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Sukah 45

SUKA 36-56 (End of Maseches) have been dedicated by the wife and daughters of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will long be remembered.


AGADAH: The Mishnah states that at the end of the festival, when the people took leave of the Beis ha'Mikdash, they declared, "Yofi Lecha, Mizbe'ach! Yofi Lecha, Mizbe'ach!" -- "Beauty is yours, Mizbe'ach! Beauty is yours, Mizbe'ach!"

RAV REUVEN MARGOLIOS (end of NITZOTZEI OR) explains that the meaning of this can be found by understanding the meaning of the "Hadran" that is said at the completion of learning a Maseches. Some Acharonim (Sefer ha'Chayim, ch. 3) explain that the words "Hadran Alach" mean more than "we shall return to (review) you." "Hadran Alach" also means that our Hadar, or our splendor, comes from you. When we complete a Maseches, we declare that we have gained splendor through finishing the Maseches due to the splendor of the Torah that Hashem instilled in that Maseches.

Likewise, when the people completed the Avodah on Sukos, which was filled with exhilarating Simchah and splendor, they would declare that they have gained splendor through honoring the Mizbe'ach (and the Korbanos brought upon it) with which Hashem atones for our sins.

Rav Margolios points out further that in Rosh Hashanah (31a), the Gemara discusses the way to divide the Aliyos of the Torah reading of Parshas Ha'azinu. The Gemara gives a mnemonic which is comprised of the letters of the beginning of each paragraph in the Parshah, "ha'Ziv Lach" (H, Z, Y, V, L, CH). The division of the final reading of the Torah into these paragraphs, which form a mnemonic of "ha'Ziv Lach," alludes to our desire to declare as we finish the Torah, "ha'Ziv Lach!" -- "the splendor is yours," just as we declare upon the conclusion of a Maseches. With this we acknowledge that we have gained splendor through reading the Torah due to the splendor of the Torah!


QUESTION: Raban Shimon bar Yochai bemoaned the small number of "Bnei Aliyah," people truly dedicated to the service of Hashem who achieve closeness with Him. The Gemara questions his statement from a verse in Yechezkel (48:35) which implies that there are myriads of Bnei Aliyah. The Gemara answers that Raban Shimon bar Yochai was referring only to those who are able to peer through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" -- those who perceive the Divine with intense clarity.

The Gemara then asks that there are still 36 people, as implied in a verse in Yeshayah (30:18), who greet the presence of Hashem every day through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah." The Gemara answers that those are the people "who go up only with permission," while Raban Shimon bar Yochai was referring to those who do not need permission (Rashi).

How can the Gemara claim that so many people are able to peer through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" and get a lucid vision of the Divine? Were we not taught that only Moshe Rabeinu was able to peer through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah," while all over prophets were able to see only through an "Ispaklarya sh'Einah Me'irah," with a clouded vision (Yevamos 49b)! How can the Gemara say that there are 36 people in the world in every generation who see the Divine through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah?" (MAHARSHA)


(a) The MAHARSHA answers that the Midrash only says that no other prophet *prophesized* with the clarity of the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah." What about Talmidei Chachamim who achieved closeness with Hashem through learning Torah? The Gemara (Bava Basra 12a) says that "Chacham Adif mi'Navi" -- a Torah sage is on a higher level than a prophet. As such, there are Talmidei Chachamim who perceive Hashem with great clarity through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" as a result of their Torah learning.

(b) The IYUN YAKOV, CHIDA in Pesach Einayim and SEFAS EMES answer that our Gemara means that these Tzadikim saw Hashem through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" *after* their deaths, for "greater is the Tzadik in his death more than in his lifetime" (Chulin 7b).

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