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Is the seemingly abrupt transition from the Baraisa of Queen Helene’s Sukkah to Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak stating the halacha for a minimum size sukkah on Sukkah 3a indicating separate topics or are they related?

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אמר רב אשי לא נצרכה אלא לקיטוניות שבה רבנן סברי בניה בסוכה מעליא הוו יתבי ואיהי יתבה בקיטוניות משום צניעותא ומשום הכי לא אמרי לה דבר ור’ יהודה סבר בניה גבה הוו יתבי ואפ”ה לא אמרי לה דבר אמר רב שמואל בר יצחק הלכה צריכה שתהא מחזקת ראשו ורובו ושולחנו א”ל רבי אבא כמאן כב”ש א”ל אלא כמאן איכא דאמרי אמר רבי אבא דאמר לך מני א”ל ב”ש היא ולא תזוז מינה

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Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak essentially said, Rebbi Yehuda’s Baraisa regarding Queen Helene’s sukkah has defeated Rebbi Yoshiyah and Rav Chanan bar Rabbah’s dictum in the name of Rav. Therefore, if you are going to maintain that the Rabbis still dispute Rebbi Yehuda holding the opinion of Rav Huna, that the source for the 20 amos height limitation of a sukkah is that it requires a 1:5 shade ratio, then the consequence is that: הלכה צריכה שתהא מחזקת ראשו ורובו ושולחנו.

Rebbi Abba said to Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak: כמאן כב”ש. According to whom are you ruling? According to Beis Shammai? But, we poskin like Beis Hillel.

Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak responded to Rebbi Abba, אלא כמאן, but according to whom could the halacha be, except Beis Shammai? For since, Rav Huna’s opinion maintains that the 20 amos height limitation of a sukkah is due to a 1:5 shade ratio, which allows a sukkah to be higher than 20 amos beyond 4×4 amos, therefore the Rabbis can no longer poskin that the minimum size sukkah is ראשו ורובו in accordance with Beis Hillel who holds that a sukkah is a דירת עראי, which requires a sukkah to be lower than 20 amos in height. This is because Beis Hillel’s understanding that a sukkah is a דירת עראי is in the terms of the height of a sukkah, which consequently enables a sukkah as small as ראשו ורובו in length because he does not require the קבע of a table. Whereas, Beis Shammai’s opinion that a sukkah is a דירת קבע on basis of a requirement that a table must be inside the sukkah establishes the minimum length and width of a sukkah as ראשו ורובו ושולחנו.

Furthermore, since Rav Huna’s opinion maintains that a sukkah can be built at less than 4×4 amos, the Rabbis can no longer poskin like Rebbe who maintains that a sukkah is a דירת קבע, which requires a minimum size sukkah of 4×4 amos. As a consequence, the halacha for the minimum size sukkah must be decided in accordance with Beis Shammai that a sukkah is a דירת קבע which requires a person to bring his table into his sukkah to dwell in the manner that he normally does in his house all year long, 28b and 7b.

Finally, in regards to Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak’s understanding of the dispute between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel, which he understood in the terms of a requirement that a sukkah must be either a דירת עראי or דירת קבע, the Gemara adds that it was said by some that the exchange continued with R’ Abba asking, “who is it that told you” that Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel argue over whether a sukkah is a דירת עראי or דירת קבע? And, Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak responded to Rebbi Abba, “it is Beis Shammai” that told me.

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And the proof that Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak’s statement is a continuation of the Gemara’s conversation regarding the dispute between the Tanna Kamma and Rebbi Yehuda in the Baraisa of Queen Helene’s sukkah, and not simply an introduction to a completely new topic where Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak makes a halachic statement that was already universally accepted, is that Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak understands Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak’s conversation with Rebbi Abba as concerning the case of Queen Helene’s sukkah hinging on the assumption that Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel are arguing in a small sukkah over a דאורייתא. Therefore, he asked on 3a: ממאי דב”ש ובית הלל בסוכה קטנה פליגי, From what evidence do you presume that Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel argue over the halacha of a minimum size sukkah?

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And, if Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak’s statement was merely a halachic statement of fact Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak’s question would make no sense outside of the case of Queen Helene’s sukkah, because no other case has been presented in which the opinions of Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel are opposing each other. Therefore, Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak and Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak are discussing the halachic difficulty that Rebbi Yehuda’s Baraisa creates for the Rabbis.

The meaning and significance of Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak’s challenge to Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak can not be overstated.

מתקיף לה רב נחמן בר יצחק ממאי דב”ש ובית הלל בסוכה קטנה פליגי דלמא בסוכה גדולה פליגי וכגון דיתיב אפומא דמטולתא ושולחנו בתוך הבית דבית שמאי סברי גזרינן שמא ימשך אחר שולחנו ובית הלל סברי לא גזרינן

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Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak is challenging Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak’s understanding that the argument between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel over the minimum size of a sukkah, is originating from a דאורייתא requirement. As such, a דאורייתא perspective of the argument represents a Torah requirement by Beis Shammai that a sukkah must be large enough to accommodate a person’s table and by Beis Hillel that a sukkah cannot be above 20 amos in height. And since Beis Hillel’s understanding of a דירת עראי is in the terms of the height of a sukkah, which doesn’t involve a table, they can validate a minimum size sukkah in regards to the dimension of length as small as ראשו ורובו. Therefore, they argue in a small sukkah over a דאורייתא as to whether a sukkah is a דירת עראי or a דירת קבע.

Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak’s assertion that their argument could possibly be over the manner in which one eats, which could even take place in a large sukkah, is an attempt to establish the argument as regarding a דרבנן. This would mean that the argument in the sukkah is not defined in terms of a דאורייתא requirement, that a sukkah must either be a דירת קבע or דירת עראי with their resulting minimum size sukkahs. In doing so, Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak is stating that the Rabbis who argue with Rebbi Yehuda in Queen Helene’s sukkah, in accordance with Rav Huna’s opinion which permits a sukkah to be higher than 20 amos when larger than 4×4 amos on the basis of a 1:5 shade ratio, would not have to poskin in accordance with Beis Shammai that the minimum size sukkah is ראשו ורובו ושולחנו. Rather, if the argument between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel is over a דרבנן regarding the manner in which a person eats from a table (whether in a large or small sukkah) that would mean that the Rabbis can still poskin according to Beis Hillel in regards to a minimum size sukkah of ראשו ורובו because it wouldn’t matter anymore that Rav Huna permits a sukkah higher than 20 amos in height when beyond 4×4 amos in length.

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