) says that "Medinah" refers to all of Eretz Yisrael
outside of Yerushalayim. Yerushalayim itself, though, is included in
"Mikdash," and thus in Yerushalayim the Mitzvah of Lulav is mid'Oraisa for
all seven days in Yerushalayim. This also appears to be the opinion of
RABEINU CHANANEL (44a, "b'Gevulin *Zulas Yerushalayim*").
The ARUCH LA'NER (41a, 43a; BIKUREI YAKOV OC 658) writes that nowadays, if a
person finds himself during Sukos in the area of Yerushalayim which had
Kedushas Yerushalayim, according to the Rambam when he holds his Lulav, he
is fulfilling the Mitzvah d'Oraisa on all seven days. This carries with it a
Chumra, though -- one will have to be Machmir with regard to all of the
Pesulim which normally apply only on the first day (such as "Lachem" -- he
must own the Lulav and it may not be borrowed -- and "Chaser"), since those
Pesulim apply all seven days mid'Oraisa in the "Mikdash" (according to Rashi
and Tosfos on 29b, see Insights there). The Acharonim discuss whether a
person is obligated to go to Yerushalayim in order to fulfill a Mitzvah
d'Oraisa with the Lulav, or not (see MIKRA'EI KODESH, Sukos vol. 2 p. 60 and
on; MOADIM U'ZEMANIM end of eighth vol.).
The OR SAME'ACH (in his Chidushim to Sukah 42b) strongly opposes this view.
He argues that now, when there is no Beis ha'Mikdash, Yerushalayim does not
retain its Kedushah with regard to Lulav even according to the Rambam. The
Rambam only means that *when the Beis ha'Mikdash was standing* there was a
Mitzvah d'Oraisa in the rest of Yerushalayim. Otherwise, why did Rebbi
Yochanan ben Zakai feel it necessary to make a "Zecher l'Mikdash,"
instituting that even nowadays one should take the Lulav seven days
everywhere? The Mitzvah does not need a "Zecher" if it remains a Mitzvah
even today in the city of Yerushalayim (i.e. the "Mikdash"), where the Lulav
is taken all seven days! (Or, in other words, what does taking the Lulav
seven days have to do with the Mikdash? If it is a Mitzvah that applies in
Yerushalayim even when there is no Mikdash, then it is not Mikdash related,
and instituting it throughout the Diaspora in no way commemorates the
*Mikdash*.) The Or Same'ach brings other proofs to his conjecture as well.
It may be added that in Mishneh Torah, the Rambam makes no mention of the
opinion that he expresses in Perush ha'Mishnayos, that Yerushalayim is
included in "Mikdash" as far as Netilas Lulav. Therefore, l'Halachah a
person may be lenient and take a Lulav that does not fulfill the requirement
of "Lachem" during the last six days of Sukos in all parts of Yerushalayim.