The Gemara (Sukkah 25b) mentions that an avel (mourner) is obligated in the mitzvah of Sukkah. One might have thought that since someone who is mitzta'er (in pain) is exempt from the mitzvah, that an avel, due to his emotional pain, would also be exempt.

The Gemara concludes that, since his worries are "divrei reshus" (not obligatory, in contrast to someone who is worried about performing a mitzvah properly), that he should be able to take his mind off it -- achieve yishuv ha'daas -- and focus on the mitzvah of sukkah.

I've looked around in some standard commentaries of aggadah hoping to find details about how a person should actually accomplish this yishuv ha'daas. I've looked in the commentaries of the Ein Yaakov, in B'Nei Yehoyada, and the Maharal. I've also checked out the index of Alei Shur and Michtav M'eliyahu for any references to this Gemara, but found none.

Do you know of any sources that do elaborate on this?

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    I assume it means focus on the task at hand, the way a mourner would do for any necessity.
    – N.T.
    Oct 21, 2022 at 7:17
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    youtube.com/watch?v=8pYCYXtd9sE Sorry no textual sources, but sof kol sof the point is you can't stop thinking, but you can always change subject, and the best way to achieve this is to have another subject - even better, a memorized text such as mishnayot - that you can switch to for half an hour or so, which can uproot the old subject from your mind completely
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Oct 21, 2022 at 9:43
  • "The Gemara concludes that, since his worries are 'divrei reshus' (not obligatory, in contrast to someone who is worried about performing a mitzvah properly)". From the translation and commentary (that @Dov linked to in his revision of the question), it seems that the conclusion is that only one who is mitzta'er from performing the mitzvah of Sukkah is exempt from it, not anyone who is mitzta'er for any reason. (1) Where do you get what you said from? (2) Who uses the term "divrei reshus" (דברי רשות) in [regards to] Sukkah 25b?
    – Tamir Evan
    Oct 21, 2022 at 14:15
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    Dr. Pelcovitz talks about the Gemara with two opinions -- yischena milibo or yesichena le'acherim -- and that people are usual on a spectrum of avoidant vs. attendant. Depends on the person which one is the right strategy! (In some cases, distraction is good.) Obviously, sometimes the answer is a good one-on-one sitdown with a rabbi, and potentially a mental-health professional.
    – Shalom
    Nov 1, 2022 at 21:12
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    Grab your coat and get your hat. Leave your worry on the doorstep. Just direct your feet To the sunny side of the street. Can't you hear a pitter-pat? And that happy tune is your step. Life can be so sweet On the sunny side of the street. I used to walk in the shade With those blues on parade, But now I'm not afraid. This rover crossed over. 😎 Mar 26 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


Avel can reach yesuvai daas through kavnas halev. חדושי הר"ן על מועד קטן דף כא ע/א 'ואמרו המפרשים ז"ל דמיבעי ליה לאבל ליתובי דעתיה ולכווני ליבא לתפילין שלא יסיח דעתו מהם כדמוכח במס' יומא (ז' ב') And dont try to say tefillin is different b/c you cant be maisiach daas b/c magen avrohom equates sukkah and tefillin. ספר מגן אברהם על או"ח סימן לח: (ו) פנים חדשות. פירוש מנחמים חדשים וא"ת למה חייב אבל בתפילין הא אמרי' לקמן מצטער פטור מתפילין י"ל ה"מ צערא דממילא אבל הכא איהו דקמצער נפשיה איבעיא ליה ליתובי דעתיה כדאמרינן בסוכה פ"ב לענין

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    Hi @user31723 - welcome to Mi Yodeya. Please can you make your answers more user friendly. There are many users who can't read Hebrew let alone understand it. If you bring a quote, please either summarise it or provide translations. Wishing you much hatzlocho.
    – Dov
    Nov 1, 2022 at 20:59

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