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Tosafos Sukkah 46B talks of the rabbis making a decree that one cannot eat the esrog.

Tosfos says that in Eretz Yisrael, the decree is not made on account of the sukkah. Whereas in the diaspora, the decree is made on account of the sukkah.

(i.e. and it doesn't say for the sake of sukkot, it says for the sake of the sukkah)

The question is, what does for the sake of the sukkah, or on account of the sukkah, mean?

The Gemara (Succah 46b towards the bottom (pdf)) is discussing the permissibility of eating an etrog that has been used for its mitzvah.

Here's the Tosafot.

Here's a translation: provided by Seth.

The 8th (day of Sukkot, which is) a doubtful 7th (day of Sukkot), it is forbidden (to eat the etrog). In the Land of Israel, which lacks a doubt, it is not decreed for the sake of the sukkah, but in Babylonia, which has a doubt, even though one does not bless on it, it is decreed for the sake of the sukkah.

Tosafot finishes by saying: (translation from Seth)

But the 9th (which is) a doubtful 8th (day, ie., Shmini Atzeret), it is not decreed for the sake of the sukkah.

Also, a useful factoid, somebody mentioned that the ritva had a different girsa that rejected this tosfos.

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tosfosinenglish.com/asp or tosfos.com –  Seth J May 22 '13 at 13:40
−1. –  msh210 May 22 '13 at 17:06
In my edit I tried to provide background on the question, as well as a translation, and to boil down the question to its basic point. Please ping me (@SethJ) and leave a comment, or just rollback, if I've misunderstood your intent. –  Seth J May 22 '13 at 17:55
@SethJ ok.. thanks, but Why would whether you eat the etrog or not, cause one to "make a mistake with regard to sukkah"? (also, I recall somebody made a comment about the ritva having a different girsa and rejecting that tosfot, a nice factoid, but that comment has gone, or maybe you edited your answer into my question and the guy's comment went with it I don't know?) either way fine, but wondering how eating the esrog or not causes a mistake re the sukkah. And what mistake it means exactly. –  smu May 22 '13 at 18:46
@smu that's what the Gemara is talking about as being Asur. Tos just says Asur. I was filling in the blanks. –  Seth J May 23 '13 at 1:12
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2 Answers 2

Here's the text of that Tosafos (s.v. שמיני ספק שביעי אסור):

שמיני ספק שביעי אסור'. בארץ ישראל דליכא ספיק' לא גזור אטו סוכה אבל בבבל דאיכא ספיקא אע"ג דלא מברך ביה גזור אטו סוכה אבל תשיעי ספק שמיני לא גזור אתרוג אטו סוכה

Translation (my clarifications are in brackets):

Excerpt from the Talmud: "On the eighth, which might actually be the seventh, it is forbidden [eat the esrog, since it is muktza]."

Commentary: In Israel, where there is no doubt as to the correct day, the Rabbis did not decree to forbid eating the esrog on account of the sukka [which remains muktza on the eighth day due to the fact that people might continue their meals in the sukka into bein hash'mashos (see earlier on 46b)].

In Babylonia, however, where there is a doubt as to the correct day, even though we don't go so far as to make a blessing [upon eating in the sukka], the Rabbis decreed to forbid [eating the esrog] on account of the sukka [which is not simply muktza due to the fact that people might continue their meals into the eighth day, but is rather muktza for the stronger reason that the eighth day is considered a possible seventh day and people therefore eat in the sukka on the eighth day to fulfill a mitzva misafeik].

Nevertheless, on the ninth day which [in Babylonia] might actually be the eighth day, the Rabbi's did not decree to forbid [eating the esrog] on account of the sukka [which, similar to Israel on the eighth day, is only muktza due to the fact that people might continue their meals in the sukka into bein hash'mashos of the next day].

See Sukka (10a-b), which describes that the fruits which are decoratively hung in the sukka and which become muktza like the sukka since those decorations become an ancillary part of the it. Apparently, the Ba'alei HaTosafos interpret the Talmud as being concerned that if people are allowed to eat esrogim, they might also eat the sukka decorations. When the only reason that the decorations are muktza is מיגו דאתקצאי לבין השמשות אתקצאי לכולי יומא דשמיני, however, the Rabbis did not go out of their way to make a special decree forbidding eating esrogim.

Note that Tosafos disagree with Rashi's1 apparent position (46b, s.v. אתרוג אפילו בשמיני אסורה) that the reason to forbid eating the esrog is because the rule of מיגו דאתקצאי לבין השמשות אתקצאי לכולי יומא דשמיני directly applies to esrogim. The basis for rejecting Rashi's position is described in an earlier Tosafos (10b, s.v. עד מוצאי י"ט האחרון של חג).

1 Rashi there is commenting directly on Levi's position, which seems to be that even in Israel one may not eat esrogim on the eighth day. Although this is not the same as Abaye's position that one may not eat esrogim in the Diaspora on the eighth day, Rashi's interpretation applies to Abaye as well; since it might be possible to fulfill a mitzva with the esrog even during bein hash'mashos after the seventh day, מיגו דאתקצאי לבין השמשות אתקצאי לכולי יומא דשמיני. However, since we do not take the arba minim on the eighth day even in the diaspora, it cannot acquire an additional muktza status during bein hash'mashos after the eighth day that would carry into the ninth day.

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a really basic question here, related to the paragraph following the word "Commentary". When you/tosfos say muktza do you mean it's forbidden to touch the esrog? or it's forbidden to touch the succah? for simplicity's sake, let's suppose we're in israel so there's no doubt re the day. Muktza's about on shabbat, not touching things on shabbos that you can't use isn't it? and I suppose applies to yomtov days of a festival too.. and where does a meal fit into this? –  smu May 23 '13 at 6:59
@smu The esrog is muktza machmas mitzva, so on Shmini Atzeres you wouldn't be able to use if for its primary purpose (i.e. eating it). Tosafos discusses the decree upon esrog on account of sukka on 10b, in the context of the muktza edible fruits hanging as sukka decorations. –  Fred May 23 '13 at 15:00
You refer to sukkos 10B. This link has it in English which I can read halakhah.com/pdf/moed/Sukkah.pdf but I don't see any discussion there about the fruits in the sukkah. I guess it's only in the Tosfos on that page. Since you refer to rashi and tosfos 10b in your answer, Are you able to translate or summarise the relevant tosfot on sukkos 10b alongside the relevant hebrew? hebrewbooks.org/… (the hebrew can be copy/pasted) –  smu May 25 '13 at 22:03
I get the idea though, you sit in the sukkah in babylon, the fruits decorating the succah have a ritual purpose decorating the succah, the decorative fruits serve their ritual purpose throughout the day and can't be eaten. If somebody eats an esrog after ritual use(like resh lakish might 46B!) then, you say somebody may think to eat the fruit on that 8th day, and in babylon that's not allowed, so in babylon they decreed not to eat the esrog. –  smu May 25 '13 at 22:20
also, how did tosfos know what was decreed in babylon, if they were in france and germany? –  smu May 25 '13 at 22:28
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An attempt at an answer

Tosfos is commenting on what Abaye says, so one must look at what he says.

Note- it may be a bit more complex than this. like tosfos may be commenting on rashi, and tosfos and rashi may differ. With tosfos taking Abaye's position and Rashi taking Levi's position(as fred might suggest). But i'm answering based on what I have translations of.

Here is a quote from the gemara of 46B, from Abaye.

Below they are talking about Israel. The Esrog is permitted to be eaten on the 8th day.

Said R. Papa to Abaye, What, according to R. Johanan, is the essential difference between the Sukkah and the ethrog?24 — The other answered him, The Sukkah which is fit to be used at twilight [after the seventh day], for were he perchance to have a meal at that time he would be expected to sit therein and eat there, is set aside for its ritual purpose during the twilight, and since it is set aside during twilight, it is also set aside for the whole of the eighth day; the ethrog, however, which is not suitable during twilight,25 is not set aside for its ritual purpose during twilight, hence it is not set aside for the purpose for the whole of the eighth day.

Below Abaye is talking about the Diaspora

And as for us, who42 keep two days [of the Festival] how are we to proceed?43 — Abaye replied, On the eighth day which may be the seventh,it44 is forbidden;45 on the ninth day which may be the eighth, it is permitted.

By understanding what Abaye is saying, we can make sense of the Tosfos provided by Seth.

The only reason why, in Israel, the Sukkah is forbidden to be used as fuel on the 8th day, is because it is used at twilight which is into the beginning of the 8th day, and gets set aside for the whole of the 8th day. Whereas the Esrog is not being ritually used at the beginning of the 8th day, and therefore is not set aside for the whole of the 8th day.

In the diaspora, the 8th may be the 7th, and so the esrog is ritually used on the 7th and thus set aside for the whole of the 7th. So on the 8th that may be the 7th, you don't want to be eating the esrog. (One could say, but the Esrog isn't ritually used on the 8th, so why should it be set aside on the 8th. I suppose it's still set aside on the 8th, as one can set it aside without offending/detracting from Shmini Atzeret, and thus one still can't eat it on the 8th - that would offend/detract from the sfak Succot).

So when Tosfos says "on account of the succah" it means sitting in the succah at twilight.

The Tosfos still doesn't entirely make sense, because Abaye explains perfectly well that he decrees that we can eat the esrog on the 8th day in Israel, and we can't eat the esrog on the 8th day in the diaspora, and it's nothing to do with sitting in the succah at twilight.

Abaye only brings up about sitting in the succah at twilight, to show why in Israel on the 8th day it's forbidden to use the succah as fuel, even though it's permitted to eat the esrog. It's strange that Tosfos makes a connection.

The Tosfos is only explaining Abaye's ruling, and somebody commented that the Ritva has a different Girsa that rejected this Tosfos.

One answer suggested that "on account of sukkah" meant that if we eat the esrog we may accidentally eat a succah decoration, but that is very speculative, and reading a lot in.

Since this Tosfos is just trying to explain Abaye's position, and Abaye's position is I'd say "on account of sukkah" means what Abaye was talking about - sitting in the sukkah at twilight. There are some potentially useful comments on that answer though.

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