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In Shulchan Aruch O.C. 624:5, R. Moses Isserles states:

והמדקדקים מתחילים מיד במוצאי י"כ בעשיית הסוכה כדי לצאת ממצוה אל מצוה

And the careful ones begin making the succah immediately at the termination of Yom Kippur, so as to go from one mitzvah to another mitzvah.

In O.C. 625:1 (the very next se'if) he writes:

ומצוה לתקן הסוכה מיד לאחר יום כפור דמצוה הבאה לידו אל יחמיצנה

And it is a mitzvah to fix the succah immediately after Yom Kippur, because a mitzvah that comes to his hand he should not let go stale.

This seems to simply be a restatement of what was just said earlier, albeit worded differently. Why does R. Isserles need to repeat the same law twice in a row?

I am aware that R. Israel Meir Kagan addressed this in his commentary thereto (Mishnah Berurah 625:2):

אף דכבר כתבו לעיל בסוף סימן תרכ"ד התם בלילה התחלה בעלמא ולמחרת מתקן כולה אם אפשר גם שם איירי לענין מדקדק במעשיו יתחיל דבר מה בסוכה מיד בלילה ומי שאין מדקדק עכ"פ ביום המחרת אחר יציאה מביהכ"נ יתחיל ויגמור כולה אם אפשר ואפילו הוא ע"ש עד חצות ואחר זה י"ל דאסור

Even though they already wrote this above, at the end of Siman 624, there [it was referring to] a mere beginning [of building the succah] at night, and fixing it entirely the next day if possible. Also, there it was dealing with one who is careful in his actions – he should start some amount of [building] the succah immediately at night. And one who is not careful should at least start and complete it entirely the next day after leaving the synagogue if possible. And even if it is Friday [he should build it] until noon, but after this some say that it is forbidden.

He seems to be suggesting two possible reasons for the repetition:

  1. The first statement was talking about starting that very night, while the second statement was talking about completing it the next day.
  2. The first statement was talking about an extra pious person beginning immediately that night, while the second statement was talking about a regular person building it the next day.

Neither of these suggestions seem to really fit, though. In both statements R. Isserles gives the time frame of immediately after Yom Kippur. It doesn't seem like that would refer to the next day. Additionally, if there were two different points, that still wouldn't explain the need for two separate statements. He could have simply written one statement encompassing both points, e.g. "one should start that night and complete it the next day" or "a pious person should build it that night and a regular person should at least build it the next day". Moreover, in R. Isserles's commentary to the Tur (Darchei Moshe) from which his rulings in Shulchan Aruch are distilled, he mentions this law at the end of Siman 624 and then in the beginning of Siman 625 he says to refer back to the end of Siman 624 to see that it's a mitzvah to start building the succah right away – implying that the two statements are conveying the same idea.

So how can we explain R. Isserles's repetition?

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The Darkei Moshe (625) has an additional phrase which is not present in Shulchan Aruch, which I believe will shed some light on this:

ומיד לאחר י״ה יעשה הסוכה ואפי׳ אם הוא ע״ש דמצוה הבא לידו אל יחמצנה

And immediately after Yom Kippur he should make the succah, even if it is erev shabbat, because a mitzvah that comes to his hand he should not let go stale.

From here we can see that the second statement is referring to the next day.

The first statement (which is also referenced at the beginning of 625, but not the main focus there) is referring to the night immediately following Yom Kippur, as is indicated by the phrase "במוצאי י"כ", which is not found in the second statement.

  • If you look at the original source in the Maharil, I'm not sure this works. – Alex Mar 8 at 2:20

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