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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Three, Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Four, Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Five

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Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Three

1

How many shofar blasts is a person required to hear on Rosh Hashanah? Nine.

[This figure is derived as follows]: The Torah mentions the word תרועה [sounding the shofar] three times in association with Rosh Hashanah and the Yovel. Every תרועה must be preceded and followed by a [single] long blast. According to the oral tradition, we learned that - whether on Rosh Hashanah or on Yom Kippur of the Yovel - all the soundings of the shofar of the seventh month are a single entity.

Thus, nine shofar blasts must be sounded on both of them: teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah; teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah; teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah.

א

כמה תקיעות חייב אדם לשמוע בראש השנה. תשע תקיעות. לפי שנאמר תרועה ביובל ובראש השנה שלש פעמים וכל תרועה פשוטה לפניה ופשוטה לאחריה. ומפי השמועה למדו שכל תרועות של חדש השביעי אחד הן. בין בראש השנה בין ביום הכפורים של יובל תשע תקיעות תוקעין בכל אחד משניהן. תקיעה ותרועה ותקיעה, תקיעה ותרועה ותקיעה, תקיעה ותרועה ותקיעה:

How many shofar blasts is a person required to hear on Rosh Hashanah - according to Torah law?

Nine. - However, as explained throughout the chapter, the Sages have required us to hear many more.

[This figure is derived - See Rosh Hashanah 33b.

as follows]: The Torah mentions the word תרועה [sounding the shofar] three times - Teru'ah is also mentioned in relation to sounding the trumpets (Numbers, Chapter 10), but that is not relevant in this immediate context.

in association with Rosh Hashanah - twice: Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1.

and the Yovel. - once: Leviticus 25:9.

Every תרועה must be preceded and followed by a [single] long blast. - Leviticus 25:9 states: והעברת שופר, and Numbers 29:1 states: תעבירו שופר. In both cases, the verb means "cause to pass." From that expression, Rosh Hashanah, ibid., derives that a long note should be sounded before the תרועה.

Based on the above, the text Galia Masechta (Orach Chayim 3) explains that the essential element of the mitzvah is the teru'ah, since that is the sound specifically required by the Torah. The teki'ot are required only as a supplementary factor.

According to the oral tradition, we learned that - whether on Rosh Hashanah or on Yom Kippur of the Yovel - Rosh Hashanah, ibid. notes that the verses which describe the sounding of the shofar on both occasions share a common word. Hence, an analogy (שוה גזירה) is established between them. Therefore...

all the soundings of the shofar of the seventh month, are a single entity. - Thus, on each occasion, the same three series of blasts must be sounded.

Thus, nine shofar blasts must be sounded on both of them: teki'ah - The single, long blast preceding the teru'ah

teru'ah - a blast which is interrupted into shorter sounds, as described in Halachot 2-4.

teki'ah - The single, long blast following the teru'ah

teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah; teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah. - two other identical series of blasts.

2

Over the passage of the years and throughout the many exiles, doubt has been raised concerning the teru'ah which the Torah mentions, to the extent that we do not know what it is:

Does it resemble the wailing with which the women cry when they moan, or the sighs which a person who is distressed about a major matter will release repeatedly? Perhaps a combination of the two - sighing and the crying which will follow it - is called teru'ah, because a distressed person will sigh and then cry? Therefore, we fulfill all [these possibilities].

ב

תרועה זו האמורה בתורה נסתפק לנו בה ספק לפי אורך השנים ורוב הגלות ואין אנו יודעין היאך היא. אם היא היללה שמייללין הנשים ביניהן בעת שמייבבין. או האנחה כדרך שיאנח האדם פעם אחר פעם כשידאג לבו מדבר גדול. או שניהם כאחד האנחה והיללה שדרכה לבא אחריה הן הנקראין תרועה. שכך דרך הדואג מתאנח תחלה ואחר כך מילל. לכך אנו עושין הכל:

Over the passage of the years and throughout the many exiles, doubt has been raised concerning the teru'ah which the Torah mentions, to the extent that we do not know what it is. - Rosh Hashanah 34a explains that our custom of blowing the shofar was instituted by Rabbi Abahu in Caesaria approximately one hundred years after the destruction of the second Temple. In this halachah, the Rambam explains the reason for Rabbi Abahu's action.

The Rambam's statements are accepted by Rabbenu Asher, Rabbenu Nissim, and most other authorities. Nevertheless, it is significant that Rav Hai Gaon, one of the major authorities who preceded the Rambam, offers a different explanation for Rabbi Abahu's actions.

Rav Hai Gaon maintains that it is impossible that a doubt existed among the Jewish people concerning such an important manner as sounding the shofar. Since the shofar was sounded each year, surely the tradition could have been maintained. Hence, he explains that all the different manners of sounding the shofar were acceptable and that Rabbi Abahu's contribution was the establishment of a uniform custom that included all the different practices common among the Jewish people. By mentioning the "many years" and "exiles," the Rambam addresses himself to the question raised by Rav Hai Gaon.

Does it resemble the wailing with which the women cry - thus, it would be short, staccato sounds like sobs

when they moan - The word teru'ah is translated into Aramaic as yevavah (moan), as in Judges 5:28: "Sisra's mother gazed out the window and moaned through the lattice."

or - does a teru'ah resemble...

the sighs - i.e., longer sounds

which a person who is distressed about a major matter will release repeatedly? - Since before a person cries, he sighs (Rosh Hashanah 33b).

Perhaps a combination of the two - sighing and the crying which will follow it - is called teru'ah, because a distressed person will sigh and then cry. Therefore, we fulfill all [these possibilities]. - as explained in detail in the following halachah.

The commentaries have emphasized the homiletic aspects of these halachot. On Rosh Hashanah, a Jew must concentrate on the coronation of God as King of the world. He may feel internal distress when he meditates on how his daily behavior does not reflect the proper relation between a subject and his king. Ultimately, this may motivate him to sigh and even to cry.

3

The crying refers to what we call teru'ah. The repeated sighs refer to what we call three shevarim.

Thus, the order of blowing the shofar is as follows: First, one recites the blessing and sounds a teki'ah; afterwards, three shevarim; and afterwards, a teru'ah; and afterwards, a teki'ah. He repeats this pattern [until he completes] three series.

[Then,] he sounds a teki'ah; afterwards, three shevarim; and afterwards, a teki'ah. He repeats this pattern [until he completes] three series.

[Then,] he sounds a teki'ah; afterwards, a teru'ah; and afterwards, a teki'ah. He repeats this pattern [until he completes] three series.

Thus, there are a total of thirty shofar blasts, in order to remove any doubt.

ג

היללה היא שאנו קוראין תרועה. והאנחה זו אחר זו היא שאנו קוראין אותה שלשה שברים. נמצא סדר התקיעות כך הוא. מברך ותוקע תקיעה ואחריה שלשה שברים ואחריה תרועה ואחריה תקיעה. וחוזר כסדר זה שלש פעמים. ותוקע תקיעה ואחריה שלשה שברים ואחריה תקיעה וחוזר כסדר זה שלש פעמים. ותוקע תקיעה ואחריה תרועה ואחריה תקיעה וחוזר כסדר הזה שלש פעמים. נמצא מנין התקיעות שלשים כדי להסתלק מן הספק:

The crying - mentioned in the previous halachah

refers to what we call teru'ah. - short, staccato sounds like sobs. Since a teru'ah is considered to be a single blast, the entire series of sounds must be completed without the person who blows pausing to catch his breath.

The repeated sighs - mentioned in the previous halachah

refer to what we call three - The Maggid Mishneh writes that one may add to the number of shevarim as long as one does not take a breath between them. However, the Magen Avraham (590:2) writes that it is Ashkenazic custom not to sound more than three shevarim.

shevarim. - Like sighs, these sounds are neither short like teru'ot, nor prolonged like teki'ot, but rather of intermediate length, as described in the following halachah.

Thus, the order of blowing the shofar - to fulfill the mitzvah as commanded by the Torah.

is as follows: First, one recites the blessing - as explained in Halachah 10.

and sounds a teki'ah; afterwards, three shevarim; and afterwards, a teru'ah; and afterwards, a teki'ah. - in accordance with the opinion that maintains that a teru'ah resembles both sighing and crying.

He repeats this pattern [until he completes] three series. - in order to have heard the three series of blasts required by Halachah 1.

Although the pattern of shofar blowing described by the Rambam has become universally accepted among the Jewish people, it is unclear when this practice was first instituted. One of the fundamental texts of the period directly following the conclusion of the Talmud, the Sh'eltot of Rav Achai Gaon (note 171), mentions a different practice.

Three series of blasts from each pattern are not blown directly after each other. Rather, after sounding three series of teki'ah, shevarim, teru'ah, teki'ah, three series of teki'ah, shevarim, teki'ah, and then three series of teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah is sounded.

[Then,] he sounds a teki'ah; afterwards, three shevarim; and afterwards, a teki'ah. - in accordance with the opinion that maintains that a teru'ah resembles sighing. It must be noted that from the passage on Rosh HaShanah 34a it seems that Rabbi Abahu instituted the series of three teru'ot before the series of three shevarim.

He repeats this pattern [until he completes] three series. - to fulfill the obligation explained in Halachah 1.

[Then,] he sounds a teki'ah; afterwards, a teru'ah; and afterwards, a teki'ah. - in accordance with the opinion that maintains that a teru'ah resembles crying.

He repeats this pattern [until he completes] three series. - as explained above.

Thus, there are a total of thirty shofar blasts, - 18 teki'ot, six shevarim, and six teru'ot.

From the Rambam's expression, it appears that he considers the shevarim and teru'ah sounded in the first series as two separate blasts. From this, the Maggid Mishneh derives a halachic insight, maintaining that according to the Rambam, one may take a breath between the two. (The Mayim Chayim supports this conclusion, noting that, regarding this series, the Rambam states that one should blow "three shevarim, and afterwards, a teru'ah.") Nevertheless, the Ramban and other authorities do not permit this leniency.

Regarding halachah l'ma'aseh, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 590:4) suggests adhering to the more stringent view regarding the teki'ot required by Torah law. However, the Ramah maintains that this is unnecessary. Both the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 590:9, 10 and the Mishnah Berurah 590:20 suggest adhering to whichever practice is customarily followed in one's local community. However, if there is no accepted custom, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav suggests accepting the more stringent practice.

in order to remove any doubt - as mentioned in the previous halachah.

Though all three sounds would be included in the series of teki'ah, shevarim, teru'ah, teki'ah, it would be insufficient for such a series alone to be sounded. According to the opinions that maintain that a teru'ah is either sobbing or crying alone, there would be another sound interrupting between either the teki'ah which precedes or that which follows the teru'ah (Rosh Hashanah 34a).

4

The required length of a teru'ah is that of two teki'ot. The required length of the three shevarim is that of a teru'ah.

When a person sounds a teki'ah and a teru'ah, and afterwards sounds a long teki'ah, extending it twice the length of the original one, we do not say that it may be considered to be two teki'ot - thus allowing one [to complete the series merely by] sounding a teru'ah and another teki'ah. Rather, even if one extended a teki'ah the entire day, it is considered to be only a single teki'ah and one must sound another teki'ah, teru'ah, and teki'ah [until he completes] three series.

ד

שיעור תרועה כשתי תקיעות. שיעור שלשה שברים כתרועה. הרי שתקע והריע ותקע תקיעה ארוכה ומשך בה כשתים בראשונה. אין אומרין תחשב כשתי תקיעות ויריע אחריה ויחזור ויתקע. אלא אפילו משך בה כל היום אינה אלא תקיעה אחת וחוזר ותוקע ומריע ותוקע שלש פעמים:

The required length of a teru'ah is that of two teki'ot. - These statements are the source of much controversy among the Rabbis. The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 33b) states: "The required length of the teki'ah is three teru'ot; a teru'ah is three sobs."

The Talmud questions:

Behold, the baraita has taught: "the required length of a teki'ah is that of a teru'ah!"

Abbaye replied: "The author of the Mishnah considered the length of all the teki'ot in comparison to the length of all the teru'ot. The author of the baraita considered the length of each blast. There is no difference of opinion between them."

In his commentary on the Mishnah, the Rambam interprets the above to mean: "The required length of all six teki'ot is equivalent to the required length of all three teru'ot," thus establishing each teru'ah as twice the length of a teki'ah. Hence, according to the Rambam, the length of the teki'ot are dependent on the length of the teru'ot.

Rabbenu Nissim objects to the Rambam's interpretation, explaining that the word והעברת, the verb mentioned in the commandment to blow the shofar, implies a long blast, and hence the measure mentioned by the Rambam would not be appropriate.

Similarly, the Ra'avad does not accept the Rambam's interpretation, and explains that the Mishnah establishes an independent measure for the length of a teki'ah - three teru'ot - with each teru'ah being equal to three short sobs. Thus, the measure of a teki'ah is equivalent to nine short sounds. The Ramban and the Rashba also subscribe to this view.

Rashi and most Ashkenazic authorities accept the simple meaning of the Mishnah and explain that a teki'ah is equal to the length of a teru'ah. However, as explained in the previous halachot, there are three different interpretations of the definition of a teru'ah. Thus, the required length for the teki'ah varies accordingly.

Regarding halachah l'ma'aseh, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 590:3) mentions the views of Rashi and the Ra'avad, but not that of the Rambam.

The required length of the three shevarim is that of a teru'ah. - i.e., the length of the three shevarim should resemble a series of teru'ot.

When a person sounds a teki'ah and a teru'ah, and afterwards sounds a long teki'ah, extending it twice the length of the original one - with the intention that it be considered to be the final blast of the first series and the initial blast of the following series

we do not say that it may be considered to be two teki'ot - although it is of sufficient length

thus allowing one [to complete the series merely by] sounding a teru'ah and another teki'ah. - This represents a rephrasing of the Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 4:9 and Rosh Hashanah 28a.

Rather, even if one extended a teki'ah the entire day, it is considered to be only a single teki'ah - This decision runs contrary to the statements of the Jerusalem Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 3:3), which does not accept a teki'ah blown with such an intention at all.

and one must sound another teki'ah, teru'ah, and teki'ah [until he completes] three series. - This law is quoted as halachah by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 590:6). However, the Ashkenazic authorities maintain that deference should be paid to the opinion mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud.

5

If a person hears one shofar blast at one hour and a second one an hour later - even if he waits the entire day - the two may be considered to be a single unit and he may fulfill his obligation.

The above applies provided each series is heard in the proper order; i.e., one may not hear a teru'ah and afterwards two teki'ot, or two teki'ot, and afterwards a teru'ah, and the like.

ה

שמע תקיעה אחת בשעה אחת ושניה בשעה שניה אפילו שהה כל היום כולו הרי אלו מצטרפין ויצא ידי חובתו. והוא שישמע כל בבא מהן על סדרה. לא שישמע תרועה ואחריה שתי תקיעות או שתי תקיעות ואחריהן תרועה וכיוצא בזה:

If a person hears one shofar blast at one hour and a second one an hour later - even if he waits the entire day - Rosh Hashanah 34a-b quotes Rabbi Yochanan: "If a person heard the nine shofar blasts even over a span of nine hours, he fulfills his obligation."

the two may be considered to be a single unit - It is undesirable to delay the shofar blasts or to interrupt between them by talking or performing any other activity. Nevertheless, if an interruption was made between blasts, as long as one concentrates one's attention on each shofar blast, they are considered to be a single halachic unit.

and he may fulfill his obligation. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 588:2) quotes this law. However, the Magen Avraham (588:2) compares this situation to the laws of Kri'at Shema (see Ramah, Orach Chayim 65:1) and explains that if one is prevented from hearing the shofar by forces beyond one's control, it is considered to be an interruption and one must begin the last series of blasts anew.

The above applies provided each series is heard in the proper order - a teki'ah, the series ofshevarim, teru'ot or the combination of the two, and then a teki'ah, as stated in Halachah 1.

i.e., one may not hear a teru'ah and afterwards two teki'ot, or two teki'ot and afterwards a teru'ah, and the like. - The Maggid Mishneh explains that with this phrase, the Rambam implies that even though a delay does not constitute an interruption, any shofar blast which is not in the proper order invalidates the entire series. Most other authorities (see Shulchan Aruch HaRav 590:12) explain that this applies only if one sounds the shofar with an improper blast, intending to fulfill one's obligation. Otherwise, no significance at all is attached to the shofar blast and it is not considered an interruption.

6

If a person heard nine shofar blasts from nine men simultaneously, he has not fulfilled his obligation for a single blast. [If he heard] a teki'ah from one, a teru'ah from another, and another teki'ah from a third, in sequence, he has fulfilled his obligation.

The above applies even if one heard [the shofar blasts] with interruptions, even if [the blowing was extended] over the entire day. A person does not fulfill his obligation until he hears all nine shofar blasts, for they are all [only] one mitzvah. Thus, they are dependent one on the other.

ו

שמע תשע תקיעות מתשעה בני אדם כאחד לא יצא אפילו ידי אחת. תקיעה מזה ותרועה מזה ותקיעה משלישי בזה אחר זה יצא ואפילו בסירוגין ואפילו כל היום כולו. ואינו יוצא ידי חובתו עד שישמע כל התשע תקיעות שכולן מצוה אחת הן לפיכך מעכבות זו את זו:

If a person heard nine shofar blasts from nine men simultaneously - At the same time, six blew teki'ot and three, teru'ot, so that the person could have heard the required number of shofar blasts

he has not fulfilled his obligation for a single blast. - Rabbenu Manoach gives two reasons for this decision:

a) because of the cacophony of sounds, the listener is unable to properly distinguish any one;

b) As stated in the previous halachah, one must hear the shofar blasts in the proper order, a teki'ah preceding and following a teru'ah; that requirement is not fulfilled in this instance.

Rashi, in his commentary on Rosh Hashanah 34b, disagrees with the Rambam's decision, explaining that Rosh Hashanah 27a states that even though two people blow the shofar simultaneously, since the mitzvah is dear to the hearer, he will concentrate sufficiently to differentiate between the sounds. Furthermore, the Tosefta 2:12 states specifically that one does fulfill one's obligation in this manner.

Tosafot disagrees with Rashi, mentioning the second reason stated by Rabbenu Manoach. It appears that the Rambam goes further and discounts Rashi's opinion entirely. According to Tosafot, the listener will have heard at least the first teki'ah, while the Rambam explicitly states "he has not fulfilled his obligation for a single blast." (See Lechem Mishneh.)

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 588:3 quotes the Rambam's decision as halachah. The Ramah quotes the law from Rosh Hashanah 27a, allowing a person to fulfill his obligation even though he heard two people blowing the shofar at the same time, provided he heard the blasts in the proper order.

[If he heard] a teki'ah from one, a teru'ah from another, and another teki'ah from a third, in sequence, he has fulfilled his obligation. - The fact that different people sounded the shofar does not prevent the fulfillment of the mitzvah.

The above applies even if one heard [the shofar blasts] with interruptions, even if [the blowing was extended] over the entire day. - There is a certain redundancy with this statement, because the same principle was mentioned in the previous halachah. Nonetheless, the Rambam included it to emphasize that the passage of time is not considered an interruption even when the shofar is being blown by different people (Rabbenu Manoach).

A person does not fulfill his obligation until he hears all nine shofar blasts, for they are all [only] one mitzvah. - as explained in Halachah 1.

Thus, they are dependent one on the other. - Based on this principle, a person who does not know how to blow either the shevarim or the teru'ot should not sound the teki'ot, for he will accomplish nothing by doing so (Tosafot, Rosh Hashanah 33b). Nevertheless, if a person knows how to sound both teki'ot and shevarim, he should sound three series of such blasts even if he does not know how to sound a teru'ah. Since it is possible that the mitzvah may be fulfilled by these series (as explained in Halachot 2 and 3), at the very least they should be sounded (Rabbenu Nissim, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 593:2).

7

The congregation is obligated to hear the shofar blasts together with the order of blessings.

How is this expressed? The chazan recites Avot, Gevurot, the sanctification of God's name, Malchuyot [ - at this point,] the shofar is sounded three times; Zichronot - the shofar is sounded three times; Shofarot - the shofar is sounded three times - [and concludes the Amidah with] the Avodah, an acknowledgement [of God's wonders], and the priestly blessing.

ז

הצבור חייבין לשמוע התקיעות על סדר הברכות: כיצד אומר שליח צבור אבות וגבורות וקדושת השם ומלכיות ותוקע שלש. ואומר זכרונות ותוקע שלש. ואומר שופרות ותוקע שלש. ואומר עבודה והודייה וברכת כהנים:

The congregation - but not an individual (Rosh Hashanah 34b)

is obligated to hear the shofar blasts - i.e., the nine blasts mentioned in Halachah 1

together with the order of blessings. - Rosh Hashanah 16b explains that the Sages instituted the blowing of the shofar in the midst of the prayer service in order to confuse Satan, lest he lodge accusations against the Jews in the midst of their prayers. The Sages explain (ibid., 32b) that it would have been appropriate to institute the shofar blowing in the morning service. However, the Romans desired to stamp out the performance of the mitzvot and sent guards to make sure that the mitzvah was not fulfilled. After midday, the guards left, and then, in the musaf service, the shofar would be sounded.

Originally, the Sages' decree involved determining the place of the service when the mitzvah required by the Torah would be fulfilled and this halachah must be interpreted in that context. However, as explained in Halachot 11 and 12, it became universally accepted Jewish custom to blow the shofar before the musaf prayers to fulfill the Torah's commandment, and thus "confuse the Satan" even before the beginning of our prayers, and then to sound the shofar again in the midst of those prayers to fulfill the Rabbinic decree. See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 592:7.

How is this expressed? The chazan recites Avot - literally, "patriarchs"; the first blessing of the Amidah, which praises God as "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

Gevurot - literally, "mighty acts"; the second blessing of the Amidah, which begins: "You are mighty," and recounts different expressions of God's power.

the sanctification of God's name - The third blessing of the Amidah, which includes the Kedushah prayer.

Malchuyot - Three additional blessings are recited in the musaf service of Rosh Hashanah: Malchuyot (acceptance of God's sovereignty), Zichronot (acknowledgement of God's remembrance of the Jewish people), and Shofarot (describing the significance of the sounding of the shofar).

Rosh Hashanah 16a states:

The Holy One, blessed be He, declares: "On Rosh Hashanah, recite before me Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot.

Malchuyot - so that you will crown Me as King over you.

Zichronot - so that I will remember you for good.

By what means? Through the shofar."

These blessings are described in the following halachot.

The prayers mentioning the sacred nature of the holiday and the sacrifices which were offered in the Temple are also included in the Malchuyot blessing.

[at this point,] the shofar is sounded three times - i.e., one series of teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah required by the Torah. Though this point is disputed in the Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 32a relates that this opinion (quoted in the name of Rabbi Akiva) was the accepted practice in Yavneh.

Zichronot - the shofar is sounded three times - the second series of teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah required by the Torah.

Shofarot - the shofar is sounded three times - the final series of teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah required by the Torah.

[and concludes the the Amidah with] the Avodah - literally, "the service," i.e., the blessing R'tzey, which asks God to accept our prayers and restore the Temple service.

an acknowledgement [of God's wonders,] - the blessing Modim.

8

These three intermediate blessings recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur of the Yovel - Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot - are each dependent on each other.

In each of these blessings, one is required to recite ten verses reflecting the content of the blessing - three verses from the Torah, three from the Book of Psalms, and three from [the words of] the prophets. One concludes with a verse from the Torah. Should a person conclude with a verse from the prophets, he fulfills his obligation.

Should a person recite only one verse from the Torah, one from the sacred writings, and one from the prophets, he fulfills his obligation. Even if he states: "In Your Torah, God, our Lord, it is written..." and recites one verse from the Torah and concludes, nothing further is necessary.

ח

שלש ברכות אמצעיות אלו של ראש השנה ויום הכפורים של יובל שהן מלכיות וזכרונות ושופרות מעכבות זו את זו וצריך לומר בכל ברכה מהן עשרה פסוקים מעין הברכה. שלשה פסוקים מן התורה. ושלשה מספר תהלים. ושלשה מן הנביאים. ואחד מן התורה משלים בו. ואם השלים בנביא יצא. ואם אמר פסוק אחד מן התורה ואחד מן הכתובים ואחד מן הנביאים יצא. ואפילו אמר ובתורתך ה' אלהינו כתוב לאמר ואמר פסוק של תורה והפסיק שוב אינו צריך כלום:

These three intermediate blessings recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur of the Yovel - The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 26b) states: "Rosh Hashanah and the Yovel are identical regarding the sounding of the shofar and the blessings."

Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot - The blessings must also be recited in this order (Magen Avraham 593:4).

are each dependent on each other. - i.e., a person who cannot recite all three blessings should not recite any. Generally, a person who does not know all the blessings of the Amidah should recite those that he knows. However, on the musaf service of Rosh Hashanah, a person should begin the Amidah only if he knows the entire service (Magen Avraham 593:2). (See also the Bi'ur Halachah.)

In each of these blessings, one is required to recite ten verses - Rosh Hashanah 32a explains that the number ten alludes to the ten expressions of praise used by King David in Psalm 150; or, alternatively, to the ten statements of creation; or, alternatively, to the ten commandments. The Jerusalem Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 4:7) explains that the ten verses of Malchuyot refer to David's ten expressions of praise; the ten Zichronot, to the ten calls to repentance proclaimed by Isaiah; and the ten Shofarot to the ten sacrificial animals offered in the Temple on Rosh Hashanah.

One may recite additional verses if one desires (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 591:4). Indeed, the text of the blessings generally recited for Malchuyot and Shofarot includes eleven quotes.

reflecting the content of the blessing - as explained in the commentary on the previous halachah

three blessings from the Torah - Since the Torah is on a higher level of holiness, its verses are mentioned first.

three from the Book of Psalms, and three from [the words of] the prophets. - The commentaries question why the Book of Psalms is given prominence over the words of the prophets, when generally the prophets' statements are considered on a higher level of holiness. Among the resolutions offered to this difficulty is that chronologically, the Psalms were written before the prophecies quoted (Tosafot, Rosh Hashanah 32a).

Examples of the verses recited are mentioned in the following halachah and commentary.

One concludes with a verse from the Torah. - because of the dearness of the Torah. Rosh Hashanah 32b explains that this was the custom of the experienced Sages of Jerusalem.

Should a person conclude with a verse from the prophets, he fulfills his obligation. - However, one should preferably conclude with a verse from the Torah. This is our present practice.

From the statements of the Rambam and the relevant passages from the Mishnah and Talmud, it would appear that originally there was no standard text containing universally accepted verses for these blessings. Rather, certain verses were commonly accepted and would be recited by almost all those who prayed. Others were left to the preference of each individual.

(One must remember that machzorim were uncommon in this period, and most of the prayers were recited by heart. Thus, the verses chosen by an individual might often have been those which he had been able to commit to memory.)

Should a person recite only one verse from the Torah, one from the sacred writings, and one from the prophets - Thus mentioning three verses in each blessing, one from each division of the T'nach

he fulfills his obligation. - after the fact. However, at the outset it is desirable to recite all ten verses.

Even if he states: "In Your Torah, God, our Lord, it is written..." and recites one verse from the Torah and concludes, nothing further is necessary. - The commentaries have questioned the Rambam's statements, which appear self-contradictory. In the previous clause, he stated that one must recite three verses - one from the Torah, one from the prophets, and one from the writings - to fulfill one's obligation, while this clause implies that the recitation of one is sufficient.

The source for the difficulty is the following quotes: The Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 32a, states:

One should not recite fewer than ten verses for Malchuyot, ten for Zichronot, and ten for Shofarot. Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri says: "If one recites three - three of each - one fulfills his obligation."

Rosh Hashanah 35a quotes Rav Chanan'el as saying in the name of Rav:

Even if he states: "In Your Torah, it is written..." [and recites one verse], nothing further is necessary.

From the Talmud, it appears that both these statements are accepted as halachah. The Maggid Mishneh explains that the Rambam interprets Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri's requirement of three verses as the total for all three blessings. Thus, for each blessing, one must state "In Your Torah, it is written..." and recite a single appropriate verse. [This surely differs from the Rambam's statements in his commentary on the Mishnah.]

The Ramban, Rabbenu Nissim, and others explain that Rav Chanan'el agrees with Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri and thus, in addition to "In Your Torah, it is written...," he also requires one to say: "In Your holy writings, it is recorded...," and: "by your prophets, it was proclaimed...," mentioning an appropriate verse in each instance. (This opinion is quoted by Shulchan Aruch HaRav 586:8 and the Mishnah Berurah 591:11.)

Alternatively, one may explain the Rambam's position as follows: Ideally, one should recite ten verses for each blessing; after the fact, three are sufficient, as stated by Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri. When does this apply? Once one has recited at least one verse from the Torah. However, if one has not recited any verses, it is sufficient to say "In Your Torah, it is written..." and recite a single verse from the Torah, as Rav Chanan'el said in the name of Rav.

The flexibility regarding the number of quotes in each blessing was only granted in the previous generations. Since at present we have adopted a standard set of blessings, a person should not delete verses at will (Magen Avraham 591:6; Shulchan Aruch HaRav 591:8).

9

One should not recite [verses for] Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot which describe [Divine] retribution; for example, for Zichronot, [Psalms 78:39]: "And He remembered that they were mere flesh..."; for Malchuyot, [Ezekiel 20:33]: "With outpoured anger, I will reign over you..."; for Shofarot, [Hoshea 5:8]: "Blow the shofar in Givah..."

Similarly, Zichronot which are merely associated with an individual [should not be mentioned] even if they are of a positive nature - for example, [Psalms 106:4]: "Remember me, O God, amidst the favor of Your people," [Nehemiah 5:19]: "Remember me, my God, for good."

Verses using the verb פקד - for example, [Exodus 3:16]: "I have surely taken note..." - may not be included as Zichronot. One may mention verses that refer to retribution to be visited upon the gentile nations - for example, [Psalms 99:1]: "God is King, the nations will tremble..."; [Psalms 137:7]: "Remember, O God, against the Edomites, the day of Jerusalem"; or [Zechariah 9:14]: "God, the Lord, will sound the shofar and proceed in a southerly storm-wind."

All the following verses: [Deuteronomy 6:4]: "Hear Israel, God is our Lord, God is one"; [Deuteronomy 4:35]: "To you, it has been revealed that you may know..."; and [Deuteronomy 4:39]: "And you shall know today and draw it close to your heart..." express the concept of God's sovereignty. Even though [these verses] do not explicitly mention His kingship, they are equivalent to [Exodus 16:18]: "God will rule forever and ever"; and [Deuteronomy 33:5]: "When He became King in Jeshurun."

ט

אין מזכירין זכרונות מלכיות ושופרות של פורענות. זכרונות כגון ויזכור כי בשר המה וכו'. מלכיות כגון בחמה שפוכה אמלוך עליכם. שופרות כגון תקעו שופר בגבעה וכו'. ולא זכרון יחיד אפילו לטובה כגון זכרני ה' ברצון עמך, זכרה לי אלהי לטובה. ופקדונות אינן כזכרונות. כגון פקד פקדתי אתכם. ויש לו להזכיר פורענות של אומות עכו"ם כגון ה' מלך ירגזו עמים. זכור ה' לבני אדום את יום ירושלים. וה' אלהים בשופר יתקע והלך בסערות תימן. שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד. אתה הראת לדעת וכו' וידעת היום והשבות אל לבבך וכו' כל פסוק מאלו מלכות הוא ענינו אף על פי שאין בו זכר מלכות והרי הוא כמו ה' ימלוך לעולם ועד ויהי בישורון מלך וכו':

One should not recite [verses for] Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot which describe [Divine] retribution - Since Rosh Hashanah is a day of judgement, we are careful not to mention any factors that might lead to negative repercussions. For this reason, no confessional prayers are recited on Rosh Hashanah, and extreme care is taken regarding all aspects of our prayers and speech. (See Maharsha, Rosh Hashanah 32b.)

for example, for Zichronot, [Psalms 78:39]: "And He remembered that they were mere flesh..." - It is uncertain why the Rambam mentions a verse for Zichronot before one of Malchuyot.

for Malchuyot, [Ezekiel 20:33]: "With outpoured anger, I will reign over you..." - Rosh Hashanah 32a mentions that this prophecy concludes with the redemption of our people; since it is associated with anger and wrath, it is not fit to be mentioned on Rosh Hashanah.

for Shofarot, [Hoshea 5:8]: "Blow the shofar in Givah..."

Similarly, Zichronot which are merely associated with an individual [should not be mentioned] even if they are of a positive nature - for example, [Psalms 106:4]: "Remember me, O God, amidst the favor of Your people"; [Nehemiah 5:19]: "Remember me, my God, for good." - Even though on Rosh Hashanah each man is judged individually, and his own personal future is determined (see Rosh Hashanah 16b; Hilchot Teshuvah 3:3), it is desirable to look beyond these individual matters and concentrate our prayers on the welfare of the Jewish people as a whole.

Verses using the verb פקד - for example, [Exodus 3:16]: "I have surely taken note... - Rosh Hashanah 32a also mentions another verse - Genesis 21:1: "and God granted providence to Sarah" - as an example of this principle. The Talmud objects to this verse because it is of an individual nature. Though it continues to resolve that difficulty, explaining that God's granting providence to Sarah effected the future of the entire Jewish people, the Rambam nevertheless avoided the problem by choosing the verse which is clearly of general import.

may not be included as Zichronot. - The meaning of פקד is often "remember." Indeed, the Targum of the cited verse in Genesis is דכיר, the Aramaic for "remembered." Furthermore, the Talmud mentions that Rabbi Yosse allowed verses using the verb פקד, and although Rabbi Yehudah objected, in differences of opinion between the two, Rabbi Yosse's position is generally favored. Nevertheless, since there are many verses that use the verb זכר, there is no difficulty in establishing a practice that will be accepted by all opinions (Beit Yosef 591).

One may mention verses that refer to retribution to be visited upon the gentile nations - for example, [Psalms 99:1]: "God is King, the nations will tremble..."; [Psalms 137:7]: "Remember, O God, against the Edomites, the day of Jerusalem"; [Zechariah 9:14]: "God, the Lord, will sound the shofar and proceed in a southerly storm-wind." - Despite this decision, only the latter verse is included in the text of the blessings we recite on Rosh Hashanah.

All the following verses: [Deuteronomy 6:4]: "Hear Israel, God is our God, God is one"; [Deuteronomy 4:35]: "To you, it has been revealed that you may know..."; and [Deuteronomy 4:39]: "And you shall know today and draw it close to your heart..." express the concept of God's sovereignty. - These verses all express the oneness of God and creation; thus they emphasize how "He is unique and one, with none that compare to Him. His Kingship permeating all dominion." (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 591:11).

Even though [these verses] do not explicitly mention His kingship, they are equivalent to [Exodus 16:18]: "God will rule forever and ever"; and [Deuteronomy 33:5]: "When He became King in Jeshurun." - Shemot Rabbah 48:4 states that this verse refers to Moses. Though the Rambam accepts the principle that Moses served the people as a king (see Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 6:11), he does not necessarily view this verse as the source for that concept.

The verses which have been accepted in the standard text for these blessings are as follows:

MALCHUYOT

Torah

And you shall know today and draw it close to your heart that God is the Lord in the heavens above and the earth below. There is nothing else (Deuteronomy 4:39).

God will rule forever and ever (Exodus 15:18).

He does not look at iniquity in Jacob or see wrongdoing in Israel; God, his Lord, is with him and the desire of the King is in him (Numbers 23:21).

And there was a King in Jeshurun and the heads of the people assembled, together with all the tribes of Israel (Deuteronomy 33:5).

Psalms

For sovereignty is God's and He rules over the nations (22:29).

God is King. He has clothed Himself with grandeur; the Lord has girded Himself with strength. He has established the world firmly so that it will not falter (93:1).

Lift up your heads, O gates; be upraised, eternal doors, so the glorious King may enter. Who is the glorious King? God, strong and mighty, God, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates; be upraised, eternal doors, so the glorious King may enter. Who is the glorious King? The God of hosts. He is the glorious King for eternity (24:7-10).

Prophets

Thus said God, King and Redeemer of Israel, the God of hosts, "I am the first and I am the last. Aside from Me, there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6).

Deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau and the kingship will be God's (Ovadiah 1:21).

God will be King over the entire earth. On that day, God will be One, and His name, One (Zechariah 14:9).

Concluding Verse

Hear Israel, God is our Lord, God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4).

ZICHRONOT

Torah

And God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters were calmed (Genesis 8:1).

God heard their outcry. And God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob (Exodus 2:24).

I will remember My covenant with Jacob, also my covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land (Leviticus 26:42).

Psalms

He has made a remembrance of His wonders, gracious and merciful is God (111:4).

He provides sustenance to those who fear Him. He will remember His covenant forever (111:5).

For them, He remembered His covenant and He relented in accordance with His abundant kindness (106:45).

Prophets

Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: "Thus said God, 'For you, I remember the devotion of your youth, the love of your bridal days, as you went after Me in the desert, in an uncultivated land' (Jeremiah 2:2).

I will remember My covenant with you [made] in the days of your youth, and I will fulfill it for you as an everlasting covenant (Ezekiel 16:60).

"Is Ephraim not My beloved son? Is he not a precious child? For whenever I speak of him, I recall him even more. The inner parts of my being stir for him. I will surely have compassion on him," says God (Jeremiah 31:19).

Concluding Verse

For them, I will remember the covenant with their ancestors, whom I took out from the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations to be their Lord. I am God (Leviticus 26:45).

SHOFAROT

Torah

And it was on the third day, at dawn. There was thunder and lightning and a heavy cloud on the mountain. The sound of the shofar was very strong and all the people in the camp trembled (Exodus 19:16).

And the sound of the shofar proceeded, becoming stronger. Moses spoke and God answered Him out loud (Exodus 19:19).

And all the people saw the voices and the flames, the sound of the shofar and the mountain smoking. The people saw and recoiled and stood off from afar (Exodus 20:15).

Psalms

The Lord ascends through teru'ah, God through the sound of the shofar (47:6).

Sound off with trumpets and the call of the shofar before the King, God (98:6).

Blow the shofar on the new moon, on the appointed time of our sacred day. For it is a statute for Israel; an ordinance of the Lord od Israel (81:4-5)

Praise God. Praise the Almighty in His holiness. Praise Him in the firmament of His strength. Praise Him for His mighty acts. Praise Him according to His abundant greatness. Praise Him with the call of the shofar. Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dance. Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute. Praise Him with loud cymbals. Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let every being with a soul praise God. Halleluyah (150).

Prophets

All those who inhabit the world, who dwell on earth: When the banner is raised on the mountain, you will see. When the shofar is sounded, you will hear (Isaiah 18:3).

And it shall be on that day, that a great shofar will be sounded, and those who were lost in the land of Asshur and those who were banished in the land of Egypt shall come and bow down to God on the holy mountain in Jerusalem (Isaiah 27:13).

And God will appear over them and His arrow shall go forth like lightning. God, the Lord, will sound the shofar and proceed in a southerly storm-wind (Zechariah 9:14-15).

Concluding Verse

And on the days of your rejoicing; on your holidays, and on your Rosh Chodesh days, you shall sound the trumpets over your burnt-offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, and they shall be a remembrance for you before your Lord. I am God, your Lord (Numbers 10:10).

10

The following is the commonly accepted custom for blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah in the communal services:

After the Torah is read and returned to its place, the congregation is seated. One person stands and recites the blessing:

Blessed are You, God, Lord of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to hear the sounding of the shofar.

The entire congregation responds "Amen." He then recites the blessing shehecheyanu, and the entire congregation responds "Amen" to him. Thirty shofar blasts are sounded in the proper order.

Kaddish is recited. The congregation stands and recites the musaf service. After the chazan completes the fourth blessing - i.e., Malchuyot - a teki'ah, three shevarim, a [series of] teru'ot, and a teki'ah are sounded once.

He then recites the fifth blessing - i.e., Zichronot. After he completes the blessing, a teki'ah, three shevarim, and a teki'ah are sounded. He then recites the sixth blessing - i.e., Shofarot. After he completes the blessing, a teki'ah, a [series of] teru'ot, and a teki'ah are sounded once, and he concludes the prayers.

י

המנהג הפשוט בסדר התקיעות של ראש השנה בצבור כך הוא. אחר שקוראין בתורה ומחזירין הספר למקומו יושבין כל העם ואחד עומד ומברך ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לשמוע קול שופר וכל העם עונין אמן. וחוזר ומברך שהחיינו וכל העם עונין אחריו אמן. ותוקע שלשים תקיעות שאמרנו מפני הספק על הסדר. ואומרים קדיש ועומדין ומתפללין תפלת מוסף. ואחר שגומר שליח צבור ברכה רביעית שהיא מלכיות תוקע תקיעה שלשה שברים תרועה תקיעה פעם אחת. ומברך ברכה חמישית שהוא זכרונות. ואחר שגומרה תוקע תקיעה שלשה שברים ותקיעה. ומברך ברכה ששית שהיא שופרות. ואחר שגומרה תוקע תקיעה תרועה ותקיעה פעם אחת וגומר התפלה:

The following is the commonly accepted custom for blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah - As mentioned in Halachah 7 and the commentary, the Sages had originally ordained that a person hear the shofar blasts required by the Torah in the midst of the musaf service. However, as evident from Rosh Hashanah 16a-b, even in Talmudic times the custom mentioned by the Rambam was already the general practice.

in the communal services: - The laws pertaining to an individual are mentioned at the conclusion of Halachah 12.

After the Torah is read - Hilchot Tefillah 13:10 states:

The common custom is to read on the first day: "And God showed providence to Sarah..., and on the second day: "And God presented a trial to Abraham..."

As stated in that halachah, the haftarah is recited after the Torah reading is concluded.

and returned to its place - Though at present, Ashkenazic custom is to blow the shofar in the presence of the Torah scrolls, the Rambam's son, Rav Avraham, supports his father's decision in the Ma'aseh Rokeach, explaining that it is not proper to make any interruptions between the shofar blowings which precede musaf and those within the prayer service.

the congregation is seated. - This practice is mentioned in Rosh Hashanah 16a and the Sh'eltot of Rav Achai Gaon. However, today it is Ashkenazic custom to stand when hearing these shofar blasts. Nevertheless, based on this original practice, these are still referred to as teki'ot meiyoshav - "the teki'ot sounded while seated."

One person stands - Rabbenu Manoach questions the need for the person blowing the shofar to stand. He offers two possible explanations:

a) as a mark of deference to the community;

b) in respect for the blessing recited, as implied by Nehemiah 8:4.

The Hagahot Maimoniot quotes the Jerusalem Talmud (the location of the source in the Jerusalem Talmud is a matter of question) as drawing an analogy (גזרה שוה) between the blowing of the shofar and the counting of the Omer. Hence, just as the Omer must be counted while standing, the shofar should be sounded in a similar position.

and recites the blessing - as required before the fulfillment of any positive commandment (Hilchot Berachot 11:1,2,8).

Blessed are You, God, Lord of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to hear the sounding of the shofar. - As mentioned in Chapter 1, Halachah 1, the fundamental aspect of the mitzvah is hearing, not blowing, the shofar. Nevertheless, the Sh'eltot suggests concluding the blessing "to blow the shofar" and the Sefer Mitzvot HaGadol advises the text "concerning the blowing of the shofar."

The entire congregation responds "Amen." He then recites the blessing shehecheyanu - as is necessary before the fulfillment of any mitzvah performed infrequently (Hilchot Berachot 11:9).

and the entire congregation responds "Amen" to him. Thirty shofar blasts are sounded in the proper order. - as explained in Halachah 3.

Kaddish is recited. - "The chazan always recites Kaddish before and after every prayer service (Rambam, Seder Tefillot kol Shanah)."

The congregation stands - and remain standing during the repetition of the the Amidah as well. Therefore, the shofar blasts sounded during these prayers are referred to as teki'ot m'umad (the shofar blasts sounded while standing).

and recites the musaf service. - in a hushed tone.

The Tur relates that there were varying customs regarding the recitation of the musaf service in a hushed tone. In certain communities, it had been customary for the congregation to recite the musaf prayers as on other festivals without reciting Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot. Only the chazan would recite the latter. However, even in the Tur's time, the prevailing custom was that even the congregation recited these three blessings.

The Sh'lah records the custom of sounding the shofar for Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot while the congregation recites the Amidah. However, this custom is not accepted in all communities.

After the chazan completes the fourth blessing - i.e., Malchuyot - a teki'ah, three shevarim, a [series of] teru'ot, and a teki'ah are sounded once. - The rationale for this practice and the different customs associated with these shofar blasts are discussed in Halachah 12 and its commentary.

In the text of prayers with which the Rambam concludes Sefer Ha'ahavah, he also mentions the recitation of the prayer Hayom Harat Olam.

He then recites the fifth blessing - i.e., Zichronot. After he completes the blessing, a teki'ah, three shevarim, and a teki'ah are sounded. He then recites the sixth blessing - i.e., Shofarot. After he completes the blessing, a teki'ah, a [series of] teru'ot, and a teki'ah are sounded once, and he concludes the prayers.

11

The person who sounds the shofar while they are sitting also sounds the shofar according to the order of blessings while they stand. He should not speak between the shofar blasts while the congregation is seated and those sounded while they stand. If he did talk between them, even though it is a transgression, he does not repeat the blessing.

יא

זה שתוקע כשהן יושבין הוא שתוקע על סדר הברכות כשהן עומדים. ואינו מדבר בין תקיעות שמיושב לתקיעות שמעומד. ואם סח ביניהן אף על פי שעבר אינו חוזר ומברך:

The person who sounds the shofar while they are sitting - the thirty shofar blasts mentioned in Halachah 3.

also sounds the shofar according to the order of blessings - i.e., Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot

while they stand. - Rav Hai Gaon also mentions this practice. The Kolbo explains that it is appropriate, since "when a person begins a mitzvah, we tell him to complete it" (Jerusalem Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 1:8). Nevertheless, the Magen Avraham 592:7 writes that in many communities, it has become customary to divide the honor of shofar blowing between two individuals.

He - i.e., the person blowing the shofar. Rabbi Yitzchak Alfasi and Rabbenu Asher write that not only he, but the entire congregation should refrain from speaking. The Maggid Mishneh does not accept this view, yet it is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 592:3.

should not speak - Permission is granted to speak about matters required for the prayers or for blowing the shofar (Ramah).

between the shofar blasts while the congregation is seated and those sounded while they stand - for since they are both part of one mitzvah, it is improper to interrupt between them.

If he did talk between them, even though it is a transgression, he does not repeat the blessing. - Since, essentially, the mitzvah is fulfilled by hearing the teki'ot before musaf, and the others are sounded only "to confuse Satan" (Rabbenu Manoach).

12

It is logical that each series of shofar blasts should be sounded three times for every blessing, as [the shofar] was sounded while [the congregation] was seated. However, since they satisfied every possible doubt [by hearing] the shofar while seated, there is no need for the congregation to repeat them in their entirety during the order of blessings. Rather, it is sufficient for them to hear one series for each blessing, and they will thus have heard the shofar during the order of blessings.

All of the above applies only to a congregation. However, there is no [set] custom regarding an individual. He fulfills his obligation whether or not he hears [the shofar blasts] during the order of blessings, whether seated or standing.

יב

בדין היה שיתקעו על כל ברכה כל בבא מהן שלש פעמים כדרך שתקעו כשהן יושבין אלא כיון שיצאו מידי ספק בתקיעות שמיושב אין מטריחין על הצבור לחזור בהן כולן על סדר ברכות. אלא די להן בבא אחת על כל ברכה כדי שישמעו תקיעות על סדר ברכות. וכל הדברים האלו בצבור אבל היחיד בין ששמע על סדר ברכות בין שלא שמע על הסדר בין מעומד בין מיושב יצא ואין בזה מנהג:

It is logical that each series of shofar blasts should be sounded three times for every blessing - Because of the doubt mentioned in Halachah 3, it would be proper for us to blow three series of blasts - i.e., teki'ah, shevarim, teru'ah, teki'ah; teki'ah, shevarim, teki'ah; and teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah - at the conclusion of each blessing.

as [the shofar] was sounded while [the congregation] was seated. - the shofar blasts sounded before musaf.

However, since they - the congregation

satisfied every possible doubt - regarding the proper manner of blowing the shofar, as explained in Halachah 3.

[by hearing] the shofar while seated, there is no need for the congregation to repeat them - these shofar blasts

in their entirety during the order of blessings. Rather, it is sufficient for them to hear one series for each blessing - as explained in Halachah 10

and thus, they will have heard the shofar during the order of blessings - and fulfilled the requirement of the Sages mentioned in Halachah 7.

In practice, a number of different customs are followed regarding this matter. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 592:1) suggests following the pattern described by the Rambam, but sounding each series three times, rather than once. The Ramah writes that Ashkenazic custom is to sound one series - teki'ah, shevarim, teru'ah, teki'ah - after each blessing. However, the Sh'lah suggests blowing three series of blasts - i.e., teki'ah, shevarim, teru'ah, teki'ah; teki'ah, shevarim, teki'ah; and teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah - at the conclusion of each blessing.

All of the above applies only to a congregation - as specifically stated in Halachot 7 and 10.

However, there is no [set] custom regarding an individual. He fulfills his obligation whether or not he hears [the shofar blasts] during the order of blessings - Some authorities object to the permission granted by the Rambam for an individual to interrupt his recitation of the the Amidah in order to hear the sounding of the shofar. However, the Rambam's opinion is based on his interpretation of Rosh Hashanah 34b. (See Ma'aseh Rokeach.)

whether seated or standing.

13

The blessings are not dependent on the teki'ot, nor are the teki'ot dependent on the blessings.

When there are two cities - in one it is known that there will definitely be someone to recite the nine blessings, but there is no one to blow the shofar - in the other, a doubt exists whether or not there will be someone to blow the shofar, one should go the latter, since the sounding of the shofar is a requirement of the Torah, while the blessings are of Rabbinic origin.

יג

התקיעות אינן מעכבות את הברכות והברכות אינן מעכבות את התקיעות. שתי עיירות באחת יודע בודאי שיש שם מי שיברך להן תשע ברכות ואין שם תוקע. ובשנייה ספק יש שם תוקע ספק אין שם תוקע הולך לשנייה. שהתקיעה מדברי תורה והברכות מדברי סופרים

The blessings - Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot.

are not dependent on the teki'ot - Therefore, if it is impossible for a person to hear the shofar blown, he should still attempt to recite or hear the blessings.

nor are the teki'ot dependent on the blessings. - Thus, if it is impossible for a person to hear the blessings, he should still attempt to hear the shofar being blown.

When there are two cities - in one it is known that there will definitely be someone to recite the nine blessings - recited in the musaf service on Rosh Hashanah

but there is no one to blow the shofar - in the other, a doubt exists whether or not there will be someone to blow the shofar, one should go the latter, since the sounding of the shofar is a requirement of the Torah - as mentioned in Chapter 1, Halachah 1

while the blessings - as is the prayer service in its entirety

are of Rabbinic origin. - i.e., surely if one could be sure of fulfilling the Torah commandment, one should do so at the expense of the fulfillment of the Rabbinic commandment. However, even if, as in the case described, there is a doubt whether one can fulfill the Torah commandment, one should take that risk, rather than forego the opportunity entirely, even if doing so will cause one to negate the fulfillment of the Rabbinic commandment.

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Four

1

These are the required measurements of a sukkah: Its height should not be less than ten handbreadths nor more than twenty cubits. Its area should not be less than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths. [There is no maximum limit to] its area, and one may increase it [to include] a number of millim.

A sukkah which is less than ten handbreadths high, smaller than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths [in area], or taller than twenty cubits - even [if the increase or decrease] is of the slightest amount - is invalid.

א

שיעור הסוכה גובהה אין פחות מעשרה טפחים ולא יתר על עשרים אמה. ורחבה אין פחות משבעה טפחים על שבעה טפחים. ויש לו להוסיף ברחבה אפילו כמה מילין. היתה פחותה מעשרה או משבעה על שבעה או גבוהה מעשרים אמה כל שהוא הרי זו פסולה:

These are the required measurements of a sukkah: Its height - I.e., the height of its inner space, without including the height of the s'chach (Eruvin 3b)

should not be less than ten handbreadths - anything less is not considered to be a dwelling fit for human habitation (See Sukkah 4a.) Sukkah 4b-5a derives the concept as follows: The ark and the kaporet covering it were ten handbreadths high. This constituted a line of demarcation between the place where the Shechinah was manifest and the area below it. Thus, we see that a height of ten handbreadths is sufficient for an independent area.

Rabbenu Manoach establishes a closer relationship between the above concept and a sukkah, noting that Exodus 25:20 describes how the wings of the cherubs "shall shield the kaporet," using the verb סככים, which has the same root as the word s'chach. The beginning of the height of the cherub's "shield," ten cubits, is the minimum of the height for our s'chach.

nor more than twenty cubits. - Any structure more than twenty cubits high can only be built as a permanent dwelling. Hence, it is unfit to serve as a sukkah, which must be of a temporary nature. (See Sukkah 2a and the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah.)[ It must be noted that any structure less than 20 cubits high can serve as a sukkah even if its walls are of a permanent nature.]

A cubit is 48 centimeters according to Shiurei Torah and 57.6 centimeters according to the Chazon Ish.

Its area should not be less than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths. - the minimum size necessary to contain a person's head, the majority of his body [6 handbreadths by six handbreadths], and a small table [a handbreadth by a handbreadth] (Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 2:8). A handbreadth is 8 centimeters according to Shiurei Torah, and 9.6 centimeters according to the Chazon Ish.

The Rambam explains the requirement of seven handbreadths by seven hand breadths as follows: The first three hand breadths are not of consequence because of the principle of l'vud and four additional handbreadths are required since the smallest area of halachic consequence is four cubits by four cubits (Commentary, to the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:1).

If the sukkah is not seven handbreadths in either length or width, it is invalid, even if its area equals 49 square handbreadths. If it is round in shape, it must be sufficiently large to encompass a square seven by seven (See Halachah 7). This size is required because if either of the dimensions were less, it would not be considered a dwelling fit for human habitation (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 634:1-2; Magen Avraham; Taz).

[There is no maximum limit to] its area - The commentaries point to Sukkah 27b: "All Israel is fit to sit in one sukkah," as the source for this statement. A sukkah large enough to contain "all Israel" must possess a sizable area.

and one may increase it [to include] a number of millim. - A mil is approximately a kilometer in contemporary measure.

A sukkah which - does not meet the above requirements and

is less than ten handbreadths high, smaller than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths in area, or taller than twenty cubits - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 633:2-5) mentions a number of techniques by which a sukkah of this size can be made kosher, by decreasing the height of its inner space.

even [if the increase or decrease] is of the slightest amount - is invalid.

2

A sukkah which does not possess three walls is invalid. However, if it has two complete walls perpendicular to each other in the shape of [the Greek letter] gamma, it is sufficient to construct a third wall that is [only] slightly more than a handbreadth wide and place it within three handbreadths of one of the two walls. Also, one must construct the likeness of an entrance, since it does not possess three complete walls.

We have already explained in Hilchot Shabbat that wherever the term "a likeness of an entrance" is used, it may be a rod on one side, another rod on the opposite side, and a third above, even though it does not touch them.

ב

סוכה שאין לה שלש דפנות פסולה. היו לה שתי דפנות גמורות זו בצד זו כמין ג"ם עושה דופן שיש ברחבו יתר על טפח ומעמידו בפחות משלשה סמוך לאחד משתי הדפנות ודיו. וצריך לעשות לה צורת פתח מפני שאין לה שלש דפנות גמורות. וכבר בארנו בהלכות שבת שצורת פתח האמור בכל מקום אפילו קנה מכאן וקנה מכאן וקנה על גביהן אע"פ שאינו מגיע להן:

A sukkah which does not possess three walls is invalid. - Though Sukkah 6b mentions Rabbi Shimeon's opinion, which requires four walls, all authorities accept the more lenient view. The Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 1:1) explains that their difference of opinion is based on the exegesis of Isaiah 4:6:

There will be a sukkah that will serve as a shadow from the heat during the day, a place of refuge, and a cover from storm and from rain.

The Sages maintain that the verse refers to three different activities, and hence require three walls. Rabbi Shimeon counts "a cover from storm and from rain" as two different activities, and hence requires four walls.

However, if it has two complete walls - i.e., walls of at least seven handbreadths long, so that the minimum requirements for the sukkah's area mentioned in the previous halachah can be met

perpendicular to each other in the shape of [the Greek letter], gamma - Rabbenu Manoach notes that a gamma has the same shape as the Hebrew letter dalet (see accompanying drawing) and asks why the Sages did not use that letter to refer to the intended shape. He explains that the very letters of the Hebrew alphabet are endowed with holiness. Hence, the Sages did not want to use them as an example to refer to a mundane matter.

it is sufficient to construct a third wall that is [only] slightly more than a handbreadth wide and place it within three handbreadths - Sukkah 16b teaches that whenever there is a gap of three handbreadths or less between two entities, the principle of l'vud applies. The gap is considered to be closed and the two parts connected. Thus, the third wall is considered to be more than four handbreadths long, hence spanning more than half of the length required for the third wall. Therefore, it is acceptable (Rabbenu Nissim).

of one of the two walls. - See the accompanying diagram.

The Rabbis have posed an abstract question: Is the minimum requirement for a sukkah three walls (including one which is incomplete), or must a sukkah have four walls, however, the Torah was lenient enough to consider a sukkah of this nature as comparable to one of four walls.

The Marcheshet brings support for the latter view, quoting Sukkah 7b, which states that since the third wall only a handbreadth in size is considered to be a wall with regard to the laws of sukkah, it is also considered to be a wall with regard to the laws regarding a private domain on the Sabbath. In the latter instance, four walls are necessary.

Also, one must construct the likeness of an entrance - to complete this third wall. This is necessary...

since it - the sukkah

does not possess three complete walls. - However, if the three walls are complete - i.e., at least seven handbreadths in length - as in the accompanying diagram, no "likeness of an entrance" is required.

The Bayit Chadash (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 430) explains that the requirement of a "likeness of an entrance" is a Rabbinic ordinance, and, according to Torah law, a sukkah is acceptable as long as the third wall is a handbreadth as required.

We have already explained in Hilchot Shabbat - 16:19

that wherever the term "a likeness of an entrance" is used, it may be a rod on one side, another rod on the opposite side, and a third above - The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 630:2) states that if the two rods reach the s'chach, a third rod is unnecessary. (See Mishnah Berurah 630:12.)

even though it does not touch them. - as depicted on page 67.

3

If the two walls were parallel to each other and there was an open space between them, one should construct a wall slightly more than four handbreadths wide and place it within three handbreadths of one of the two walls; then, [the sukkah] is kosher. However, it is necessary to construct "the likeness of an entrance."

If the rods of the s'chach of the sukkah extend beyond the sukkah and one wall extends with them, they are considered to be [part of] the sukkah.

ג

היו לה שתי דפנות זו כנגד זו וביניהן מפולש. עושה דופן שיש ברוחבו ארבעה טפחים ומשהו ומעמידו בפחות משלשה סמוך לאחת משתי הדפנות וכשרה. וצריך לעשות לה צורת פתח. קנים היוצאים מסכך הסוכה לפני הסוכה ודופן אחת נמשכת עמהן הרי הן כסוכה:

If the two walls - each being seven handbreadths or more long

were parallel to each other and there was an open space between them, one should construct a wall slightly more than four handbreadths wide - as depicted in the accompanying diagram.

Since the two walls are not connected, the third wall which "connects" them must be longer (Sukkah 7a).

and place it within three handbreadths - so that it will be considered l'vud.

of one of the two walls; then, [the sukkah] is kosher. - The third wall is considered to be seven cubits long itself - the four cubits of actual length and the three cubits between it and the wall that are added to it, because of the principle of l'vud (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:1).

However, it is necessary to construct "the likeness of an entrance" - between the wall of four handbreadths and the wall further removed from it.

This opinion is not universally accepted; and some authorities do not require a "likeness of an entrance" for such a sukkah. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 630:3) quotes the Rambam's opinion as halachah.

The Ramah mentions that the "likeness of an entrance" is required only when the third wall needs the principle of l'vud for it to be considered seven handbreadths long. However, if the wall is actually seven handbreadths or more long, nothing more is necessary.

If the rods of the s'chach of the sukkah extend beyond the sukkah and one wall extends with them, - As portrayed in the accompanying diagram, the sukkah has two walls, each at least seven handbreadths long, joined to each other at a right angle. The third wall is also joined to the other at a right angle; however, its length exceeds that of the wall opposite it, and thus, the fourth side of the sukkah, which remains open, slants at an angle.

they are considered to be [part of] the sukkah. - sitting under the extension is considered to be the same as sitting under the portion enclosed by three walls. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 631:7.)

4

Walls which are connected to the roof of the sukkah, but do not reach the earth: If they are more than three handbreadths above the earth, they are invalid; if the distance is less than that, they are kosher.

[The following rules apply] should the walls be connected to the earth, without reaching the s'chach: If they are ten handbreadths high, they are kosher even though are removed several cubits from the roof, provided they are positioned below the end of the roof. If the roof was separated from the wall by more than three handbreadths, it is invalid; less than this amount is kosher.

If one suspended a partition which is slightly more than four handbreadths high at a distance of less than three handbreadths from the earth and a distance of less than three handbreadths from the roof, it is kosher.

ד

דפנות שהיו דבוקות בגג הסוכה ולא היו מגיעות לארץ אם היו גבוהות מן הארץ שלשה טפחים פסולה פחות מיכן כשרה. היו הדפנות דבוקות לארץ ולא היו מגיעות לסכך אם גבוהות עשרה טפחים אף על פי שהן רחוקין מן הגג כמה אמות כשרה ובלבד שיהיו הדפנות מכוונות תחת שפת הגג. הרחיק את הגג מן הדופן שלשה טפחים פסולה פחות מיכן כשרה. תלה מחיצה שגבוהה ארבעה ומשהו באמצע בפחות משלשה סמוך לארץ ובפחות משלשה סמוך לגג הרי זו כשרה:

Walls - at least seven handbreadths high

which are connected to the roof of the sukkah, but do not reach the earth - See accompanying diagram.

If they are more than three handbreadths above the earth, they are invalid - Sukkah 16a records a difference of opinion between the Sages whether a "hanging partition" - i.e., a partition that is not connected to the earth - is kosher. The halachah does not accept such a partition, because animals can crawl under it. (See Shabbat 97a.) Nevertheless...

if the distance is less than that - three handbreadths

they are kosher - Because of the principle of l'vud, it is considered as if they actually reach the ground.

[The following rules apply] should the walls be connected to the earth, without reaching the s'chach: - See the accompanying diagram.

If they are ten handbreadths high - they are considered to be a viable partition. Therefore...

they are kosher even though they are removed several cubits from the roof - We say גוד אסיק מחיצתא - "Pull up and raise the partition;" i.e., it is considered as if the partition has been extended upward and reaches the s'chach. See Sukkah 4b for an additional discussion of this concept.

Though this concept is accepted, we do not say מחיצתא גוד אחית - "Pull down and extend the partition." Hence, in the first clause of this halachah, the partition is not acceptable until it reaches three cubits of the ground.

[It is possible to distinguish between the two cases as follows. A partition on the ground that must be extended upward serves as a functional divider. In contrast, a partition hanging downward cannot adequately fulfill its purpose unless it reaches within three handbreadths of the ground. (See also the Or Sameach's resolution of a difficulty arising from Eruvin 79a.)]

provided they - the walls

are positioned below the end of the roof - i.e., the s'chach, so that the s'chach covers them.

Furthermore, the walls may even be slightly removed from the s'chach. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 630:9.)

If the roof - the s'chach

was separated from the wall by more than three handbreadths, it is invalid - for then the distance is too great for the s'chach to be considered the roof of these walls. In such an instance, not only is sitting under the open portion of no halachic import, the entire sukkah is invalid. Nevertheless, a sukkah in which the distance is...

less than this amount is kosher - because of the principle of l'vud. This concept also applies when the walls are as high as the s'chach. Even though the walls extend beyond the s'chach the sukkah is kosher. Nevertheless, one should not sit under the open portion.

If one suspended a partition which is slightly more than four handbreadths high at a distance of less than three handbreadths from the earth - and thus, it is viewed as connected to the earth because of the principle of l'vud.

and a distance of less than three handbreadths from the roof, - and thus, it is viewed as connected to the s'chach because of the principle of l'vud.

it is kosher. - Sukkah 16b explains that even though we must rely on the principle of l'vud twice, the sukkah is still kosher.

5

When a person constructs his sukkah among the trees, using the trees as walls, it is kosher if:

a) they are strong enough - or he tied them and reinforced them so that they would be strong enough - that they would not be shaken by the wind at all times; and

b) he filled [the space] between the branches with hay and straw, tying them so that they will not be shaken by the wind.

[This is necessary,] for any partition that cannot stand before a normal land wind is not considered to be a partition.

ה

העושה סוכתו בין האילנות והאילנות דפנות לה. אם היו חזקים או שקשר אותם וחיזק אותם עד שלא תהיה הרוח המצויה מנידה אותם תמיד ומלא בין האמירים בתבן ובקש כדי שלא תניד אותם הרוח וקשר אותם הרי זו כשרה. שכל מחיצה שאינה יכולה לעמוד ברוח מצויה של יבשה אינה מחיצה:

When a person constructs his sukkah among the trees - This halachah does not deal with the problem of the branches and leaves of the trees interfering with the s'chach. That issue is dealt with in Chapter 5, Halachah 12. Rabbenu Manoach and others have also raised questions whether the s'chach should be supported by the trees. (See the commentary on the following halachah.)

using the trees as walls, it is kosher if - the following two conditions are met

a) they are strong enough - by nature

or he tied them and reinforced them so that they would be strong enough - that they would not be shaken by the wind at all times; - even if the wind is not strong enough to uproot them, it should not cause them to sway back and forth

and b) he filled [the space] between the branches - this translation of the word אמיר is taken from Isaiah 17:6.

with hay and straw - weaving them together so that the wall would be a solid continuum (Sukkah 24b)

tying them - the hay and straw fillers

so that they will not be shaken by the wind.

[This is necessary,] for any partition that cannot stand before a normal - However, a sukkah's inability to stand before a hurricane wind does not invalidate it.

land wind - in contrast to sea winds, which are more powerful (Sukkah 23a)

is not considered to be a partition. - This law also has implications with regard to the Sabbath laws. (See Hilchot Shabbat 16:15, 24.)

6

If a person constructs his sukkah on top of a wagon or on the deck of a ship, it is kosher, and one may ascend to it on the festival. If one constructs it on the treetops or on a camel's back, it is kosher, but one may not ascend to it on the festival, because climbing on a tree or animal is forbidden on a festival.

If some of the walls were the result of human activity and some were trees, we consider [its structure]. We may ascend to any [sukkah] where, if the trees were taken away, it would be able to stand with the walls that were built by man alone.

ו

העושה סוכתו בראש העגלה או בראש הספינה כשרה ועולין לה ביום טוב. בראש האילן או על גבי הגמל כשרה ואין עולין לה ביום טוב. לפי שאסור לעלות ביו"ט באילן או על גבי בהמה. היו מקצת הדפנות עשויות בידי אדם ומקצתן אילנות רואין כל שאילו ניטלו האילנות היא יכולה לעמוד בדפנות שבידי אדם עולין לה ביום טוב:

If a person constructs his sukkah on top of a wagon - although the wagon moves and is not fixed in one place (Rashi, Sukkah 22b)

or on the deck of a ship - Sukkah 23a relates:

A person who constructs his sukkah on the deck of a ship: Rabban Gamliel deems it invalid; Rabbi Akiva deems it kosher.

Once Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Akiva were traveling on a ship. Rabbi Akiva arose and constructed a sukkah on the ship's deck. The next morning, the wind came and blew it over. Rabban Gamliel asked Rabbi Akiva: "Akiva, where is your Sukkah?"

As apparent from the narrative, such a sukkah need not be strong enough to withstand sea winds. However, even according to Rabbi Akiva, it must be strong enough to withstand normal land winds, as explained in the previous halachah.

it is kosher, and one may ascend to it on the festival. - i.e., on the first day of Sukkot in Eretz Yisrael and on the first and second days in the diaspora.

If one constructs it on the treetops or on a camel's back, it is kosher - Sukkah 23a explains that Rabbi Yehudah objected to the use of such a sukkah, explaining that since it was not fit to be used on all seven days of the holiday (because of the prohibition against using it on the first day), it should not be used at all.

Our halachah follows Rabbi Meir's opinion. He accepts Rabbi Yehudah's motivating principle, but explains that in the case at hand, there is no inherent difficulty with using such a sukkah throughout the holiday. The only reason it is not used on the first day is an external factor - a Rabbinic decree - which should not affect the halachic status of the sukkah itself.

but one may not ascend to it on the festival - Surely, this prohibition also applies on the Sabbath.

From the Rambam's words, it appears that the restriction applies when the floor of the sukkah is actually in the tree. In contrast, Rashi (Shabbat 154b), Tosafot, Sukkah 22b and the Maggid Mishneh explain that even if the sukkah is on the ground and only the s'chach is supported by the tree, it is forbidden to use such a sukkah on the festival, lest one place utensils on the s'chach, and thus make use of the tree.

The Magen Avraham (628:6) quotes this opinion, but states that at present it is no longer customary to place articles on the s'chach. Therefore, it is permitted to use such a sukkah. His opinion is quoted by Shulchan Aruch HaRav 628:7, and the Mishnah Berurah 628:17, with one qualification. At the outset, it is desirable not to use an article as support for s'chach unless it is, itself, fit to be used as s'chach. Hence, since the trees themselves are not fit to be used as s'chach, they should not be used as its supports.

because climbing on a tree or animal is forbidden on a festival. - Beitzah 5:2 relates:

All the [prohibitions] which we are obligated [to observe as] sh'vut...on the Sabbath, we are obligated [to observe] on a festival. These are [the activities prohibited] as sh'vut: We do not climb a tree; we do not ride an animal...

In his commentary on that Mishnah, the Rambam writes:

"We do not climb a tree" - a decree lest we uproot [it];

"we do not ride an animal" - a decree lest we break off a branch to lead it.

If some of the walls were the result of human activity and some were trees, we consider [its structure]. We may ascend to any [sukkah] where, if the trees were taken away, it would be able to stand with the walls that were built by man alone. - The Rambam quotes this general principle from the Mishnah, Sukkah 23a. The Mishnah adds examples to express the concept more clearly:

Two [walls] that were the result of human activity and one [wall] from the tree, or two [walls] from the tree and one [wall] that is a result of human activity.

7

A sukkah that does not possess a roof is invalid. To what does this refer? A sukkah whose walls are joined to each other like a hut; alternatively, when the side of the sukkah is placed against the wall. However, if it has a roof, even only a handbreadth in width, or if one lifted the side of the sukkah close to the wall a handbreadth above the ground, it is kosher.

A round sukkah - if its circumference is large enough to contain a square seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths, it is kosher even though it has no corners.

ז

סוכה שאין לה גג פסולה. כיצד כגון שהיו ראשי הדפנות דבוקות זו בזו כמין צריף. או שסמך ראש הדופן של סוכה לכותל. אם היה לה גג אפילו טפח. או שהגביה הדופן הסמוך לכותל מן הקרקע טפח הרי זו כשרה. סוכה עגולה אם יש בהיקפה כדי לרבע בה שבעה טפחים על שבעה טפחים אף על פי שאין לה זויות הרי זו כשרה:

A sukkah that does not possess a roof is invalid - because a dwelling even of a temporary nature must have a roof.

To what does this refer? A sukkah whose walls are joined to each other like a hut - Rashi (Sukkah 19b) explains that this is a reference to a hunter's hut. See Diagram A;

alternatively, when the side of the sukkah is placed against the wall. - See Diagram B.

However, if it - the sukkah

has a roof, even only a handbreadth in width - between the two walls, as depicted in Diagram C. As long as it has a roof at least a handbreadth wide, the remainder of the roof may be slanted.

or if one lifted the side of the sukkah close to the wall a handbreadth above the ground - so that handbreadth is considered to be a wall, as depicted in the diagram below.

it is kosher. - for the fact that the roof is slanted does not disqualify the sukkah.

The Kessef Mishneh, Rabbenu Manoach, and others explain that though leniency is taken and such a sukkah is allowed, it must still possess all the dimensions required of a kosher sukkah mentioned in Halachah 1 of this chapter. Accordingly, at least six handbreadths of the slanted roof must itself be kosher for use as s'chach, and it must be more than 16 handbreadths long, so that it will be of the required height. When the Sukkah meets these qualifications, one is permitted to eat and sleep within it. (See also Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 631:10.)

A round sukkah - if its circumference is large enough to contain a square seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths, it is kosher even though it has no corners. - Sukkah 7b records an opinion which disqualifies such a sukkah because it is not fit for use as a permanent dwelling. Nevertheless, the halachah does not follow this view.

On this basis, we can understand the placement of this law. On the surface, it would be more appropriate to state this law as part of Halachah 1, which describes the dimensions of a sukkah. However, the Rambam structured the order of his halachot according to their motivating principles. Thus, the first clause of the halachah describes the construction of a sukkah whose shape causes it to be deemed unacceptable even as a temporary dwelling. In contrast, this clause describes a sukkah whose shape is abnormal, but acceptable for temporary purposes.

8

Should one place s'chach over an exedrah which has projections [extending from its pillars], it is kosher, regardless of whether the projections can be seen from the inside - although they cannot be seen from the outside - or whether they can be seen from the outside - although they cannot be seen from the inside.

ח

סיכך על גבי אכסדרה שיש לה פצימין בין שהיו נראין מבפנים ואין נראין מבחוץ בין שהיו נראין מבחוץ ואין נראין מבפנים כשרה:

Should one place s'chach over an exedrah - A structure frequently employed in Roman architecture, and which was quite common in Jewish homes as well. There were a number of possible forms of this structure. Our halachah (in contrast to Hilchot Shabbat 17:35) deals with the following structure: A roof is placed between two walls, and within this roof a hollow place is left to allow sunlight to enter. Pillars are placed at each of the corners of the hole. The question is whether such a structure can serve as a sukkah if one placed s'chach over the hole. See diagram A.

which has projections [extending from its pillars] - At times these pillars were ornamented with artistic projections. See the diagrams below.

it is kosher, - Because of the projections, the opening of the ceiling is considered to be a third wall extending over the entire width of the exedrah and reaching the ground (Sukkah 18b) Thus, greater leniency is granted in this instance than in Halachah 3 of this chapter, where a partition four handbreadths in width is required.

Needless to say, as evident from Halachah 5:14, the walls of the exedrah cannot be more than four cubits removed from the s'chach.

regardless of whether the projections can be seen from the inside - of the Sukkah - although they cannot be seen from the outside - See diagram B.

or whether they can be seen from the outside - of the

Sukkah - although they cannot be seen from the inside. - See diagram C.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 630:8) quotes the Rambam's statements as halachah. However, the Ramah advises against constructing a sukkah in this manner.

9

If it does not have projections [extending from its pillars] it is not valid, because it resembles a sukkah constructed in an alley, because it has [walls on] only the two sides of the exedrah. The middle of the exedrah does not have a wall and there are no projections opposite it.

ט

לא היו לה פצימין פסולה מפני שהיא סוכה העשויה כמבוי שהרי אין לה אלא שני צדי האכסדרה ואמצע האכסדרה אין בו כותל ושכנגדו אין בו פצימין:

If it - the sukkah constructed in the exedrah

does not have projections [extending from its pillars] - as explained in the previous halachah

it is not valid, because it resembles a sukkah constructed in an alley - which is described in Halachah 3.

because it has [walls on] only the two sides of the exedrah. The middle of the exedrah does not have a wall and there are no projections opposite it. - Hence, the principle that the opening of the roof is considered to be a third wall, reaching to the ground, is not applied in this instance. Rabbenu Manoach notes that different principles apply in this context from those in the laws of eruvin, but explains that there is a basic difference between the two contexts. Here, the two walls were not constructed for the sake of the sukkah. In contrast, in the laws of eruvin, the walls were constructed for the sake of creating an enclosure.

10

Should a person place s'chach over an alleyway which possesses a lechi or a well which possesses pasim, it is considered a kosher sukkah only on the Sabbath of the festival. Since this lechi and these pasim are considered to be partitions with regard to the Sabbath laws, they are also considered to be partitions with regard to the laws of sukkah.

י

סיכך על גבי מבוי שיש לו לחי או על גבי באר שיש לה פסין הרי זו סוכה כשרה לאותה שבת שבתוך החג בלבד. מתוך שלחי זה ופסין אלו מחיצות לענין שבת נחשוב אותן כמחיצות לענין סוכה:

Should a person place s'chach over an alleyway which possesses a lechi - Hilchot Shabbat 17:2 states:

How is one permitted [to carry articles] in a closed alleyway?

One constructs a lechi (vertical pole) [at the entrance] to the fourth side or one lays a beam (korah) across [the span of the fourth side].

Rabbenu Manoach explains that although the alleyway is closed on three sides, were it not for the special provisions mentioned in this halachah, it would not be acceptable, because in this instance the s'chach is placed more than four cubits away from the end of the alleyway. Hence, generally, as explained in Chapter 5, Halachah 14, such a sukkah would not be acceptable.

or a well which possesses pasim, - Hilchot Shabbat 17:27 states:

When a total of eight pasim [partitions] are constructed around a well, two connected to each other at each of its corners, they are considered to be walls. Thus, even though on each side the open portion exceeds the closed, since the four corners are closed, it is permitted to fill up water from the well and to water an animal.

What is the height of each of these pasim? Ten handbreadths; their length must be at least six handbreadths and between each pas, there should be...no more than thirteen and one third cubits.

Thus, there are no complete walls to this structure, and without the special provision granted by this halachah, it would not be acceptable.

Sukkah 7b explains that each of these situations possesses an advantage over the other: The alley possesses an advantage in that it has two complete walls. In contrast, the well possesses an advantage in that it has partitions of some sort on each of its four sides. Hence, it is necessary to state both these laws, and neither could be derived from the other.

it is considered a kosher sukkah only on the Sabbath of the festival - The Tzafenat Paneach explains this as applying only to the days which precede the Sabbath. However, once the sukkah is acceptable on the Sabbath, it is also deemed kosher for the remaining days of the festival. (This view is not accepted by other authorities.)

Since this lechi and these pasim are considered to be partitions with regard to the Sabbath laws - On the Sabbath, one is allowed to carry only within an enclosed domain. Since the situations mentioned in this halachah are not actual enclosures and achieve that status only because of a Rabbinic ordinance, the application of these principles is confined to the Sabbath itself. Thus, on the Sabbath...

they are also considered to be partitions with regard to the laws of sukkah - and the sukkah is considered to be enclosed by three walls as required. However, throughout the remainder of the holiday, when the Rabbinic ordinances are not in effect, they are not considered to be enclosed structures. Hence, they are not acceptable as a sukkah.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 630:7) quotes these laws as halachah. (Also see the Ramah's notes.)

11

Should a person implant four poles in the four corners of the roof and place s'chach upon them, it is kosher. Since he placed the s'chach [above] the edge of the roof, we consider that the lower walls ascend to the edge of the s'chach.

יא

נעץ ארבעה קונדיסין על ארבע זויות הגג וסיכך על גבן הואיל והסיכוך על שפת הגג כשר ורואין את המחיצות התחתונות כאילו הן עולות למעלה על שפת הסכוך:

Should a person implant four poles in the four corners of the roof and place s'chach upon them - See the accompanying diagram.

it is kosher. Since he placed the s'chach [above] the edge of the roof, we consider that the lower walls ascend to the edge of the s'chach - because of the principle of גוד אסיק מחיצתא, it is considered as if the walls of the house have been extended upward, as explained in Halachah 5.

This halachah is based on the statements of Sukkah 4b. There are differences in the versions of the relevant passage possessed by the Rambam and Rav Sherirah Gaon, on the one hand, and those possessed by other Sages, on the other hand. Because of those textual differences, the Ra'avad, Rabbenu Manoach, and others have questioned the Rambam's decision. (See Maggid Mishneh.)

These differences caused the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 630:6) to reject the Rambam's decision. The Mishnah Berurah 630:31 states that even according to the Rambam, the poles must be placed exactly at the edge of the roof. If they are placed further in, even when they are within three handbreadths of the edge, the sukkah is not acceptable.

12

A sukkah which has many entrances and many windows in its walls is kosher even though the open portion exceeds the closed portion, provided there is no opening larger than ten cubits.

If there is an opening larger than ten cubits, it is necessary that the closed portion exceed the open portion, even though [the opening] is constructed in the form of an entrance.

יב

סוכה שיש לה פתחים רבים ויש בכתליה חלונות הרבה הרי זו כשרה. ואף על פי שפרוץ מרובה על העומד. ובלבד שלא יהיה שם פתח יתר על עשר. אבל אם היה שם פתח יתר על עשר אע"פ שיש לה צורת פתח צריך שלא יהיה הפרוץ מרובה על העומד:

A sukkah which has many entrances and many windows in its walls is kosher even though the open portion - Any open portion less than three handbreadths in length is considered to be closed, based on the principle of l'vud (Hilchot Shabbat 16:17). The Magen Avraham 630:1 explains that regarding the laws of sukkah, this principle applies only when one constructs four walls. However, if the sukkah has only three walls, the principle of l'vud cannot be applied, to consider spaces less than three handbreadths in length to be closed.

exceeds the closed portion, provided there is no opening larger than ten cubits. - Sukkah 7a states:

[The laws governing] a wall of a sukkah resemble [those governing] the wall [of an enclosure] on the Sabbath...There is an additional [stringency to the laws] of the Sabbath that does not apply to a sukkah. On the Sabbath, [a wall] is permitted only when the enclosed portion is greater than the open portion. This does not apply to a sukkah.

The Rambam describes the laws governing a wall on the Sabbath as follows (Hilchot Shabbat 16:16):

Every wall whose open portion exceeds its enclosed portion is not considered to be a wall. However, if the open portion is equal to the closed portion, it is permitted, provided that none of the open portions exceeds ten cubits.

Based on the above, the Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh explain that just as concerning the laws of the Sabbath, the closed portion of a wall must exceed its open portion, so, too, concerning two of the walls of the sukkah. The leniency allowing a wall of the sukkah to be counted as a wall even though the open portion exceeds the closed portion applies only concerning the third wall. Just as other leniencies (see Halachot 2 and 3) are granted concerning the third wall, this leniency is also allowed.

Others explain that the intent is that even when the open portion of all four walls exceeds the closed portion, the sukkah is kosher, while on the Sabbath such an enclosure is not acceptable. This interpretation of the Talmud's statements is advanced by Rabbenu Asher and is quoted as halachah by the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 630:5.

If there is an opening larger than ten cubits, it is necessary that the closed portion exceed the open portion even though [the opening] is constructed in the form of an entrance. - Hilchot Shabbat (ibid.) states:

If the open portion is constructed in the form of an entrance, even if it is more than ten cubits long it does not negate the wall, provided the open portion does not exceed the closed portion.

However, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 362:10, 630:5) follows the opinion of Tosafot and other authorities, who are willing to accept a wall as kosher even though it has a wide opening, provided it is constructed in the form of an entrance.

The Sefer Hashlamah presents a third view, accepting an open portion more than ten cubits long in the form of an entrance as part of the wall of a sukkah, but not concerning the laws of the Sabbath.

The Ramah concludes his discussion of this halachah by stating that since these laws are somewhat complicated, it has become customary to build whole walls without any open portions. If one has only a minimum amount of wood, it is preferable to build three complete walls, rather than to construct four walls leaving open spaces.

13

A sukkah whose inner space exceeds twenty cubits [is not acceptable]. Should one reduce it [by placing] pillows and coverings [on the floor], it is not considered to be reduced. [This applies even if] one considered them a permanent part of the sukkah. If one reduced the space using straw and considered it as a permanent part of the sukkah, [the space] is considered to be reduced.

Needless to say, the above applies if one used earth and considered it to be a permanent part of the sukkah. However, if one [merely brought in] earth with no specific intention, [its space] is not considered to be reduced.

If it was twenty cubits high, but branches [from the s'chach descend within the twenty cubits, [the following principle applies:] If its shade would be greater than its open portion because of these branches alone, it is considered as having thick s'chach and is kosher.

יג

סוכה שאוירה גבוה מעשרים אמה ומיעטה בכרים וכסתות אינו מיעוט ואפילו ביטלם. מיעטה בתבן ובטלו הרי זה מיעוט. ואין צריך לומר עפר ובטלו. אבל בעפר סתם אינו מיעוט. היתה גבוהה מעשרים אמה והוצין יורדין לתוך עשרים אם היתה צלתן מרובה מחמתן יחשבו כגג עבה וכשרה:

A sukkah whose inner space - the space between the ground and the s'chach.

exceeds twenty cubits [is not acceptable]. - as stated in Halachah 1. Indeed, the question may be raised: Why did the Rambam state these two halachot so far removed from each other?

Should one reduce it - the sukkah's inner space

[by placing] pillows and coverings on the floor], it is not considered to be reduced - for these are merely temporary additions that will later be removed.

[This applies even if] one considered them a permanent - The Maggid Mishneh interprets "permanent" literally. However, the Mishnah Berurah 633:11 explains that according to one opinion, the definition of "permanence" is for the duration of the Sukkot holiday. (See also Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 358:2.)

part of the sukkah. - Most people would not consider leaving these articles in the sukkah permanently. Accordingly, a particular individual's desire to do so is not taken into consideration, and the space is not considered to be reduced (Sukkah 4a).

If one reduced the space using straw and considered it to be a permanent part of the sukkah, [the space] is considered to be reduced. - However, if one laid straw on the floor of the sukkah without having such an intention, the space is not considered to be reduced (ibid.). In his commentary on Ohalot 15:6, the Rambam writes: "In general, one will have in mind to remove straw."

The Mishnah Berurah 633:13 emphasizes that one should not reduce the space of the sukkah on the first day of the festival because of the holiday prohibitions. (See also Rabbenu Manoach.)

Needless to say, the above applies if one used earth and considered it to be a permanent part of the sukkah. However, if one [merely brought in] earth with no specific intention, [its space] is not considered to be reduced. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 633:4) quotes these decisions as halachah and adds that one must verbally express the desire to make the earth or straw part of the sukkah. The Mishnah Berurah (ibid.) states that many later authorities considered an unspoken intention as sufficient.

If it - the inner space of a sukkah

was twenty cubits high - and, therefore, unacceptable

but branches [from the s'chach descend within the twenty cubits, [the following principle applies:] If its shade would be greater than its open portion - this is the minimum measure required by the Mishnah (Sukkah 1:1) for s'chach to be kosher.

because of these branches alone - i.e., were the upper portion of the s'chach to be removed, the branches which hang down would create sufficient shade

it is considered as having thick s'chach - i.e., the s'chach is considered to begin at the low branches and to have been piled high.

and is kosher. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 663:2) quotes this law as halachah.

14

When [a sukkah is more than twenty cubits high, but] one builds a bench next to the middle wall extending across its entire span - if the width of the bench is equal to the minimum width of a sukkah, it is kosher.

Should one build the bench next to the middle wall along [one] side, if there are four cubits between the bench and the [opposite] wall, it is unacceptable. If there are fewer than four cubits, it is kosher.

Should one build the bench in the middle [of the sukkah], if there are more than four cubits from the edge of the bench to any of the sides [of the sukkah], it is not acceptable. If there are fewer than four cubits, it is kosher. It is considered as if the walls touch the bench, and the distance from the bench to the s'chach is less than twenty cubits.

If one constructs a pillar [within a sukkah whose s'chach is more than twenty cubits high, the following rule applies]: Even though it is of the minimum size required of a sukkah, it is unacceptable, because its walls are not discernible. Thus, it is as if there is kosher s'chach above the pillar without any walls.

יד

בנה איצטבה בה כנגד דופן האמצעית על פני כולה אם יש באיצטבה שיעור רוחב הסוכה כשרה. בנה איצטבה כנגד דופן האמצעית מן הצד אם יש משפת איצטבה ולכותל ארבע אמות פסולה פחות מארבע אמות כשרה. בנה איצטבה באמצעה אם יש משפת איצטבה ולכותל ארבע אמות לכל רוח פסולה. פחות מארבע אמות כשרה. וכאילו המחיצות נוגעות באיצטבה והרי מן האיצטבה ועד הסיכוך פחות מעשרים אמה. בנה בה עמוד ויש בו הכשר סוכה פסולה. שאין אלו מחיצות הנכרות ונמצא על גב העמוד סכך כשר בלא דפנות:

When [a sukkah is more than twenty cubits high, but] one builds a bench next to the middle wall extending across its entire span - and there are fewer than twenty cubits between the bench and the s'chach

if the width of the bench is equal to the minimum width of a sukkah - seven handbreadths, as in Halachah 1 above. See Diagram A.

it is kosher. - Rashi (Sukkah 4a) maintains that not only the area above the bench, but the entire sukkah is kosher, as evident from the last clause of Halachah 3. Though Rabbenu Nissim and other authorities maintain that only the area above the bench may be used as a sukkah, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 633:5) accepts Rashi's view.

Should one build the bench next to the middle wall along [one] side, if there are four cubits between the bench and the [opposite] wall, it is unacceptable - because the area around the bench is surrounded by only two walls.

If there are fewer than four cubits, it is kosher. - because of the principle explained in the latter clause. In this instance as well, there is a disagreement between the Rabbis whether the entire sukkah is kosher or only the area above the bench. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 633:6) follows the view that only the area above the bench is acceptable for use as a sukkah. See Diagram B.

Should one build the bench in the middle [of the sukkah], if there are more than four cubits from the edge of the bench to any of the sides [of the sukkah] - that wall is too far removed from the bench to be considered to be a wall around it. Hence,

it - the sukkah in its totality, even the area above the bench...

is not acceptable - for in this instance, the sukkah must have four walls.

If there are fewer than four cubits, - between the bench and the walls of the sukkah...

it is kosher. It is considered as if the walls touch the bench i.e., the area from the bench to the wall is considered to be an extension of the wall. Thus, this halachah is the converse of the principle of דופן עקומה (Dofen Akumah - literally, a crooked wall) mentioned in Chapter 5, Halachah 14.

There and in his commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 1:10), the Rambam explains that the principle of Dofen Akumah allows us to consider materials on the roof of the sukkah which are unacceptable as s'chach to be extensions of the wall, thus creating an L-shaped - i.e., "crooked" - wall.

Here, the Rambam explains that the opposite is also true. As long as there are no more than four cubits between the bench and the wall, the ground of the sukkah can also be considered to be an extension of its wall. (See Kessef Mishneh.)

and - Since...

the distance from the bench to the s'chach is less than twenty cubits. - as required in Halachah 1, the area above the bench is considered as having four walls and kosher s'chach.

If one constructs a pillar - ten handbreadths or more high, because otherwise, the pillar could never be considered to be a significant domain (Maggid Mishneh).

[within a sukkah - removed four cubits or more from the walls. (Otherwise, it would be considered to be kosher because of the principles mentioned above.)

whose s'chach is more than twenty cubits high, the following rule applies]: Even though it is of the minimum size required of a sukkah - seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths

it is unacceptable - Sukkah 4b explains that Abbaye desires to consider such a sukkah to be kosher, based on the principle of גוד אסיק מחיצתא mentioned in Halachah 11 - i.e., the walls of the pillar would be considered as extending upward until the s'chach. Ravva answered him that, in this instance, that principle cannot be applied...

for - in contrast to those of a house

its - the pillar's

walls are not discernible. - See the Chiddushim of Rav Chayim Soloveichik, Halachah 11.

Thus, it is as if there is kosher s'chach above the pillar without any walls.

15

[The following rule applies] when [the inner space of the sukkah] was less than ten [handbreadths high] and one dug [into the ground of the sukkah] to create an [inner space] of ten [handbreadths]: If there are three handbreadths from the edge of the pit until the wall [of the sukkah], it is not acceptable. If there is less than that [amount], it is kosher, because any [distance] less than three [handbreadths] is considered to be [insignificant, and the two entities are considered to be] adjacent [to each other], as explained in Hilchot Shabbat.

טו

היתה פחותה מעשרה וחקק בה להשלימה לעשרה. אם יש משפת חקק ולכותל שלשה טפחים פסולה. פחות מיכן כשרה שכל פחות משלשה הרי הוא כדבוק כמו שבארנו בהלכות שבת:

[The following rule applies] when [the inner space of the sukkah] was less than ten [handbreadths high] - the minimum height required by Halachah 1.

and one dug [into the ground of the sukkah] to create - a pit at least seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths (Rabbenu Manoach, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 633:10) with...

an [inner space] of ten [handbreadths] - between it and the s'chach.

If there are three handbreadths from the edge of the pit until the wall [of the sukkah], it is not acceptable. - One might assume that as long as there are less than four cubits between the edge of the pit and the sukkah, the sukkah would be kosher, because of the principle mentioned in the previous halachah; i.e., the ground of the sukkah would be considered to be an extension of the wall. Nevertheless, Sukkah 4a differentiates between the two cases. In the situation described in the previous halachah, the wall was of the proper size; the only question was its proximity to the sukkah. In this instance, there is no halachically acceptable wall to begin with.

If there is less than that [amount], it is kosher - The Mishnah Berurah 633:29 quotes authorities who maintain that only the area within the pit is kosher, and one does not fulfill the mitzvah of eating or sleeping in the sukkah by performing these activities in the portion covered by the s'chach outside the pit.

because any [distance] less than three [handbreadths] is considered to be [insignificant and the two entities are considered to be] adjacent [to each other], as explained in Hilchot Shabbat - 14:7, which explains the principle of l'vud mentioned above.

16

The walls of the sukkah are kosher [although made] from all [substances]. All that is necessary is a barrier of any kind. Even living beings [may serve that purpose. Thus,] a person can create a wall [of the sukkah] by using a colleague so that he can eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah, for which his colleague is serving as a wall [even] on the holiday.

The above applies when one employs the person as a wall without his conscious knowledge. However, it is forbidden to create [a wall by using a person] when the latter is conscious of the fact on the holiday. Nevertheless, it is permitted during the other days of the festival.

Similarly, a person may create a fourth wall from utensils on the holiday. However, he should not create a third wall using utensils on the holiday, because, [by doing so], he is making the sukkah fit for use, and it is forbidden to create [even] a temporary tent on the holiday.

טז

דפני סוכה כשרין מן הכל שאין אנו צריכין אלא מחיצה מכל מקום ואפילו מבעלי חיים. ועושה אדם את חברו דופן ביום טוב כדי שיאכל וישתה ויישן בסוכה כשרה שחבירו דופן לה. והוא שיעשה אותו שלא לדעת זה שנעשה דופן. אבל אם עשהו לדעת אסור ביום טוב. ומותר בשאר ימי החג. וכן עושה בכלים דופן רביעית ביום טוב. אבל דופן שלישית לא יעשה אותה בכלים ביום טוב לפי שהוא מכשיר הסוכה ואין עושין אהל עראי ביום טוב

The walls of the sukkah are kosher [although made] from all [substances]. - The Mishnah (Sukkah 12b) mentions many substances which are not acceptable as s'chach (as mentioned in the following chapter), and concludes "all are fit to be used as walls."

All that is necessary is a barrier of any kind. - The Ramah (Orach Chayim 630:1) explains that one should take care not to use substances that have an unpleasant odor or substances that will shrivel during the holiday, and thus cause the walls to be less than the required measure.

Even living beings [may serve that purpose. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 630:11) states that an animal used for this purpose must be tied so that it will not run away.

Thus,] a person can create a wall [of the sukkah] by using a colleague so that he can eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah, for which his colleague is serving as a wall - The Tzafnat Paneach raises the question whether the person serving as the wall can also fulfill the mitzvah of eating in such a sukkah. He quotes a number of passages from which one might infer that he may.

[even] on the holiday. - The latter term refers to the first day of Sukkot - and in the Diaspora, the second day - and the day of Shemini Atzeret, when the laws prohibiting work and the Rabbinic ordinances extending those restrictions must be observed.

The above applies when one employs the person as a wall without his conscious knowledge. However, it is forbidden to create [a wall by using a person] - The Ra'avad and the Maggid Mishneh explain that this refers only to the third wall of the sukkah. If a sukkah has three kosher walls, a person may employ a colleague to serve as the fourth wall on the holiday, even though the latter is conscious of what he is doing. The Ramah (Orach Chayim 630:12) states this as halachah.

when the latter is conscious of the fact on the holiday. - Hilchot Shabbat 16:23 states:

It is permitted to create a barrier of men, one standing next to the other, on the Sabbath, as long as the people who are standing are not conscious of the fact that they are serving as a barrier.

Although it is forbidden to create an enclosure on the Sabbath, since the person serving as the barrier is unaware of what he is doing, no transgression is involved. It is his intention, and not that of the person using the sukkah, which is significant (Ra'avad). In contrast, when the person serving as the wall is conscious of his acts, it is considered as if he has created a structure of substance (Magen Avraham 630:19).

The Magen Avraham (ibid.) also states that leniency is granted only when humans serve as the walls. It is absolutely forbidden to create a wall using an animal on the holiday.

Nevertheless, it is permitted during the other days of the festival - with the exception of the Sabbath; i.e., there is no essential difficulty with the use of such a sukkah, the only problem is the Rabbinic prohibition mentioned above.

Similarly, a person may create a fourth wall - Since a sukkah is kosher when it possesses only three walls, the addition of the fourth wall is not halachically significant. We are allowed to add to a temporary structure on the Sabbath.

from utensils on the festival. However, he should not create a third wall using utensils - It is permitted to create a utensil from human beings, because one does not normally create an enclosure in such a manner. In contrast, an enclosure is frequently made from utensils (Rabbenu Manoach).

on the holiday, because, [by doing so], he is making the sukkah fit for use, and it is forbidden to create [even] a temporary tent on the holiday.

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Five

1

[There are requirements regarding] the s'chach of a sukkah, and not all substances are acceptable [to be used for this purpose]. For s'chach, we may use only a substance which grows from the ground, has been detached from the ground, is not subject to contracting ritual impurity, does not have an unpleasant odor, and does not have elements which fall off and wither constantly.

א

הסכך של סוכה אינו כשר מכל דבר. אין מסככין אלא בדבר שגידולו מן הארץ שנעקר מן הארץ ואינו מקבל טומאה ואין ריחו רע ואינו נושר ואינו נובל תמיד:

In contrast to the walls mentioned in the last halachah of the previous chapter...

[There are requirements regarding] the s'chach of a sukkah, and not all substances are acceptable [to be used for this purpose]. - Some of the requirements mentioned by the Rambam were established by Torah law, while others are Rabbinic ordinances, as explained below.

For s'chach, we may use only a substance which:

a) grows from the ground - i.e., is an agricultural product and is neither found naturally - e.g., metals - nor produced from animals nor manufactured synthetically;

b) has been detached from the ground - and is not still connected to its source of nurture;

c) is not subject to contracting ritual impurity - This excludes articles used as food and those that have been fashioned into utensils. These three requirements are alluded to by Deuteronomy 16:13: "Make the Sukkot holiday for yourselves for seven days, when you gather in from your grain and grapes..."

Sukkah 12a explains that the verse implies that the s'chach, the essential element of the sukkah, must resemble "the leftovers from the grain and grape harvest."

(The expression "alluded to" was used rather than "derived from" on the basis of the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:4. That expression implies that the concept cannot be derived from the verse per se. Rather, it was transmitted as a halachah l'Moshe miSinai, and the Biblical verse is merely an allusion.)

The Rambam gives examples of entities which are not acceptable as s'chach on the basis of these principles in the following halachah.

d) does not have an unpleasant odor - As implied by the following halachah, this and the following clause are Rabbinic decrees. S'chach with an unpleasant odor will not create an inviting holiday environment. Indeed, substances with an unpleasant odor should not be used for the sukkah's walls either.

e) and does not have elements which fall off and wither constantly - for a person will not be pleased to have portions of the s'chach falling into his food. The Mishnah Berurah 629:39 states that the prohibition applies to elements that fall off naturally. However, if they fall off only when subjected to wind, there is no difficulty in using them.

2

When a person uses as s'chach a substance which does not grow from the ground, is still connected to the ground, or is subject to contracting ritual impurity, [the sukkah] is not acceptable.

However, if he transgressed and used as s'chach a substance which has elements which fall off and wither, or which possesses an unpleasant odor, it is kosher. [Our Sages] said only that one should not use these as s'chach lest one leave one's sukkah and depart. One must take care that the branches and leaves should not descend within ten handbreadths of the ground, so that one will not be uncomfortable when using the sukkah.

If one used metals, bones, or hides as s'chach, it is unacceptable because these do not grow from the ground. If one suspended vines and the like over it until they made a sukkah, it is unacceptable, because they were not uprooted [from the ground].

Should one use wooden utensils, mats that were made to lie on, and the like as s'chach, it is unacceptable, because they are subject to contracting ritual impurity. Similarly, using broken and worn out utensils as s'chach is unacceptable. Since these substances were subject to ritual impurity, [the latter law was instituted] lest one use broken pieces which have not yet attained a state of [unquestionable] purity.

ב

סיכך בדבר שאין גדוליו מן הארץ או במחובר לארץ או בדבר שמקבל טומאה פסולה. אבל אם עבר וסיכך בדבר הנובל ונושר או בדבר שריחו רע כשרה. שלא אמרו אין מסככין באלו אלא כדי שלא יניח הסוכה ויצא. וצריך להזהר שלא יהיו הוצין ועלין של סכך יורדין לתוך עשרה טפחים כדי שלא יצר לו בישיבתו. סיככה במיני מתכות או בעצמות ועורות פסולה מפני שאינן גדולי קרקע. הדלה עליה גפנים וכיוצא בהן עד שנעשו סוכה פסולה שהרי לא נעקרו. סיככה בכלי עץ ובמחצלות העשויות לשכיבה וכיוצא בהן פסולה מפני שהן מקבלין טומאה. וכן אם סיככה בשברי כלים ובליותיהן פסולה הואיל והיו מקבלין טומאה שמא יסכך בשברים שעדיין לא טהרו:

When a person uses as s'chach a substance which does not grow from the ground, is still connected to the ground, or is subject to contracting ritual impurity, [the sukkah] is not acceptable. - for these requirements stem from the Torah itself. The particular aspects of these requirements are described in this and the following halachot.

However, if he transgressed and used as s'chach a substance which has elements which fall off and wither - Sukkah 13a gives the shrub known as hollow as an example of such a substance.

or possesses an unpleasant odor - Sukkah 12b gives the plant known as wormwood as an example of such a substance.

it is kosher - after the fact, for these are only Rabbinic requirements. The Mishnah Berurah 629:38 emphasizes that even if other s'chach is available, there is no need to remove the s'chach with the unpleasant odor. However, the Pri Megadim stresses that if the odor is so unpleasant that no one would bear it in his home, it is forbidden to use such a sukkah.

[Our Sages] - Sukkah 13a

said only that one should not use these as s'chach lest one leave one's sukkah and depart.

One must take care that the branches and leaves should not descend within ten handbreadths of the ground - the minimum height for a sukkah prescribed in Chapter 3, Halachah 1.

so that one will not be uncomfortable - Sukkah 4a describes this as "a disgusting dwelling, unfit for human habitation."

when using the sukkah. - The Rambam's phraseology leaves room for the interpretation that this is a suggestion, but not an absolute requirement. (See Rabbenu Manoach.) Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 633:9) states that such a sukkah is unacceptable for use.

If one used metals - even if they have not been made into utensils, but are still in a raw state in which they are unfit to contract ritual impurity;

bones, or hides - even if they have not been made into garments, but are still in a raw state in which they are unfit to contract ritual impurity;

as s'chach, it is unacceptable, because these do not grow from the ground.

If one suspended vines and the like over it until they made a sukkah, it is unacceptable, because they were not uprooted [from the ground]. - The laws governing the use of such plants as s'chach after they have been hung over the sukkah and then detached from the ground are discussed in Halachah 12.

Should one use wooden utensils - In particular, this refers to wooden utensils that have a receptacle or are wide and other articles are frequently placed upon them - e.g., a table. However, wooden utensils that do not fall into these categories are not subject to contracting ritual impurity, and, hence, may be used for s'chach. An example of such utensil is a ladder. The Rambam (Hilchot Keilim 4:1) declares that a ladder is not subject to contracting ritual impurity. Hence, according to his opinion, there is no difficulty with using it as s'chach.

(It must be emphasized that other authorities question the Rambam's decision on a ladder and maintain that a ladder may be subject to contracting ritual impurity. Hence, it is preferable not to use it as s'chach. See the Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, Orach Chayim 629:7.)

mats that were made to lie on - However, mats that were made for use as s'chach or for shade may be used as s'chach. Halachah 6 discusses the laws which apply when a mat was made without any specific intention.

and the like as s'chach, it is unacceptable, because they are subject to contracting ritual impurity. Similarly, using broken - e.g., utensils with holes of sufficient size to render them no longer subject to contracting ritual impurity. (See Hilchot Keilim, Chapter 6.)

and worn out - e.g., garments that have worn out and are less than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths in size and, hence, are no longer subject to contracting ritual impurity (Sukkah 16a; Hilchot Keilim 22:21).

utensils as s'chach is unacceptable. - This is a Rabbinic decree on the basis of the following rationale...

Since these substances were subject to ritual impurity - previously,

[the latter law was instituted] lest one use broken pieces - from utensils

which have not yet attained a state of [unquestionable] purity - i.e., are still subject to contracting ritual impurity.

as s'chach.

3

If one used foods as s'chach, it is unacceptable, because they are subject to contracting ritual impurity. [When one uses] branches from a fig tree which contain figs, runners from a grape vine which contain grapes, branches of a date palm which contain dates and the like, [the following rules apply:] We see - if the waste is more than the food; then we may use them as s'chach. If not, we may not use them as s'chach.

If one uses as s'chach vegetables which, when they dry up, will wither, and none of their substance will remain, even though they are now fresh, their place is considered to be vacant, as though they did not exist.

ג

סיככה באוכלין פסולה מפני שהן מקבלין טומאה. סוכי תאנים ובהן תאנים. פרכילי ענבים ובהם ענבים. מכבדות ובהם תמרים וכן כל כיוצא בהן. רואין אם פסולת מרובה על האוכלין מסככין בהן ואם לאו אין מסככין בהן. סיכך בירקות שאם ייבשו יבולו ולא ישאר בהן ממש אע"פ שהן עתה לחים הרי מקומן נחשב כאילו הוא אויר וכאילו אינם:

If one used foods - This refers only to foods for humans. Food which is eaten primarily by animals is not subject to contracting ritual impurity (Hilchot Tum'at Ochlin 1:1) and hence may be used as s'chach (Taz 629:12).

as s'chach, it is unacceptable, because they are subject to contracting ritual impurity. - There is a slight imprecision in the Rambam's statements. Produce is not subject to contracting ritual impurity until it comes into contact with liquid. (See Leviticus 11:38; Hilchot Tum'at Ochlin 1:1-2.) Nevertheless, foods are not fit to be used as s'chach even though they have never come into contact with water (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 629:1; Mishnah Berurah 629:28).

[When one uses] branches from a fig tree which contain figs, runners from a grape vine which contain grapes, branches of a date palm which contain dates and the like - i.e., the difficulty being that although the branches are proper s'chach, the fruit is unfit to be used for that purpose...

[the following rules apply:] We see if the waste - the branches and leaves

is more than the food - the fruit

then we may use them as s'chach. If not, we may not use them as s'chach. - Rabbenu Manoach explains that these decisions are based on the principle that according to Torah law, mixtures are categorized according to the majority (בטל ברב).

On the basis of Sukkah 13b-14a, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 629:10) explains that sometimes the stems of the fruit are considered part of the fruit, and on other occasions part of the branches. The Magen Avraham 629:12 explains that generally, a stem is not considered to be longer than three handbreadths. However, there are certain instances (e.g., grains) when a longer measure is considered. Hence, it is proper to be stringent in this regard. (See also Shulchan Aruch HaRav 629:15-16.)

The apparent contradiction between this halachah and Halachah 13 is discussed in the commentary on that halachah.

If one uses as s'chach vegetables - The Maggid Mishneh explains that this refers to vegetables that are used as animal food, and hence were not excluded by the previous clause of this halachah. Rabbenu Manoach and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 629:12) explain that this refers to vegetables that are eaten by humans. Sukkah 13b appears to support the latter interpretation, stating:

The vegetables with which a person can fulfill his obligation on Pesach... [can] invalidate a sukkah, [because they are considered] to be vacant space.

which, when they dry up, will wither, and none of their substance will remain - i.e., the vegetables will dry up and wither during the Sukkot festival, leaving the sukkah with more vacant space than shade (Kessef Mishneh).

even though they are now fresh, their place is considered to be vacant, as if they did not exist. - According to the Maggid Mishneh's interpretation, the explanation of the law is straightforward. It teaches us that rather than consider the vegetables to be non-kosher s'chach, we consider their space to be vacant. The latter interpretation requires a slightly more intricate explanation. The vegetables are not considered to be non-kosher s'chach, which would invalidate the sukkah if they take up four handbreadths, as explained in Halachah 14. Rather, their space is considered to be empty. Hence, a space of three handbreadths is sufficient to invalidate the sukkah, as explained in Halachah 20.

4

If one used as s'chach branches of flax which were not crushed and combed, they are kosher, because they are still considered to be wood. After the flax has been crushed and combed, it may not be used as s'chach, since its form has changed and it is as though it is no longer a product of the earth.

One may use ropes made from palm bast or hemp and the like as s'chach, since their original form is unchanged and ropes are not considered to be utensils.

ד

סיככה בפשתי העץ שלא דק אותן ולא נפצן כשרה שעדיין עץ הוא. ואם דק ונפץ אותן אין מסככין בו מפני שנשתנית צורתו וכאלו אינן מגדולי קרקע. מסככין בחבלים של סיב ושל חלף וכיוצא בהן שהרי צורתן עומד ואין החבלים כלים:

If one used as s'chach branches of flax which were not crushed and combed, they are kosher, because they are still considered to be wood. - The use of the word עץ, rendered as branches or wood, with regard to flax, has its source in Joshua 2:6, which describes how Rachav "hid them in branches of flax."

After the flax has been crushed and combed - The Rishon Letzion questions the law when the flax has been crushed but not combed, and concludes that as long as it has not been combed, it is acceptable. Nevertheless, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 629:5 does not accept this conclusion.

it may not be used as s'chach - Though it is not considered to be a garment and, hence, is not subject to contracting ritual impurity (Maggid Mishneh; see also Shabbat 27b), it may nevertheless not be used as s'chach...

since its form has changed and it is as though it is no longer a product of the earth. - The Ra'avad disagrees with this principle and states that even before it is woven into a garment, flax is useful to stuff pillows and covers. Hence, it is subject to contracting ritual impurity and is thus unfit to be used as s'chach.

The Maggid Mishneh points out a contradiction to the Ra'avad's logic. The "male arrows" mentioned in the following halachah are - like flax - prepared to be used for a purpose. Nevertheless, they are considered acceptable for use as s'chach.

Rav Kapach mentions two possible extensions of the difference of opinion between the Rambam and the Ra'avad:

a) paper or carton - According to the Rambam, it may not be used because it no longer resembles a plant produced from the earth. According to the Ra'avad, it might be acceptable, since it is not subject to contracting ritual impurity.

b) cotton wool - It may be used for the purposes mentioned by the Ra'avad and thus, according to his opinion, would be subject to contracting ritual impurity. Nevertheless, its natural form is preserved. Hence, according to the Rambam's opinion, it would be acceptable. (It must be noted that the Magen Avraham 629:3 and Shulchan Aruch HaRav 629:5 maintain that after cotton has been combed, it is considered as though its form has been altered.)

One may use ropes made from palm bast or hemp and the like as s'chach, since their original form is unchanged and ropes are not considered to be utensils. - nor are they subject to contracting ritual impurity. The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 629:5 quotes this law as halachah, but adds that ropes of flax and canvas may not be used for this purpose.

5

[The following rules apply] when one uses arrows as s'chach. Those which are "male" are kosher; those which are "female" are not acceptable. Even though [ultimately,] they will be filled with iron, they have a receptacle. Hence, they are susceptible to contracting ritual impurity, as are all utensils with receptacles.

ה

סיככה בחצים בזכרים כשרה בנקבות פסולה אף על פי שהוא עשוי להתמלאות בברזל בית קיבול הוא ומקבל טומאה ככל כלי קיבול:

[The following rules apply] when one uses arrows as s'chach. - The question whether the arrows are acceptable as s'chach or not revolves around another issue - their susceptibility to contracting ritual impurity.

Those which are "male" - i.e., the end of their body is sharpened and comes to a point, which is intended to be put inside a metal arrowhead.

are kosher - for the arrow itself is considered a simple wooden utensil which is not susceptible to contracting ritual impurity. (See Hilchot Keilim 1:10.)

The Magen Avraham 629:2 states that this decision applies only before these arrows were placed in the arrowhead. If they have been placed in the arrowhead, even if subsequently removed they are no longer acceptable as s'chach.

those which are "female" - i.e., the end of their body is hollowed out for the arrowhead to be inserted within

are not acceptable. - for they are subject to contracting ritual impurity.

Even though [ultimately,] they will be filled with iron - Hilchot Keilim 2:3 states: "A receptacle which is made to be filled is not considered a receptacle." Thus, one might assume that these arrows would also not be considered as having a receptacle. The Pri Ha'aretz explains that since the iron arrowheads are often removed from these bodies, it is considered as though...

they have a receptacle. Hence, they are susceptible to contracting ritual impurity, as are all utensils with receptacles. - It must be noted that Rashi and other commentators follow the simple interpretation of Sukkah 12b (the source for this law) and disagree with the Rambam's decision in Hilchot Keilim. They maintain that if a utensil has a receptacle, even if it will be permanently filled, it is subject to contracting ritual impurity.

6

A mat of reeds, of raw rubber, or of hemp - if it is small, we may assume that it was made to lie on. Therefore, it may not be used for s'chach unless it was [explicitly] made for this purpose.

If it is large, we may assume that it was made for shade; therefore, it may be used for s'chach unless it was [explicitly] made to lie on.

If it has a border, even a large mat may not be used as s'chach, because it is considered to be a receptacle. Even if the border were removed, it may not be used as s'chach, because it would be considered to be a broken utensil.

ו

מחצלת קנים או מחצלת גמי או חלף. קטנה סתמה לשכיבה לפיכך אין מסככין בה אלא אם כן עשה אותה לסיכוך. גדולה סתמה לסיכוך לפיכך מסככין בה אלא אם כן עשה אותה לשכיבה. ואם יש לה קיר אפילו גדולה אין מסככין בה שהרי היא ככלי קיבול. ואפילו ניטל הקיר שלה אין מסככין בה מפני שהיא כשברי כלים:

A mat of reeds, of raw rubber, or of hemp - if it is small, we may assume that it was made to lie on. - The commentaries note an apparent contradiction in the Rambam's words. Hilchot Keilim 25:13 states that even a small mat of reeds or hemp is not subject to contracting ritual impurity, because it is uncomfortable to lie on.

Therefore, it may not be used for s'chach unless it was [explicitly] made for this purpose. - Since the mat was made with that specific intention, we do not follow the general principles, but rather judge it individually.

If it is large - The Rambam's statements are based on Sukkah 20a. It must be noted that his decisions are dependent on the version of the text of the Talmud he accepted. The Ra'avad and others interpret the word גדולה as related to the word גדיל (tassel). Thus, they explain that the Talmud is referring to a small mat. However, because it is made of thick tassels, rather than woven, it is not comfortable to lie on, and hence would most likely be used for shade. According to this opinion, any woven mat, even if it is large, is unfit to be used as s'chach. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 629:6) quotes the Rambam's interpretation.

we may assume that it was made for shade; therefore, it may be used for s'chach unless it was [explicitly] made to lie on. - The Ramah (Orach Chayim, ibid.) mentions that in places where it is customary to affix mats permanently as the roofs for homes, they may not be used for s'chach. The Rabbis instituted this decree lest people remain in their homes on Sukkot without differentiating between them and a sukkah.

If it has a border - a small lip (Sukkah 20b)

even a large mat may not be used as s'chach, because it is considered to be a receptacle. - Tosafot, Sukkah 20b quotes Ketubot 50b, which explains that such mats were used to collect dates.

Even if the border was removed, it may not be used as s'chach, because it would be considered to be a broken utensil. - which, as explained in Halachah 2, may not be used as s'chach even though they are not susceptible to contracting ritual impurity.

7

Boards which are less than four handbreadths wide may be used for s'chach even though they have been planed. If they are more than four handbreadths wide, they should not be used as s'chach, even though they have not been planed. This is a decree [instituted] lest one sit under a roof and regard it as a sukkah.

If one placed a board which was more than four handbreadths wide over [a sukkah, the sukkah] is kosher. However, one should not sleep under the board. A person who did sleep under the board has not fulfilled his obligation.

There were boards that were four handbreadths wide, but less than four handbreadths thick. A person turned them on their side so that they would not be four handbreadths wide to use them as s'chach. This is not acceptable, because a board is unacceptable for use as s'chach whether one uses its width or thickness.

ז

נסרים שאין ברחבן ארבעה טפחים מסככין בהן אף על פי שהן משופין. ואם יש ברחבן ארבעה אין מסככין בהן ואע"פ שאינם משופין גזרה שמא ישב תחת התקרה וידמה שהיא כסוכה. נתן עליה נסר אחד שיש ברחבו ארבעה טפחים כשרה ואין ישנין תחתיו והישן תחתיו לא יצא ידי חובתו. היו נסרין שיש ברחבן ארבעה ואין בעביין ארבעה והפכן בצידיהן שאין בהן ארבעה וסכך בהן הרי זו פסולה. שהרי הנסר פסול בין שסיכך ברחבו בין שסיכך בעביו:

Boards which are less than four handbreadths wide - In many places throughout the Talmud, four handbreadths is established as the minimum size of an area. Hence, a board of that size is considered significant and may not be used as s'chach (Sukkah 14a).

may be used for s'chach even though they have been planed - smooth, and thus are fit to be used in their present state (Sukkah 15a; Rabbenu Manoach).

If they are more than four handbreadths wide, they should not be used as s'chach, even though they have not been planed. This is a decree [instituted] lest one sit under a roof and regard it as a sukkah. - A person might think: "What is the difference between the sukkah and my house - they are both covered with boards?" This is surely a false assumption. As explained in the following halachah, since the boards of a roof were not placed there for the purpose of shade, but rather to be part of the permanent structure of the house, they cannot be considered to be s'chach (Sukkah 14a; Rabbenu Manoach).

If one placed a board which was more than four handbreadths wide over [a sukkah, the sukkah] is kosher. - The Maggid Mishneh explains that this applies only when the board is placed at the side of the sukkah. Thus, it could be considered to be an extension of the wall (דופן עקומה), as explained in Halachah 14. However, if it is in the midst of the sukkah, it is not acceptable. The Kessef Mishneh explains that this law can apply even in the midst of a sukkah, provided the sukkah already possesses its minimum size. His decisions in the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 632:1 follow this interpretation.

However, one should not sleep under the board. - According to the Maggid Mishneh, because it is part of the wall; according to the Kessef Mishneh, because it appears to be a separate domain.

A person who did sleep - or fulfilled any other of the activities which must be performed in the sukkah

under the board has not fulfilled his obligation.

There were boards that were four handbreadths wide, but less than four handbreadths thick. A person turned them on their side so that they would not be four handbreadths wide to use them as s'chach. This is not acceptable, because a board is unacceptable for use as s'chach whether one uses its width or thickness. - Sukkah 14b explains that after the Sages forbade the use of such boards, they are considered to be equivalent to iron poles.

The Magen Avraham 629:22 writes that at present it is customary not to use boards as s'chach, even if they are less than four handbreadths wide. However, if there is no other s'chach available, one may use boards for that purpose even if they are more than four handbreadths wide.

8

A roof which is not covered by a ceiling - i.e., the plaster and the stones - but rather has only boards fixed in place, is not acceptable, since they were not placed there for the purpose of a sukkah, but to be part of the house.

Therefore, if one lifted up the boards and removed the nails with the intent [that they serve] as a sukkah, it is kosher. [This applies provided] that each board is not four handbreadths wide.

Similarly, it is kosher if one removed a board from between two others and replaced it with kosher s'chach, with the intention [that it serve] as a sukkah.

ח

תקרה שאין עליה מעזיבה שהיא הטיט והאבנים אלא נסרין תקועין בלבד הרי זו פסולה שהרי לא נעשו לשם סוכה אלא לשם בית. לפיכך אם פקפק הנסרים והניד המסמרים לשם סוכה הרי זו כשרה. ובלבד שלא יהיה בכל נסר ונסר ארבעה טפחים. וכן אם נטל אחד מבינתים והניח במקומו סכך כשר לשם סוכה הרי זו כשרה:

A roof which is not covered by a ceiling - i.e., the plaster and the stones - but rather has only boards fixed in place, is not acceptable, since they were not placed there for the purpose of a sukkah - as required by the following halachah

but to be part of the house. Therefore, if one - performed two activities:

a) lifted up the boards - from their place. (Though the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 631:9 does not mention this requirement, the Mishnah Berurah 631:4 does.)

and b) removed the nails - holding the boards in position. (See the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:7.) Through these actions, one is considered to have nullified the previous placement of the boards, and it is considered as though they have been placed there...

with the intent [that they serve] as a sukkah - Therefore

it is kosher - for the boards are essentially fit to be used as s'chach. The only difficulty was the intention with which they were originally placed. A change of mind without an act is not sufficient, since, as explained in the commentary on the following halachah, we are required to "make" a sukkah and not use one which has already been made.

[This applies provided] that each board is not four handbreadths wide. - as explained in the previous halachah. Rabbenu Asher states that in such a situation, the sukkah is acceptable even though the boards are more than four handbreadths wide.

He explains that in the previous instance, the reason the Sages forbade using such boards was to differentiate between them and the boards of a house. In the present instance, the fact that the person took apart the roof of his house obviously implies that he realizes that it may not be used as a sukkah. Hence, there is no need for such a decree. This opinion is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch, ibid.

9

A sukkah that was made for any purpose whatsoever - even if it was not made for the purpose of [fulfilling] the mitzvah - if it was made according to law, it is kosher. However, it must be made for the purpose of shade. Examples of this are sukkot made for gentiles, sukkot made for animals, and the like.

In contrast, a sukkah that came about on its own accord is unacceptable, because it was not made for the purpose of shade. Similarly, when a person hollows out a place in a heap of produce and thus makes a sukkah, it is not considered to be a sukkah, because the produce was not piled there for this purpose. Accordingly, were one to create a space one handbreadth [high] and seven [handbreadths] in area for the purpose of a sukkah, and afterwards hollow it out till it reached ten [handbreadths], it is kosher, since its s'chach was placed for the purpose of shade.

ט

סוכה שנעשית כהלכתה מכל מקום כשרה אף על פי שלא נעשית לשם מצוה. והוא שתהיה עשויה לצל כגון סוכת עכו"ם וסוכת בהמה וכל כיוצא בהן. אבל סוכה שנעשית מאיליה פסולה לפי שלא נעשית לצל. וכן החוטט בגדיש ועשהו סוכה אינה סוכה שהרי לא עימר גדיש זה לצל. לפיכך אם עשה בתחלה חלל טפח במשך שבעה לשם סוכה וחטט בה אחרי כן והשלימה לעשרה כשרה שהרי נעשה סכך שלה לצל:

A sukkah that was made for any purpose whatsoever - even if it was not made for the purpose of [fulfilling] the mitzvah - if it was made according to law - Sukkah 8b quotes a baraita which contains the latter statement and questions: "What does 'according to law' mean?...That it was made for the purpose of shade."

It appears that the Rambam uses the same expression, but with different implications. Since he explicitly states that the sukkah must be constructed for the purpose of shade, one might infer that the expression "according to law" is intended to include other concepts. Thus, it can be a reference to the requirements for a sukkah's size and the nature of the materials used for the s'chach, as mentioned in this and the previous chapter.

it is kosher. - The Mishnah, Sukkah 1:1, states:

An old sukkah: The School of Shammai deems it unacceptable, while the School of Hillel rules it kosher.

The commentaries explain that the term "an old sukkah" refers to any sukkah that was constructed for purposes other than the fulfillment of the mitzvah.

In its discussion of this law, the Jerusalem Talmud requires that one must make an addition or change to the s'chach. Though that decision is not quoted by the Rambam, Rabbenu Asher mentions it and it is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 636:1). Nevertheless, the Magen Avraham 636:1 explains that this is a desirable and proper step, but the sukkah is acceptable even though no changes have been made.

However, it must be made for the purpose of shade. - Isaiah 4:6 states: "It shall be a sukkah for shade from the heat...," thus defining the purpose of such a structure. A sukkah constructed for the purposes of modesty is not acceptable (Rabbenu Manoach).

Examples of this are sukkot made for gentiles, sukkot made for animals, and the like - which are outside the entire framework of mitzvot. Sukkah 8b also mentions the sukkot made for shepherds and watchmen. Though the latter are obligated to keep the mitzvah of sukkah, they did not necessarily construct their sukkot with that intent in mind.

In contrast, a sukkah that came about on its own accord - e.g., branches fell over a frame, and of course, any time a roof is covered for other purposes - e.g., the construction of a home, as mentioned in the previous halachah...

is unacceptable, because it was not made for the purpose of shade.

Similarly, when a person hollows out a place in a heap of produce and thus makes a sukkah, it is not considered to be a sukkah - Sukkot 12a explains that there is an added factor involved in this example. Deuteronomy 16:13 states: "Make a [celebration of] the Sukkot holiday for seven days." This refers to the construction of the sukkah and teaches that we must "make" a sukkah and not use what was already made. Therefore, despite the fact that the person hollowed out the space for the purpose of shade, the sukkah is not acceptable, because the produce was not originally placed there for that purpose.

We find a similar principle concerning tzitzit. Deuteronomy 22:12 states: "Make yourself tassels on the four corners of your garments." On the basis of this command, Menachot 40b teaches that it is unacceptable to tie tzitzit to a three-cornered garment and then cut a fourth corner, since we are required to make tzitzit, and not use what is already made.

for the produce was not piled there for this purpose. - The Ba'al Hamaor writes that if, originally, a person were to pile produce with the intention that later he would hollow out a sukkah, the sukkah would be acceptable. However, this opinion is not accepted by other authorities.

Accordingly, were one to create a space one handbreadth [high] - We find the measure of one handbreadth considered to define a structure with regard to the laws of ritual impurity. Accordingly, it is given significance in this context as well. (See Sukkah 16a.)

and seven [handbreadths] - by seven handbreadths

in area for the purpose of a sukkah, and afterwards hollow it out till it reached ten [handbreadths] - the minimum height of a sukkah, as explained in Chapter 3, Halachah 1.

it is kosher, since its s'chach was placed for the purpose of shade - and then, the original structure was merely expanded.

10

We may not use bundles of straw, bundles of wood or bundles of reeds as s'chach. This decree [was instituted] lest one place those bundles on one's roof to dry out, and then change one's mind and sit under them with the intent [that they serve as] a sukkah. The person did not place the s'chach there originally for the purpose of shade. Thus, it resembles a sukkah that came about on its own accord.

If one untied [the bundles], they are acceptable [for use as s'chach]. A bundle is considered to be no fewer than twenty five units.

י

חבילי קש וחבילי עצים וחבילי זרדין אין מסככין בהן גזרה שמא יעשה אותן חבילות על גגו כדי לייבשן וימלך וישב תחתיהן לשם סוכה והוא מתחלה לא עשה סכך זה לצל ונמצאת כסוכה שנעשית מאיליה. ואם התירם כשירות. ואין חבילה פחותה מעשרים וחמשה בדים:

We may not use bundles of straw, bundles of wood or bundles of reeds as s'chach. - Although, according to the Torah's requirements, these would be considered proper s'chach...

This decree [was instituted] - by the Sages (Sukkah 12a)...

lest one place those bundles on one's roof to dry out, and then change one's mind and sit under them with the intent [that they serve as] a sukkah. The person did not place the s'chach there originally for the purpose of shade. Thus, it resembles a sukkah that came about on its own accord. - which is unacceptable, as explained in the previous halachah.

If one - placed bundles of these substances on a roof with the intent that they would be used as s'chach and...

untied [the bundles], they are acceptable [for use as s'chach]. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 629:17) explains that a different rule applies if the bundles were originally placed on the roof to dry out. For them to be acceptable as s'chach, untying them alone is insufficient, and one must also shift the position of their contents.

A bundle is considered to be no fewer than twenty five units. - Thus, any lesser amount of these substances are acceptable as s'chach even though they are tied together.

The Rambam bases his statements on the Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 1:6). Though the Ra'avad maintains that a bundle may be composed of even a smaller number of units, the Rambam's opinion is accepted as halachah by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 629:15.

11

Small bundles that were tied together [to be sold] by number may be used as s'chach.

Similarly, if one cuts off the top of a date palm and the branches are bound to it, it may be used as s'chach, because elements that are bound naturally are not considered to be bundles. Furthermore, even if one tied the tops of the branches from one side, and they thus appear to be a single bundle with one of its two ends bound naturally and the other bound as a result of human activity, it may be used as s'chach. A single tree which is bound up is not considered to be a bundle, but rather a single piece of wood, since [the branches] are bound together naturally.

Similarly, any knot which is not strong enough to hold when carried is not considered a knot [and the resulting bundle may be used as s'chach].

יא

חבילות קטנות שאגדו אותן למנין מסככין בהן. וכן החותך ראש הדקל והחריות אגודות בו מסככין בו שאגד בידי שמים אינו כחבילה. ואפילו קשר ראשי החריות כולן מצד האחד שנמצאו בחבילה אחת אחד משני ראשים בידי שמים ואחד בידי אדם מסככין בה שהאוגד עץ אחד אינו חבילה וזו כעץ אחד היא שהרי אגודה בידי שמים. וכן כל אגד שאינו עשוי לטלטלו אינו אגד:

Though the Sages instituted the decree mentioned in the previous halachah, they made certain exceptions. Therefore...

Small bundles - The Kessef Mishneh questions the reason for the addition of the adjective, noting that if the bundles contain fewer than twenty five units, they are permitted, as stated in the previous halachah. Others mention that this refers to bundles of small branches.

that were tied together [to be sold] by number - to be untied immediately thereafter (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 629:16).

may be used as s'chach. - Sukkah 13b relates that bundles of this nature were frequently used in Sura, and that the Sages permitted them to be used as s'chach.

Similarly, if one cuts off the top of a date palm and the branches are bound to it, it may be used as s'chach, because elements that are bound naturally are not considered to be bundles. - The Ba'al Hamaor questions whether this principle applies only with regard to s'chach, where it is logical to assume that a more lenient position would be taken, since the entire question revolves around a Rabbinic decree, or whether it also applies in all cases where Torah law itself requires a bundle.

Furthermore, even if one tied the tops of the branches from one side and they thus appear to be a single bundle with one of its two ends bound naturally and the other bound as a result of human activity, it may be used as s'chach. A tree which is bound up is not considered to be a bundle, but rather a single piece of wood, since [the branches] are bound together naturally. - However, if one were to add even one branch and then tie them together, it would be considered to be a bundle (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 629:15).

Similarly, any knot which is not strong enough to hold when carried is not considered a knot [and the resulting bundle may be used as s'chach]. - Sukkah 13b mentions this principle when explaining why bundles of willows whose upper tie was loosened could be used as s'chach.

12

A person who constructs his sukkah under a tree is considered as though he built it within his home.

If one draped the leaves and branches of trees [over the sukkah], and then placed s'chach over them, and only afterwards detached them, [the following rules apply:]

If the amount of [kosher] s'chach exceeded [the branches], it is kosher. If the amount of s'chach which originally was kosher did not exceed [the branches], one must move them after detaching them, so that they will have been put in place for the purpose of a sukkah.

יב

העושה סוכתו תחת האילן כאילו עשאה בתוך הבית. הדלה עליה עלי האילנות ובדיהן וסכך על גבן ואחר כך קצצן. אם היה הסיכוך הרבה מהן כשרה. ואם לא היה הסיכוך שהיה מתחלתו כשר הרבה מהן צריך לנענע אותן אחר קציצתן כדי שתהיה עשויה לשם סוכה:

A person who constructs his sukkah under a tree is considered as though he built it within his home - and the sukkah is unacceptable. This applies only when the shade the tree produces exceeds the open area. However, if there is more open space under the tree than shade, the sukkah may be kosher.

The determination of whether such a sukkah is kosher depends on a number of principles, based on the interpretation of Sukkah 9b and 11a. The Rambam's interpretation of that passage, and thus the ground rules he establishes, differ from those accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 626:1-2).

In the following halachah, the Rambam deals with the resolution of the question when no effort has been made to correct the problem of the non-kosher s'chach. As will be explained, there his interpretation is contested by other authorities. In this halachah, the Rambam describes the rulings which govern the situation when an effort has been made to rectify the situation by detaching the branches from their source of nurture. These are based on the Mishnah, Sukkah 11a, and are also accepted by other Rabbinic authorities. (See the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 626:2.)

If one draped the leaves and branches of trees [over the sukkah], and then placed s'chach over them, and only afterwards detached them - As mentioned in Halachot 1 and 2, branches are fit to be used for s'chach only after they have been detached from their source of nurture.

[the following rules apply:]

If the amount of [kosher] s'chach exceeded [the branches], it is kosher. - Though at present, the branches would be acceptable as s'chach, as explained in the commentary on Halachah 9, the Torah requires that when s'chach is originally put in place, it must be kosher. Otherwise, it is unacceptable even though steps were taken to correct the disqualifying factors. This is based on the principle that one must make a sukkah and not use one which is already made.

Nevertheless, since the prohibition against using these branches as s'chach does not relate to their essential nature, their presence may be nullified when there is a majority of kosher s'chach. This conforms to the principle of ביטול ברב.

If the amount of s'chach which originally was kosher did not exceed [the branches] - the presence of the branches remains halachically significant. Hence,...

one must move them - i.e., each of the branches individually (Shulchan Aruch, ibid.)

after detaching them, so that they will have been put in place for the purpose of a sukkah. - Moving the branches negates their previous placement, and afterwards they are considered to be kosher s'chach, which was put in place for the purpose of creating a sukkah.

13

If one mixed a substance which may be used for s'chach with a substance that may not be used for s'chach and used the two as s'chach, even though the quantity of kosher s'chach exceeds that of the substance which was not acceptable as s'chach, [the mixture] is not acceptable.

If one covered the sukkah with the two substances and kept them separate, [the following rules apply:] If there are more than three handbreadths of the substance which is not acceptable as s'chach in one place, whether in the middle of the sukkah or at its side, it is not acceptable.

יג

עירב דבר שמסככין בו בדבר שאין מסככין בו וסיכך בשניהם אף על פי שהכשר יתר על הפסול פסולה. סיכך בזה לעצמו ובזה לעצמו זה בצד זה. אם יש בסכך פסול שלשה טפחים במקום אחד בין באמצע בין מן הצד הרי זו פסולה:

If one mixed a substance which may be used for s'chach with a substance that may not be used for s'chach - This may refer to a substance like metal, which is unfit for use as s'chach because it does not grow in the earth, or branches of a tree which have not been detached from their source of nurture.

and used - the mixture of...

the two as s'chach, even though the quantity of kosher s'chach exceeds that of the substance which was not acceptable as s'chach - The presence of the substance which is not acceptable as s'chach is not nullified according to the principles of ברב ביטול, because it exists as a separate entity which can be distinguished from the kosher s'chach.

Rav Avraham, the Rambam's son, notes the apparent contradiction between this decision and Halachah 3, which states:

[When one uses] branches from a fig tree which contain figs,...We see if the waste is more than the food; then we may use them as s'chach.

That halachah also mentions kosher s'chach - the branches - and substances which are not acceptable as s'chach - the figs. However, if there is a greater quantity of branches, the presence of the figs is nullified. In contrast, in this halachah, that concept is not applied.

Rav Avraham distinguishes between the two. In Halachah 3, the person does not intend to use the fruit for the purpose of shade; he merely wants to save the effort of removing it from the branches. Therefore, their presence may be nullified. In contrast, in this halachah the substances which are not acceptable as s'chach are being employed for the purpose of shade itself. Hence, their presence cannot be nullified.

[the mixture] is not acceptable. - As mentioned above, this decision depends on the Rambam's interpretation of Sukkah 9b. That passage reads:

A person who constructs his sukkah under a tree is considered as though he built it within his home...

Ravva said: "The above applies only to a tree whose shade is greater than its open space. However, if its open space is greater than its shade, it is kosher.

What difference does it make if its open space is greater than its shade, the substance not acceptable as s'chach will be combined with the kosher s'chach [and therefore, the sukkah will not be acceptable]?

Rav Pappa said: בשחבטן.

The Maggid Mishneh, the Ra'avad, and Rabbenu Manoach explain that the Rambam renders בשחבטן as "when he separated them." Thus, when the two substances were combined, the Rambam's opinion would be that the sukkah is not kosher, as explained in this clause of the halachah. When they are separate, the sukkah may be kosher according to the stipulations mentioned in the following clause of this halachah and the halachot to come.

(The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam renders בשחבטן as "when he severed them." However, that difference in interpretation does not result in a difference in halachah.)

Rashi and others interpret בשחבטן as "when he lowered them (and mixed them together with the kosher s'chach)." Thus, according to this opinion, the sukkah is acceptable when the kosher and non-kosher s'chach are mixed together. Thus, this view is diametrically opposed to the Rambam's, who maintains that such a mixture is of no avail.

As noted by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 626:1), there are two ways of understanding this interpretation of the passage. However, since both of them are not acceptable to the Rambam, their explanation will not be included here.

If one covered the sukkah with the two substances and kept them separate - When there is a majority of kosher s'chach, it is judged to be an independent entity. When there is a sufficient amount of kosher s'chach, the sukkah is kosher unless the substance that is not acceptable as s'chach is placed in a manner which can disqualify the entire sukkah, as is explained in this and the following three halachot.

[the following rules apply:] If there are more than three handbreadths of the substance which is not acceptable as s'chach in one place - The principle of l'vud, by which this substance could be considered to be a continuation of the kosher s'chach, cannot apply. However, if there is less than three handbreadths of the substance that is not acceptable as s'chach in one place, even though there are a number of such patches among the s'chach, the sukkah is kosher, as stated in Halachah 16. Furthermore, one may eat and sleep under the non-kosher s'chach (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 632:1).

whether - the substance which is not acceptable as s'chach is placed...

in the middle of the sukkah or at its side, it is not acceptable. - As stated in the following halachot, this is relevant only with regard to a sukkah which possesses the minimum area. The reason the sukkah is not acceptable is not that it is disqualified by the non-kosher s'chach, but that it does not have the minimum amount of kosher s'chach (Sukkah 17b).

14

Where does the above apply? In a small sukkah. However, in a large sukkah, where there is a substance that is unacceptable as s'chach in the middle, it disqualifies the sukkah if there are four handbreadths of it. [If there is] less than that, the sukkah is kosher.

Where the substance that is unacceptable as s'chach is at the side, it disqualifies the sukkah if there are four cubits of it. [If there is] less than that, the sukkah is kosher.

For example,

a) [the roof of] a house which was opened in the center and s'chach placed over the opening

b) a courtyard surrounded by an exedra which was covered with s'chach

c) a large sukkah over which was placed a substance that was not acceptable as s'chach near the sides of its walls.

[In all these cases,] if there are four cubits [or more] from the edge of the kosher s'chach until the wall, it is not acceptable. If there is less than that amount, we view it as though the wall has been made crooked - i.e., the substance that is not acceptable as s'chach is considered part of the wall and it is kosher. This concept is a halachah received by Moses on Mount Sinai.

יד

במה דברים אמורים בסוכה קטנה אבל בסוכה גדולה סכך פסול באמצע פוסלה בארבעה טפחים פחות מיכן כשרה. ומן הצד פוסל בארבע אמות ופחות מיכן כשרה. כיצד בית שנפחת באמצעו וסיכך על מקום הפחת. וכן חצר המוקפת אכסדרה שסיכך עליה. וכן סוכה גדולה שהקיפוה בדבר שאין מסככין בו בצד הדפנות מלמעלה. אם יש משפת הסכך הכשר ולכותל ארבע אמות פסולה. פחות מיכן רואין כאילו הכותל נעקם ויחשב זה הסכך הפסול מגוף הכותל וכשרה. ודבר זה הלכה למשה מסיני:

Where does the above apply? In a small sukkah. - See the commentary on both the previous and following halachot.

However, in a large sukkah - which possesses a minimal amount of kosher s'chach, more lenient rules apply...

where there is a substance that is unacceptable as s'chach in the middle, it disqualifies the sukkah if there are four handbreadths of it - across the entire span of the sukkah, dividing the sukkah in half, it is considered to be significant (Rashi, Sukkah 17a), and hence the sukkah is disqualified.

The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 632:2) emphasizes that even where the non-kosher s'chach is of this size, if the sukkah possesses seven cubits by seven cubits of kosher s'chach in one place, that portion may be considered to be a kosher sukkah and used during the holiday.

[If there is] less than that - the division is not as noticeable. Hence,

the sukkah is kosher. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 632:1) states that one may eat and sleep throughout the entire sukkah. However, the Ra'avad and Rabbenu Nissim do not accept this leniency, and the Mishnah Berurah (632:3) advises following this stringency.

Where the substance that is unacceptable as s'chach is at the side, it disqualifies the sukkah if there are four cubits of it. - Four cubits or more exceeds the measure of leniency provided by the Torah.

[If there is] less than that, the sukkah is kosher. - on the basis of the principle of דופן עקומה explained below.

For example, a) [the roof of] a house which was opened in the center and s'chach placed over the opening - This and the following examples are given by the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:10.

b) a courtyard surrounded by an excedrah - note the drawing accompanying Chapter 4, Halachah 8.

which was covered with s'chach - Sukkah 17a explains that one might not necessarily have been able to deduce this example from the previous one, because in that instance the walls of the house were constructed for it. In contrast, the walls of the excedrah were not constructed for its sake, but for the houses on either side.

c) a large sukkah over which was placed a substance that was not acceptable as s'chach near the sides of its walls. - Sukkah 17a explains that one might not necessarily have been able to deduce this example from the previous ones, because in those instances only kosher s'chach was placed over the opening of those structures. In this instance, a substance that is not acceptable as s'chach was placed on the roof intentionally.

[In all these cases,] if there are four cubits [or more] from the edge of the kosher s'chach until the wall, it is not acceptable. If there is less than that amount, we view it as though the wall has been made crooked - i.e., the substance that is not acceptable as s'chach is considered part of the wall - Rabbenu Nissim states that this law applies only when the walls reach all the way to the s'chach. Otherwise, it is impossible to consider the non-kosher s'chach to be an extension of the walls. The Tur and the Taz quote more lenient positions and allow such a sukkah, even though the walls do not reach the s'chach.

and it is kosher. - Though the sukkah as a whole is kosher, one may not eat or sleep under the non-kosher s'chach if it is four handbreadths or more in size (Shulchan Aruch, ibid.). The rationale behind this decision is that the non-kosher s'chach is considered to be part of the wall and not part of the s'chach.

This concept is a halachah received by Moses on Mount Sinai. - The latter term refers to a law that was transferred from generation to generation reaching back to Mount Sinai. Nevertheless, there is no mention of - or even direct allusion to - it in the written Torah. See Eduyot 8:7.

15

What is a small sukkah? Any [sukkah] whose area is no more than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths.

[What is meant by] a large one? Any [sukkah] [whose area is large enough] that seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths of kosher s'chach will remain besides the s'chach which is not acceptable.

טו

ואי זו היא סוכה קטנה כל שאין בה אלא שבעה טפחים על שבעה טפחים. וגדולה כל שישאר בה יתר על סכך הפסול שבעה טפחים על שבעה טפחים סכך כשר:

What is a small sukkah? - referred to in the previous two halachot and in Halachah 20

Any [sukkah] whose area is no more than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths. - As explained above, if there are three handbreadths or more of non-kosher s'chach in one place, the principle of l'vud cannot apply. Hence, the sukkah is not kosher, because it lacks the minimum amount of s'chach (Sukkah 17a). However, if there is less than that amount of non-kosher s'chach, the non-kosher s'chach is included as part of the sukkah and is counted as part of its minimum size (Shulchan Aruch, ibid.).

[What is meant by] a large one? Any [sukkah whose area is large enough] that seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths of kosher s'chach will remain besides the s'chach which is not acceptable. - Since it is of sufficient size, it will be disqualified only when it is divided in half by a significant portion of non-kosher s'chach, or when it is too far, i.e., more than four cubits, removed from the walls.

16

If one used as s'chach substances that were acceptable as s'chach and substances that were not acceptable as s'chach, and placed them alongside each other, leaving no place with non-kosher s'chach more than three handbreadths in area, [the following rules apply:]

If the total of the kosher s'chach exceeds that of the non-kosher s'chach, it is kosher. If there was an exactly equal amount of both substances, it is not acceptable even though there is not a single place which has three handbreadths [of non-kosher s'chach]. [This decision is rendered] because non-kosher s'chach is considered to be open space.

טז

סיכך בדבר פסול ודבר כשר זה בצד זה ואין במקום אחד מסכך הפסול רוחב שלשה טפחים אלא פחות. אם היה כל הסכך הכשר יותר על כל הסכך הפסול כשר. ואם היה זה כמו זה בצמצום אע"פ שאין במקום אחד שלשה הרי זו פסולה מפני שסכך פסול כפרוץ הוא נחשב:

If one used as s'chach substances that were acceptable as s'chach and substances that were not acceptable as s'chach, and placed them alongside each other, leaving no place with non-kosher s'chach more than three handbreadths in area - so that even in a small sukkah, all the conditions mentioned in the above halachot are met, there is a further requirement before the sukkah is considered kosher.

[the following rules apply:] If the total of the kosher s'chach exceeds that of the non-kosher s'chach, it is kosher. - This concept can be derived from the Mishnah (Sukkah 1:8): "If someone places iron staves or the frames of a bed as the roof of his sukkah, it is kosher, provided there is an equivalent amount of empty space."

In his commentary on that Mishnah, the Rambam emphasizes that the word "equivalent" should be interpreted loosely, since there must be more kosher s'chach than the non-kosher s'chach.

If there was an exactly equal amount of both substances, it is not acceptable - This decision has raised questions from all authorities. Though the Rambam's decision is based on Sukkah 15a, Eruvin 15b states that a divider whose open portion is as great as its closed portion is considered to be a divider. Indeed, the Rambam himself quotes that decision in Hilchot Shabbat 16:16. If so, why does he not follow the same principle in this instance as well?

The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam's decision is based on the fact that there is no way that there will not be some tiny open spaces within the kosher s'chach of a sukkah. Accordingly, even if the kosher s'chach is equal in area to the non-kosher s'chach, the tiny spaces between the kosher s'chach will tip the balance in favor of the non-kosher s'chach.

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 631:8 quotes the Rambam's decision as halachah, but adds as a reason (a quote from Rabbenu Tam's text of Sukkah 15b): "for it is impossible to be exact." This implies that were it possible to know that the kosher s'chach is exactly equal to the non-kosher s'chach, it would be acceptable. See also commentary to Halachah 19.

even though there is not a single place which has three handbreadths [of non-kosher s'chach] - in a small sukkah, or four handbreadths in a large sukkah.

17

If one spread a cloth above [the s'chach] or spread one below it to catch [the leaves] which fall, it is unacceptable. If one spread it [under the s'chach] as a decoration, it is kosher. Similarly, if one covered the sukkah with s'chach as required by law and adorned it with various types of fruit, delicacies, and articles which hang from either the walls or the s'chach as a decoration, it is kosher.

יז

פרש עליה בגד מלמעלה או שפרש תחתיה מפני הנשר פסולה. פרשו כדי לנאותה כשרה. וכן אם סיככה כהלכתה ועיטרה במיני פירות ובמיני מגדים וכלים שתלויין בין בכתליה בין בסכך כדי לנאותה כשרה:

If one spread a cloth above [the s'chach] - for added shade (Sukkah 1:3)

or spread one below it to catch [the leaves] which fall - the bracketed additions are based on the Rambam's commentary on that Mishnah.

it is unacceptable. - The cloth nullifies the presence of the kosher s'chach above or below it.

(Tosafot explains that as long as the sukkah has sufficient s'chach without the cloth, the cloth will not necessarily nullify the presence of the kosher s'chach. However, the majority of the halachic authorities and the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 629:19 do not accept this view.)

However, once the cloth is lifted away, the kosher s'chach is acceptable without any further activity. (See Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 626:3.) Thus, a roof can be constructed to protect a sukkah from rain, provided it is removed while the sukkah is being used.

If one spread it [under the s'chach] as a decoration, it is kosher. - for a decoration is considered to be an extension of the article it adorns.

Similarly, if one covered the sukkah with s'chach as required by law and adorned it - Rabbenu Manoach emphasizes how the s'chach should be set in place before the decorations. Otherwise, they could be considered as intervening substances.

with various types of fruit, delicacies, and articles - Sukkah 10a describes the decoration of a sukkah with tapestries, nuts, pomegranates, grapes, and flasks of wine, oil, and flour.

which hang from either the walls or the s'chach as a decoration, it is kosher. - and one is permitted to eat and sleep under the decorations.

18

Sukkah decorations do not reduce its height, but they do reduce its width.

If the sukkah decorations are four handbreadths or more removed from the roof, it is unacceptable, because it is as though a person who sits there is not sitting under the s'chach, but rather under the decorations, which are foods and utensils that are not acceptable as s'chach.

יח

נויי סוכה אין ממעטין בגובהה אבל ממעטין ברחבה. היו נויי הסוכה מופלגין מגגה ארבעה טפחים או יתר פסולה. שנמצא שהיושב שם כאילו אינו תחת הסכך אלא תחת הנויים שהן אוכלין וכלים שאין מסככין בהן:

Sukkah decorations do not reduce its height - i.e., if the inner space of the sukkah is more than twenty cubits high and the sukkah is therefore not acceptable (Chapter 4, Halachah 1), the presence of the decorations is not considered significant to reduce that space to the legal requirements.

Alternatively, if the sukkah is very low and the decorations reduce its inner space to less than ten handbreadths, it is still kosher. (See Halachah 2 with regard to branches.) They are considered to be part of the s'chach, and the space they take up is not taken into account (Kessef Mishneh, Rabbenu Manoach).

but they do reduce its width. - The Bach (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639) explains that since we are forbidden to use these adornments throughout the holiday, they are considered to be a permanent part of the sukkah. Thus, the sukkah must have a full seven by seven handbreadths of open space besides them.

If the sukkah decorations are four handbreadths or more - as mentioned frequently above, four handbreadths constitutes a significant space

removed from the roof - they are considered to be non-kosher s'chach, and if they are of the size mentioned in Halachot 13 and 14...

it is unacceptable, because it is as though a person who sits there is not sitting under the s'chach, but rather under the decorations, which are foods and utensils that are not acceptable as s'chach. - See Chapter 5, Halachot 1 and 2.

The Taz (627:5) cautions against hanging any decorations more than four handbreadths away from the s'chach regardless of how small they are.

19

The [following rules apply when the] s'chach has open spaces through which the sky can be seen: If the area of the open spaces is equivalent to that of the space covered by s'chach, it is not acceptable, because the portion exposed to the sun will be greater than the shaded portion. Whenever the portion exposed to the sun is greater than the shaded portion, it is not considered as s'chach.

If the s'chach exceeds the open space, it is kosher.

יט

סכך שהיו בו חלונות חלונות שהאויר נראה מהן. אם יש בכל האויר ככל מקום המסוכך הרי זו פסולה מפני שחמתה תהיה מרובה מצלתה. וכל שהחמה מרובה על הצל אינו סכך. ואם היה הסכך רב על האויר כשרה:

The [following rules apply when the] s'chach has open spaces through which the sky can be seen: If the area of the open spaces is equivalent to - and of course, if it is more than

that of the space covered by s'chach, it is not acceptable, because - Although the sukkah should be acceptable as long as the covered portion is equal to the open portion, in this situation...

the portion exposed to the sun will be greater than the shaded portion. - Sukkah 22b explains that light spreads out. Accordingly, even though on the roof the portion covered by s'chach is equal to the uncovered portion, on the ground the area exposed to the sun will be greater than the shaded area. See also the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:1.

Whenever the portion exposed to the sun is greater than the shaded portion, it is not considered as s'chach. - As mentioned in Halachah 9, a sukkah must be constructed for the purpose of shade. If the portion exposed to the sun is greater than the shaded portion, it obviously does not serve that purpose.

If the s'chach exceeds the open space, it is kosher. - On the surface, the Rambam's choice of phraseology is slightly inexact, because everything depends on the amount of shade on the ground.

20

When does the above apply? When there is no one open space of three handbreadths. However, if there is an open space of three handbreadths - whether in the center or at the side - it is unacceptable until one reduces [the space] to less than three.

If one used substances that were not acceptable as s'chach - e.g., pillows and blankets - to reduce the space, it is kosher if the sukkah is large. If it is a small sukkah, it is not acceptable unless [the space] was reduced with a substance that is acceptable as s'chach.

When the shaded portion of most of the sukkah exceeds the portion exposed to the sun, although in the lesser part of the sukkah the portion exposed to the sun exceeds the shaded portion, because as a whole the shaded portion exceeds the portion exposed to the sun, it is kosher.

כ

במה דברים אמורים בשלא היה במקום אחד אויר שלשה טפחים. אבל אם היה אויר שלשה טפחים בין באמצע בין מן הצד הרי זו פסולה עד שימעטנו משלשה. מיעטו בדבר הפסול כגון כרים וכסתות. אם סוכה גדולה היא כשרה. ואם בסוכה קטנה פסולה עד שימעטנו בדבר שמסככין בו. היה רוב הסכוך צלתו מרובה מחמתו ומיעוטו חמתו מרובה מצלתו הואיל וצילת הכל מרובה מחמת הכל כשרה:

When does the above apply? When there is no one open space - To disqualify the sukkah, the empty space must extend across the entire span of the sukkah or create a place large enough for a person to stand in (Tosafot, Sukkah 17a; Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 632:2).

Furthermore, if the sukkah area is more than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths in addition to the open space, the remaining covered area of the sukkah is kosher.

of three handbreadths - Any space less than three handbreadths can be considered to be part of the s'chach on the basis of the principle of l'vud.

Though the sukkah as a whole is kosher, it is forbidden to eat or sleep under the open portion (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 632:2).

However, if there is an open space of three handbreadths - whether in the center - i.e., an empty space cutting the sukkah in two

or at the side - i.e., an empty space that runs from one corner of the sukkah to the other. Rashi, on Sukkah 17a, explains that the concept of דופן עקומה, by which non-kosher s'chach is considered an extension of the wall, does not apply in this instance. Since it is merely empty space, it cannot be considered to be an extension of the wall.

It must be emphasized that we are speaking about a sukkah with only three walls. If the sukkah has four walls, but there is an empty space between the s'chach and the fourth wall, the sukkah as a whole is kosher.

it is unacceptable until one reduces [the space] to less than three.

If one used substances that were not acceptable as s'chach - e.g., pillows and blankets - to reduce the space, it is kosher - Non-kosher s'chach and open space are two different halachic categories. They have different measures with which they each disqualify a sukkah, and combinations of the two are not considered to be a single entity. Thus, if there is an open space three and a half handbreadths wide, one may correct the sukkah by putting one handbreadth of non-kosher s'chach in its place. (See the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 632:3.)

if the sukkah is large. - The terms "large" and "small" are explained in Halachot 13-15.

If it is a small sukkah, it is not acceptable - because the sukkah has less than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths of kosher s'chach.

unless [the space] was reduced with a substance that is acceptable as s'chach.

When the shaded portion of most of the sukkah exceeds the portion exposed to the sun, although in the lesser part of the sukkah the portion exposed to the sun exceeds the shaded portion - i.e., there are two portions of the sukkah, one which is mostly shaded and one which is mostly exposed to the sun.

because - when the sukkah is taken...

as a whole the shaded portion exceeds the portion exposed to the sun, it is kosher - and one may eat and sleep in the part of the sukkah where the portion exposed to the sun exceeds the shaded portion (Magen Avraham 631:1). The Ramah quotes a more stringent opinion which forbids using the portion with more sun if it is seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths in area.

21

The proper way is that s'chach should be thin, so that the large stars can be seen through it. However, even though it is thick - like [the roof of] a house - and stars cannot be seen through it, it is kosher.

If the s'chach is uneven - i.e., some of it high and some of it low - it is kosher, provided there is less than three handbreadths between the upper and lower [portions of the s'chach]. If the upper portion [of the s'chach] is a handbreadth or more wide, even though it is more than three handbreadths above [the lower portion], we consider it to be descending and touching the edge of the lower portion. [This applies] provided it is aligned opposite the edge of the lower portion.

כא

דרך הסכוך להיות קל כדי שיראו ממנו הכוכבים הגדולים. היתה מעובה כמין בית אף על פי שאין הכוכבים נראין מתוכה כשרה. היה הסכוך מדובלל והוא הסכוך שיהיה מקצתו למעלה ומקצתו למטה כשר. ובלבד שלא יהיה בין העולה והיורד שלשה טפחים. ואם היה ברוחב זה העולה טפח או יתר אף על פי שהוא גבוה יתר משלשה טפחים רואין אותו כאילו ירד למטה ונגע בשפת זה היורד. והוא שיהיה מכוון כנגד שפת היורד:

The proper way - Shulchan Aruch HaRav (631:5) uses the expression לכתחילה - i.e., one should set out to construct a sukkah in this manner.

is that s'chach should be thin, so that the large stars can be seen through it. - From the Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 2:3, the source for this statement, it appears that the expression "large stars" means stars large enough to be seen during the day.

However, even though it is thick - like [the roof of] a house - and stars cannot be seen through it - The latter expression is quoted from the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:2.

it is kosher. - Shulchan Aruch HaRav (631:5) uses the expression בדיעבד (after the fact), implying that it is not desirable to construct a sukkah in this manner. Nevertheless, the Mishnah Berurah (631:5) quotes many Ashkenazic authorities who tend toward making the s'chach thick.

The above applies only with regard to placing the s'chach. However, afterwards, even when the s'chach is thick, a person should have no compunctions about using such a sukkah.

Though thick s'chach is kosher, the Magen Avraham 631:2 notes that if it is so thick that rain will not enter the sukkah, the sukkah is unacceptable, because then it resembles a house and not a temporary dwelling made for shade.

If the s'chach was uneven - Sukkah 22a questions: "What is the meaning of the word מדובללת used by the Mishnah?" Shmuel (whom the halachah follows) replies: "One reed going upward and one reed going downward."

i.e., some of it high and some of it low - it is kosher - Even though there will gaps in the s'chach and during certain times of the day, when the sun shines at an angle, the portion of the sukkah exposed to the sun will exceed the shaded portion (Ramah, Orach Chayim 631:5).

provided there is less than three handbreadths between the upper and lower [portions of the s'chach]. - As explained previously, any distance less than three handbreadths is not significant because of the principle of l'vud.

If the upper portion [of the s'chach] is a handbreadth - by a handbreadth, the minimum size of a roof. (See Chapter 4, Halachah 7.)

or more wide, even though it is more than three handbreadths above [the lower portion], we consider it to be descending and touching the edge of the lower portion. - This principle, referred to by Sukkah 22a as חבוט רמי - literally, "cast it down" - is one of the leniencies followed as a halachah received from Moses on Mount Sinai. It allows this uneven roof to be considered to be a single straight entity. The same principle is also applied in Hilchot Shabbat 15:25 and Hilchot Tum'at Meit 16:5.

[This applies] provided it is aligned opposite the edge of the lower portion. - i.e., that the upper portion could be lowered into the space left open by the lower portion. However, if it would not fit exactly in between the spaces, this principle does not apply (Kessef Mishneh). The Lechem Mishneh, noting the Rambam's decision in Hilchot Shabbat, explains that even if the lower space is wider than the upper portion, as long as they do not overlap, it is acceptable.

The Merchevat Hamishneh explains that the law differs here from Hilchot Shabbat, because there is a principle that two halachot received from Moses on Mount Sinai cannot be used simultaneously to have a sukkah considered to be kosher.

In the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 631:5), Rav Yosef Karo quotes the opinion he stated in the Kessef Mishneh. However, Shulchan Aruch HaRav (631:7) and others follow the view of the Lechem Mishneh.

22

When a person constructs one sukkah on top of another sukkah, the lower one is unacceptable. It is considered as though it had been constructed in a house. [However,] the upper one is kosher.

When do we say that the lower one is unacceptable? When the inner space of the upper sukkah is ten handbreadths or more [high] and the roof of the lower sukkah is strong enough to hold the pillows and covers of the upper sukkah, even if that is done with difficulty.

However, if the inner space of the upper sukkah is less than ten handbreadths [high], or the roof of the lower sukkah is not strong enough to hold the pillows and covers of the upper sukkah, even with difficulty, even the lower sukkah is kosher. This applies provided the height of both together does not exceed twenty cubits, since [use of] the lower sukkah is permitted because of the s'chach of the upper one.

כב

העושה סוכה על גבי סוכה. התחתונה פסולה כמי שעשה סוכה בתוך הבית והעליונה כשרה במה דברים אמורים שהתחתונה פסולה בשהיה גובה חלל העליונה עשרה טפחים או יתר והיה גג התחתונה יכול לקבל כרים וכסתות של עליונה אפילו על ידי הדחק. אבל אם אין גובהה של עליונה עשרה או שלא היתה התחתונה יכולה לקבל כרים וכסתות של עליונה אפילו על ידי הדחק (אף) התחתונה כשרה והוא שלא יהיה גובה שתיהן יתר על עשרים אמה שהתחתונה בסכך העליונה היא נתרת:

When a person constructs one sukkah on top of another sukkah, the lower one is unacceptable. - Sukkah 9b explains that the verse which commands us to dwell in sukkot (Leviticus 23:42) spells the word - סכת - omitting the letter ו, which is usually used. On that basis, the Sages explained that a single structure may be used for one sukkah, but not for two. Of the two, the lower sukkah is disqualified because...

It is considered as though it had been constructed in a house. - since the floor of the upper sukkah is its roof, it may not be considered to be s'chach, because it was not placed there for purposes of shade alone, nor can the lower sukkah be acceptable because of the s'chach of the upper sukkah, for the floor intervenes between them.

[However,] the upper one is kosher - There is no reason that the presence of the lower sukkah should disqualify it.

When do we say that the lower one is unacceptable? When the inner space of the upper sukkah is ten handbreadths or more [high] - the minimum height of a sukkah, as explained in Chapter 4, Halachah 1.

and the roof of the lower sukkah is strong enough to hold the pillows and covers of the upper sukkah - Otherwise, the upper sukkah is not fit to dwell in. Though a sukkah is only a temporary dwelling, it must be fit to be used for all the purposes for which one uses one's home, as explained in Chapter 6, Halachah 5.

even if that is done with difficulty. - i.e., even if the floor of the upper sukkah shakes when pillows and covers are placed on it (Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:2).

However, if the inner space of the upper sukkah is less than ten handbreadths [high], or the roof of the lower sukkah is not strong enough to hold the pillows and covers of the upper sukkah, even with difficulty - and thus, is unfit to be used.

even - The use of this word is questionable. It implies that both sukkot, the upper and the lower one, are kosher. The Kessef Mishneh states that if the upper sukkah is not fit to dwell in, it is not kosher, and therefore recommends striking the word "even" from the text. Though the Lechem Mishneh attempts to justify the use of the term, his arguments seem forced. However, it must be noted that most manuscripts and printings of the Mishneh Torah as well as the Rambam's and most other texts of the source for this halachah - the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:2 - include this word.

the lower sukkah is kosher. - for the reason that since its roof is of no functional purpose, it is not considered an intervening substance between the sukkah and the upper s'chach.

This applies provided the height of both together does not exceed 20 cubits - the maximum height of the sukkah, as stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 1.

since [use of] the lower sukkah is permitted because of the s'chach of the upper one. - In the Kessef Mishneh - and also in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 628:1) - Rav Yosef Karo explains that this applies only when the s'chach of the lower sukkah is not substantial enough to allow the use of the sukkah. However, if the s'chach of the lower sukkah alone produces enough shade to permit the use of the sukkah, it is kosher even though the s'chach of the upper sukkah is more than 20 cubits high.

He continues to explain that even though the presence of non-kosher s'chach nullifies the kosher s'chach below it, that applies only when the substance used is by nature not acceptable for use as s'chach. In this instance, the s'chach of the upper sukkah is fit to be used; the only difficulty is its position: its placement above the maximum height of the sukkah.

(Though this concept is found in Tosafot, Sukkah 9b, no allusion to it appears in the Rambam's statements. Indeed, the simple meaning of the Rambam's words implies the very opposite. Furthermore, in his commentary on the Mishnah [Sukkah 1:1], the Rambam explains that the reason s'chach placed higher than 20 cubits is unacceptable is that it makes the sukkah into a permanent dwelling. Thus, according to the Rambam, such s'chach can be compared to the boards of a house, which though originally kosher for use as s'chach, are disqualified because they became part of a permanent structure.)

23

A bed [with a canopy placed] inside a sukkah: If [the canopy] is more than ten handbreadths high, a person who sits under it does not fulfill his obligation, because it is considered to be a sukkah within a sukkah.

Similarly, a canopy with a roof - even as small as a handbreadth: If it is ten handbreadths high, one may not sleep under it in a sukkah. By the same token, if one sets up four pillars and spreads a sheet over them, if they are ten [handbreadths high], they are considered to be a sukkah within a sukkah.

כג

מטה שבתוך הסוכה אם גבוהה עשרה טפחים. היושב תחתיה לא יצא ידי חובתו. מפני שהיא כסוכה בתוך סוכה. וכן כילה שיש לה גג אפילו טפח אם גבוהה עשרה טפחים אין ישנין בה בסוכה. וכן המעמיד ארבעה עמודים ופרש סדין עליהן אם גבוהין עשרה הרי זה כסוכה בתוך סוכה:

A bed [with a canopy placed] inside a sukkah: If [the canopy] is more than ten handbreadths high - the minimum height for a dwelling to be considered to be an independent structure (Sukkah 20b).

In this and the following instances mentioned in this halachah, the ten handbreadths are measured from the ground to the canopy (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 627:2-3; Mishnah Berurah 627:5).

a person who sits under it does not fulfill his obligation - The Mishnah, Sukkah 2:1 relates:

An incident occurred concerning Tavi, Rabban Gamliel's slave. He would sleep under a [canopied] bed [in the sukkah]. Rabban Gamliel told the Sages: "See my slave, Tavi. He is well-learned and knows that slaves are free of the obligation of [dwelling in] the sukkah. Hence, he sleeps under a bed."

for it is considered to be a sukkah - with non-kosher s'chach

within a sukkah. - even if it has no walls (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 627:1)

Similarly, a canopy - placed over a bed

with a roof - even as small as a handbreadth: - As mentioned frequently above, a handbreadth is the minimum measure of a roof.

If it is ten handbreadths high, one may not sleep - or perform any other activity required to be performed in a sukkah. (Perhaps the Rambam mentions sleeping because it is an activity that may be performed only within a sukkah. Even a short nap should not be taken outside the sukkah. In contrast, a snack may be eaten outside a sukkah.)

under it in a sukkah. - for the same reasons mentioned above.

By the same token, if one sets up four pillars and spreads a sheet over them, if they are ten [handbreadths high], they are considered to be a sukkah within a sukkah. - Hence, we are forbidden to use the space below it as a sukkah.

This halachah depends on the Rambam's interpretation of the Mishnah, Sukkah 1:3. However, Tosafot, Sukkah 10b and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 627:3) interpret the passage differently and forbid spreading a canopy over bedposts which are permanently affixed to the four corners of a bed, even if the canopy is less than ten handbreadths above the ground.

24

In contrast, should one spread a sheet over two pillars or [use] a canopy that has a roof of less than a handbreadth - no matter how high they are - it is permitted to sleep under them within a sukkah. They are not considered to be a sukkah within a sukkah, because they do not have a roof.

כד

אבל שני עמודים שפרש עליהן סדין וכן כילה שאין בגגה טפח אפילו גבוהין כל שהן מותר לישן תחתיהם בסוכה. שאינן כסוכה בתוך סוכה מפני שאין לה גג:

In contrast, should one spread a sheet over two pillars - Tosafot (ibid.) and the Shulchan Aruch (ibid.) differ with this decision as well, and explain that if these pillars are ten handbreadths high and permanently affixed to the bed, it is forbidden to spread a sheet over them.

or [use] a canopy that has a roof of less than a handbreadth - If the canopy is not permanently affixed to the bed, even Tosafot and the Shulchan Aruch will permit its use.

no matter how high they are - i.e., even if they are more than ten handbreadths high.

it is permitted to sleep under them within a sukkah. - Sukkah 19a relates that Abbaye found Rav Yosef sleeping in a canopied bed in the sukkah. The latter explained that the canopy he was using was permitted because it did not have a roof.

They are not considered to be a sukkah within a sukkah, because they do not have a roof. - As stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 7, such structures are not acceptable for use as a sukkah. Hence, they also cannot disqualify a sukkah.

25

A borrowed sukkah is fit [to be used on the holiday]. Similarly, a stolen sukkah is also fit [for use].

What does the latter imply? If a person attacked a colleague, forced him to leave his sukkah, stole it, and dwelled in it, the attacker has fulfilled his obligation, because landed property cannot be stolen.

[Similarly,] if he stole wood and made a sukkah from it, he has fulfilled his obligation, because the Sages ordained that the owner of the wood is entitled only to the monetary worth of the wood. Even if one stole boards and merely put them in place without attaching them or changing anything about them, he has fulfilled his obligation.

If a person constructs his sukkah in the public domain, it is acceptable.

כה

סוכה שאולה כשרה וכן הגזולה כשרה. כיצד אם תקף על חברו והוציאו מסוכתו וגזלה וישב בה יצא שאין הקרקע נגזלת. ואם גזל עצים ועשה מהן סוכה יצא. שתקנת חכמים היא שאין לבעל העצים אלא דמי עצים בלבד. ואפילו גזל נסרים והניחן ולא חברן ולא שנה בהן כלום יצא. העושה סוכתו ברשות הרבים הרי זו כשרה

A borrowed sukkah is fit [to be used on the holiday]. - Although, as stated in Chapter 8, Halachah 10, a person cannot fulfill the mitzvah of lulav as prescribed by the Torah with a lulav belonging to a colleague, that concept does not apply with regard to a sukkah.

Sukkah 27b explains the derivation of this concept as follows: Leviticus 23:42 states: "Every citizen of Israel shall dwell in sukkot." The latter word is written סכת, implying one sukkah. This prompted our Sages to declare: "All Israel are fit to dwell in a single sukkah."

In his commentary, Rashi explains that the cost of such a sukkah would not be high enough to require every individual to pay a penny's worth. Hence, we must assume that some people would be using a borrowed sukkah, and, nevertheless, our Sages said that it was kosher.

Similarly, a stolen sukkah is also fit [for use]. - There is a slight imprecision with the Rambam's statements. A stolen object which the thief is obligated to return cannot be used to perform a mitzvah, because it is considered a mitzvah that came about through a sin (מצוה הבאה בעבירה). However, in the instances cited by the Rambam, the sukkah itself is never considered stolen property. Hence, the use of such a sukkah is not forbidden. However, in a number of instances (see below), the sukkah itself is considered to be stolen property and must be returned. Hence, it cannot be used to fulfill the mitzvah.

What does the latter imply? If a person attacked a colleague, forced him to leave his sukkah, stole it, and dwelled in it, the attacker has fulfilled his obligation, because landed property cannot be stolen. - Hilchot Gezeilah 8:14 relates that "landed property is never acquired by a thief, but rather remains in the possession of its owner forever."

Since the sukkah is built on the land, it is considered part of the property and the above rule applies to it as well. Thus, the sukkah is still considered to be the property of its original owner and the thief is viewed as merely "borrowing" the sukkah from him. As mentioned above, use of a borrowed sukkah is permitted.

[Similarly,] if he stole wood and made a sukkah from it, he has fulfilled his obligation - Sukkah 31a relates that a woman once came to Rav Nachman complaining that the exilarch's servants had stolen wood from her to build his sukkah.

Rav Nachman answered that they had, nevertheless, fulfilled their obligation...

because the Sages ordained that the owner of the wood is entitled only to the monetary worth of the wood - but not the wood itself. Thus, the sukkah itself is the property of the thief. Though he is obligated to pay the owner for his wood, that obligation does not prevent the sukkah from being considered as his.

Hilchot Gezeilah 1:5 explains this principle by stating:

Anyone who steals is obligated to return the stolen property itself... If it was lost or changed, he is obligated to return its monetary value...

Even if one steals a beam and builds a mansion [using it], since [the beam] has not been changed, the Torah law would require him to destroy the entire building and return the beam to its owner.

Nevertheless, the Sages instituted a decree [to encourage] those who repent; they ordained that all that is necessary is for him to return [the beam's] monetary value, and thus he will not forfeit his building.

Rabbenu Manoach asks: Since the mitzvah of sukkah is commanded by the Torah, and Torah law regards these boards as stolen, how can the Sages' decree change their status in this context?

He explains that, as implied by the principle הפקר הפקר בית דין, the Torah has granted the Sages the right to determine the status of property. Their decree can alter entirely a person's rights to its title. Thus, in the present case, since Rabbinic law entitles the thief to use of the boards, he is permitted, according to Torah law, to use them as a Sukkah.

The Magen Avraham (637:5) writes that if the thief refuses to pay for the wood, it is considered to be the property of its original owner, and the thief does not fulfill his obligation.

Even if one stole boards and merely put them in place without attaching them or changing anything about them, he has fulfilled his obligation. - This is a special leniency granted out of respect for the mitzvah of sukkah (Sukkah, ibid.). Since the thief has not made any changes in the wood itself or built a permanent structure from it, the Rabbinic decree mentioned above would not apply. Thus, during the rest of the year (and even in this case, after the Sukkot festival), the wood would have to be returned. During the festival, the Sages considered it to be the property of the thief and he is allowed to use without any constraints throughout the festival (Hilchot Gezeilah, ibid.).

Nevertheless, in his Kessef Mishneh and in his Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 637:3), Rav Yosef Karo gives two examples of a stolen sukkah which one is forbidden to use: a sukkah that had been constructed on a ship or one that had been constructed on a wagon. Since the thief did not build anything, the abovementioned Rabbinic decree does not apply; nor are they affixed to land, and hence the principle that landed property cannot be stolen is not relevant.

If a person constructs his sukkah in the public domain - Though the Jewish inhabitants of the city would surely not object to use of public property for this purpose, the gentile inhabitants of the city would. Since they also have a share in this property, building a sukkah there is equivalent to stealing from the public (Magen Avraham 637:3).

Nevertheless, since the theft of land is involved...

it is acceptable - for the reasons mentioned above. Note the Magen Avraham, ibid. and the Bi'ur Halachah, who discuss whether or not it is permitted to recite a blessing when using such a sukkah.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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