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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Six, Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Seven, Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Eight

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Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Six

1

Women, slaves, and minors are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah of] sukkah. A tumtum and an androgynous are obligated because of the doubt [concerning their status]. Similarly, a person who is half slave and half free is obligated.

A minor who does not require his mother's [presence] - i.e., a child of five or six - is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah according to Rabbinic decree, to train him in [the performance of] mitzvot.

א

נָּשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים וּקְטַנִּים פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה. טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס חַיָּבִים מִסָּפֵק. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁחֶצְיוֹ עֶבֶד וְחֶצְיוֹ בֶּן חוֹרִין חַיָּב. קָטָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְאִמּוֹ שֶׁהוּא [כְּבֶן חָמֵשׁ] כְּבֶן שֵׁשׁ חַיָּב בְּסֻכָּה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכוֹ בְּמִצְוֹת:

Women, slaves, and minors are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah of] sukkah. - The same laws that apply to hearing the shofar apply to Sukkah. Hence, women and slaves are free of obligation, as is the case regarding all mitzvot whose fulfillment is associated with a specific time. Minors have no obligations at all according to the Torah. (See the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachah 1.)

See also the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachah 2 regarding a woman's right to perform the mitzvah if she desires, and whether permission is granted for her to recite a blessing.

A tumtum and an androgynous are obligated because of the doubt [concerning their status]. - See the commentary on the above halachah for a definition of these terms and their status. Note Halachah 13 regarding their recitation of a blessing.

Similarly, a person who is half slave and half free is obligated. - See the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachot 1 and 3.

A minor who does not require his mother's [presence] - Sukkah 28b offers two definitions of this term:

a) a child who does not need his mother to help him after he relieves himself;

b) a child who does not wake up in the night and call out: "Mommy! Mommy!"

Nevertheless, based on Eruvin 82a, the Rambam provided us with a more definite guideline...

i.e., a child of five or six - is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah according to Rabbinic decree - According to Rashi (Berachot 48a) and the Ramban (Milchamot Hashem, Berachot 20b), there is no obligation incumbent on the child himself. The child's father is obligated to educate him. If he has no father, the obligation falls on his mother and on the local Rabbinic court (Terumat Hadeshen 99).

Tosafot (Berachot 48a) differs and explains that the Sages placed the obligation on the minor himself. From the Rambam's phraseology, it appears that he accepts this view.

Support for this premise can be derived from the Rambam's decision in Hilchot Berachot 5:15-16, which states that an adult who ate a small meal can fulfill his obligation by listening to a child reciting the grace after meals (for both are obligated by virtue of Rabbinic decree). Though others object on the grounds that the child himself is not obligated in the mitzvah, the Rambam states that such a practice is acceptable.

to train him in [the performance of] mitzvot. - The Rambam mentions the same concept in Hilchot Tzitzit 3:9, Hilchot Berachot 5:1, and Hilchot Lulav 7:19.

2

The sick and their attendants are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah. This applies not only to a person who is dangerously ill, but also to one with a headache or a sore eye.

A person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah] is freed from the obligation [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah. This applies to the person himself, but not to his attendants.

Who is "a person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah]"? A person who cannot sleep in the sukkah because of the wind or because of the flies, mites, or the like, or because of the smell.

ב

חוֹלִים וּמְשַׁמְּשֵׁיהֶן פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה. וְלֹא חוֹלֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ חָשׁ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ חָשׁ בְּעֵינָיו. מִצְטַעֵר פָּטוּר מִן הַסֻּכָּה הוּא וְלֹא מְשַׁמְּשָׁיו. וְאֵיזֶהוּ מִצְטַעֵר זֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִישֹׁן בַּסֻּכָּה מִפְּנֵי הָרוּחַ אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַזְּבוּבִים וְהַפַּרְעוֹשִׁים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הָרֵיחַ:

The sick and their attendants - Since the latter's performance of a mitzvah - tending to the sick - does not enable them to perform the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah, they are absolved from the obligation. (See Sukkah 25a, 26a.) However, this leniency is granted only during the time the sick person requires their assistance (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 640:7).

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah. This applies not only to a person who is dangerously ill - who is free from the obligation to perform all mitzvot, even those as severe as the Sabbath or Yom Kippur;

but also to one with a headache - or any other minor illness (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:4).

This leniency is granted because of one of the basic principles related to the mitzvah of sukkah. Leviticus 23:42 states: "You shall dwell in sukkot (תשבו בסכת)." On that verse, Sukkah 26a comments: תשבו כעין תדורו - i.e., dwelling in the sukkah is comparable to living in one's own home. Thus, a person is not required to dwell in a sukkah under circumstances which would cause him to leave his own home.

Since a person who is sick would seek the most comfortable lodgings possible and would not camp outside, he is not obligated to do so to fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah (Rabbenu Manoach).

or a sore eye. - Sukkah 26a relates that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel was granted permission to sleep outside the sukkah for this purpose.

The Torah's prohibitions are suspended not only when a person's life is in danger, but also when a particular limb might be lost. Though this premise is accepted by the Rambam (see Hilchot Shabbat 2:4), it does not appear that he is referring to it here. Rather, it seems that he means a minor ailment comparable to a headache. See also Tosafot (Sukkah, ibid.).

A person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah] is freed from the obligation [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah. - based on the principle of תשבו כעין תדורו, as explained above. Just as a person would seek out a comfortable permanent dwelling, he is obligated to dwell only in a sukkah which does not cause him unpleasantness.

Rabbenu Manoach states that this leniency does not apply on the first night of Sukkot, on which there is a binding obligation to eat in the sukkah. (See Halachah 6.) The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 640:4) quotes this statement as halachah.

This applies to the person himself, but not to his attendants. - Some earlier texts of the Mishneh Torah stated that leniency was also granted to such a person's attendants, but that is surely a printing error (Rabbenu Manoach).

Who is "a person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah]"? A person who cannot sleep in the sukkah because of the wind or because of the flies, mites, or the like, or because of the smell. - The Tur, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 640:4), and the Ramah emphasize that this law applies only when the discomfort is an unexpected occurrence. However, a sukkah which is constructed in a place where the discomfort will surely come is considered to be unfit to dwell in and is unacceptable for the performance of the mitzvah.

3

A mourner is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah.

A groom, his attendants, and all the members of the wedding party are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah throughout the seven days of [the wedding] festivities.

ג

הָאָבֵל חַיָּב בְּסֻכָּה. וְחָתָן וְכָל הַשּׁוֹשְׁבִינִין וְכָל בְּנֵי חֻפָּה פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הַמִּשְׁתֶּה:

A mourner - The term אבל refers to a person in the seven days of mourning which follow the burial of a father, mother, wife, brother, sister, son, or daughter. An אונן (a person in mourning for these relatives before their burial) is freed from the obligation of sukkah, because he is absolved of the duty to perform all mitzvot (Hilchot Eivel 4:6).

It must be noted that none of the mourning rites should be followed during a festival. If a close relative dies before the festival, the shiv'ah (seven days of mourning) is completed at the festival's commencement, even though all seven days have not passed (Hilchot Eivel 10:3, 8).

is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah. - Sukkah 25b explains that a mourner (אבל) is obligated to fulfill all the mitzvot. Nevertheless, one might suppose that just as a person who is uncomfortable is freed from the obligation of sukkah, a mourner would also be absolved. Therefore, the Talmud includes a special teaching to emphasize the mourner's obligation, explaining that one is absolved only for discomfort which comes from external factors. In this case, the mourner brings discomfort upon himself. He should compose himself and concentrate his attention on the mitzvah.

Nevertheless, Shulchan Aruch HaRav (640:13) writes that if dwelling in a sukkah will cause a mourner more discomfort than dwelling in his home, he is allowed to choose the latter alternative.

A groom - because he is involved in the mitzvah of marriage. Sukkah 25b adds that generally, a sukkah is to small to carry out the wedding celebrations in the proper manner. Furthermore, the groom is obligated to rejoice together with his wife, and the sukkah is not an appropriate setting.

his attendants - In Hilchot Zechiyah Umatanah, Chapter 7, the Rambam describes the custom of שושבינות (attending a groom).

and all the members of the wedding party - They are absolved of the mitzvah only while they are involved in the mitzvah of celebrating together with the bride and groom, however, when they leave, they are obligated. Furthermore, there are many authorities who require that the meals served the groom and his attendants be served in a sukkah. (See Mishnah Berurah 640:33.)

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah throughout the seven days of [the wedding] festivities. - It must be emphasized that the wedding must have taken place during the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Weddings are not held during the Ten Days of Repentance, nor on Chol Hamo'ed.

4

Emissaries charged with a mission involving a mitzvah are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah both during the day and at night. People who journey during the day are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day and are obligated at night. People who journey during the night are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night and are obligated during the day.

A city's day watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day and are obligated at night. Its night watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night and are obligated during the day. The watchmen of gardens and orchards are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] during the day and the night, because if the watchman constructs a sukkah, a thief will realize that the watchman has a fixed place and will go to steal from another place.

ד

שְׁלוּחֵי מִצְוָה פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה בֵּין בַּיּוֹם וּבֵין בַּלַּיְלָה. הוֹלְכֵי דְּרָכִים בַּיּוֹם פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה בַּיּוֹם וְחַיָּבִין בַּלַּיְלָה. הוֹלְכֵי דְּרָכִים בַּלַּיְלָה פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה בַּלַּיְלָה וְחַיָּבִים בַּיּוֹם. שׁוֹמְרֵי הָעִיר בַּיּוֹם פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה בַּיּוֹם וְחַיָּבִים בַּלַּיְלָה. שׁוֹמְרֵי הָעִיר בַּלַּיְלָה פְּטוּרִים מִן הַסֻּכָּה בַּלַּיְלָה וְחַיָּבִים בַּיּוֹם. שׁוֹמְרֵי גִּנּוֹת וּפַרְדֵּסִין פְּטוּרִין בֵּין בַּיּוֹם וּבֵין בַּלַּיְלָה שֶׁאִם יַעֲשֶׂה הַשּׁוֹמֵר סֻכָּה יֵדַע הַגַּנָּב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לַשּׁוֹמֵר מָקוֹם קָבוּעַ וְיָבוֹא וְיִגְנֹב מִן מָקוֹם אַחֵר:

Emissaries charged with a mission involving a mitzvah - e.g., to study Torah, to greet a Sage under whom one studied Torah, or to redeem captives (Rashi, Sukkah 25a).

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah - i.e., they are not required to eat, sleep, or perform any of the activities in a sukkah described in Halachot 5-9.

both during the day and at night. - Rashi (Sukkah 25a, 26a) states that this applies even when they are lodging overnight. Since, at night they are also involved with thinking about how to fulfill the mitzvah, they are still considered as occupied with the performance of a mitzvah and are not required to seek out a sukkah. An example of this principle quoted by the Talmud supports this interpretation:

When Rav Chisda and Rabbah bar Rav Huna would attend [the lecture delivered] at the home of the exilarch on the Sabbath of the festival, they would sleep along the river banks of Sura.

They explained: "We are emissaries involved in a mitzvah" (Sukkah 26a).

Though these Sages were visiting a city which served as a center of Jewish life and surely could have found a sukkah to lodge in, they did not see the necessity for doing so. (See also Sukkah 10b.)

Nevertheless, Tosafot, Sukkah 10b, interprets the passage differently and explains that leniency is granted these emissaries only when dwelling in the sukkah would in some way prevent them from carrying out the mitzvah which they set out to perform. If it is possible to do both - perform the mitzvah they set out to do and fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah - one must endeavor to do so.

The Maggid Mishneh explains that the Rambam shares Rashi's view. However, the final halachic position followed by most Ashkenazic authorities is closer to Tosafot's position: i.e., these emissaries are not obligated to trouble themselves to find a sukkah. However, if there is a sukkah available, they should make use of it. Nevertheless, if sleeping in the sukkah would prevent them from getting proper rest, and thus hold them back from fulfilling their mitzvah in a proper manner, they are not required to sleep in a sukkah (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 640:18; Mishnah Berurah 640:38).

(Abstractly, it is possible to differentiate between the two positions as follows. According to Rashi, there is no obligation of sukkah incumbent on this person whatsoever. In contrast, Tosafot would maintain that the person is obligated to perform the mitzvah. However, at all times he is bound by another commitment which takes precedence.)

People who journey during the day are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day - i.e., while they are traveling. Tosafot, Sukkah 26a explains that this concept is derived from the principle: תשבו כעין תדורו - i.e., dwelling in the sukkah is comparable to living in one's own home. Since a person will occasionally leave his home on a journey, he is also entitled to leave his sukkah.

and are obligated at night - if they lodge in a settled place (Tosafot, ibid.).

People who journey during the night are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night - i.e., while traveling

and are obligated during the day. - if they lodge in a settled area.

A city's day watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day - when they are on duty.

and are obligated at night - when they are replaced by their colleagues. Conversely,...

Its night watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night and are obligated during the day.

The watchmen of gardens and orchards - who spend their entire day guarding the produce (Rashi, Sukkah 26a)

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] during the day and the night, because if the watchman constructs a sukkah, a thief will realize that the watchman has a fixed place and will go to steal from another place. - Sukkah, ibid., explains that based on this principle, the leniency is granted only to watchmen charged with guarding an entire orchard or farm. However, if a watchman is charged with guarding produce which is collected in one place, he is capable of fulfilling the mitzvah and discharging his duty. Hence, he is obligated to construct a sukkah there.

5

How must the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah be fulfilled? A person must eat, drink, and live in the sukkah throughout all seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night, in the same manner as he dwells in his home throughout the year.

During these seven days, he must consider his house as a temporary dwelling and the sukkah as his permanent home, as [Leviticus 23:42] states: "You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days."

What does this imply? His attractive utensils and attractive bedding [should be brought] to the sukkah. His drinking utensils - i.e., his cups and crystal pitchers - [should be brought] to the sukkah. However, utensils used for food - i.e., pans and plates - [may be left] outside the sukkah. A candelabra [should be brought] to the sukkah. However, if the sukkah is small, it should be left outside the sukkah.

ה

כֵּיצַד הִיא מִצְוַת הַיְשִׁיבָה בַּסֻּכָּה. שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אוֹכֵל וְשׁוֹתֶה וְדָר בַּסֻּכָּה כָּל שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים בֵּין בַּיּוֹם וּבֵין בַּלַּיְלָה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהוּא דָּר בְּבֵיתוֹ בִּשְׁאָר יְמוֹת הַשָּׁנָה. וְכָל שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים עוֹשֶׂה אָדָם אֶת בֵּיתוֹ עַרְאַי וְאֶת סֻכָּתוֹ קֶבַע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג מב) "בַּסֻּכֹּת תֵּשְׁבוּ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים". כֵּיצַד. כֵּלִים הַנָּאִים וּמַצָּעוֹת הַנָּאוֹת בַּסֻּכָּה. וּכְלֵי שְׁתִיָּה כְּגוֹן אֲשִׁישׁוֹת וְכוֹסוֹת בַּסֻּכָּה. אֲבָל כְּלֵי אֲכִילָה כְּגוֹן קְדֵרוֹת וּקְעָרוֹת חוּץ לַסֻכָּה. הַמְּנוֹרָה בַּסֻּכָּה. וְאִם הָיְתָה סֻכָּה קְטַנָּה מַנִּיחָהּ חוּץ לַסֻּכָּה:

How must the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah be fulfilled? A person must eat, drink, and live - performing all the activities mentioned in this halachah and Halachot 6-9.

in the sukkah throughout all seven days [of the festival] - These statements and the Rambam's introduction to these halachot imply that each moment a person dwells in the sukkah throughout the seven days of the festival, he fulfills a mitzvah. (Accordingly, a blessing is recited whenever one makes use of the sukkah [Halachah 12]. See Halachah 7.)

both during the day and at night - Sukkah 43a derives this concept by drawing an analogy (גזרה שוה) to the seven days of preparation for the dedication of the Sanctuary. Thus, just as the priests were required to stay in the Sanctuary for seven days - day and night - similarly, the mitzvah of sukkah must be observed in the same manner.

in the same manner as he dwells in his home throughout the year - following the principle of תשבו כעין תדורו mentioned above.

During these seven days, he must consider his house as a temporary dwelling and the sukkah as his permanent home - This statement is a quote from the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:8. In his commentary on that Mishnah, the Rambam defines קבע as "of primary importance and a constant practice."

as [Leviticus 23:42] states: "You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days."

What does this imply? His attractive utensils and attractive bedding - [should be brought] to the sukkah. His drinking utensils - i.e., his cups and crystal pitchers - [should be brought] to the sukkah. - Doing so is a sign of honor and respect for the mitzvah.

However, utensils used for food - i.e., pans and plates - [may be left] outside the sukkah. - Obviously, during the meal one's plates must be in the sukkah. The Rambam's intent is that after the meal there is no necessity to keep one's plates in the sukkah, because they are not attractive and are generally stored in pantries outside the home. In contrast, it is customary in many communities not to bring pots into the sukkah, even while eating (Mishnah Berurah 639:5). [Needless to say, plates that must be washed must be removed from the sukkah.]

The printed (as opposed to certain manuscripts) text of Rashi (Sukkah 29a) also shares the Rambam's interpretation. Tosafot explains the passage slightly differently, rendering "utensils used for food" as "utensils used in the preparation of food" - i.e., pots and pans.

A candelabra - i.e., the source of light

[should be brought] to the sukkah - even when it is not burning, since it is attractive.

However, if the sukkah is small, it should be left outside the sukkah. - lest it cause a fire (Tosafot, Sukkah, ibid.). This differs from Rashi's interpretation of Sukkah, ibid., which explains that the Talmud is referring to an earthenware lamp. Thus, we may assume that it should not be brought into the sukkah because it is unattractive. This, appears to justify the statements of the Maggid Mishneh, who writes that the lamp should not be brought into the sukkah when it is not burning. Both opinions are quoted by the later halachic authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 639:3; Mishnah Berurah 639:7-8).

6

We should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah through the entire seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night. It is forbidden to eat a meal outside the sukkah for the entire seven [day period]. However, [there is no prohibition] if one eats a snack the measure of a k'beitzah or less, or even slightly more.

One may not sleep outside the sukkah at all, even a brief nap. It is permissible to drink water and eat fruit outside the sukkah. However, a person who follows the stringency of not drinking even water outside the sukkah is worthy of praise.

ו

אוֹכְלִין וְשׁוֹתִין וִישֵׁנִים בַּסֻּכָּה כָּל שִׁבְעָה בֵּין בַּיּוֹם וּבֵין בַּלַּיְלָה. וְאָסוּר לֶאֱכל סְעֻדָּה חוּץ לַסֻכָּה כָּל שִׁבְעָה אֶלָּא אִם אָכַל אֲכִילַת עֲרַאי כְּבֵיצָה אוֹ פָּחוֹת אוֹ יֶתֶר מְעַט. וְאֵין יְשֵׁנִים חוּץ לַסֻכָּה אֲפִלּוּ שְׁנַת עֲרַאי. וּמֻתָּר לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם וְלֶאֱכל פֵּרוֹת חוּץ לַסֻּכָּה. וּמִי שֶׁיַּחֲמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ וְלֹא יִשְׁתֶּה חוּץ לַסֻכָּה אֲפִלּוּ מַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח:

We should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah through the entire seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night. It is forbidden to eat a meal - i.e., a meal of bread or food prepared from the five species of grain

outside the sukkah for the entire seven [day period]. - The B'nei Binyamin explains that this expression includes the Sabbath and festivals, thus excluding the opinions which maintain that any meal of bread eaten on the Sabbath or festivals is significant and cannot be considered as a snack. See the commentary of Rabbi Akiva Eiger.

However, [there is no prohibition] if one eats a snack - even of bread, outside the sukkah.

Sukkah 26a defines "a snack" as "what the students will eat before they enter the study sessions." In his commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:4, the Rambam explains it as "a small amount, [eaten] without considering it as a meal, in order to satisfy one's hunger [temporarily], until one can complete eating afterwards."

Rabbenu Manoach explains that though there is no prohibition involved, it is not desirable to eat even a snack of bread outside the sukkah.

the measure of a k'beitzah or less, - The Mishnah (ibid.) relates that less than a k'beitzah of bread was brought once to Rabbi Tzadok and he ate it outside the sukkah.

or even slightly more. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 639:2) restricts the leniency to a k'beitzah (approximately 56 cubic centimeters according to Shiurei Torah and, in this instance, 41 cubic centimeters according to the Chazon Ish) alone (See Tosafot, Yoma 79a.) The same principles are also applied to cooked foods made from the five species of grain.

One may not sleep outside the sukkah at all, even a brief nap. - In contrast to eating, where there is a difference between a fixed meal and a snack, no such difference exists regarding sleep. At times, even a rest of a few moments can have a major effect on a person. (See Sukkah 26a; Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 2:5.)

At present, there are many communities where leniency is taken in this regard. In some climates, the cold will cause everyone to consider sleeping in the sukkah as uncomfortable and, hence, they are freed of that obligation. Furthermore, in many communities, there is also a danger involved. In addition, if a husband would sleep in a sukkah, he would deprive his wife of some of the happiness and satisfaction that should accompany a festival. (See Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:2.)

Nevertheless, many authorities explain that these leniencies apply only at night, but during the day one is obligated to sleep in the sukkah.

It is permissible to drink water - or any other beverage, including wine (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:2), outside the sukkah. There is a difference of opinion among the later halachic authorities if this decision also applies when one sits down to a party centering on drinking wine (קובע עצמו לשתות). Some (the Bach and Shulchan Aruch HaRav 639:12) require that such drinking be carried out in a sukkah. However, others (the Vilna Gaon and the Mishnah Berurah 639:13) are more lenient.

and eat fruit outside the sukkah. - for these do not constitute a significant meal.

Sukkah 27a relates that Rabbi Elazar ben Shamu'a ate dates and grapes outside the sukkah, because "fruit does not require a sukkah."

Rabbenu Manoach and some other commentaries maintain that this leniency applies only to fruit. In contrast, meat, fish, cheese, and other substantial foods which form the basis of a meal must be eaten in a sukkah. While many later halachic authorities do not accept this view, some maintain that one should not sit down with company to a meal of such foods outside a sukkah. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 639:11; Mishnah Berurah 639:15.)

However, a person who follows the stringency of not drinking even water outside the sukkah is worthy of praise. - To exemplify this principle, the Mishnah (ibid.) quotes the following:

Once they brought a cooked dish for Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai to taste, and two dates and a pitcher of water for Rabban Gamliel. They said: "Take them up to the sukkah."

Sukkah 26b explains that often our Sages counselled against accepting extra stringencies upon oneself, lest one take pride in one's piety. However, in this instance they make no such reservations.

7

Eating in the sukkah on the first night of the festival is an obligation. If a person eats merely a k'zayit of bread, he fulfills his obligation. Afterwards, [the matter is left to one's] volition. If one desires to eat a meal, one must eat it in the sukkah. If one desires, throughout the seven [days of the festival], one may eat only fruit or roasted grain outside of the sukkah. The same laws apply as those regarding the eating of matzah on Pesach.

ז

אֲכִילָה בְּלֵילֵי יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן בַּסֻּכָּה חוֹבָה. אֲפִלּוּ אָכַל כְּזַיִת פַּת יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ. מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ רְשׁוּת. רָצָה לֶאֱכל סְעֻדָּה סוֹעֵד בַּסֻּכָּה. רָצָה אֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל כָּל שִׁבְעָה אֶלָּא פֵּרוֹת אוֹ קְלָיוֹת חוּץ לַסֻּכָּה אוֹכֵל כְּדִין אֲכִילַת מַצָּה בְּפֶסַח:

Eating in the sukkah on the first night of the festival is an obligation. - Sukkah 27a draws an analogy between the first night of Sukkot and the first night of Pesach. Just as eating a k'zayit of matzah on the fifteenth of Nisan is a mitzvah, so too, each Jewish male is required to eat in the sukkah on the fifteenth of Tishre.

If a person eats merely a k'zayit of bread - This is the minimum amount required by the Torah in all mitzvot that involve eating. In modern measurements, the figure corresponds to 28 cubic centimeters according to Shiurei Torah, and 48 cubic centimeters according to the Chazon Ish.

he fulfills his obligation. Afterwards, [the matter is left to one's] volition. - The difference in the requirement between the first night and the remaining days has other ramifications. As mentioned in Halachah 2, a person who is uncomfortable in the sukkah is freed from his obligation. However, this leniency applies only on the first night after the mitzvah of eating a k'zayit has been fulfilled (Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:3).

If one desires to eat a meal - including bread, or according to some authorities, other hearty foods, as mentioned above

one must eat it in the sukkah. If one desires, throughout the seven [days of the festival], one may eat only fruit or roasted grain - which may be eaten...

outside of the sukkah. - The Lechem Yehudah explains that the Rambam is speaking only from the perspective of the mitzvah of sukkah. However, one is obligated to eat three meals on the Sabbath as an expression of the mitzvah of honoring the Sabbath and taking pleasure in its celebration. (See Hilchot Shabbat 30:9.) Similarly, one is required to eat festive meals on the first day of Sukkot in honor of the holiday. These meals must be eaten in the sukkah.

The same laws apply as regards the eating of matzah on Pesach. - The Rambam's intent is that, as explained in Hilchot Chametz U'matzah 6:1, after the first night of the festival a person is not obligated to eat matzah and may subsist on other foods. Similarly, on Sukkot one may eat foods that do not require consumption within a sukkah.

However, according to most authorities, his choice of words is not exact. The mitzvah of sukkah differs from that of matzah. In the latter instance, there is no mitzvah involved in eating matzah after the first night of the holiday. In contrast, every activity performed in the sukkah constitutes a further fulfillment of the mitzvah.

Accordingly, after the first night of the festival no special blessing is recited before partaking of matzah. In contrast, as stated in Halachah 12, a blessing is recited every time we make use of the sukkah. See also the Moznaim publication of Hilchot Chametz U'Matzah 6:1.

8

It is forbidden for a person to sit and eat with his head and the majority of his body inside a sukkah while his table is in his home or outside the sukkah. It is considered as if he did not eat inside the sukkah. [Rather,] the table must also be inside the sukkah. This was decreed lest one be drawn after one's table. This law applies even in a large sukkah.

ח

מִי שֶׁהָיָה רֹאשׁוֹ וְרֻבּוֹ בַּסֻּכָּה וְשֻׁלְחָנוֹ בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ אוֹ חוּץ לַסֻּכָּה וְאוֹכֵל הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר וּכְאִלּוּ לֹא אָכַל בַּסֻּכָּה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שֻׁלְחָנוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַסֻּכָּה. גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִמָּשֵׁךְ אַחַר שֻׁלְחָנוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּסֻכָּה גְּדוֹלָה:

It is forbidden for a person to sit and eat with his head and the majority of his body inside a sukkah while his table is in his home or outside the sukkah. - The Mishnah (Sukkah 2:6) records a difference of opinion on this matter between the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel. In this instance, the halachah follows the School of Shammai.

It is considered as if he did not eat inside the sukkah. - The Mishnah (ibid.) continues:

An incident occurred when the elders of the School of Shammai and the elders of the School of Hillel went to visit Rabbi Yochanan ben Hachoroni and found him sitting with his head and the majority of his body in the sukkah while his table was in his house...

The elders of the School of Shammai told him: "If this has been your practice, you have never fulfilled the mitzvah of sukkah."

Rabbenu Nissim questions how the Sages' decree can negate the fulfillment of a mitzvah, and thus explains the last phrase to mean: "You have never fulfilled the mitzvah as desired by our Sages." However, Tosafot, Sukkah 3a explains that the Sages' decree is powerful enough to nullify the person's actions entirely, and it is considered as if he never fulfilled the mitzvah at all.

9

Throughout the seven days [of the festival], a person should read in the sukkah. However, when he attempts to comprehend what he reads in depth and appreciate its details, he should do so outside the sukkah, so that his mind will be settled.

When a person prays, he may pray inside the sukkah or outside the sukkah, as he desires.

ט

כָּל שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים קוֹרֵא בְּתוֹךְ הַסֻּכָּה. וּכְשֶׁמֵּבִין וּמְדַקְדֵּק בְּמַה שֶּׁיִּקְרָא יָבִין חוּץ לַסֻכָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה דַּעְתּוֹ מְיֻשֶּׁבֶת עָלָיו. הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל רְצֵה מִתְפַּלֵּל בַּסֻּכָּה אוֹ חוּץ לַסֻּכָּה:

Throughout the seven days [of the festival], a person should read in the sukkah. - Since the person must regard his sukkah as his home throughout the festival, in addition to eating and sleeping, he must perform all his other day-to-day functions inside of it. Hence, he should also read in the sukkah.

However, when he attempts to comprehend what he reads in depth and appreciate its details, he should do so outside the sukkah - Sukkah explains that any time it is necessary to study a concept in depth, one should do so outside the sukkah...

so that his mind will be settled - while he studies. The Magen Avraham 639:13 adds a further reason to study at home: the difficulty in bringing one's texts back and forth from the sukkah. The Magen Avraham explains that this matter also depends on the individual person. If he is as comfortable studying in the sukkah as studying at home, he is obligated to do so.

When a person prays - at a time when he is unable to pray in the synagogue (Magen Avraham 639:14)

he may pray inside the sukkah or outside the sukkah, as he desires - depending on where he will be able to concentrate more.

10

If rain descends, a person may enter his home. When is one permitted to leave [the sukkah]? When enough raindrops descend into the sukkah so that they would spoil a cooked dish - even a dish of beans - were they to fall into it.

If a person was eating in the sukkah and rain descended, and hence, he entered his home, if the rains stop we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah {that entire night} until he is finished eating.

If he was sleeping and rain descended, and hence, he entered his home, we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah that entire night should the rains cease. Rather, he may remain sleeping in his house that entire night until dawn.

י

יָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים הֲרֵי זֶה נִכְנָס לְתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת. מֵאֵימָתַי מֻתָּר לִפָּנוֹת, מִשֶּׁיָּרְדוּ לְתוֹךְ הַסֻּכָּה טִפּוֹת שֶׁאִם יִפְּלוּ לְתוֹךְ הַתַּבְשִׁיל יִפָּסֵל, אֲפִלּוּ תַּבְשִׁיל שֶׁל פּוֹל. הָיָה אוֹכֵל בַּסֻּכָּה וְיָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים וְנִכְנַס לְבֵיתוֹ וּפָסְקוּ הַגְּשָׁמִים אֵין מְחַיְּבִים אוֹתוֹ לַחֲזֹר לַסֻּכָּה (כָּל אוֹתוֹ הַלַּיְלָה) עַד שֶׁיִּגְמֹר סְעֻדָּתוֹ. הָיָה יָשֵׁן וְיָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים בַּלַּיְלָה וְנִכְנַס לְתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת וּפָסְקוּ הַגְּשָׁמִים אֵין מַטְרִיחִין אוֹתוֹ לַחֲזֹר לַסֻכָּה כָּל אוֹתוֹ הַלַּיְלָה אֶלָּא יָשֵׁן בְּבֵיתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר:

If rain descends, a person may enter his home. - The descent of rain on Sukkot implies that our actions are not desired by God. The Mishnah (Sukkah 2:8) compares the matter to a servant who came to serve his master drink and the latter poured the pitcher in his face.

Tzafenat Paneach explains that there is a fundamental difference between this law and the case of a person who is uncomfortable while in the sukkah. In the latter instance, in essence, the person is obligated to fulfill the mitzvah. However, because of his discomfort, his obligation is temporarily waived. In contrast, when rain descends it is impossible to fulfill the mitzvah at all, because the sukkah is not fit to dwell in. Hence, there is no obligation whatsoever.

There is a practical difference between these two abstract positions regarding the question whether a person is obligated to eat in the sukkah on the first night of the holiday even when it rains. (See the commentary on Halachah 7.) According to the Tzafenat Paneach, under these circumstances there is no mitzvah which one is required to fulfill. Thus, one may eat at home. In contrast, most authorities do not differentiate between rain and other uncomfortable situations. Thus, since eating in the sukkah on that night is a binding obligation, they require a person to fulfill the mitzvah.

There is a further aspect to this concept. The Maharil explains that a person who eats in a sukkah when he is not obligated to do so is a simple person and receives no reward for his "piety." On this basis, in many communities, people make no effort to stay in the sukkah when it rains. In contrast, there are some communities where people will continue to eat in the sukkah despite pouring rain.

What is the difference between these two approaches? The first approach follows the perspective that, during the rain, there is no mitzvah to dwell in the sukkah whatsoever. Hence, there is no need to strain oneself to remain there. In contrast, the second perspective does not differentiate between rain and any other uncomfortable circumstances, but maintains that, in essence, dwelling in the sukkah is a mitzvah even under such circumstances. Accordingly, they remain in the sukkah, because while they are involved in fulfilling God's will they do not feel even the slightest trace of discomfort.

When is one permitted to leave [the sukkah]? - The Maharil writes that when a person is forced to leave the sukkah because of rain, he should depart with humility rather than with anger.

when enough raindrops descend into the sukkah so that they would spoil a cooked dish - We need not wait until the food actually spoils. As soon as enough rain descends to spoil the food, one is free to enter one's home (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:5).

even a dish of beans - i.e., a dish made from bean meal, which spoils quickly (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:8).

were they to fall into it.

If a person was eating in the sukkah and rain descended, and hence, he entered his home, if the rains stop, we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah - to finish his meal...

{that entire night} - This phrase is set off by brackets because it is most likely a printing error. It is not easily understood, nor is it found in the manuscript copies of the Mishneh Torah or in the quotation of this halachah in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 639:6).

until he is finished eating. - However, after he concludes eating he must return to the sukkah.

If he was sleeping and rain descended - The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:7) emphasizes that even the slightest amount of rain is sufficient to free one from the obligation of sleeping in the sukkah.

and hence, he entered his home, we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah that entire night should the rains cease. - The same law applies if it was raining when he desired to go to sleep, and hence, he never slept in the sukkah at all (Mishnah Berurah 639:39).

Rather, he may remain sleeping that entire night in his house - even if he wakes up in the middle of the night and it is no longer raining, he is not required to move to the sukkah.

until dawn. - The Maggid Mishneh and Rabbenu Manoach note that the Rambam's choice of phraseology implies that the person cannot sleep his normal measure, but must rise at dawn to return to the sukkah. They are not stringent and allow the person to remain sleeping at home until he wakes up. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 639:7) quotes the Rambam's statements verbatim. However, the Ramah includes this leniency.

11

A person should not take apart his sukkah after he finishes eating on the seventh day [of Sukkot]. However, from the afternoon on, he may take down his utensils and remove them.

If he has no place to put the utensils, he should reduce its space by at least four handbreadths by four handbreadths.

If he has to eat later that day, he must eat in the sukkah, because the mitzvah extends throughout the seven days.

יא

גָּמַר מִלֶּאֱכל בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּשַׁחֲרִית לֹא יַתִּיר סֻכָּתוֹ. אֲבָל מוֹרִיד הוּא אֶת כֵּלָיו וּמְפַנֶּה אוֹתָן מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה. אֵין לוֹ מָקוֹם לְפַנּוֹת פּוֹחֵת בָּהּ אַרְבָּעָה עַל אַרְבָּעָה. וְאִם הֻצְרַךְ לִסְעֹד בִּשְׁאָר הַיּוֹם צָרִיךְ לֶאֱכל בַּסֻּכָּה, שֶׁמִּצְוָתָהּ כָּל שִׁבְעָה:

This halachah applies only in places where Sukkot is celebrated for seven days, as required by the Torah. The laws pertaining to the Diaspora, where the festival is celebrated for eight days, are described in Halachah 13.

A person should not take apart his sukkah after he finishes eating on the seventh day [of Sukkot]. - lest he require it later during the day.

However, from the afternoon on, he may take down his utensils and remove them - Keeping one's utensils in the sukkah is included in the mitzvah of dwelling within it, as mentioned in Halachah 5. Nevertheless, one is allowed to take them home to prepare them for use on Shemini Atzeret as a sign of deference to that holiday. (See Sukkah 4:7.)

If he has no place to put the utensils - i.e., if he used his home as a sukkah, and thus must continue to remain there on Shemini Atzeret (see Sukkah 48a)...

he should reduce its space - by opening up [a portion of s'chach]

at least four handbreadths by four handbreadths - to make the sukkah, or at least a significant portion of it, unfit for use. This safeguards against the violation of the command of בל תוסיף (Deuteronomy 13:1), which forbids adding to the mitzvot of the Torah. These acts will differentiate between his eating in the sukkah during the festival, when he is required to do so in fulfillment of the mitzvah, and eating there afterwards, once the mitzvah has been completed (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 666).

The Ramah adds that this requirement applies only when one desires to eat in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeret. Once that holiday passes, one may eat in a sukkah without making any changes.

If he has to eat later that day - even if he has removed his utensils or taken away part of the s'chach...

he must eat in the sukkah, because the mitzvah extends throughout the seven days.

12

Whenever a person enters a sukkah with the intention of sitting down throughout the seven [days of Sukkot], he should recite the following blessing before sitting:

[Blessed are You...] who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah.

On the first night of the festival, one should first recite the blessing on the sukkah, and then the blessing for the occasion.

One should recite all the blessings over a cup of wine. Thus, one should recite kiddush while standing, recite the blessing leishev basukkah, sit, and then recite the blessing shehecheyanu.

This was the custom of my teachers and the Rabbis of Spain: to recite kiddush while standing on the first night of the Sukkot festival, as explained.

יב

כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה כָּל שִׁבְעָה מְבָרֵךְ קֹדֶם שֶׁיֵּשֵׁב אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה. וּבְלֵילֵי יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַסֻּכָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ עַל הַזְּמַן. וּמְסַדֵּר כָּל הַבְּרָכוֹת עַל הַכּוֹס. נִמְצָא מְקַדֵּשׁ מְעֻמָּד וּמְבָרֵךְ לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה וְיוֹשֵׁב וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַזְּמַן. וְכָזֶה הָיָה מִנְהַג רַבּוֹתַי וְרַבָּנֵי סְפָרַד לְקַדֵּשׁ מְעֵמָּד בְּלַיִל רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Whenever a person enters a sukkah with the intention of sitting down throughout the seven [days of Sukkot], he should recite the following blessing - Note the commentary on Halachah 7, which explains the difference between this law and the rules governing the blessing recited before eating matzah.

before sitting - The Rambam maintains that by sitting or doing any other activity which one would perform in one's home in the sukkah, one fulfills the mitzvah. Hence, the blessing is recited before one performs the mitzvah, as required by Hilchot Berachot 11:2.

The Maggid Mishneh questions why the blessing is not recited before one enters the sukkah, noting that the interpretation of the command לישב בסוכה is "to dwell in the sukkah," not "to sit in the sukkah." However, the Taz 643:2 explains that merely passing through the sukkah is not part of the mitzvah. Rather, one must perform an activity that reflects "dwelling." Hence, the blessing is not recited until one sits down, because previously it is not obvious that one wants to perform a significant activity in the sukkah.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's decision, maintaining that one should recite the blessing only before partaking of a meal in the sukkah. This reflects the decision of the Ashkenazic authorities, who maintain that though the performance of all one's activities in the sukkah is a mitzvah, it is not customary to recite the blessing except when eating. When reciting the blessing on that occasion, one should intend to include all other activities. (See Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:8.)

[Blessed are You...] who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah. - The Maggid Mishneh states that there is no limit to the number of times one recites the blessing each day. Nevertheless, if one left the sukkah for a brief interval or left with the intent of performing an activity which would improve the sukkah, that departure is not considered an interruption and no blessing is required upon one's return.

On the first night of the festival, one should first recite the blessing on the sukkah, and then the blessing for the occasion - i.e., the blessing shehecheyanu, which thanks God for enabling us to reach this occasion. This blessing is recited whenever one performs a mitzvah that can be fulfilled only from time to time (Hilchot Berachot 11:9).

That halachah and, similarly, Sukkah 46a, imply that, at the outset, one should recite the blessing shehecheyanu upon construction of the sukkah. Though the Rambam makes no mention of that concept here, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 641:1) states that one should have the construction of the sukkah in mind when reciting shehecheyanu at night.

One should recite all the blessings over a cup of wine - as did Rav Kahana (Sukkah 46a).

Thus, one should recite kiddush - for the festival

while standing - The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 643:2) states that kiddush may be recited while sitting.

recite the blessing leishev basukkah - Though one might presume that shehecheyanu would be recited first, since it is more frequent, precedence is given to leishev basukkah, because it is "the mitzvah of the day" (Rabbenu Manoach).

sit, and then recite the blessing shehecheyanu. - On the second night, it is Ashkenazic custom to recite to the blessing shehecheyanu before the blessing leishev basukkah, since on that occasion the blessing is associated with the celebration of the festival and not the mitzvah of sukkah. (See Bnei Binyamin.)

This was the custom of my teachers and the Rabbis - Rav Kapach notes that most of the manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah state רבי "the great men of" and not רבני, "the Rabbis of."

of Spain - The Ra'avad objects and comments that even in Spain such a custom was not followed.

to recite kiddush while standing on the first night of the Sukkot festival, as explained.

13

At present, when we celebrate holidays for two days, we dwell in the sukkah for eight days. On the eighth day, which is the first day of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, we dwell in the sukkah, but do not recite the blessing leishev basukkah.

Similarly, a tumtum and an androgynous never recite the blessing leishev basukkah, because their obligation [to perform the mitzvah is based] on doubt, and a blessing is never recited when one is doubtful [of one's obligation].

יג

בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאָנוּ עוֹשִׂין שְׁנֵי יָמִים טוֹבִים. יוֹשְׁבִין בַּסֻּכָּה שְׁמוֹנָה יָמִים. וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי שֶׁהוּא יוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל שְׁמִינִי עֲצֶרֶת יוֹשְׁבִין בָּהּ וְאֵין מְבָרְכִין לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה. וְכֵן טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס לְעוֹלָם אֵין מְבָרְכִין לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן חַיָּבִים מִסָּפֵק וְאֵין מְבָרְכִין מִסָּפֵק:

At present - in the Diaspora and in certain places in Eretz Yisrael (Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh, Chapter 9)

when we celebrate holidays for two days - because originally, the messengers sent by the Sanhedrin could not reach there in time to notify them when the holiday should be celebrated. Hence, even now, when we follow the fixed calendar, we continue to follow this custom. (See Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh, Chapters 3 and 5.)

we dwell in the sukkah for eight days. - In deference to the possibility that the festival could have begun on the second day and the seven days should be counted from then.

The commandment בל תוסיף (Deuteronomy 13:1) forbids adding to the mitzvot of the Torah. Indeed, in Halachot 11 and 14, we find certain safeguards instituted because of this commandment. Nevertheless, dwelling in the sukkah on the eighth day does not constitute a violation of this commandment, because the time when the mitzvah is to be performed has already passed. Placing a fifth passage in one's tefillin during the day violates this commandment, because we are obligated to perform the mitzvah at this time. However, once the seven days of Sukkot pass, there is no mitzvah associated with the sukkah whatsoever (Rosh Hashanah 28b).

Nevertheless, many Ashkenazic authorities would carry out additional safeguards regarding this matter. For example, the Tur relates (though he opposes this practice himself) that some follow the custom of eating in the Sukkah only on the day of Shemini Atzeret, but not the night. Many of the Rabbis who would sleep in the Sukkah throughout the festival refrain from doing so on Shemini Atzeret. (See K'tav Sofer, Responsum 120.)

On the eighth day, which is the first day of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret - As its name implies, Shemini Atzeret is the eighth day of Sukkot. However, it also has certain aspects in which it is considered a holiday in its own right (Sukkah 48a).

we dwell in the sukkah, but do not recite the blessing leishev basukkah. - because as the Rambam explains, a blessing is not recited when a mitzvah is performed only because of a doubt.

Sukkah 47a relates that "Rav Huna bar Bizna and all the great Sages of the generation dwelled in a sukkah on the eighth day - which might have been the seventh day - [of the festival], but did not recite a blessing."

Similarly, a tumtum and an androgynous - See Chapter 2, Halachah 1 for a definition of these terms and these individuals' status.

never recite the blessing leishev basukkah, because their obligation [to perform the mitzvah is based] on doubt - i.e., they are required to perform the mitzvah because of the doubt concerning their status: maybe they are to be considered men.

and a blessing is never recited when one is doubtful [of one's obligation]. - This follows the rationale that when there is a doubt concerning one's obligation in matters required by the Torah itself, one must follow the more stringent view. However, regarding obligations of a Rabbinic nature, one may opt towards leniency. Since the mitzvah is required by the Torah, even a person in doubt must perform it. However, the blessing is a Rabbinic requirement; hence, there is no necessity in reciting it. Furthermore, by reciting the blessing when one is not required, one uses God's name in vain.

This perspective is not accepted by all authorities. As explained in the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachah 1, the Ashkenazic practice is to allow women and others who are not obligated in the performance of a mitzvah to recite a blessing when fulfilling it.

The above applies only regarding the doubts concerning the obligations of a tumtum and an androgynous. However, on Shemini Atzeret, when there is a doubt concerning the obligation of the entire Jewish people even the Ashkenazic authorities would agree that a blessing should not be recited.

14

After a person finishes eating on the eighth day [of Sukkot], he should take down his utensils and remove them.

When a person has no place to put the utensils, [the following rules apply]: If it is a small [sukkah], he should bring his candelabra into it; if it is a large sukkah, he should bring in his pots, plates, and the like, to bring to mind that it is no longer acceptable and that its mitzvah is completed. Since the day is a holiday, one may not reduce its space and nullify it.

יד

גָּמַר מִלֶּאֱכל בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי מוֹרִיד כֵּלָיו וּמְפַנֶּה אוֹתָהּ. אֵין לוֹ מָקוֹם לְהוֹרִיד אֶת כֵּלָיו אִם הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה מַכְנִיס בָּהּ מְנוֹרָה. וְאִם הָיְתָה גְּדוֹלָה מַכְנִיס בָּהּ קְדֵרוֹת וּקְעָרוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן כְּדֵי לְהַזְכִּיר שֶׁהִיא פְּסוּלָה וְשֶׁכְּבָר נִגְמְרָה מִצְוָתָהּ וּמִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא יוֹם טוֹב אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִפְחֹת בָּהּ וּלְפָסְלָהּ:

This halachah, like the previous one, describes the law in the Diaspora, where the holidays are celebrated for two days.

After a person finishes eating on the eighth day [of Sukkot], he should take down his utensils and remove them - from the sukkah and bring them home, where he will eat on Simchat Torah.

When a person has no place to put the utensils - and desires to continue eating in the sukkah on Simchat Torah,

[the following rules - safeguards adopted to differentiate between eating in the sukkah as required, and eating there afterwards

apply]: If it is a small [sukkah], he should bring his candelabra into it - As mentioned in Halachah 5, a candelabra should not be brought into a small sukkah for Sukkot.

It must be noted that the Rambam changes the text of Sukkah 48a, which states: "light his lamp there." (See Kessef Mishneh, Halachah 5.)

if it is a large sukkah, he should bring in his pots, plates, and the like - which are generally kept outside the sukkah, as explained in Halachah 5.

to bring to mind that it - the sukkah

is no longer acceptable and that its mitzvah is completed.

Since the day is a holiday, one may not reduce its space and nullify it. - as suggested in Halachah 11.

15

A person who did not construct a sukkah [before the holiday] - whether intentionally or unintentionally - should construct a sukkah on Chol Hamo'ed. One should even construct a sukkah on the final moments of the seventh day, because its mitzvah lasts throughout the seventh day.

The wood with which the sukkah was constructed is forbidden [to be used for other purposes] on all eight days of the festival. This applies to both the wood used for the walls and the wood used for the s'chach. Throughout [these] eight days, no benefit may be derived from it for other purposes.

[They are prohibited on the eighth day] because the sukkah is muktzeh the entire seventh day, including the period beyn hash'mashot. Since it was muktzeh during the period beyn hash'mashot, it is muktzeh on the entire day [that follows].

טו

מִי שֶׁלֹּא עָשָׂה סֻכָּה בֵּין בְּשׁוֹגֵג בֵּין בְּמֵזִיד עוֹשֶׂה סֻכָּה בְּחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד. אֲפִלּוּ בְּסוֹף יוֹם שְׁבִיעִי עוֹשֶׂה סֻכָּה, שֶׁמִּצְוָתָהּ כָּל שִׁבְעָה. עֲצֵי סֻכָּה אֲסוּרִין כָּל שְׁמוֹנַת יְמֵי הֶחָג בֵּין עֲצֵי דְּפָנוֹת בֵּין עֲצֵי סְכָךְ אֵין נֵאוֹתִין מֵהֶן לְדָבָר אַחֵר כָּל שְׁמוֹנַת הַיָּמִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי כֻּלּוֹ הַסֻּכָּה מֻקְצָה עַד בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת וְהוֹאִיל וְהֻקְצַת לְבֵין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת שֶׁל שְׁמִינִי הֻקְצַת לְכָל הַיּוֹם:

.

A person who did not construct a sukkah [before the holiday] - whether intentionally or unintentionally - Sukkah 27b explains that not only a person whose sukkah fell down in the middle of the festival should reconstruct it, but even one who never built a sukkah at all is entitled to do so.

should construct a sukkah on Chol Hamo'ed. - The literal translation of Deuteronomy 16:13 is: "Make the Sukkot festival for seven days." Sukkah 27b interprets this verse to mean that a sukkah may be built during the seven days of the festival.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 2:7) explains that Rabbi Eleazar wanted to forbid a person who purposely did not build a sukkah from doing so during the festival, as a punishment for his failure to prepare for the festival. However, the Sages did not accept that premise.

A sukkah may not be constructed on the first day of the festival, even if the walls are already built and all that is necessary is to spread s'chach over it. However, even though certain types of work are forbidden on Chol Hamo'ed, there is no prohibition in this instance (Bi'ur Halachah 637).

One should even construct a sukkah in the final moments of the seventh day, because its mitzvah lasts throughout the seventh day. - See Halachah 11.

The wood with which the sukkah was constructed is forbidden [to be used for other purposes] - e.g., for use as a toothpick. This prohibition applies even in the event the sukkah falls. Also, in contrast to the decorations, as mentioned in the following halachah, this prohibition cannot be nullified by making a condition that one desires to use them for one's own purposes (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 638:1).

on all eight days of the festival. - Sukkah 9a derives the prohibition against using the wood of the sukkah for other purposes throughout Sukkot from Leviticus 23:34: "The Sukkot festival shall be seven days unto God." The latter term is used also regarding the Chaggigah offering sacrificed on the festival. Thus, its use in this context implies that the entities which enable us to celebrate the Sukkot festival must be consecrated "unto God" like those sacrifices.

The reason why the wood of the sukkah may not be used on the eighth day is explained below.

This applies to both the wood used for the walls and the wood used for the s'chach. - Rabbenu Asher differs and explains that the essential element of the sukkah is its s'chach. Hence, the prohibition applies only to the s'chach and not to the sukkah walls. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 638:1) quotes the Rambam's opinion. However, the Taz (638:1) explains that the prohibition against using the walls is only Rabbinic in nature.

Rav Chayim Soloveitchik explains that though the word sukkah as used by the Torah refers to the s'chach and not to the walls, a different principle is involved in this instance. The Torah teaches us that all the entities which enable us to fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah may not be used for other purposes. Since the sukkah walls also serve that purpose, because a sukkah is not kosher without walls, they are also included in that prohibition.

Throughout [these] eight days - Note the contrast to the etrog in Chapter 7, Halachah 27.

no benefit may be derived from it for other purposes. - However, if the sukkah falls, it may be rebuilt using the same wood. Furthermore, the wood used for s'chach may be used for the walls and vice versa.

[They are prohibited on the eighth day] because the sukkah is muktzeh - Muktzeh literally means "set aside." In this context, it refers to objects which may not be used for mundane purposes.

the entire seventh day, including the period beyn hash'mashot. - Beyn hash'mashot is the period between sunset and the emergence of three stars.

Since it was muktzeh during the period beyn hash'mashot, it is muktzeh on the entire day [that follows]. - Hilchot Shabbat 25:10 states: "Any utensil which is forbidden to be moved during beyn hash'mashot is forbidden to be moved throughout the entire Sabbath, even after the factor that caused its prohibition has passed."

16

Similarly, it is forbidden to take from the food and beverages that were hung in the sukkah as decorations for all eight days [of the festival]. However, if at the time one hung [the decorations], he made the condition: "I will not refrain from using them during the entire period of beyn hash'mashot," he is entitled to use them whenever he desires, because he did not set them aside, nor did the sanctity of the sukkah encompass them, nor are they considered part of it.

טז

וְכֵן אֳכָלִין וּמַשְׁקִין שֶׁתּוֹלִין בַּסֻּכָּה כְּדֵי לְנָאוֹתָהּ אָסוּר לְהִסְתַּפֵּק מֵהֶן כָּל שְׁמוֹנָה. וְאִם הִתְנָה עֲלֵיהֶן בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁתְּלָאָן וְאָמַר אֵינִי בּוֹדֵל מֵהֶן כָּל בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה מִסְתַּפֵּק מֵהֶן בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הִקְצָה אוֹתָם וְלֹא חָלָה עֲלֵיהֶן קְדֻשַּׁת הַסֻּכָּה וְלֹא נֶחְשְׁבוּ כְּמוֹתָהּ:

Similarly, it is forbidden to take from the food and beverages that were hung in the sukkah as decorations - even if they fall (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 638:2). As mentioned in the commentary on Halachot 17 and 18, the sukkah decorations are not considered an independent entity, but rather as part of the sukkah itself. Furthermore, employing articles used to decorate a mitzvah for other purposes demonstrates lack of respect for the mitzvah (Rabbenu Nissim, Beitzah). Hence, the same restrictions that apply to the sukkah apply to it.

for all eight days [of the festival] - as is the sukkah itself.

However, if at the time one hung [the decorations] - Rabbenu Manoach questions what the law would be if the condition were made after the decorations were hung but before the holiday commences.

he made the condition: "I will not refrain from using them during the entire period of beyn hash'mashot" - Everything depends on the status of the decorations at the time the festival begins. If they are not considered part of the sukkah at that time, the "sanctity of the sukkah" does not affect them throughout the festival (Sukkah 10b).

The Ramban and the Ramah differ, and require that the person stipulate that he will not refrain from using the decorations during the entire period of beyn hash'mashot of each of the eight days of the festival. If he makes the condition regarding the first day alone, the decorations become forbidden on the subsequent days of the festival.

he is entitled to use them whenever he desires - In contrast to the walls or s'chach, in this instance the condition has an effect. It is possible for a sukkah to exist without decorations, but not without walls (Rabbenu Manoach).

for he did not set them aside, nor did the sanctity of the sukkah encompass them, nor are they considered part of it.

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Seven

1

The term "the frond of the date palm" employed by the Torah refers to the branches of a date palm as they sprout, before their leaves separate and spread out in various directions. Rather, they should appear as a scepter. This is called a lulav.

א

(ויקרא כג מ) "כַּפּוֹת תְּמָרִים" הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה הֵן חֲרָיוֹת שֶׁל דֶּקֶל כְּשֶׁיִּצְמְחוּ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתְפָּרְדוּ הֶעָלִין שֶׁלָּהֶן לְכָאן וּלְכָאן אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיִּהְיֶה כְּמוֹ שַׁרְבִיט. וְהוּא הַנִּקְרָא לוּלָב:

The term "the frond of the date palm" employed by the Torah - Leviticus 23:40.

refers to the branches of a date palm - The Tzafenat Paneach questions whether or not the tree from which the lulav is taken must actually produce dates.

as they sprout, before their leaves separate - Thus, if the leaves spread out and were later bound together by human activity, it is not acceptable (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 645:2).

and spread out in various directions. - Periodically, the date palm sprouts forth new branches. Initially they are closed, and as time passes they spread out to a fanlike shape. The Torah requires that they be used for the lulav while they are still in their initial state.

This obligation is derived from the fact that the Torah spells the word כפת, without a ו, implying that the date branch should appear to be a single entity (Sukkah 32a).

There is a homiletic aspect to using the lulav while its leaves are closed. Vayikra Rabbah 30:12 emphasizes how the mitzvah of lulav and etrog expresses the unity and oneness which pervade the Jewish people. Not only is this unity expressed by the combination of the four species into a single mitzvah, it is reflected in each of the species themselves. Thus, the lulav is used while its leaves are together as one, before they separate into distinct entities.

Rather, they should appear as a scepter. - Here, too, our Sages have emphasized the homiletic lesson to be derived from this shape. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days of judgement. The lulav can be considered as the Jews' scepter of victory, acknowledging that they have prevailed (Medrash Tanchumah, Emor).

This is called a lulav.

2

The "fruit of the beautiful tree" mentioned in the Torah is the etrog.

The "boughs of covered trees" mentioned in the Torah refer to the [species of] myrtle whose leaves surround its branch; i.e., there will be three or more leaves in each ring. However, if there are two leaves on one level, with a third leaf slightly higher than them, that is not considered to be "covered." Rather, it is called a wild myrtle.

ב

(ויקרא כג מ) "פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה הוּא אֶתְרוֹג. (ויקרא כג מ) "וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבוֹת" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה הוּא הַהֲדַס שֶׁעָלָיו חוֹפִין אֶת עֵצוֹ. כְּגוֹן שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה עָלִין אוֹ יֶתֶר עַל כֵּן בְּגִבְעוֹל אֶחָד. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ שְׁנֵי הֶעָלִין בְּשָׁוֶה זֶה כְּנֶגֶד זֶה וְהֶעָלֶה הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְמַעְלָה מֵהֶן אֵין זֶה עָבוֹת אֲבָל נִקְרָא הֲדַס שׁוֹטֶה:

The "fruit of the beautiful tree" mentioned in the Torah - Leviticus, ibid.

is the etrog. - Sukkah 35a explains that this term is used to refer to the etrog because of a unique quality possessed by this fruit. The taste of the tree itself resembles the taste of the fruit. Alternatively, the word הדר can be interpreted to mean "which dwells," and thus refer to the etrog, which can grow on the tree for an entire year.

The "boughs of covered trees" mentioned in the Torah - Leviticus, ibid.

refer to the [species of] myrtle whose leaves surround its branch; - thus, covering the branch

i.e., there will be three or more leaves in each ring - on the same level.

Our translation follows the interpretation of the Maggid Mishneh, who requires that the three leaves be on the same level over the entire length of the myrtle. However, other opinions interpret the Rambam's words to mean that a myrtle may be used if the leaves of merely one ring are on the same level. The Kessef Mishneh (and similarly, the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 646:5) maintain that a myrtle is kosher if the leaves grow properly over three handbreadths (its minimum size), or at least the majority of that distance.

However, if there are two leaves on one level, with a third leaf slightly higher than them, that is not considered to be "covered." - but rather from a different species of tree. Hence, it can never be used in the lulav (Or Sameach).

Rather, it is called a wild myrtle - since its leaves do not grow in the normal pattern.

3

The term "willows of the brook" mentioned by the Torah does not include just any plant that grows by a brook, but rather a particular species, which is called the "willows of the brook."

Its leaf is extended as a brook, its edge is smooth, and its stem is red. It is called a willow. The majority of this species grow near brooks. Therefore, it is called the "willows of the brook." Even if this species grew in the desert or on a mountain, it would be kosher.

ג

(ויקרא כג מ) "עַרְבֵי נַחַל" הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה אֵינָן כָּל דָּבָר הַגָּדֵל עַל הַנַּחַל אֶלָּא מִין יָדוּעַ הוּא הַנִּקְרָא עַרְבֵי נַחַל. עָלֶה שֶׁלּוֹ מָשׁוּךְ כְּנַחַל וּפִיו חָלָק וְקָנֶה שֶׁלּוֹ אָדֹם וְזֶה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא עֲרָבָה. וְרֹב מִין זֶה גָּדֵל עַל הַנְּחָלִים לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר עַרְבֵי נָחַל. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה גָּדֵל בַּמִּדְבָּר אוֹ בֶּהָרִים כָּשֵׁר:

The term "willows of the brook" mentioned by the Torah - Leviticus, ibid.

does not include just any plant that grows by a brook, but rather a particular species, which is called the "willows of the brook." - That species is defined as follows:

Its leaf is extended as a brook - i.e., it comes to a point, rather than being rounded (Sukkah 33b).

This characteristic is also quoted as an explanation of the name "willows of the brook" (Rabbenu Asher).

its edge is smooth - rather than jagged (Sukkah ibid.).

and its stem is red. It is called a willow. The majority of this species grow near brooks. Therefore, it is called the "willows of the brook." - However, the use of that name is not meant to be exclusive...

Even if this species grew in the desert or on a mountain, it would be kosher - for the fulfillment of this mitzvah.

4

There is another species which resembles the willow. However, its leaf is rounded, its edge resembles a saw, and its stem is not red. This is called a tzaftzefah. It is unfit [to be used for the mitzvah].

There is another type of willow, whose leaf does not have a smooth edge, but it is not like a saw. Rather, it has tiny juttings, like the edge of a small sickle. It is kosher.

All the above definitions were explained according to the oral tradition transmitted by Moses, our teacher.

ד

וְיֵשׁ מִין אַחֵר דּוֹמֶה לַעֲרָבָה אֶלָּא שֶׁעָלֶה שֶׁלּוֹ עָגל וּפִיו דּוֹמֶה לְמַסָּר וְקָנֶה שֶׁלּוֹ אֵינוֹ אָדֹם וְזֶהוּ הַנִּקְרָא צַפְצָפָה וְהִיא פְּסוּלָה. וְיֵשׁ שָׁם מִין עֲרָבָה שֶׁאֵין פִּי הֶעָלֶה שֶׁלָּהּ חָלָק וְאֵינוֹ כְּמַסָּר אֶלָּא יֵשׁ בּוֹ תְּלָמִים קְטַנִּים עַד מְאֹד כְּמוֹ פִּי מַגָּל קָטָן וְזֶה כָּשֵׁר. וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה מִמּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ נִתְפָּרְשׁוּ:

There is another species which resembles the willow. However, its leaf is rounded, its edge resembles a saw - i.e., its edge is very jagged, with large protrusions

and its stem is not red - but white (Sukkah 34a).

This is called a tzaftzefah. It is unfit [to be used for the mitzvah] - for it is not considered to be merely a different type of willow, but rather another species entirely.

There is another type of willow, whose leaf - is also extended

does not have a smooth edge, but it is not like a saw. Rather, it has tiny juttings, like the edge of a small sickle. It is kosher. - The Mishnah Berurah 647:6 mentions that willows are frequently picked by young children who are not learned and may mistake a non-kosher species for a kosher one. Hence, the purchaser should carefully examine the willows before purchasing them.

All the above definitions were explained according to the oral tradition transmitted by Moses, our teacher. - Indeed, in his introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah, the Rambam uses the definitions of the four species as examples of how the oral tradition is explained in the Talmud:

The explanations which we have received from Moses are not contested at all. Throughout all the ages, from Moses' time until the present, we have not heard of a dispute started by a Sage whether... the expression "a fruit from a beautiful tree" refers to the etrog. Nor have we heard of a dispute that the "covered tree" refers to the myrtle...

Concerning these and the like, it has been said: "The entire Torah, [both the mitzvot] in general, and all their particulars were given to Moses on Mount Sinai." Though the tradition was received and there is no dispute about it, one can also derive these definitions through the accepted processes of exegesis.

Thus, when the Talmud debates and discusses a concept and offers a suggestion...that perhaps, "the fruit of the beautiful tree" is a pomegranate...[and does not resolve the matter] until they bring proof from the exegesis of the verse..., one should not conclude that the matter was left in doubt until this point of exegesis was discovered.

Rather, from the time of Joshua onward, we saw that the etrog was the species taken with the lulav and there is no debate about that. They were merely investigating how they could find support from the Torah for the interpretation that had been transmitted.

5

These four species are considered to be one mitzvah, and each one is required for its performance. All of them [together] are called the mitzvah of lulav. One may not diminish them or add to them. If one of the species cannot be found, a similar species may not be substituted for it.

ה

אַרְבָּעָה מִינִין אֵלּוּ מִצְוָה אַחַת הֵן וּמְעַכְּבִין זֶה אֶת זֶה וְכֻלָּן נִקְרָאִים מִצְוַת לוּלָב. וְאֵין פּוֹחֲתִין מֵהֶן וְאֵין מוֹסִיפִין עֲלֵיהֶן. וְאִם לֹא נִמְצָא אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵין מְבִיאִים תַּחְתָּיו מִין אַחֵר הַדּוֹמֶה לוֹ:

These four species are considered to be one mitzvah - In contrast to putting on the head tefillin and the arm tefillin, which are considered to be two mitzvot. Here, taking all four species is considered to be a single mitzvah...

and - therefore,...

each one - of the species...

is required for its performance - and only then is the mitzvah performed. Nevertheless, as explained in Halachah 6, the species need not be bound together; it is sufficient to take them one after the other.

This statement is taken from the Mishnah, Menachot 3:6, which includes the four species of the lulav in a long list of mitzvot in which all the particular elements that make up the mitzvah are required for its performance to be acceptable.

All of them [together] are called the mitzvah of lulav. - Since the lulav is the tallest of all the species, the entire mitzvah is referred to by this name (Sukkah 37b).

One may not diminish them - doing so violates the commandment בל תגרע (Deuteronomy 13:1), which forbids diminishing the Torah's commandments.

or add to them. - doing so violates the commandment תוסיף בל (Deuteronomy 13:1), which forbids adding to the Torah's commandments.

If one of the species cannot be found, a similar species - e.g., a tzaftzefah for the willow, or a lemon for the etrog

may not be substituted for it. - Rather, the mitzvah cannot be fulfilled at all. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 651:12) recommends taking the species that are available, as a remembrance of the mitzvah. However, in such circumstances, a blessing should not be recited.

6

The most desirable way of performing the mitzvah is to bind the lulav, myrtle, and willow together, thus making a single, unified entity from the three of them.

Before one takes them to perform the mitzvah, he should recite the blessing on the mitzvah of taking the lulav, for all the others are dependent upon it.

Afterwards, he takes this bound entity in his right hand and the etrog in his left hand. He must take them as they grow - i.e., their roots below towards the earth, and their heads upward towards the sky.

If a person did not bind them together, but rather took them one by one, he has fulfilled his obligation, provided he possesses all four species. However, if he has only one species or he is lacking one species, he should not take them until he acquires the remaining species.

ו

מִצְוָה מִן הַמֻּבְחָר לֶאֱגֹד לוּלָב וַהֲדַס וַעֲרָבָה וְלַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלָשְׁתָּן אֲגֻדָּה אַחַת. וּכְשֶׁהוּא נוֹטְלָם לָצֵאת בָּהֶן מְבָרֵךְ תְּחִלָּה עַל נְטִילַת לוּלָב הוֹאִיל וְכֻלָּן סְמוּכִין לוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹטֵל הָאֲגֻדָּה הַזֹּאת בִּימִינוֹ וְאֶתְרוֹג בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וְנוֹטְלָן דֶּרֶךְ גְּדִילָתָן שֶׁיִּהְיוּ עִקְּרֵיהֶן לְמַטָּה לָאָרֶץ וְרָאשֵׁיהֶן לְמַעְלָה לַאֲוִיר. וְאִם לֹא אֲגָדָן וּנְטָלָן אֶחָד אֶחָד יָצָא וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אַרְבַּעְתָּן מְצוּיִין אֶצְלוֹ. אֲבָל אִם לֹא הָיָה לוֹ אֶלָּא מִין אֶחָד אוֹ שֶׁחָסֵר מִין אֶחָד לֹא יִטּל עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא הַשְּׁאָר:

The most desirable way of performing the mitzvah is to bind the lulav, myrtle, and willow together, thus making a single, unified entity from the three of them. - Sukkah 11b explains that binding the three species together is considered more attractive than taking them each individually. Thus, taking the species in this manner conforms to the general directive requiring us to perform the mitzvot in the most esthetically appealing manner possible.

Sukkah 34b mentions an exegetic teaching that explains why the etrog is not bound together with the other species.

Before one takes them to perform the mitzvah, he should recite the blessing - for the blessings should always be recited before the performance of the mitzvot.

on the mitzvah of taking the lulav - Our translation follows the commentary of the Kessef Mishneh, who notes that in Hilchot Berachot 11:15, the Rambam states that if one recites the blessing before taking the lulav in his hand, he should conclude the blessing ...v'tzivanu litol lulav. The blessing should be concluded ...v'tzivanu al netilat lulav only if one has already taken the lulav in his hands.

for all the others are dependent upon it. - As mentioned in the previous halachah and commentary, since the lulav is the tallest of all the species, its name is used to refer to the entire mitzvah.

Afterwards, he takes this bound entity in his right hand and the etrog in his left hand. - Since three of the four species are bound together, they are held in the hand which the Torah considers of greater prominence (Sukkah 37b).

He must take them as they grow - Sukkah 45b derives this concept from Exodus 26:15, which states: "upright beams of acacia wood." Implied is that all mitzvot fulfilled with agricultural products must be performed while they are in an upright position. (See also Halachah 9.)

i.e., their roots below towards the earth, and their heads upward towards the sky. - Even though the etrog hangs from the tree with the pitam downwards, its "upright" position is when the pitam faces upward (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 651:12).

If a person did not bind them together, but rather took them one by one, he has fulfilled his obligation, provided he possesses all four species. - Sukkah 11b states that it is a mitzvah to bind the three species together, but one may fulfill the mitzvah even when one has not done so.

This law is accepted as halachah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:12). The preference of the Rabbis for binding the species together is so great that if one has not bound them together before the beginning of the festival, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 651:1) recommends binding them together with a loop on the holiday rather than taking each one individually.

However, if he has only one species or he is lacking one species, he should not take them until he acquires the remaining species. - as explained in the previous halachah.

7

How many does one take of each of them? One lulav, one etrog, two willow branches, and three myrtle branches. If one would like to add more myrtle branches so that the bundle will be larger, he may. Indeed, it is considered to be an adornment of the mitzvah. However, it is forbidden to add to or reduce the numbers of the other species. If one adds to or reduces their number, it is not acceptable.

ז

כַּמָּה נוֹטֵל מֵהֶן. לוּלָב אֶחָד וְאֶתְרוֹג אֶחָד וּשְׁנֵי בַּדֵּי עֲרָבָה וּשְׁלֹשָׁה בַּדֵּי הֲדַס. וְאִם רָצָה לְהוֹסִיף בַּהֲדַס כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה אֲגֻדָּה גְּדוֹלָה מוֹסִיף. וְנוֹיֵי מִצְוָה הוּא. אֲבָל שְׁאָר הַמִּינִין אֵין מוֹסִיפִין עַל מִנְיָנָם וְאֵין גּוֹרְעִין מֵהֶן. וְאִם הוֹסִיף אוֹ גָּרַע (פָּסוּל):

How many does one take of each of them? One lulav - Sukkah 34b derives this concept from the fact that Leviticus 23:40 writes כפת without a ו, implying a single entity, as mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 1.

one etrog - because the above verse mentions "a fruit (singular) from the beautiful tree" (Sukkah, ibid.).

two willow branches - because the above verse states "willows of the brook," using the plural, and thus two are required (ibid.)

and three myrtle branches. - The above verse uses three words ענף עץ עבות, each word implying the addition of another branch (Rashi, Sukkah, ibid.).

If one would like to add more myrtle - Some editions of the Mishneh Torah also add "and willow." However, most of the manuscripts and texts of the Mishneh Torah omit that phrase. Furthermore, in one of his responsa, the Rambam states that since the Talmud mentions adding only myrtles, it is improper to add any of the other species.

branches so that the bundle will be larger, he may. Indeed, it is considered to be an adornment of the mitzvah. - The latter statement can be understood to be an explanation of the former. In contrast to the other species, the myrtle is considered an adornment of the mitzvah. Since the extra myrtle branches are viewed as adornments, they are not considered to be an intervening substance separating the person from the mitzvah. (See the commentary on Halachah 11.) Nor is including them considered to be adding to the mitzvah (and thus, a violation of בל תוסיף). (See also Rabbenu Nissim and the Rashba, Vol. I, Responsum 535.)

There are some authorities who allow additional myrtle branches to be included even though they do not meet the requirement of having all three leaves on the same level. However, others do not accept this leniency (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:15).

However, it is forbidden to add to or reduce the numbers of the other species. - because they are not considered to be "adornments."

If one adds to or reduces their number, it is not acceptable. - The Ra'avad objects to this statement, arguing that the adding to the numbers of the other species does not nullify the performance of the mitzvah. Rav Avraham, the Rambam's son, writes that, based on Sanhedrin 88b, the Rambam amended his own manuscript copy of the Mishneh Torah to state "it does not nullify it" (Birkat Avraham 31).

8

What is the required length of each of these species? The lulav may not be less than four handbreadths. [Beyond that,] regardless of its length, it is kosher. Its length is measured only from its shidrah and not from the tips of the leaves.

The myrtle and the willow may not be less than three handbreadths. [Beyond that,] regardless of their length, they are kosher. Even if each branch has only three fresh leaves on it, they are kosher, provided the leaves are at the top of the branch.

If one has bound [the other species together with] the lulav, the shidrah of the lulav must extend beyond the myrtle and the willow a handbreadth or more.

The minimum size of an etrog is the size of an egg. [Beyond that,] regardless of its size, it is kosher.

ח

כַּמָּה שִׁעוּר אֹרֶךְ כָּל מִין מֵהֶם. לוּלָב אֵין פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים וְאִם הָיָה אָרֹךְ כָּל שֶׁהוּא כָּשֵׁר. וּמְדִידָתוֹ מִשִּׁדְרָתוֹ בִּלְבַד לֹא מֵרֹאשׁ הֶעָלִים. וַהֲדַס וַעֲרָבָה אֵין פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים. וְאִם הָיוּ אֲרֻכִּין כָּל שֶׁהֵן כְּשֵׁרִים. וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵין בְּכָל בַּד וּבַד אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה עָלִין לַחִין כְּשֵׁרִים וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בְּרֹאשׁ הַבַּד. וְאִם אָגַד הַלּוּלָב צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שְׁדֵרוֹ שֶׁל לוּלָב יוֹצֵא מִן הַהֲדַס וַעֲרָבָה טֶפַח אוֹ יוֹתֵר. וְשִׁעוּר אֶתְרוֹג אֵין פָּחוֹת מִכְּבֵיצָה וְאִם הָיָה גָּדוֹל כָּל שֶׁהוּא כָּשֵׁר:

What is the required length of each of these species? - The Mishnah Berurah 650:8 states that if the species are smaller than the minimum limits established, they may not be used throughout the festival. Though certain leniencies are granted after the first day, they do not apply regarding this matter.

The lulav may not be less than four handbreadths. - The Mishnah (Sukkah 3:1) describes the length of the lulav as "three handbreadths [and more], so that it can be shaken," implying that, like the other species, it should be three handbreadths in length. However, since all three handbreadths of the lulav must be shaken (see the following two halachot) an additional handbreadth was required for the person to hold the lulav in his hand (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah).

[Rashi and most other commentaries based on Sukkah 32b consider the handbreadth of the lulav that extends beyond the myrtle and the willow as the addition included "so that it can be shaken." From the latter clauses of this halachah, it appears that the Rambam may have also adopted this interpretation.]

A handbreadth is 8 centimeters according to Shiurei Torah, and 9.6 centimeters according to the Chazon Ish. In his commentary on the above Mishnah, the Rambam emphasizes that the measure refers to three full handbreadths, each four fingerbreadths in length. This is necessary to negate the opinion of certain authorities (see the Ra'avad), who state that here the intent is three "small" handbreadths, so that the total length is only 10 fingerbreadths.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 650:1) accepts the Ra'avad's opinion. Nevertheless, the Ramah suggests following the Rambam's view if possible.

[Beyond that,] regardless of its length, it is kosher. - Menachot 42a states that a lulav has a minimum length, but no maximum length.

Its length is measured only from its shidrah - i.e., what is measured is its center stem from its base until the portion which separates into two twin leaves that cling to each other.

and not from the tips of the leaves. - i.e., its full length.

The myrtle and the willow may not be less than three handbreadths. [Beyond that,] regardless of their length, they are kosher. - The latter principle is derived from the laws of the lulav.

Even if each branch has only three fresh leaves on it, they are kosher, provided the leaves are at the top of the branch. - Sukkah 33a states:

If most of [the myrtle's] leaves dried out, but three fresh leaves remain, it is kosher.

Rav Chisda said: "Provided they are at the top of each branch."

The Rambam maintains that the same principles can also be applied to the willow.

[Note the commentary on Halachah 8:5, which mentions certain relevant principles. Indeed, in general, this clause appears to be more closely related to the principles mentioned in the following chapter, where the Rambam mentions the characteristics that disqualify the various species, rather than in this chapter, where he relates the fundamental requirements of each one. Based on Sukkah 34a, which relates that myrtles which are not dry (a factor still common in many Diaspora communities today) are very difficult to find, we can interpret this as an almost parenthetical expression teaching that freshness is not among the fundamental requirements for a myrtle.]

If one has bound [the other species together with] the lulav, the shidrah of the lulav must extend beyond the myrtle and the willow a handbreadth or more. - The Rambam maintains that regardless of the length of the myrtles and the willows, the shidrah of the lulav must extend beyond them an additional handbreadth, so that it can be shaken. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid.:2) does not require adherence to the Rambam's view. Nevertheless, it is accepted without question by Shulchan Aruch HaRav 650:2.

The minimum size of an etrog is the size of an egg. - 57.6 cubic centimeters according to Shiurei Torah; in this context, 100 cubic centimeters according to the Chazon Ish.

[Beyond that,] regardless of its size, it is kosher. - Sukkah 36b relates that Rabbi Akiva came to synagogue with an etrog so large he had to sling it over his shoulder. (This is not out of the question, because, as mentioned above, an etrog is capable of remaining on its tree for an entire year and can attain quite a large size.)

9

Once a person lifts up these four species - whether he lifts them up together or one after the other - whether in his right hand or in his left hand - he has fulfilled his obligation. [This applies] only when he lifts them up as they grow. However, if he does not lift them up as they grow, he has not fulfilled his obligation.

The fulfillment of the mitzvah as the law [requires is as follows]: One should lift up the three species as they are bound together in one's right hand and the etrog in one's left hand. Then, one should pass them back and forth, up and down, and shake the lulav three times in each direction.

ט

מִשֶּׁיַּגְבִּיהַ אַרְבָּעָה מִינִין אֵלּוּ בֵּין שֶׁהִגְבִּיהָן כְּאַחַת בֵּין בָּזֶה אַחַר זֶה בֵּין בְּיָמִין בֵּין בִּשְׂמֹאל יָצָא. וְהוּא שֶׁיַּגְבִּיהָן דֶּרֶךְ גְּדִילָתָן. אֲבָל שֶׁלֹּא דֶּרֶךְ גְּדִילָתָן לֹא יָצָא. וּמִצְוָה כְּהִלְכָתָהּ שֶׁיַּגְבִּיהַּ אֲגֻדָּה שֶׁל שְׁלֹשָׁה מִינִין בְּיָמִין וְאֶתְרוֹג בִּשְׂמֹאל וְיוֹלִיךְ וְיָבִיא וְיַעֲלֶה וְיוֹרִיד וִינַעֲנֵעַ הַלּוּלָב שְׁלֹשָׁה פְּעָמִים בְּכָל רוּחַ וְרוּחַ:

Once a person lifts up these four species - whether he lifts them up together - as described in Halachah 6.

or one after the other - lifting up each of the four species individually. However, a person must have all four species before him when he fulfills the mitzvah.

whether in his right hand or in his left hand - Although, in Halachah 6, the Rambam suggested holding the lulav together with the myrtle and willows together in his right hand and the etrog in his left, this is the most desirable way of fulfilling the mitzvah. However, even if a person does not lift up the species in this manner...

he has fulfilled his obligation. - Rabbenu Chanan'el does not accept this decision. He interprets Sukkah 42a, "If he lifted it up in an opposite manner, he did not fulfill his obligation," as referring to such a circumstance. Nevertheless, the Rambam (and similarly, most halachic authorities, including the Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:3) interpret that statement as referring to lifting them up opposite to their natural pattern of growth.

This applies] only when he lifts them up as they grow. - See Halachah 6 and the commentary on it.

However, if he does not lift them up as they grow, he has not fulfilled his obligation. - For this reason, it is customary in many communities to hold the etrog upside down before reciting the blessing, and then to turn it right side up after the blessing has been recited.

The fulfillment of the mitzvah as the law [requires is as follows]: One should lift up the three species as they are bound together in one's right hand and the etrog in one's left hand. - holding the etrog together with the lulav (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:11).

In the Beit Yosef, Rav Yosef Karo quotes the following story from the Recanti. The latter dreamed that he saw a particular pious individual writing God's name with a space separating the last ה from the first three letters. He could not comprehend the dream at all until the next day, when he saw that individual holding his etrog separate from his lulav (Mishnah Berurah 651:21).

Then, one should pass them back and forth, up and down - The Ari suggests that one should face the east and pass the lulav back and forth in the following order; first to the south; then to the north, then east, up, down, and to the west (Mishnah Berurah 651:20). Sukkah 37b relates that shaking the lulav in all directions prevents unfavorable winds.

When shaking the lulav downward, one should not turn it upside down, for this is opposite its natural pattern of growth. (See Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:9.)

10

What does the above entail? One passes the lulav forward and shakes the top of the lulav three times, brings it back and shakes the top of the lulav three times. One follows this same pattern when lifting it up and down.

At what point [in prayer] does one pass the lulav back and forth? During the reading of the Hallel, at the first and final recitation of the verse [Psalms 118:1, 118:29]: Hodu Lado-nai ki tov... and at the verse [Psalms 118:25]: Ana Ado-nai hoshi'ah na.

It is acceptable to take the lulav throughout the entire day. However, it is not taken at night.

י

כֵּיצַד. מוֹלִיךְ וּמְנַעְנֵעַ רֹאשׁ הַלּוּלָב שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים וּמֵבִיא וּמְנַעְנֵעַ רֹאשׁ הַלּוּלָב שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים וְכֵן בַּעֲלִיָּה וִירִידָה. וְהֵיכָן מוֹלִיךְ וּמֵבִיא. בִּשְׁעַת קְרִיאַת הַהַלֵּל בְּ (תהילים קיח א) (תהילים קיח כט) "הוֹדוּ לַה' כִּי טוֹב" תְּחִלָּה וָסוֹף וּבְ(תהילים קיח כה) "אָנָּא ה' הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא". וְכָל הַיּוֹם כָּשֵׁר לִנְטִילַת לוּלָב וְאֵינוֹ נוֹטֵל בַּלַּיְלָה:

What does the above entail? One passes the lulav forward - once in each direction

and shakes the top of the lulav three times - while the lulav is extended outward in that particular direction.

brings it back - to one's chest

and shakes the top of the lulav three times. - while holding the lulav close to oneself.

The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:9) explains that passing the lulav back and forth is itself considered to be shaking it. Hence, rather than shake the lulav three times while it is extended, one must shake it as one extends it and brings it back, and repeat that process a total of three times in each direction.

One follows this same pattern when lifting it up and down. - Thus, one will have shaken the lulav a total of 36 times.

At what point [in prayer] - Rabbenu Manoach states that the lulav was also passed back and forth and shaken at the time the blessing is recited. This is our custom at present.

does one pass the lulav back and forth? During the reading of the Hallel - which is recited in its entirety on each day of the Sukkot festival.

at the first and final recitation of the verse [Psalms 118:1, 118:29]: Hodu Lado-nai ki tov... - Tosafot, Sukkah 37b explains the derivation of this practice as follows: 1 Chronicles 16:33 states: "Then all the trees of the forest will rejoice." The following verse (ibid. 34) states "Hodu Lado-nai...," and the subsequent verse: "Let them say Hoshi'eynu...."

The rejoicing of the trees - the shaking of the lulav - is thus associated with the verse "Hodu..." and the verse "Ana Ado-nai hoshi'ah na."

and at the verse [Psalms 118:25]: Ana Ado-nai hoshi'ah na. - It is customary to repeat this verse when reciting the Hallel. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 651:8) relates that the lulav is passed back and forth both times the verse is recited.

It is acceptable to take the lulav throughout the entire day. - However, one should not delay the performance of the mitzvah unnecessarily. Indeed, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 652:2) forbids eating before fulfilling the mitzvah.

However, it is not taken at night. - Megillah 20b derives this concept from Leviticus 23:40: "On the first day take...." We may infer: "the lulav is to be taken by day, and not by night."

11

If one wraps a cord of silver or gold around [the three species] as they are bound together, or wraps a [decorative] cloth around them and takes them, one fulfills his obligation. Taking the lulav through another medium is still considered to be taking it, provided [that medium] is one which gives honor and beauty [to the mitzvah, because]: "any entity which makes a substance more attractive is not considered to be a separation."

However, if one placed these species in a vase or a pot and took them, one has not fulfilled one's obligation.

יא

עָשָׂה לַאֲגֻדָּה זוֹ גִּימוֹן שֶׁל כֶּסֶף וְשֶׁל זָהָב אוֹ שֶׁכָּרַךְ עָלֶיהָ סָדִין וּנְטָלָהּ יָצָא. לְקִיחָה עַל יְדֵי דָּבָר אַחֵר שְׁמָהּ לְקִיחָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה דֶּרֶךְ כָּבוֹד וְדֶרֶךְ הִדּוּר שֶׁכָּל שֶׁהוּא לְנָאוֹתוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. אֲבָל אִם נָתַן אֶת הַמִּינִין הָאֵלּוּ בְּעָצִיץ אוֹ בִּקְדֵרָה וּנְטָלָהּ לֹא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ:

If one wraps a cord of silver or gold around [the three species] as they are bound together - The Mishnah (Sukkah 3:8) relates that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would wrap their lulavim together with golden cords.

or wraps a [decorative] cloth around them and takes them, one fulfills his obligation. - Though we are commanded to take the lulav, that does not necessarily imply actually holding the lulav in one's hands, because...

Taking the lulav through another medium is still considered to be taking it - i.e., holding another substance in which the lulav is contained is still considered to be holding the lulav...

provided [that medium] is one which gives honor and beauty [to the mitzvah, because]: "any entity which makes a substance more attractive is not considered to be a separation." - between one's hands and the lulav. The substance used to bind the lulav is not considered to be an independent entity, but rather an extension of the lulav. This principle is also mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 7 of this chapter and Halachot 5:17-18. The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:8) states that it is customary to remove rings or other intervening substances that cover even small portions of one's hands before taking the lulav.

However, if one placed these species in a vase or a pot - Sukkah 42a explains that this is unbecoming to the mitzvah.

and took them, one has not fulfilled one's obligation. - The Mishnah Berurah 651:31 states that this applies even if the container in which one placed the species is made of silver or gold.

12

If one binds the lulav together with the myrtle and the willow and separates between the lulav and the myrtle with a cloth or the like, it is considered to be a separation. If one separates between them with myrtle leaves, it is not considered to be a separation, because an entity does not separate between its own kind.

One may bind the together with a string, a cord, or with any substance one desires, since binding it together is not a required element of the mitzvah.

יב

אָגַד אֶת הַלּוּלָב עִם הַהֲדַס וְהָעֲרָבָה וְהִבְדִּיל בֵּין הַלּוּלָב וּבֵין הַהֲדַס בְּמַטְלָת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹצֵץ. הִבְדִּיל בֵּינֵיהֶן בַּעֲלֵי הֲדַס אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. שֶׁמִּין בְּמִינוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לֶאֱגֹד אֶת הַלּוּלָב בְּחוּט אוֹ בִּמְשִׁיחָה וּבְכָל מִין שֶׁיִּרְצֶה הוֹאִיל וְאֵין אֲגִידָתוֹ מְעַכֵּב:

If one binds the lulav together with the myrtle and the willow and separates between the lulav and the myrtle with a cloth or the like - i.e., a substance which does not contribute to the lulav's attractiveness

it is considered to be a separation. - between the various species. Taking the lulav in this manner is not acceptable. The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:1) notes that the myrtle branches are frequently bound together with a cord. This must be removed before using them to fulfill the mitzvah.

If one separates between them with myrtle leaves - i.e., if the myrtle leaves fall off and collect between the lulav and the myrtle branches,

it is not considered to be a separation, because an entity does not separate between its own kind. - This principle applies in many different contexts. (See also Hilchot P'sulei Hamukdashin 1:21 and Hilchot Ma'aseh Hakorbanot 19:5.)

One may bind them together with a string, a cord, or with any substance one desires - i.e., using substances other than the three species used in the lulav

since binding it together is not a required element of the mitzvah. - the substance used to bind it is not considered to be significant. Therefore, using a different substance is not considered as adding a new entity to the mitzvah. However, if the binding were required, as one opinion (Sukkah 6b) maintains, it would be forbidden to use a different substance.

13

The mitzvah of taking the lulav in every place, during every age - even on the Sabbath - applies only on the first day of the festival, as [Leviticus 23:40] states: "And on the first day, you shall take..."

In the holy place alone, it is to be taken on each of the seven days of the festival, as [the above verse] continues: "and you shall rejoice before God, your Lord, [seven days]."

When the Sabbath falls during the [later] days, [the lulav] is not taken on the Sabbath. This is a decree lest one carry it four cubits in the public domain, as decreed regarding the shofar.

יג

מִצְוַת לוּלָב לְהִנָּטֵל בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל חַג בִּלְבַד בְּכָל מָקוֹם וּבְכָל זְמַן וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג מ) "וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן". וּבַמִּקְדָּשׁ לְבַדּוֹ נוֹטְלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם מִשִּׁבְעַת יְמֵי הֶחָג שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג מ) "וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם" וְגוֹ'. חָל יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לִהְיוֹת בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי הֶחָג אֵינוֹ נִטָּל בְּשַׁבָּת גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יוֹלִיכֶנּוּ בְּיָדוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים כְּמוֹ שֶׁגָּזְרוּ בְּשׁוֹפָר:

The mitzvah of taking the lulav in every place - i.e., even outside Jerusalem

during every age - i.e., whether or not the Temple is standing

even on the Sabbath - applies only on the first day of the festival, as [Leviticus 23:40] states: "And on the first day, you shall take..." - See Halachah 16. See also the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 4:2).

In the holy place alone - In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:10), the Rambam states that the term מקדש refers to Jerusalem in its totality, not only the Temple Mount. Thus, the Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 3:11) states:

"And you shall rejoice before God, your Lord, seven days" - in Jerusalem.

(See also the commentary on Halachah 2:8.)

it is to be taken on each of the seven days of the festival, as [the above verse] continues: "and you shall rejoice before God, your Lord [seven days]."

When the Sabbath falls during the [later] days, [the lulav] is not taken on the Sabbath. - neither in Jerusalem (where taking the lulav is a mitzvah according to the Torah) nor outside the holy city (where taking the lulav is a Rabbinic decree, as stated in Halachah 15).

This is a decree - instituted by the Rabbis (Sukkah 43a)

lest one carry it four cubits in the public domain, as decreed regarding the shofar. - See Halachah 2:6.

14

Why was this decree not put in effect on the first day of the festival? Because [taking the lulav on that day] is a mitzvah from the Torah even outside of Jerusalem. Thus, the laws applying to it are not the same as those applying to the remaining days, because on the subsequent days of the festival a person is obligated to take the lulav only in the holy place.

יד

וְלָמָּה לֹא גָּזְרוּ גְּזֵרָה זוֹ בְּיוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מִצְוָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּגְבוּלִין. נִמְצָא שֶׁאֵין דִּינוֹ וְדִין שְׁאָר הַיָּמִים שָׁוֶה שֶׁבִּשְׁאָר יְמֵי הֶחָג אֵין אָדָם חַיָּב לִטּל לוּלָב אֶלָּא בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ:

Why was this decree not put in effect on the first day of the festival? Because [taking the lulav on that day] is a mitzvah from the Torah even outside of Jerusalem. Thus, the laws applying to it are not the same as those applying to the remaining days - Taking the lulav on the first day was obviously a matter of great importance. Hence, the Sages did not feel that the fear that perhaps a person might carry the lulav in the public domain was sufficient reason to nullify the mitzvah. In contrast, on the subsequent days the mitzvah is not considered to be so severe a matter. Hence, the mitzvah could be nullified in Jerusalem as well.

The Rabbis question why the Sages differentiated between the lulav and the shofar, and (as explained in Halachah 2:6), nullified the mitzvah of hearing the shofar when Rosh Hashanah fell on the Sabbath. As explained in our commentary on that halachah, in Rabbenu Nissim's commentary on the tractate of Sukkah, he states that this decree was instituted only because in most Jewish communities, the people were not aware of the date the court had established for Rosh Hashanah. (Note the details of the explanation there.)

because on the subsequent days of the festival a person is obligated to take the lulav only in the holy place. - Thus, while the Temple was standing, the lulav would not be taken outside Jerusalem during the subsequent days of the festival.

15

When the Temple was destroyed, [the Sages] ordained that the lulav be taken everywhere for the entire seven days of the festival, as a remembrance of the Temple.

On each day, one recites the blessing on it:

[Baruch Attah Ado-nai...] asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al netilat lulav.

because it a mitzvah ordained by the Rabbis.

This enactment, like the other enactments instituted by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai when the Temple was destroyed [is only temporary]. When the Temple is rebuilt, these matters will return to their original status.

טו

מִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוּלָב נִטָּל בְּכָל מָקוֹם כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הֶחָג זֵכֶר לַמִּקְדָּשׁ. וְכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם מְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת לוּלָב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְתַקָּנָה זוֹ עִם כָּל הַתַּקָּנוֹת שֶׁהִתְקִין רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֵּן זַכַּאי מִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ כְּשֶׁיִּבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ יַחְזְרוּ הַדְּבָרִים לְיָשְׁנָן:

When the Temple was destroyed, [the Sages] ordained that the lulav be taken everywhere for the entire seven days of the festival as a remembrance of the Temple. - Sukkah 41a explains the source for the establishment of remembrances for the Temple practices:

[Jeremiah 30:17] states: "'I will restore health to you. I will heal you of your wounds," says God. 'Because they called you an outcast. Zion, for whom no one cares.'

The verse states "for whom no one cares," implying that a show of our care is required.

On this basis, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai established a number of practices in remembrance of the Temple practices.

On each day - but only once a day (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 651:5).

one recites the blessing on it: [Baruch Attah Ado-nai...] asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al netilat lulav. - As mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 6, the Rambam explains in Hilchot Berachot 11:15 that it is preferable to conclude the blessing, litol lulav. The Kessef Mishneh maintains that the Rambam's present statement is only a reference to his previous one, and not a reversal of his opinion. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 651:5) and all later authorities recommend reciting al netilat lulav.

because it a mitzvah ordained by the Rabbis. - In Hilchot Berachot 11:3, the Rambam writes that a blessing should be recited before the performance of a Rabbinic commandment. It is appropriate to say v'tzivanu (and He commanded us) because the commandment to follow the Sages includes the observance of all their enactments.

This enactment, like the other enactments instituted by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai when the Temple was destroyed [is only temporary]. When the Temple is rebuilt, these matters will return to their original status. - The Tosefta, Rosh Hashanah 2:7, states this concept explicitly. It is also obvious from Beitzah 5b, which explains that "when in the near future, the Temple will be rebuilt," difficulties may arise from following Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai's decree.

16

While the Temple was standing, the lulav would be taken [in the holy place even] when the first day of Sukkot fell on the Sabbath. The same applies in other places where they were certain that this day was celebrated as a holiday in Eretz Yisrael. However, the places which were distantly removed from Jerusalem would not take the lulav on this day because of the doubt involved.

טז

בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּם הָיָה לוּלָב נִטָּל בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁחָל לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת. וְכֵן בִּשְׁאָר הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁיָּדְעוּ בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁיּוֹם זֶה הוּא יוֹם הֶחָג בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. אֲבָל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת הָרְחוֹקִים שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ יוֹדְעִים בִּקְבִיעוּת רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ לֹא הָיוּ נוֹטְלִין הַלּוּלָב מִסָּפֵק:

While the Temple was standing - and the day when a new month began was established through the testimony of witnesses who saw the new moon.

the lulav would be taken [in the holy place - i.e., the city of Jerusalem

even] when the first day of Sukkot fell on the Sabbath. - as stated above in Halachah 13.

The same applies in other places - throughout Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora

where they were certain that this day - the fifteenth of Tishre

was celebrated as a holiday in Eretz Yisrael. - As mentioned in Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh, Chapter 3, the Sanhedrin would send messengers to all Jewish communities to inform them when each new month had begun. The communities which received this information before the Sukkot festival celebrated the holidays for only one day. They would be allowed to take the lulav when the first day of Sukkot fell on the Sabbath.

Sukkot 41b relates:

When the first day of the festival fell on the Sabbath, everyone would bring their lulav to the synagogue [on Friday]. On the following day, everyone would recognize his lulav and take it.

This was the practice outside Jerusalem. Sukkot 42b describes the practice in the Temple.

They would bring their lulavim to the Temple Mount [on Friday]. The attendants would take them from them and place them on benches. The elders would place their lulavim in chambers. They would teach them to say: "Whoever receives my lulav may consider it as a gift."

In the morning, they would arise and come [to the Temple]. The attendants would throw [the lulavim] to the people. They would grab them from one another and even come to violence. When the court saw that the situation was becoming dangerous, they ordained that each person should take [the lulav] in his own home.

However, the places which were distantly removed from Jerusalem - and were not informed of the day on which Rosh Hashanah had fallen, would celebrate two days. Therefore, they...

would not take the lulav on this day because of the doubt - whether or not the day was, in fact, Sukkot

involved. - i.e., had they known for sure that the holiday began on this day, they would have taken the lulav. However, since they were not sure of that fact, the Sages did not want to risk the possible violation of the Sabbath laws.

17

When the Temple was destroyed, the Sages forbade even the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael who had sanctified the new month to take the lulav on the Sabbath on the first day of Sukkot.

[This was instituted] because of the inhabitants of the distant settlements, who were not aware of when the new month had been declared. Thus, a uniform guideline was established, rather than having some take the lulav on the Sabbath and some not. [The guiding principle was] that the obligation [of taking the lulav] on the first day applies in all places, and there is no longer a Temple to use as a point of distinction.

יז

וּמִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ אָסְרוּ חֲכָמִים לִטּל אֶת הַלּוּלָב בְּשַׁבָּת בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּנֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁקִּדְּשׁוּ אֶת הַחֹדֶשׁ. מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי הַגְּבוּלִין הָרְחוֹקִים שֶׁאֵינָן יוֹדְעִין בִּקְבִיעַת הַחֹדֶשׁ. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַכּל שָׁוִין בְּדָבָר זֶה וְלֹא יִהְיוּ אֵלּוּ נוֹטְלִין בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֵלּוּ אֵין נוֹטְלִין. הוֹאִיל וְחִיּוּב יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן בְּכָל מָקוֹם אֶחָד הוּא וְאֵין שָׁם מִקְדָּשׁ לְהִתָּלוֹת בּוֹ:

When the Temple was destroyed - even though the new moon was still sanctified according to the testimony of witnesses. (That practice continued several hundred years after the destruction of the Temple - Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 5:3.)

the Sages forbade even the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael who had sanctified the new month - and thus knew that they were certainly obligated to perform the mitzvah

to take the lulav on the Sabbath on the first day of Sukkot - for the reasons mentioned in Halachah 13.

[This was instituted] because of the inhabitants of the distant settlements, who were not aware of when the new month had been declared. Thus, a uniform guideline was established, rather than having some take the lulav on the Sabbath and some not. - The Sages did not want confusion to arise because of a difference in local custom. Accordingly, they were willing to decree that many Jews forego the performance of a mitzvah from the Torah, in order to establish uniformity throughout the Jewish people.

[The guiding principle was] that the obligation [of taking the lulav] on the first day applies in all places - and the people in the distant communities could not take the lulav when the first day fell on the Sabbath because of the doubt involved

and there is no longer a Temple to use as a point of distinction - i.e., while the Temple was standing, the difference in practice between the people living in places where the date of the month was known and those where it was not known could be explained because everyone knew that the lulav was taken on the first day in the Temple. However, when the Temple was destroyed, there was no point of distinction, and the Sages established a totally uniform practice.

The Lechem Mishneh questions why Sages did not institute the celebration of the second day of each festival in Eretz Yisrael as well. If their desire for uniformity of observance was so great, why did they not establish a single practice in this regard as well?

He explains that the Sages were more reluctant to exercise their authority when they had to establish a new practice (קום ועשה) - celebrating an additional day as a festival - than when all that was necessary was to have the people refrain from the performance of a mitzvah (שב ועל תעשה), as in the case of the lulav.

Another concept can be derived from this halachah. The Hebrew word translated as Temple - מקדש - is used by the Rambam to refer to the entire city of Jerusalem. Thus, we can infer from the statement "there is no longer a מקדש" that this distinction is conferred on the holy city only while the Temple is standing.

18

At present, when everyone follows a fixed calendar, the matter remains as it was, and the lulav is not taken on the Sabbath in the outlying territories or in Eretz Yisrael even on the first day [of the festival]. [This applies] even though everyone knows the actual day of the month.

As explained, the reason for the prohibition of taking the lulav on the Sabbath is a decree lest one carry it four cubits in the public domain.

יח

וּבַזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁהַכּל עוֹשִׂין עַל פִּי הַחֶשְׁבּוֹן נִשְׁאָר הַדָּבָר כְּמוֹת שֶׁהָיָה שֶׁלֹּא יִנָּטֵל לוּלָב בְּשַׁבָּת כְּלָל לֹא בִּגְבוּלִין וְלֹא בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַכּל יוֹדְעִים בִּקְבִיעַת הַחֹדֶשׁ. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁעִקַּר הָאִסּוּר בִּנְטִילַת הַלּוּלָב בְּשַׁבָּת גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יַעֲבִירֶנּוּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים:

At present, when everyone follows a fixed calendar - See Chapter 5 of Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh.

the matter remains as it was, and the lulav is not taken on the Sabbath in the outlying territories or in Eretz Yisrael - or in Jerusalem

even on the first day [of the festival]. - when the obligation to do so is from the Torah itself.

[This applies] even though everyone knows the actual day of the month. - As mentioned regarding the celebration of the second day of a festival (Beitzah 4b; Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 5:5), according to Torah law this practice should not be followed. Nevertheless, as a mark of respect for established custom, the practice is continued.

As explained - in Halachah 13,

the reason for the prohibition of taking the lulav on the Sabbath is a decree lest one carry it four cubits in the public domain.

19

Whoever is obligated to fulfill [the mitzvot of] shofar and sukkah is obligated to take the lulav. Whoever is not obligated regarding shofar and sukkah is not obligated to take the lulav.

A child who knows how to shake [the lulav] is obligated regarding the lulav by Rabbinic law, in order to train him in the performance of mitzvot.

יט

כָּל שֶׁחַיָּב בְּשׁוֹפָר וּבְסֻכָּה חַיָּב בִּנְטִילַת הַלּוּלָב. וְכָל הַפָּטוּר מִשּׁוֹפָר וְסֻכָּה פָּטוּר מִנְּטִילַת לוּלָב. קָטָן הַיּוֹדֵעַ לְנַעֲנֵעַ חַיָּב בְּלוּלָב מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכוֹ בְּמִצְוֹת:

Whoever is obligated to fulfill [the mitzvot of] shofar and sukkah is obligated to take the lulav. Whoever is not obligated regarding shofar and sukkah is not obligated to take the lulav. - i.e., the lulav, like the shofar and the sukkah, is a positive commandment whose observance is restricted to a specific time. Accordingly, women and slaves are under no obligation. (See Halachot 2:1 and 6:1.)

A child who knows how to shake [the lulav] - according to the instructions of our Sages (Rabbenu Manoach). (See Halachot 9 and 10.)

is obligated - See the note on Halachah 6:1.

regarding lulav by Rabbinic law, in order to train him in the performance of mitzvot. - Note the specific instructions in Halachah 8:10 regarding a child's performance of the mitzvah on the first day of the festival.

20

It is a halachah conveyed by Moses from Mount Sinai that - in addition to the willow of the lulav - another willow branch was taken in the Temple. A person does not fulfill his obligation with the willow branch in the lulav.

The minimum requirement [to fulfill this mitzvah] is one branch with one leaf.

כ

הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶּׁמְּבִיאִין בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ עֲרָבָה אַחֶרֶת חוּץ מֵעֲרָבָה שֶׁבַּלּוּלָב. וְאֵין אָדָם יוֹצֵא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ בַּעֲרָבָה שֶׁבַּלּוּלָב. וְשִׁעוּרָהּ אֲפִלּוּ עָלֶה אֶחָד בְּבַד אֶחָד:

It is a halachah conveyed by Moses from Mount Sinai - i.e., a commandment that has the status of Torah law even though there is no explicit commandment to that effect in the Torah.

that - in addition to the willow of the lulav - There is another totally different mitzvah performed with the willow.

another willow branch was brought in the Temple. - as described in the following halachot.

Rashi and Tosafot, (Sukkah 43b) explain that the mitzvah of the willow branch was only performed by the priests for only they were allowed to approach the Temple altar where the branches were arranged. However, from halachah 22, it appears that the Rambam does not share this opinion.

Sukkah 44a, b also mentions that outside the Temple there was a custom of established in the time of the prophets requiring the taking of the willow by all Jews. (See also Hilchot Berachot 11:16.)

A person does not fulfill his obligation with the willow branch in the lulav - even if after using for the lulav, he detaches it and takes it by itself (Sukkah 44b, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 664:6).

21

How was this mitzvah performed?

On each of the seven days [of the festival], branches of willows were brought and stood upright near the altar with their tops bent over the altar. When they would bring them and arrange them [near the altar,] a series of [shofar blasts] - teki'ah, teru'ah, and teki'ah - were sounded.

When the Sabbath fell in the midst of the festival, the willows would not be arranged [near the altar] unless the seventh day fell on the Sabbath. [On such an occasion,] the willows were arranged [near the altar], to publicize the fact that [taking] them is a mitzvah.

כא

כֵּיצַד הָיְתָה מִצְוָתָהּ. בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם מִשִּׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים הָיוּ מְבִיאִין מֻרְבִּיּוֹת שֶׁל עֲרָבָה וְזוֹקְפִין אוֹתָן עַל צִדְדֵי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְרָאשֵׁיהֶן כְּפוּפִין עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וּבְעֵת שֶׁהָיוּ מְבִיאִין אוֹתָהּ וְסוֹדְרִין אוֹתָהּ תּוֹקְעִין וּמְרִיעִין וְתוֹקְעִין. חָל יוֹם שַׁבָּת לִהְיוֹת בְּתוֹךְ הֶחָג אֵין זוֹקְפִין עֲרָבָה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן חָל יוֹם שְׁבִיעִי לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת זוֹקְפִין אוֹתָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת כְּדֵי לְפַרְסְמָהּ שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה:

How was this mitzvah performed? On each of the seven days [of the festival], branches of willows were brought - from Motza, a small town slightly west of Jerusalem (Sukkah 45a).

and stood upright near the altar - From this fact, Rashi and Tosafot conclude that the willows were taken by priests only because Israelites were not allowed to approach the Temple altar.

with their tops bent over the altar. - These willow branches were eleven cubits high and were placed on the base of the altar.

Afterwards, they would be taken by the people, as stated in the following halachah. Rabbenu Manoach maintains that the priests would take the willow branches and give them to the people because Israelites were not allowed to approach the altar, as above. However, he notes that Rav Yitzchak ibn Giat's description of the mitzvah could be interpreted to mean that the Israelites themselves were permitted to approach the altar on this occasion.

When they would bring them and arrange them [near the altar,] a series of [shofar blasts] - teki'ah, teru'ah, and teki'ah - were sounded - as an expression of happiness (Tosafot, Sukkah, ibid.). The shofar was also sounded in connection with the communal sacrifices and other rites carried out in the Temple.

When the Sabbath fell in the midst of the festival, the willows would not be arranged [near the altar] - on the Sabbath, since the mitzvah of lulav was negated on such an occasion (Halachah 13). Indeed, in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 4:3), the Rambam writes that the reason the mitzvah of taking the willow on the Sabbath was negated was so that people would not extend the leniency and take the lulav as well.

unless the seventh day fell on the Sabbath. - The seventh day of Sukkot falls on the Sabbath only when Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on Sunday. Since the Sages attempted to prevent the latter occurrence (Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 7:7) - indeed, it is impossible according to today's fixed calendar - it was rare that the seventh day of Sukkot would fall on the Sabbath.

[On such an occasion,] the willows were arranged [near the altar] - and the willows were taken as during the week. Though the mitzvah of lulav would not be performed on such an occasion, an exception was made regarding the willows, in order...

to publicize the fact that [taking] them is a mitzvah. - Since the willows were placed near the altar by the priests, and the performance of the mitzvah was under the supervision of the court, there was no need to worry about people carrying willows in the public domain (Sukkah 43b).

In a related context, Sukkah 43b relates that the followers of Boethus, who did not respect the Oral Law, once tried to prevent the people from following the mitzvah of the willow branches on the Sabbath. Indeed, precisely because the source for the mitzvah is the oral tradition alone, the Sages made a point of allowing it to be observed on the Sabbath at least under such circumstances (Rabbenu Manoach).

The actual performance of the mitzvah on the Sabbath is described in the following halachah.

22

How would they fulfill [this mitzvah on the Sabbath]?

They would bring [the branches] to the Temple on the Sabbath eve and place them in golden containers, so their leaves would not dry out. On the following morning, they would be placed next to the altar and the people would take them in the same manner as they did each day.

Since the willow is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, it is not taken on each of the seven days of the festival as a remembrance of the Temple. Rather, at present it is taken only on the seventh day.

What is done? One takes one branch or many branches in addition to the willow of the lulav, and hits the ground or a utensil with them two or three times. No blessing is recited, because this practice is a custom instituted by the prophets.

כב

כֵּיצַד הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין. מְבִיאִין אוֹתָהּ מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת לַמִּקְדָּשׁ וּמַנִּיחִין אוֹתָהּ בְּגִגִּיּוֹת שֶׁל זָהָב כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִכְמְשׁוּ הֶעָלִין. וּלְמָחָר זוֹקְפִין אוֹתָהּ עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּבָאִין הָעָם וְלוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנָּה וְנוֹטְלִין אוֹתָהּ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשִׂין בְּכָל יוֹם. וַעֲרָבָה זוֹ הוֹאִיל וְאֵינָהּ בְּפֵרוּשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה אֵין נוֹטְלִין אוֹתָהּ כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הֶחָג זֵכֶר לַמִּקְדָּשׁ אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי בִּלְבַד הוּא שֶׁנּוֹטְלִין אוֹתָהּ בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה. כֵּיצַד עוֹשֶׂה. לוֹקֵחַ בַּד אֶחָד אוֹ בַּדִּין הַרְבֵּה חוּץ מֵעֲרָבָה שֶׁבַּלּוּלָב וְחוֹבֵט בָּהּ עַל הַקַּרְקַע אוֹ עַל הַכְּלִי פַּעֲמַיִם אוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה מִנְהַג נְבִיאִים הוּא:

How would they fulfill [this mitzvah on the Sabbath]? They would bring [the branches] to the Temple on the Sabbath eve and place them in golden containers so their leaves would not dry out. - Some commentaries explain that the golden vessels were used as an expression of respect for the mitzvah. However, the Ma'aseh Rokeach explains that, in comparison to containers made of other metals, golden ones are more beneficial in preserving the willows' freshness.

On the following morning, they would be placed next to the altar, and the people would take them in the same manner as they did each day. - Note the commentary on the previous halachah.

Since the willow is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah - The Maggid Mishneh's text of the Mishneh Torah reads: "it is not explicitly [an obligation] from the Torah." Accordingly, he and the other commentators debated whether the Rambam considers a halachah conveyed by Moses from Mt. Sinai as a Torah obligation or not. In Hilchot Tum'at Meit 2:10, the Rambam specifically states that a halachah conveyed by tradition has the power of Torah law.

it is not taken on each of the seven days of the festival as a remembrance of the Temple - as is the lulav (Halachah 15).

Rather, at present it is taken only on the seventh day. - Hoshanah Rabbah.

What is done - to fulfill the mitzvah at present?

One takes one - willow

branch or many branches - At present, it is customary to take five.

in addition to the willow of the lulav and hits the ground - The Zohar mentions this practice

or a utensil with them two or three times. - According to Kabbalah, the custom is to hit the ground five times.

No blessing is recited, because this practice is a custom instituted by the prophets. - In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 4:3), the Rambam writes: "The willow is a halachah conveyed by Moses....It was a custom of the prophets to take it without a blessing."

However, in Hilchot Berachot 11:15, he writes:

Every practice which is a custom - even if it a custom of the prophets (e.g., taking the willow on the seventh day of the festival)... - [does not require] the recitation of a blessing.

It is possible to reconcile the two statements as follows: A blessing was never recited upon taking the willow in the Temple (though it could have been), because of the custom of the prophets mentioned in his Commentary on the Mishnah. There was never any reason to recite a blessing over taking the willow outside the Temple because it was only a custom.

23

On each day of the festival, they would walk around the altar once, carrying their lulavim in their hands, reciting: "Please, God, save us. Please, God, grant us success" [Psalms 118:25]. On the seventh day, they would walk around the altar seven times.

It has become universally accepted Jewish custom to place the ark in the center of the synagogue and walk around it each day, as they walked around the altar in remembrance of the Temple [service].

כג

בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם הָיוּ מַקִּיפִין אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּלוּלְבֵיהֶן בִּידֵיהֶן פַּעַם אַחַת וְאוֹמְרִין (תהילים קיח כה) "אָנָּא ה' הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא". (תהילים קיח כה) "אָנָּא ה' הַצְלִיחָה נָּא". וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מַקִּיפִין אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים. וּכְבָר נָהֲגוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת לְהַנִּיחַ תֵּבָה בְּאֶמְצַע בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת וּמַקִּיפִין אוֹתָהּ בְּכָל יוֹם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָיוּ מַקִּיפִין אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ זֵכֶר לַמִּקְדָּשׁ:

On each day of the festival - in the Temple

they - There is a question if this practice was carried out only by the priests, or by Israelites as well. (See the commentary on Halachah 21.)

would walk around the altar once, carrying their lulavim - Sukkah 43b mentions an opinion that states that the people would walk around the altar carrying the willow branch, but concludes as the Rambam does. (See also Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 664:4.)

in their hands, reciting: "Please, God, save us. Please, God, grant us success" - Many manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah state "Please, God, save us" twice, repeating that verse as is our custom in the recitation of Hallel.

On the seventh day, they would walk around the altar seven times. - The Yalkut Shimoni notes that this recalls the miracle of the conquest of Jericho.

It has become universally accepted Jewish custom to place the ark in the center of the synagogue - From Hilchot Tefillah 11:3, it appears that in addition to the main ark of the synagogue, there was a small movable ark that was positioned in the center of the synagogue. The present custom is to hold the Torah scrolls on the reader's platform in the center of the synagogue. This is also mentioned in the Yalkut Shimoni: "The chazan stands as an angel of God, holding the Torah scroll in his arm."

and walk around it each day - once, and seven times on Hoshanah Rabbah.

as they walked around the altar in remembrance of the Temple [service].

24

The following custom was observed in Jerusalem: A person would leave his house in the morning [carrying] his lulav in his hand. He would enter the synagogue with it in his hand; pray while it was in his hand; go to visit the sick and comfort the mourners with it in his hand. When he entered the House of Study, he would send it home with his son or servant.

כד

כָּךְ הָיָה הַמִּנְהָג בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם. יוֹצֵא אָדָם מִבֵּיתוֹ שַׁחֲרִית וְלוּלָבוֹ בְּיָדוֹ. וְנִכְנָס לְבַיִת הַכְּנֶסֶת וְהוּא בְּיָדוֹ. מִתְפַּלֵּל וְהוּא בְּיָדוֹ. וְיוֹצֵא לְבַקֵּר חוֹלִים וּלְנַחֵם אֲבֵלִים וְהוּא בְּיָדוֹ. וּכְשֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לַמִּדְרָשׁ מְשַׁלְּחוֹ לְבֵיתוֹ בְּיַד בְּנוֹ אוֹ בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ:

The following custom was observed in Jerusalem - as an expression of the dearness with which the people regarded the mitzvah:

A person would leave his house in the morning [carrying] his lulav in his hand. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 652:1) states that "the eager" fulfill the mitzvah of lulav early in the morning. Afterwards, the lulav would be carried - while open, without a carrying case - throughout the day.

He would enter the synagogue with it in his hand; pray while it was in his hand - Even though one should not ordinarily hold any objects in one's hands while praying, lest one's concentration be distracted, since holding the lulav is a mitzvah dear to a Jew's heart, it will not become a distraction.

go to visit the sick and comfort the mourners with it in his hand - for there is no difficulty in carrying the lulav while fulfilling those mitzvot.

When he entered the House of Study, he would send it home with his son or servant. - We fear that a person's involvement in his studies will prevent him from showing proper attention to the lulav, and perhaps he will drop it (Rashi, Sukkah, ibid.).

25

During the time the lulav was taken on the Sabbath, a woman was allowed to receive the lulav from her son or her husband and return it to the water on the Sabbath. On the festival, a person might add to the water. On Chol Hamo'ed, one might change the water.

כה

מְקַבֶּלֶת אִשָּׁה הַלּוּלָב מִיַּד בְּנָהּ אוֹ מִיַּד בַּעְלָהּ וּמַחְזִירָתוֹ לַמַּיִם בְּשַׁבָּת בִּזְמַן שֶׁהָיוּ נוֹטְלִין לוּלָב בְּשַׁבָּת. וּבְיוֹם טוֹב מוֹסִיפִין עַל הַמַּיִם וּבַמּוֹעֵד מַחְלִיפִין הַמַּיִם:

42a).

During the time the lulav was taken on the Sabbath - See Halachot 13 and 14. At present, it is forbidden to carry the lulav on the Sabbath (Ramah, Orach Chayim 558:2).

a woman was allowed to receive the lulav from her son or her husband - Though she was not required to fulfill the mitzvah herself, no prohibition was instituted against her carrying the lulav.

and return it to the water on the Sabbath. - This was not considered a violation of the Sabbath laws which prevent causing any agricultural growth. However, it was forbidden to add to the water or change it on the Sabbath because of the trouble involved.

On the festival, a person might add to the water. - but not change it.

On Chol Hamo'ed - though there are certain restrictions against work

one might change the water. - Indeed, it is proper to do so to keep the lulav fresh (Rabbenu Manoach).

26

It is forbidden to smell the myrtle in the lulav. Since it is useful only for smelling and it has been set aside for the performance of the mitzvah, it is forbidden to smell it. However, it is permitted to smell an etrog, because setting it aside for the mitzvah [prohibits it from being] eaten.

כו

הֲדַס שֶׁבַּלּוּלָב אָסוּר לְהָרִיחַ בּוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי אֶלָּא לְרֵיחַ וְהוֹאִיל וְהֻקְצָה לְמִצְוָה אָסוּר לְהָרִיחַ בּוֹ. אֲבָל אֶתְרוֹג מֻתָּר לְהָרִיחַ בּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הֻקְצָה לְמִצְוָה מֵאֲכִילָה:

It is forbidden to smell the myrtle in the lulav. - As explained in Chapter 6, Halachah 15, with regard to the s'chach of a sukkah: after it has been set aside for use as a mitzvah, it may not be used for mundane purposes throughout the holiday.

Since it is useful only for smelling - in contrast to the etrog, mentioned in the second clause.

and it has been set aside for the performance of the mitzvah, it is forbidden to smell it. - The prohibition applies even on the Sabbath, when the lulav is not taken (Mishnah Berurah 653:2).

However, it is permitted to smell an etrog, because setting it aside for the mitzvah [prohibits it from being] eaten. - An etrog is primarily used for eating. Thus, its being set aside for use for the mitzvah causes that function to be prohibited. However, smelling it is a secondary function that is not included in that prohibition.

Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 653:1) recommends refraining from smelling the etrog, because of the doubt regarding the proper blessing to recite. The Mishnah Berurah (653:3) states that with the exception of the time when the lulav is being taken, one may smell the etrog throughout the holiday.

27

It is forbidden to eat the etrog throughout the seventh day [of the festival]; since it was set aside for a portion of the day, it is set aside for the entire day. However, on the eighth day it is permitted to be eaten.

At present, when we celebrate [the festivals for] two days - even though the etrog is not taken on the eighth day - the etrog is forbidden on the eighth day, since it was forbidden on the eighth day during the time [the festivals] were celebrated for two days because of the doubt whether [the eighth day] was, in fact, the seventh.

When a person sets aside seven etrogim, [one for each] of the seven days [of the festival], each one of them can be used for the mitzvah on its day and eaten on the morrow.

כז

וְאָסוּר לֶאֱכל אֶתְרוֹג כָּל יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֻקְצָה לְמִקְצָת הַיּוֹם הֻקְצָה לְכֻלּוֹ. וּבַשְּׁמִינִי מֻתָּר בַּאֲכִילָה. וּבַזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאָנוּ עוֹשִׂין שְׁנֵי יָמִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין נוֹטְלִין לוּלָב בַּשְּׁמִינִי הָאֶתְרוֹג אָסוּר בַּשְּׁמִינִי כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָיָה אָסוּר בַּשְּׁמִינִי בִּזְמַן שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹשִׂין שְׁנֵי יָמִים מִפְּנֵי הַסָּפֵק שֶׁהוּא סְפֵק שְׁבִיעִי. הִפְרִישׁ שִׁבְעָה אֶתְרוֹגִין לְשִׁבְעַת יָמִים כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת יוֹצֵא בָּהּ לְיוֹמָהּ וְאוֹכְלָהּ לְמָחָר:

It is forbidden to eat the etrog - even if it has become unacceptable for use in performing the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 665:1).

throughout the seventh day [of the festival] - The Mishnah (Sukkah 4:6) relates that despite this prohibition, after the mitzvah was fulfilled on the seventh day of Sukkot the children would eat their etrogim.

since it was set aside for a portion of the day, it is set aside for the entire day. However, on the eighth day it is permitted to be eaten. - In contrast, the s'chach of the sukkah might not be used for a mundane purpose on the eighth day either (Chapter 6, Halachah 15). Rabbenu Manoach explains the difference, relating that - should one desire to eat - the sukkah must also be used beyn hash'mashot - the period between sunset and the appearance of three stars - while the lulav would not be taken during that time.

At present, when we celebrate [the festivals for] two days - because of the previously established custom, even though there is no question regarding the dates of the holidays because of the fixed calendar we use, as explained in the commentary on Halachah 18.

even though the etrog is not taken on the eighth day - The Maggid Mishneh notes the contrast between the mitzvot of lulav and of the sukkah, which, as mentioned in Chapter 6, Halachah 13, must be fulfilled on the eighth day of the festival. He differentiates between the two, noting that it is a mitzvah from the Torah to dwell in the sukkah for all seven days of the holiday. Therefore, because of the doubt, that mitzvah was also observed on the eighth day. In contrast, outside of Jerusalem there was never a mitzvah from the Torah to take the lulav for seven days. Hence, that mitzvah need not be observed on the eighth day.

The Kessef Mishneh adds a further point. It is forbidden to carry the lulav for no purpose on the eighth day, the holiday of Shemini Atzeret. No such prohibition applies regarding the use of the sukkah.

the etrog is forbidden on the eighth day - However, it is permitted on the ninth day, Simchat Torah (Shulchan Aruch, ibid.).

In contrast, at present, the use of the s'chach is forbidden on the ninth day.

since it was forbidden on the eighth day - The Kessef Mishneh advises amending the text to read "on the seventh day." In either case, the intent is the same - because it was forbidden by law on the seventh day, that prohibition was observed on the eighth day as well, because of the doubt involved.

during the time [the festivals] were celebrated for two days because of the doubt whether [the eighth day] was, in fact, the seventh. - i.e., during the time when the calendar was established according to the testimony of witnesses, and word of the sanctification of the new moon could not reach the people in the outlying communities in time for the celebration of the holiday, as mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 16.

When a person sets aside seven etrogim, [one for each] of the seven days [of the festival], each one of them can be used for the mitzvah on its day and eaten on the morrow - more precisely, even on the night after it was used, for the etrog was set aside only for that day alone.

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Eight

1

[These are the rules governing] the four species: the lulav, the myrtle, the willow, and the etrog. If one of them was:

a) dried out,

b) taken by force or stolen, even after [the owner had] despaired of its recovery,

c) came from an ashera that has been worshiped, even though the worship of the ashera has already been nullified,

d) or it came from an apostate city

it is not acceptable.

If one of them belonged to an idolater: at the outset, it should not be taken. If it was taken, the person has fulfilled his obligation.

If [one of the species] was wilting, but had not dried out entirely, it is kosher. In extreme situations or in a time of danger, a dried out lulav is kosher. However, [this does not apply] to the other species.

א

אַרְבַעַת מִינִין הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁהֵן לוּלָב וַהֲדַס וַעֲרָבָה וְאֶתְרוֹג שֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָבֵשׁ אוֹ גָּזוּל אוֹ גָּנוּב אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר יֵאוּשׁ אוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מֵאֲשֵׁרָה הַנֶּעֱבֶדֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבִּטְּלוּ הָאֲשֵׁרָה מִלְּעָבְדָהּ. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה שֶׁל עִיר הַנִּדַּחַת. הֲרֵי זֶה פָּסוּל. הָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן שֶׁל עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים לֹא יִטּל לְכַתְּחִלָּה וְאִם נָטַל יָצָא. הָיָה כָּמוּשׁ וְלֹא גָּמַר לִיבַשׁ כָּשֵׁר. וּבִשְׁעַת הַדְּחָק אוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הַסַּכָּנָה לוּלָב הַיָּבֵשׁ כָּשֵׁר אֲבָל לֹא שְׁאָר הַמִּינִין:

[These are the rules governing] the four species: the lulav, the myrtle, the willow, and the etrog. If one of them was: a) dried out - The etrog is described as פרי עץ הדר (the fruit of the beautiful tree). Sukkah 31a explains that an analogy is established among the various species, and all of them must be "beautiful." Fruit or branches that are dried out do not fit the latter description.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 645:5, 646:7) defines "drying out" as losing all its green and fading to a whitish color. The Ramah mentions an even more lenient opinion.

b) taken by force - גזל - armed robbery or the like

or stolen - גנבה - petty theft and the like. Though in other areas there are differences between these two categories of theft, in this context the same laws apply.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:1), the Rambam explains that any of the species which are stolen may not be used for the mitzvah, because a sin may not serve as the medium with which a mitzvah will be performed (מצוה הבאה בעבירה). (See also Hilchot Chametz U'matzah 6:7; Hilchot Issurei Mizbe'ach 5:7, 5:9.)

Sukkah 29b-30a mentions this reason, but also a second explanation: because, as stated in Halachah 10, on the first day of the festival a person must own the four species he uses for the mitzvah. (See the commentary on Halachah 9 for a further discussion of this matter.)

even after [the owner had] despaired of its recovery - According to the first reason, the owner's despair over the recovery of his article has no effect on the thief's potential to use it for a mitzvah. Even according to the second opinion, the despair over recovering the article is not sufficient to allow the thief to use it, as is obvious from Hilchot Gezeilah 2:1, where the Rambam writes:

A stolen article whose form has not changed...even though its owner has despaired of its recovery...must be returned to its owner.

Thus, the article is not considered to belong to the thief, and he may not use it to fulfill the mitzvah. However, if the thief performed a deed which changed the appearance of the lulav or any of the other species, he is considered to have acquired it and may fulfill the mitzvah with it. Nevertheless, he should not recite a blessing before performing the mitzvah with such a lulav (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 649:1).

c) came from an ashera - a tree which is worshiped as a deity. It is also forbidden to be used for the mitzvah, on the basis of the principle that a sin may not serve as the medium with which a mitzvah will be performed (מצוה הבאה בעבירה) (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid.).

that has been worshiped, even though the worship of the ashera has already been nullified - The commentaries on Sukkah 31b explain that this refers to an ashera that entered a Jew's possession before it was nullified, or an ashera that was worshiped by a Jew. In these instances, the nullification of the ashera will not cause it to be permitted for use; rather, it must be totally destroyed. Hence, it is considered to have no size at all, and, therefore, may not be used for the mitzvah (Maggid Mishneh). (See also the Commentary on Chapter 1, Halachah 3.)

Alternatively, since the ashera itself was worshiped, it may no longer be used for a mitzvah. A parallel can be found in Hilchot Tzitzit 1:11, which relates that the wool of a sheep that was worshiped may not be used for tzitzit, although that wool does not become prohibited.

d) or it came from an apostate city - All the property of an apostate city must be destroyed. Therefore, any of the four species that come from such a city is considered to have no size at all, and, thus, is unacceptable for use in the mitzvah. (See also the commentary on Chapter 1, Halachah 3.)

it is not acceptable.

If one of them belonged to an idolater - but was not worshiped itself (Rabbenu Manoach); i.e., it grew in a garden of the temple of an idol. However, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 649:3) explains that it applies even when the tree itself was worshiped.

at the outset, it should not be taken. - Because of its connection with idol worship, such an article is considered to be disgusting, and it is improper to fulfill the mitzvah with it (Rabbenu Manoach). However...

If it was taken, the person has fulfilled his obligation - provided the tree had belonged to a gentile and the latter had nullified its connection with idol worship before it came into the Jew's possession. Alternatively, on any day of the festival but the first, one may take it even before its connection with idol worship was nullified. Since the possibility exists that it can be nullified, it is not considered to be a nonexistent entity. (See also the commentary on Chapter 1, Halachah 3.)

If [one of the species] was wilting, but had not dried out entirely, it is kosher. - Sukkah 31a explains that as long as the species have some moisture left to them, they are not disqualified for use.

In extreme situations or in a time of danger, a dried out lulav is kosher. - Sukkah 32b relates that the inhabitants of the large cities would bequeath their lulavim to their descendants as part of their estate. Obviously, the lulavim would have dried out during this time.

However, [this does not apply] to the other species. - for only the lulav was mentioned in that passage.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that even a dried out lulav is not acceptable. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 645:5) follows the Ra'avad's view.

2

An etrog of orlah, of impure terumah, and of tevel is unacceptable. [An etrog] of d'mai is permitted, for it is possible for a person to declare all of his property as ownerless. Thus, he will be a poor man who is permitted to eat d'mai.

An etrog of pure terumah and of ma'aser sheni in Jerusalem should not be taken, lest one cause it to become susceptible to contracting ritual impurity. However, if it was taken, it is kosher.

ב

אֶתְרוֹג שֶׁל עָרְלָה וְשֶׁל תְּרוּמָה טְמֵאָה וְשֶׁל טֶבֶל פָּסוּל. שֶׁל דְּמַאי כָּשֵׁר שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיַּפְקִיר נְכָסָיו וְיִהְיֶה עָנִי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לוֹ לֶאֱכל דְּמַאי. אֶתְרוֹג שֶׁל תְּרוּמָה טְהוֹרָה וְשֶׁל מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם לֹא יִטּל שֶׁמָּא יַכְשִׁירוֹ לְטֻמְאָה. וְאִם נָטַל כָּשֵׁר:

An etrog - These laws apply only to an etrog, because the agricultural prohibitions mentioned in this halachah apply only to fruit and not to mere branches (Rabbenu Manoach).

of orlah - For the first three years of a tree's growth, one is forbidden to benefit from its produce (Leviticus 19:23).

The Torah's prohibition against orlah applies only in Eretz Yisrael. In the Diaspora, there is also a prohibition against orlah, which was received as a halachah from Moses from Mount Sinai. However, much greater leniency is involved, and if there is a doubt whether a fruit is orlah or not, it may be eaten (Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 10:10). The same rules apply regarding its use for this mitzvah.

of impure terumah - Terumah refers to the portion of produce which must be separated and given to a priest (Numbers 18:12). If the terumah becomes ritually impure, it is no longer permitted to be eaten and must be destroyed (Hilchot Terumah 12:1).

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:8), the Rambam writes that etrogim of orlah and impure terumah are not acceptable because "they must be destroyed by burning. Therefore, they are unacceptable, because God requires 'a fruit,' and these are not fit to be eaten at all."

and of tevel - produce from Eretz Yisrael from which the agricultural requirements - Terumah, Ma'aser Rishon (the first tithe), and Ma'aser Sheni (the second tithe) - have not been separated. Tevel is also unfit to be eaten, and thus, it may not be used for the mitzvah.

is unacceptable.

[An etrog] of d'mai - Produce concerning which there is doubt whether or not the tithes have been separated (Hilchot Ma'aser, Chapter 9).

is permitted, for it is possible for a person to declare all of his property as ownerless. - In his Commentary on the Mishnah (ibid.), the Rambam states "he can consecrate all his property to the Temple." In practice, there is no difference between the two.

Thus, he will be a poor man who is permitted to eat d'mai. - See Hilchot Ma'aser 10:11. Since there is a possibility of his being allowed to eat the etrog, he may use it for the mitzvah (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid.).

An etrog of pure terumah and of ma'aser sheni in Jerusalem - In the first, second, fourth, and fifth years of the seven-year agricultural cycle, the second tithe had to be taken to Jerusalem and eaten there in a state of ritual purity (Deuteronomy 14:22-27).

The Rambam maintains that one can use an etrog of ma'aser sheni for the mitzvah only while in Jerusalem, since that is the only place that it is permitted to be eaten (Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid.). However, Rabbenu Nissim and others differ and allow such an etrog to be used for the mitzvah in other places as well. They maintain that though we are not allowed to benefit from ma'aser sheni outside Jerusalem, the fulfillment of mitzvot is not an act of personal benefit.

should not be taken, lest one cause it to become susceptible to contracting ritual impurity - which was undesirable. From Leviticus 11:34, our Sages learned that produce does not become subject to contracting ritual impurity until it comes into contact with water. Since the lulav was generally placed in water (see Chapter 7, Halachah 25), when it was taken together with the etrog it would probably make the etrog wet, and thus cause it to become subject to contracting ritual impurity.

However, if it was taken, it is kosher. - for there is no inherent difficulty with such an etrog.

3

A lulav whose tip becomes cut off is unacceptable. Should it become split to the extent that the two sides of the split become severed and appear to be two, it is unacceptable.

If it is bent forward so that its shidrah appears like a hunchback, it is unacceptable. If it is bent backwards, it is kosher, since that is its natural pattern of growth. If it is bent toward either side, it is unacceptable.

If its leaves have separated one from the other, but they have not begun to hang downward like the top of a date palm, it is kosher. However, if its leaves have burst open and they hang down from the shidrah as does the top of the date palm, it is unacceptable.

ג

לוּלָב שֶׁנִּקְטַם רֹאשׁוֹ פָּסוּל. נִסְדַּק אִם נִתְרַחֲקוּ שְׁנֵי סְדָקָיו זֶה מִזֶּה עַד שֶׁיֵּרָאוּ כִּשְׁנַיִם פָּסוּל. הָיָה עָקוּם לְפָנָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי שְׁדֵרוֹ כְּגַב בַּעַל חֲטוֹטֶרֶת פָּסוּל. הָיָה עָקוּם לַאֲחוֹרָיו כָּשֵׁר שֶׁזּוֹ הִיא בְּרִיָּתוֹ. נֶעֱקַם לְאֶחָד מִצְּדָדָיו פָּסוּל. נִפְרְדוּ עָלָיו זֶה מֵעַל זֶה וְלֹא נִדַּלְדְּלוּ כַּעֲלֵי הַחֲרָיוֹת כָּשֵׁר. נִפְרְצוּ עָלָיו וְהוּא שֶׁיִּדַּלְדְּלוּ מִשְּׁדֵרוֹ שֶׁל לוּלָב כַּעֲלֵי הַחֲרָיוֹת פָּסוּל:

A lulav whose tip - According to the Maggid Mishneh and Rabbenu Manoach, this refers to the center leaf that extends outward from the shidrah, and not the shidrah itself. Rabbenu Asher and the Ra'avad explain that this refers to the majority of the lulav's leaves, and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 645:6) quotes their opinion. However, the Ramah quotes the Maggid Mishneh's statements.

becomes cut off is unacceptable. - because such a lulav is not "beautiful" (הדר: Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 3:1). All the other factors mentioned in this halachah disqualify a lulav for the same reason.

Should it become split to the extent that the two sides of the split become severed and appear to be two, it is unacceptable. - Sukkah 31b, 32a states: A lulav which is split is kosher; [but] if it is like a fork, it is not. The commentaries explain that the Talmud refers to a shape like a tuning fork, where the two ends are distant from each other. The commentaries explain that such a separation can disqualify a lulav even if the majority of leaves are not split in this manner, and hence, the principles mentioned in the following halachah would not apply.

If it is bent forward - i.e., the shidrah would be bent toward a person facing it

so that its shidrah appears like a hunchback, it is unacceptable - Sukkah (ibid.) states: If it is bent like a scythe, it is unacceptable. The Kessef Mishneh emphasizes that the bend must be severe (as described by the examples given by the Talmud and the Rambam). However, a slight curve will not disqualify a lulav.

If it is bent backwards - the shidrah bending away from a person facing it

it is kosher, since that is its natural pattern of growth - and this can be considered as a "beautiful" lulav (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 645:19). The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 645:9) differentiates between when the shidrah bends gradually and when it is bent over to the extent that its tip points downward. In the latter case, even if it is bent backwards, the lulav is unacceptable.

If it is bent toward either side, it is unacceptable. - Sukkah (ibid.) questions whether such a lulav is kosher or not and leaves the matter unresolved. Hence, we follow the more stringent view (Rav Yitzchak Alfasi).

If its leaves have separated one from the other, but they have not begun to hang downward like the top of a date palm - i.e., the leaves are still firm and pointed upward (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 3:1).

it is kosher. - However, the most proper way of performing the mitzvah is to use a lulav whose leaves are not separated at all (Maggid Mishneh).

However, if its leaves have burst open and they hang down from the shidrah as does the top of the date palm, it is unacceptable - even if they are bound together against the lulav. This applies only if the majority of the lulav's leaves have opened up in this fashion (Ramah, Orach Chayim 645:2).

4

The natural pattern of growth of the leaves of the lulav is that two grow in pairs, connected at their back. The back of each pair of connected leaves is called the tiyomet. If the tiyomet is split, it unacceptable. Should a lulav's leaves grow individually from the beginning of its formation without having a tiyomet, it is unacceptable.

When a lulav's leaves do not grow on top of the other like all lulavim, but rather one below the other, [the following rules apply:] If the top [of the lower leaf] reaches the base of the one above it so that the entire shidrah of the lulav is covered with leaves, it is kosher. If the top [of the lower leaf] does not reach the base of the one above it, it is unacceptable.

ד

בְּרִיַּת עָלִין שֶׁל לוּלָב כָּךְ הִיא. כְּשֶׁהֵם גְּדֵלִין גְּדֵלִין שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם וּדְבוּקִין מִגַּבָּן וְגַב כָּל שְׁנֵי עָלִין הַדְּבוּקִין הוּא הַנִּקְרָא תְּיֹמֶת. נֶחְלְקָה הַתְּיֹמֶת פָּסוּל. הָיוּ עָלָיו אַחַת אַחַת מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתוֹ ולֹא הָיָה לָהֶם תְּיֹמֶת פָּסוּל. לֹא הָיוּ עָלָיו זֶה עַל גַּב זֶה כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הַלּוּלָבִין אֶלָּא זֶה תַּחַת זֶה אִם רֹאשׁ זֶה מַגִּיעַ לָעִקָּר שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה מִמֶּנּוּ עַד שֶׁנִּמְצָא כָּל שְׁדֵרוֹ שֶׁל לוּלָב מְכֻסֶּה בְּעָלִין כָּשֵׁר. וְאִם אֵין רֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל זֶה מַגִּיעַ לְצַד עִקָּרוֹ שֶׁל זֶה פָּסוּל:

The natural pattern of growth of the leaves of the lulav is that two grow in pairs, connected at their back. The back of each pair of connected leaves is called the tiyomet. If the tiyomet is split, it is unacceptable. - The Maggid Mishneh explains that the Rambam maintains that the lulav is not acceptable only if the majority of the leaves are split. However, others (Rashi, Tosafot) explain that this law refers to the middle leaf alone. If the majority of that leaf is split, the lulav is unacceptable. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 645:3) quotes the Rambam's opinion, while the Ramah favors that of Rashi and Tosafot.

Should a lulav's leaves grow individually from the beginning of its formation without having a tiyomet, it is unacceptable. - i.e., there is no difference if the lulav's lack of a tiyomet is a natural phenomenon or is brought about through human activity; in all cases it is unacceptable.

When a lulav's leaves do not grow on top of the other like all lulavim, but rather, one below the other, [the following rules apply:] If the top [of the lower leaf] reaches the base of the one above it so that the entire shidrah of the lulav is covered with leaves, it is kosher. - This is the tzinei har habarzel mentioned in the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:1). Sukkah 32b relates that such lulavim grow at the entrance to Gehinnom.

5

A myrtle branch whose top is cut off is acceptable. Even though most of its leaves have fallen off, it is kosher, provided three leaves remain in one row.

When there are more berries than leaves, [the following rules apply:] If they are green, it is kosher. If they are red or black, it is not acceptable. If one reduced their number, it is acceptable.

We may not reduce their number on the holiday itself, because [by doing so, one] makes [the myrtle] fit for use. If one transgressed and removed them or removed them one by one to eat them, it is kosher.

ה

הֲדַס שֶׁנִּקְטַם רֹאשׁוֹ כָּשֵׁר. נָשְׁרוּ רֹב עָלָיו אִם נִשְׁתַּיְּרוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה עָלִין בְּקֵן אֶחָד כָּשֵׁר. הָיוּ עֲנָבָיו מְרֻבּוֹת מֵעָלָיו אִם יְרֻקּוֹת כָּשֵׁר וְאִם אֲדֻמּוֹת אוֹ שְׁחוֹרוֹת פָּסוּל. וְאִם מִעֲטָן כָּשֵׁר. וְאֵין מְמַעֲטִין אוֹתָן בְּיוֹם טוֹב לְפִי שֶׁהוּא כִּמְתַקֵּן. עָבַר וְלִקְּטָן אוֹ שֶׁלִּקְּטָן אֶחָד אֶחָד לַאֲכִילָה הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר:

A myrtle branch whose top is cut off is acceptable. - Since the myrtle branch is covered by its leaves, the fact that its top is cut off is not noticeable (Rabbenu Manoach).

Though the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:2) states that such a myrtle is unacceptable, the Talmud (Sukkah 34b) states that the halachah follows Rabbi Tarfon, whose opinion is quoted by the Rambam in this halachah.

In his commentary on this halachah, the Ra'avad states:

For a number of years, the spirit of prophecy has been present in our chamber of study, and we have determined that [such a myrtle] is not acceptable.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 646:10) quotes the Rambam's opinion. However, the Ramah writes that it is proper to adhere to the Ra'avad's view if possible. However, he quotes Rabbenu Nissim, who maintains that the top of a myrtle is only considered to be "cut off" when the top of the branch is broken. The leaves' falling off is not considered of significance.

Even though most of its leaves have fallen off, it is kosher, provided three leaves remain in one row. - The Maggid Mishneh explains that this refers to an Egyptian myrtle, which has seven leaves in each row. Rabbenu Manoach explains that this clause refers to the entire myrtle branch, stating that even though most of its leaves have fallen off, as long as it has one full row of leaves covering the branch (at its top, as in Chapter 7, Halachah 8), it is kosher.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 646:4) quotes the Maggid Mishneh's statements as halachah. In contrast, Rabbenu Manoach's interpretation is not accepted. Halachah 5 (ibid.) states that the majority of the length of the myrtle branch must be covered with leaves. However, if that condition is met, the myrtle is kosher even if the leaves at its top have fallen off.

When there are more berries than leaves, [the following rules apply:] If they are green, it is kosher - for their color is the same as the leaves of the myrtle.

If they are red or black - since the berries are a different color from that of the leaves...

it is not acceptable - since this is not considered to be "beautiful" (Rashi, Sukkah 33b).

If one reduced their number - so that there would be more leaves than berries,

it is acceptable.

We may not reduce their number - i.e., the number of black or red berries

on the holiday itself - i.e., on the first day of the festival, when the restrictions against work apply

because [by doing so, one] makes [the myrtle] fit for use - and this may not be done on a holiday. (See Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 4:8.) However...

If one transgressed and removed them or removed them one by one to eat them - which is permitted. Sukkah 33b states that permission is granted, provided only that one has another myrtle to use for the mitzvah. Otherwise, it is forbidden to eat the berries, because through one's activity one will definitely make the myrtle fit for use. Hence, even though one's act was motivated by another intention as well, it is forbidden. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 646:13.)

The Maggid Mishneh quotes a slightly different version of the text, substituting "or if they were removed by another person" for the phrase "removed them one by one." Authentic Yemenite manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah follow the Maggid Mishneh's text.

it is kosher - despite the fact that it was made fit for use on the holiday.

6

A willow branch whose top is cut off is kosher. If its leaves have burst open, it is not acceptable.

ו

עֲרָבָה שֶׁנִּקְטַם רֹאשָׁהּ כְּשֵׁרָה. נִפְרְצוּ עָלֶיהָ פְּסוּלָה:

A willow branch whose top is cut off is kosher. - The Rambam maintains that the laws pertaining to the willow parallel those governing a myrtle. However, even many of the Sages who accept the Rambam's opinion regarding the myrtle disagree with regard to the willow. They explain that such a myrtle is acceptable because its leaves cover the branch's severed top. This concept does not apply with regard to a willow. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 647:2) also states that such a willow is unacceptable.

If its leaves have burst open - i.e., they are hanging down limply from the branch (Maggid Mishneh)

it is not acceptable - for this is not beautiful. Rabbenu Aharon Halevi interprets the Hebrew נפרצו as "split." The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 647:6 quotes both of these opinions as halachah.

7

If an etrog is perforated from side to side - no matter how small the hole is - it is not acceptable. When [the hole] does not go from side to side, if it is the size of an isar or more, [the etrog] is not acceptable. If [a hole was made in an etrog which caused] even the slightest amount [of the etrog] to be missing, [the etrog] is not acceptable.

If its pitam - i.e., the small protrusion from which its flower grows - was removed, it is not acceptable. [Similarly,] if the stem from which it hangs from the tree is removed from the etrog itself and a hole is left, it is not acceptable.

If it becomes covered with bumps in two or three places, it is not acceptable. Even if it is covered with bumps in only one place, if that place covers the majority of the etrog's surface area, it is not acceptable. [Similarly,] if a bump grows on even the slightest portion of the pitam, it is not acceptable.

If its peel is removed without causing [the etrog] to lose any substance and it remains greenish yellow as in its natural state, [the following rules apply:] If the peel was entirely removed, it is not acceptable. If even the slightest portion of the original peel remains, it is kosher.

ז

אֶתְרוֹג שֶׁנִּקַּב נֶקֶב מְפֻלָּשׁ כָּל שֶׁהוּא פָּסוּל. וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֻלָּשׁ אִם הָיָה כְּאִיסָר אוֹ יֶתֶר פָּסוּל. חָסֵר כָּל שֶׁהוּא פָּסוּל. נִטַּל דָּדוֹ וְהוּא הָרֹאשׁ הַקָּטָן שֶׁשּׁוֹשַׁנְתּוֹ בּוֹ פָּסוּל. נִטַּל הָעֵץ שֶׁהוּא תָּלוּי בּוֹ בָּאִילָן מֵעִקַּר הָאֶתְרוֹג וְנִשְׁאַר מְקוֹמוֹ גּוּמָא פָּסוּל. עָלְתָה חֲזָזִית עָלָיו אִם בִּשְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשָׁה מְקוֹמוֹת פָּסוּל. וְאִם בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד אִם עָלְתָה עַל רֻבּוֹ פָּסוּל. וְאִם עַל דָּדוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ כָּל שֶׁהוּא פָּסוּל. נִקְלַף הַקְּרוּם הַחִיצוֹנָה שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחַסְּרוֹ אֶלָּא נִשְׁאָר יָרֹק כְּמוֹת שֶׁהִיא בְּרִיָּתוֹ אִם נִקְלַף כֻּלּוֹ פָּסוּל וְאִם נִשְׁאַר מִמֶּנּוּ כָּל שֶׁהוּא כָּשֵׁר:

If an etrog is perforated - even though none of the etrog's substance is missing

from side to side - This is the literal translation of the term מפולש. Nevertheless, Rabbenu Asher interprets that term differently, explaining that the etrog is unacceptable if the hole reaches the etrog's seed chamber. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 648:3) quotes both opinions. Regarding halachah l'ma'aseh, the authorities recommend heeding Rabbenu Asher's opinion. However, they state that when it is difficult to find a kosher etrog, the Rambam's opinion may be relied upon.

no matter how small the hole is - i.e., even if it was perforated with a thin needle

it is not acceptable. - This and the other factors mentioned in this halachah disqualify an etrog for use because it is not "beautiful."

The Ra'avad objects to this statement and maintains that some of the etrog's substance must also be lacking for it to be deemed unacceptable. The difference between these two opinions depends on a difference in the text of the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:6). The Rambam's text reads:

If [an etrog] was perforated, peeled, cracked, or lacking even the slightest amount of its substance, it is unacceptable.

In contrast, the Ra'avad's text read:

If [an etrog] was perforated, peeled, cracked: when it lacks even the slightest amount of its substance, it is unacceptable.

The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 2) follows the Rambam's view. The Ramah writes that when it is difficult to find another kosher etrog, one may rely on the Ra'avad's view.

When [the hole] does not go from side to side, if it is the size of an isar - a silver coin from the Talmudic period, four barley corns in size (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 3:6).

or more - e.g., the hole was made by plunging an awl into the etrog (Rashi, Sukkah 36a).

[the etrog] is not acceptable. - Here, too, the Ra'avad differs and maintains that as long as none of the etrog's substance is lacking, it is kosher.

If [a hole was made in an etrog which caused] even the slightest amount [of the etrog] to be missing, [the etrog] is not acceptable. - The Ra'avad differs and maintains that an isar of the etrog's substance must be missing. In this and in the previous case, the same decisions of the Shulchan Aruch and the Ramah mentioned above apply.

If its pitam - i.e., the small protrusion from which its flower grows - The Maggid Mishneh differentiates between the stem of the pitam and its tip from which its flower grew, maintaining that only the removal of the former disqualifies the etrog for use. The Ramah (ibid. 7) quotes this opinion as halachah. However, he suggests trying to use an etrog whose pitam is entirely complete.

was removed, it is not acceptable. - However, there is no difficulty in using an etrog that grows without a pitam, as many etrogim do (Rabbenu Manoach; Ramah, ibid.).

[Similarly,] if the stem from which it hangs from the tree is removed from the etrog itself and a hole is left, it is not acceptable. - However, if only part of the stem is cut off and the portion attached to the etrog remains, it is kosher (Ramah, ibid. 8).

If it becomes covered with bumps - The term חזזית is generally used to refer to human skin ailments - e.g., boils or warts. In this context, it refers to bumps which protrude above the etrog's surface. However, the commentaries disqualify an etrog only if the bumps grow naturally from the etrog itself. However, if they are caused by external factors - e.g., thorns - the etrog is not disqualified.

in two or three places - The Ra'avad asks why both the numbers two and three are mentioned. In response, the Mishneh Lamelech quotes many examples of the use of similar terminology throughout the Talmud. It must be noted that the Rambam, in his commentary on the Mishnah (ibid.), and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (648:19) mention only two places.

it is not acceptable. - because it looks spotty (Sukkah 35b).

Even if it is covered with bumps in only one place - i.e., as long as there is no place for an additional bump between the two, it is considered to be one place (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, ibid.).

if that place covers the majority of the etrog's surface area - The Magen Avraham 648:13 also disqualifies an etrog if there is a line of bumps that covers the majority of the etrog's circumference from any point on its surface.

it is not acceptable. [Similarly,] if a bump grows on even the slightest portion of the pitam - See the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid.

it is not acceptable - because a blemish on the pitam is very obvious and unattractive.

Sukkah (ibid.) states: "if a bump grows on the etrog's nose, it is not acceptable." The Rambam interprets "nose" as referring to the pitam. However, Rabbenu Asher and others explain that it refers to the portion of the etrog which begins to narrow as it approaches the pitam. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 9) accepts the latter view.

If its peel is removed without causing [the etrog] to lose any substance and it remains greenish yellow as in its natural state - i.e, only the outer coating of the peel was removed and the thick, white inner peel is not yet revealed. Should this peel be revealed, the etrog is considered as though it has lost some of its substance (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid.).

[the following rules apply:] If the peel was entirely removed, it is not acceptable. - for the attractiveness of the etrog will begin to decrease without any possibility of its returning to its original state (Levush 586:6)

If even the slightest portion of the original peel remains - the peel could have regenerated itself if it had remained connected to the tree (Levush, ibid.). Therefore,...

it is kosher. - Tosafot, Sukkah 36a maintains that at least a portion of the original peel equivalent to a sela (a large silver coin) must remain. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 6) follows the Rambam's opinion.

8

An etrog which is inflated, decaying, pickled, cooked, black, white, spotted, or green like a leek is unacceptable.

If it was grown in a mold and shaped into the form of another creation, it is unacceptable. If its natural form was preserved, even though it was shaped in different layers, it is kosher. Two etrogim that grow joined together, and an unripe etrog are kosher.

In places where the etrogim grow naturally with a slight black tinge, it is kosher. However, if [the etrogim] are very black - i.e., like a Kushite - they are unacceptable everywhere.

ח

אֶתְרוֹג שֶׁהוּא תָּפוּחַ סָרוּחַ כָּבוּשׁ שָׁלוּק שָׁחֹר לָבָן מְנֻמָּר יָרֹק כְּכַרְתִּי פָּסוּל. גִּדְּלוֹ בִּדְפוּס וְעָשָׂהוּ כְּמִין בְּרִיָּה אַחֶרֶת פָּסוּל. עָשָׂהוּ כְּמִין בְּרִיָּתוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָשָׂהוּ דַּפִּין דַּפִּין כָּשֵׁר. הַתִּיוֹם וְהַבֹּסֶר כָּשֵׁר. מָקוֹם שֶׁהָאֶתְרוֹגִין שֶׁלָּהֶם כְּעֵין שַׁחֲרוּת מְעוּטָה כְּשֵׁרִין. וְאִם הָיוּ שְׁחוֹרִים בְּיוֹתֵר כְּאָדָם כּוּשִׁי הֲרֵי זֶה פָּסוּל בְּכָל מָקוֹם:

An etrog which is inflated - i.e., water fell on it after being detached from the tree and it became inflated (Rabbenu Manoach, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 648:15).

decaying - i.e., it produces a foul odor because it is infested with worms (Rabbenu Manoach).

Based on Sukkah 36b, the Ba'al Halachot Gedolot writes that "inflated" and "decaying" etrogim are disqualified only when the blemish is externally visible. However, if the blemish is only internal, they are kosher. (See Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 4) and commentaries.)

pickled - The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 15) defines "pickled" as "placed in vinegar." However, the Magen Avraham (648:22) maintains that "pickled" should be interpreted according to its definition in the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah (105:1-2). Thus, if an etrog has been soaked in water or in any other liquid for more than 24 hours straight, it is considered to be "pickled" and disqualified for use. One should take care regarding this matter when soaking etrogim to preserve their freshness.

cooked - thoroughly on a fire or in boiling water (Rabbenu Manoach).

black, white, spotted - i.e., a mixture of any two or more colors. When the different color is concentrated in only one place, the etrog is not disqualified unless that color covers more than half the etrog's surface area. However, if there is more than one spot of different colors, it is disqualified regardless of their size (Shulchan Aruch, ibid. 16).

or green like a leek is unacceptable. - The Hebrew word ירוק refers to two different colors: dark green and yellow. Initially, the etrog, like most citrus fruit, is dark green. As it matures, it turns yellowish.

If it was grown in a mold and shaped into the form of another creation, it is unacceptable - It is not considered "beautiful" because its natural form was changed (Rabbenu Manoach).

If its natural form was preserved, even though it was shaped in different layers, it is kosher. Two etrogim that grow joined together - This is kosher because the etrogim grew naturally in this way. In this instance, when performing the mitzvah, a person should hold both etrogim in his hands. Though the Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 20) accepts this decision, there are other authorities who differ. Hence, it is preferable to use another etrog (Mishnah Berurah 648:63).

and an unripe etrog are kosher. - Sukkah 31b mentions etrogim which are small and green as being not fully ripe. However, since the Rambam mentioned those factors previously, it appears that here the intent is different and refers to a fruit that is not yet ready to be eaten, even though it is as large as an egg and has begun to turn yellow. (See also Sukkah 36a.)

In places where the etrogim grow naturally with a slight black tinge, it is kosher. - Rashi (Sukkah 36a) states that if such an etrog is brought to a place where etrogim of a normal color grow, it may not be used.

However, if [the etrogim] are very black - i.e., like a Kushite - they are unacceptable everywhere - even in Africa, where etrogim of this color grow naturally (Rashi, Sukkah 34b).

9

All the species which we categorized as unacceptable because of the blemishes we described or because they were stolen or taken by force are [disqualified for use] only on the first day of the festival. On the second day of the festival and on the other days, they are all kosher.

Those which are disqualified because of the association with idol worship or because the etrog is forbidden to be eaten are unacceptable both on the first day and on the later days.

ט

כָּל אֵלּוּ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ שֶׁהֵם פְּסוּלִין מִפְּנֵי מוּמִין שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ אוֹ מִפְּנֵי גֵּזֶל וּגְנֵבָה בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן בִּלְבַד אֲבָל בְּיוֹם טוֹב שֵׁנִי עִם שְׁאָר הַיָּמִים הַכּל כָּשֵׁר. וְהַפַּסְלָנוּת שֶׁהוּא מִשּׁוּם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאוֹתוֹ אֶתְרוֹג אָסוּר בַּאֲכִילָה בֵּין בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר יָמִים פָּסוּל:

649) explains that these requirements apply only "on the first day." According to this explanation, these leniencies would also apply on the later days even in Jerusalem, where it is a Torah commandment to take the lulav on the later days (Chapter 7, Halachah 13).

Others explain that, as mentioned in Chapter 7, Halachot 13 and 15, at present, taking the lulav is a commandment from the Torah only on the first day of the Sukkot. On the subsequent days, the commandment is Rabbinic in origin, instituted to recall the Temple practice. Hence, greater leniency can be taken, because only a Rabbinic ordinance is involved.

All the species which we categorized as unacceptable because of the blemishes we described - Sukkah 36b relates that Rabbi Chanina would eat from an etrog and then use it for the mitzvah. Though an etrog which is lacking even the slightest amount of its substance may not be used (Halachah 7), he still fulfilled his obligation with it. From this incident, our Sages concluded that, on the later days, even such an etrog is kosher.

According to the Rambam's opinion, the same applies to all other physical blemishes on the species. Since there is no greater blemish than an etrog which is bitten into, none of the requirements for "beauty" must be observed on the later days.

Nevertheless, Tosafot, Sukkah 29b and Rabbenu Asher maintain that this leniency applies only to etrogim which are lacking in substance. All the species which were disqualified because they are not "beautiful" may not be used on the later days as well. Though the Shulchan Aruch 649:5 quotes the Rambam, the Magen Avraham (649:17) and the Taz (649:9) quote the other view.

or because they were stolen or taken by force - The Pri Megadim explains that even according to the Rambam, a blessing should not be recited when performing the mitzvah in this fashion.

are [disqualified for use] only on the first day of the festival. - As mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 1, there are two explanations why a stolen lulav may not be used on the first day:

a) a sin may not serve as the medium with which a mitzvah will be performed (מצוה הבאה בעבירה);

b) as stated in Halachah 10, on the first day of the festival a person must own the four species he uses for the mitzvah.

The commentaries explain that the Rambam follows the latter rationale. However, those who follow the first opinion (the Ra'avad, the Ramban, Rabbenu Asher) forbid the use of stolen species on the later days as well. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid.) quotes the Rambam, while the Ramah follows the other view.

[Though the above explanation is frequently used, it is difficult to accept. First, in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Sukkah 3:1), the Rambam mentions the reason of מצוה הבאה בעבירה. Also, in Hilchot Chametz U'matzah 6:7 and in Hilchot Issurei Mizbe'ach 5:7 and 5:9, he forbids the use of stolen articles for the performance of a commandment. In addition, he has not yet mentioned the halachah requiring one to own the lulav used on the first day.

The Taz (649:15) clarifies the matter slightly further by explaining that since taking the lulav on the second day is only a Rabbinic commandment, using a stolen lulav is allowed even though it is a מצוה הבאה בעבירה.]

On the second day of the festival - The literal translation of the Rambam's words are "from the second holiday," implying that these leniencies are granted even in the Diaspora, where the second day is celebrated as a holiday. Though all the laws of the holiday apply on the second day as well as the first, this applies only to the laws of the holiday itself. In contrast, in other contexts, since we follow a fixed calendar and know that the holidays fall on their appropriate dates, the restrictions applying to the first day do not apply on the subsequent days (Maggid Mishneh).

Rabbenu Asher differs and maintains that all the restrictions that apply to the lulav on the first day must also be observed on the second day as well. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 649:5) writes that all the species disqualified on the first day may be taken on the second day, but a blessing should not be recited.

and on the other days - Chol Hamo'ed, when all opinions agree that...

they are all kosher.

Those which are disqualified because of the association with idol worship - mentioned in Halachah 1

or because the etrog is forbidden to be eaten - as mentioned in Halachah 2

10

On the first day of the festival, a person cannot fulfill his obligation by using a lulav that belongs to a colleague and was borrowed from him, unless the latter gives it to him as a present.

If [the owner of the lulav] gives it to him as a present on the condition that he return it, he may fulfill his obligation with it and return it, because a present given on condition that it be returned is considered a present. If he does not return it, he does not fulfill his obligation, because it is as though it were stolen.

[On the first day,] a lulav should not be given to a minor, since, according to Torah law, a minor can acquire articles but cannot transfer them to others. Thus, [the minor's] return of the article is not considered to be a return [from a legal perspective].

The above applies to the lulav and to each of the other species of the four taken with it. If one of them was borrowed, the person does not fulfill his obligation on the first day of the festival.

י

אֵין אָדָם יוֹצֵא בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל חַג בְּלוּלָבוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁיִּשְׁאָלֶנּוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּתְּנֶנּוּ לוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה. נְתָנוֹ לוֹ עַל מְנָת לְהַחֲזִירוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה יוֹצֵא בּוֹ יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ וּמַחֲזִירוֹ. שֶׁמַּתָּנָה עַל מְנָת לְהַחֲזִיר שְׁמָהּ מַתָּנָה. וְאִם לֹא הֶחְזִירוֹ לֹא יָצָא שֶׁנִּמְצָא כְּגָזוּל. וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין אוֹתוֹ לְקָטָן שֶׁהַקָּטָן קוֹנֶה וְאֵינוֹ מַקְנֶה לַאֲחֵרִים מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְנִמְצָא שֶׁאִם הֶחְזִירוֹ לוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר. וְאֶחָד הַלּוּלָב וְאֶחָד כָּל מִין וָמִין מֵאַרְבַּע מִינִין שֶׁבּוֹ אִם הָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן שָׁאוּל אֵין יוֹצְאִין בּוֹ בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן:

On the first day of the festival - It appears from the Rambam's statements that even in Jerusalem, where Torah law requires that the mitzvah be fulfilled for all seven days of the festival, the obligation to own the lulav applies only on the first day.

a person cannot fulfill his obligation by using a lulav that belongs to a colleague and was borrowed from him - As explained in the commentary on the previous halachah, the Biblical source for the mitzvah of taking the four species, Leviticus 23:40, states: "On the first day, take for yourself the fruit of a beautiful tree..." The phrase "for yourself" implies that a person must own the species he uses for the mitzvah (Sukkah 41b).

As mentioned in Chapter 5, Halachah 25, a borrowed sukkah may be used on the holiday. Though Deuteronomy 16:13 states "Celebrate the Sukkot holiday for yourself for seven days." In this context, only a stolen sukkah is disqualified and a borrowed sukkah is permitted (Sukkah 27b).

Since in both cases, the source for the exclusion is the same phrase, one might ask why the laws pertaining to each are different. Many explain that since, as explained in the commentary to that halachah, the Torah includes a special verse to teach us that a borrowed sukkah is permitted, the scope of the exclusion implied by "for yourself" is limited.

The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 637:3 explains that since the person owning the sukkah grants his colleague the use of it, the borrowed sukkah can be considered "as his own." Since a person has to treat a sukkah as his permanent dwelling for the seven days of the holiday, it follows that the sukkah was lent for that purpose. Thus, while a person is using it, he may consider it "as his own," i.e., just like his own dwelling. See Likkutei Sichot, Vol. 19.

unless the latter gives it to him as a present. - Though there are certain restrictions against the transfer of property on a holiday, it is permitted to give a colleague a present (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 3:11).

If [the owner of the lulav] gives it to him as a present on the condition - The use of the Hebrew term על מנת frees one from certain obligations in phrasing the terms of the conditional agreement. (See Hilchot Zechiyah Umatanah 3:8.)

that he return it, he may fulfill his obligation with it and return it - There are authorities who require that the owner specifically state that he is giving the lulav to his colleague on the condition that the latter return it. However, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 658:5) states that even if the owner gives a colleague a lulav without making such a statement, it is assumed that the lulav was given subject to this condition.

for a present given on condition that it be returned is considered a present. - See Hilchot Zechiyah Umatanah 3:9.

If he does not return it, he does not fulfill his obligation, because it is as though it were stolen. - i.e., by failing to fulfill the condition under which the present was given, the recipient nullifies the legal transfer of ownership. Thus, although he was in physical possession of the article, it did not belong to him. Hence, it is considered to be stolen and, thus, not eligible to be used for the mitzvah (Sukkah, ibid.).

[On the first day,] - before all the adults who desire to use it have fulfilled the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch, ibid. 6)

a lulav should not be given to a minor - The definition of the term "minor" in this context has been the subject of debate among the Rabbis. From the Rambam's phraseology, it appears that he includes all minors in this category. However, Rabbenu Nissim writes that a child of six or seven can transfer property and, hence, his return of the lulav is valid.

Support for Rabbenu Nissim's position is brought from the Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 3:10), which relates that Rav Nachman bar Ya'akov gave his etrog as a present to his son and told him: "When you take possession of it and fulfill the mitzvah, return it to me." Nevertheless, the passage does not serve as conclusive proof, because the possibility exists that his son had already reached majority. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 6) follows the Rambam's view.

since, according to Torah law, a minor can acquire articles - which are given to him by others who consciously desire that the minor acquire the property, in contrast to ownerless articles, which he cannot acquire according to Torah law (Maggid Mishneh, Hilchot Zechiyah Umatanah 4:7).

but cannot transfer them to others. - The transfer of the ownership of an article requires a conscious decision. Torah law maintains that a child lacks intellectual maturity (דעת), and thus is incapable of making such a decision.

Thus, [the minor's] return of the article is not considered to be a return [from a legal perspective]. - i.e., although he has physically returned the article, the child still remains the legal owner.

The Machaneh Ephraim (Hilchot Meshichah 2) notes that according to Rabbinic law, a child can transfer property that he owns to another. Thus, the Rambam's statements seem to imply that any of the four species that are acquired only according to Rabbinic law may not be used for this mitzvah.

A very practical point can be derived from this concept. According to Torah law, property that is purchased changes ownership only after it has been paid for. The completion of a transaction when the property are taken by the purchaser (meshichah) is a Rabbinic institution. Accordingly, if a person purchased a lulav and etrog on the condition that he pay for it after the holiday - even though the seller willingly consented - the purchaser has only acquired the lulav and etrog according to Rabbinic law. Thus, based on this halachah, he would not be able to use it for the mitzvah.

The above applies to the lulav and to each of the other species of the four taken with it. - The verse quoted above includes all the four species, and not only the lulav. Therefore...

If one of them was borrowed, the person does not fulfill his obligation on the first day of the festival.

11

When partners purchase a lulav or etrog together, neither is able to fulfill his obligation with it on the first [day of the festival] unless his colleague gives him his portion as a present.

Should brothers purchase etrogim from the funds [of their father's] estate, which they have not divided yet: If one of them takes an etrog with the intent of fulfilling his obligation, [the following rules apply:] If he could eat it without the other brothers objecting, he has fulfilled his obligation. If they would object, he does not fulfill his obligation until they give him their share [in the etrog] as a present.

If one brother bought an etrog and another a quince, or together they bought an etrog, a pomegranate, and a quince from the funds [of their father's] estate, which they have not divided yet, one cannot fulfill one's obligation with the etrog until the others give him their share [in it] as a present, even though they would not object to his [use of it].

יא

שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁקָּנוּ לוּלָב אוֹ אֶתְרוֹג בְּשֻׁתָּפוּת אֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יוֹצֵא בּוֹ יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ בָּרִאשׁוֹן עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ חֶלְקוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה. הָאַחִין שֶׁקָּנוּ אֶתְרוֹגִין מִתְּפִיסַת הַבַּיִת וְנָטַל אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֶתְרוֹג וְיָצָא בּוֹ. אִם יָכוֹל לְאָכְלוֹ וְאֵין הָאַחִין מַקְפִּידִין בְּכָךְ יָצָא. וְאִם הָיוּ מַקְפִּידִין לֹא יָצָא עַד שֶׁיִּתְּנוּ לוֹ חֶלְקָם בְּמַתָּנָה. וְאִם קָנָה זֶה אֶתְרוֹג וְזֶה פָּרִישׁ אוֹ שֶׁקָּנוּ כְּאֶחָד אֶתְרוֹג וְרִמּוֹן וּפָרִישׁ מִתְּפִיסַת הַבַּיִת אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בָּאֶתְרוֹג עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ חֶלְקוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִם אֲכָלוֹ אֵין מַקְפִּידִין עָלָיו:

When partners purchase a lulav or etrog together, neither is - considered to be the owner of the species in its entirety. Therefore, neither is...

able to fulfill his obligation with it on the first [day of the festival] - Bava Batra 137b relates that the requirement of owning a lulav includes not only having a share in it, but rather owning it entirely.

unless his colleague gives him his portion as a present. - The principles mentioned in the previous halachah regarding giving a lulav as a present also apply to giving a share of it as a present.

The Maggid Mishneh mentions a very frequent application of this concept: a lulav and etrog purchased by a synagogue for the use of all of its members. He quotes the Rashba, who explains that since the etrog was purchased with the intent that it be used by each member of that community, implicit in their agreement is that, on the first day, it will belong to each individual entirely at the time he uses it to fulfill the mitzvah.

The Ramah (Orach Chayim 648:7) quotes this statement as halachah. However, the Magen Avraham 648:10 raises questions concerning it and suggests that each member of the community should grant his colleague his share as a present.

Should brothers purchased etrogim from the funds [of their father's] estate, which they have not divided yet: - This is the case mentioned in Bava Batra (ibid.), from which the above principle is derived. In such an instance, the estate is considered to be the mutual property of all the brothers concerned.

If one of them takes an etrog with the intent of fulfilling his obligation, [the following rules apply:] If he could eat it without the other brothers objecting - it is considered to be his own. Hence,...

he has fulfilled his obligation. If they would object - and require that an equal division of the property be made before it was used, he cannot be considered to be the full owner of the etrog. Hence,...

he does not fulfill his obligation until they give him their share [in the etrog] as a present.

The above principles apply only when the funds of the estate were used to purchase a number of etrogim. Since many fruits of the same species were purchased with the money from the estate, it is possible that the other brothers will not object to one brother's taking an etrog for his own use. However, if the money of the estate was used to buy a number of different species of fruit - e.g.,...

If one brother bought an etrog and another a quince, or together they bought an etrog, a pomegranate, and a quince from the funds [of their father's] estate, which they have not divided yet - we assume that the brothers would desire to have the property formally divided before using it. Hence, they are all considered to be mutual owners of the fruit. Thus,...

one cannot fulfill one's obligation with the etrog until the others give him their share [in it] as a present, even though they would not object to his [use of it].

12

Even though it is a mitzvah to rejoice on all the festivals, there was an additional celebration in the Temple on the festival of Sukkot, as [Leviticus 23:40] commands: "And you shall rejoice before God, your Lord, for seven days."

What was done? On the eve of the first day of the festival, they would set up a place in the Temple where women [could watch] from above, and men from below, so they would not intermingle with each other.

The celebration would begin on the night after the first day of the festival. Similarly, on each day of Chol Hamo'ed, after offering the daily afternoon sacrifice, they would begin to celebrate for the rest of the day and throughout the night.

יב

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל הַמּוֹעֲדוֹת מִצְוָה לִשְׂמֹחַ בָּהֶן. בְּחַג הַסֻּכּוֹת הָיְתָה בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ יוֹם שִׂמְחָה יְתֵרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג מ) "וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים". וְכֵיצַד הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין. עֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן הָיוּ מְתַקְּנִין בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ מָקוֹם לַנָּשִׁים מִלְּמַעְלָה וְלָאֲנָשִׁים מִלְּמַטָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִתְעָרְבוּ אֵלּוּ עִם אֵלּוּ. וּמַתְחִילִין לִשְׂמֹחַ מִמּוֹצָאֵי יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן. וְכֵן בְּכָל יוֹם וְיוֹם מִימֵי חֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד מַתְחִילִין מֵאַחַר שֶׁיַּקְרִיבוּ תָּמִיד שֶׁל בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם לִשְׂמֹחַ לִשְׁאָר הַיּוֹם עִם כָּל הַלַּיְלָה:

Even though it is a mitzvah to rejoice on all the festivals - as Deuteronomy 16:14 teaches: "And you shall rejoice on your festivals." Though that verse is mentioned with regard to Sukkot, Deuteronomy 16:11 states with regard to Shavuot: "and you shall rejoice before God," and Rosh Hashanah 4b explains that an analogy is established to include Pesach as well.

there was an additional celebration in the Temple on the festival of Sukkot - The Rambam's words present a question: The Mishnah (Sukkah 5:1) refers to this celebration as Simchat Beit Hasho'evah, connecting it with the drawing of water for the water libation. (See Hilchot T'midim Umusafim 10:6-10.) Indeed, the Talmud (Sukkah 50b; see also the Rambam's commentary on the above-mentioned Mishnah) emphasizes that connection, quoting Isaiah 12:3: "And you shall draw water with happiness." However, here, the Rambam makes no mention of that water at all!

We are forced to say that the Rambam views the verse from Isaiah as a mere asmachtah (an allusion from the Bible with which our Sages connected a verse to an independent concept) and that the celebration came about because of the unique nature of the Sukkot festival. Though this celebration was associated with the water libation, the latter is not the source for the practice. Indeed, the choice of the name Simchat Beit HaSho'evah (the celebration of the house of drawing the water), and not Simchat Hasho'evah (the celebration of the drawing of the water) allows for such an interpretation. (Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XVII).

as [Leviticus 23:40] commands: "And you shall rejoice

before God, your Lord - i.e., in the Temple

for seven days." - Although this verse is used to derive the requirement of taking the lulav in Jerusalem for each of the seven days of the festival (Chapter 7, Halachah 13), its simple meaning remains.

Nevertheless, this charge is not considered to be an independent commandment, but rather an extension (and an intensification) of the mitzvah of celebrating on the festivals. Thus, in Sefer Hamitzvot (Positive Commandment 54), the Rambam describes that mitzvah and explains that it includes "to celebrate with musical instruments and to dance in the Temple....This is Simchat Beit Hasho'evah."

This explanation resolves another question: Mo'ed Kattan 8b teaches that one celebration should not be interposed upon another. For this reason, weddings are not held during the festivals so that the wedding celebrations should not clash with those of the festival.

Thus, were one to consider the celebration of Simchat Beit Hasho'evah as associated with the water offering, one might ask why the Sages instituted such a celebration which might appear to overshadow the celebration of the festival itself. However, the above explanation resolves this difficulty as well, for as stated above, the Simchat Beit Hasho'evah celebration is an extension of the festival celebrations and not an independent matter. (See Likkutei Sichot, ibid.)

What was done? On the eve of the first day of the festival - Two reasons are given why the courtyard was not set up during the festival itself:

a) It involved construction, which is forbidden on Chol Hamo'ed (Knesset Hagedolah)

b) Preparing the courtyard before the festival would allow the celebrations to begin immediately after the departure of the festival (Kinat Eliyahu).

they would set up a place in the Temple - in the open courtyard before the entrance to the Temple courtyard proper. This was called Ezrat Nashim - the women's courtyard - because in contrast to the Temple courtyard, women were allowed to enter the Ezrat Nashim even when they were not offering sacrifices. The Rambam describes the Ezrat Nashim in Hilchot Beit Habechirah 5:7.

where women [could watch] from above, and men from below, so they would not intermingle with each other. - Originally, the men and the women would stand in separate sections on the same level. However, the Sages feared that, particularly during a time of celebration, such closeness might lead to frivolous interaction between the sexes, and decided to have a balcony constructed for the women (Sukkah 51b).

The celebration would begin on the night after the first day of the festival. - Since, as explained in the following halachah, the celebration was not held on the first night of the festival.

Similarly, on each day of Chol Hamo'ed, after offering the daily afternoon sacrifice, they would begin to celebrate for the rest of the day and throughout the night. - Sukkah 53a quotes Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananyah as saying: "While we were celebrating at Simchat Beit Hasho'evah, our eyes saw no sleep."

13

What was the nature of this celebration? The flute would be sounded and songs played on the harp, lute, and cymbals. [In addition,] each person would play on the instrument which he knew. Those who could sing, would sing. They would dance and clap their hands, letting loose and whistling, each individual in the manner which he knew. Words of song and praise were recited.

This celebration does not supersede either the Sabbath or the festival [prohibitions].

יג

וְהֵיאַךְ הָיְתָה שִׂמְחָה זוֹ. הֶחָלִיל מַכֶּה וּמְנַגְּנִין בְּכִנּוֹר וּבִנְבָלִים וּבִמְצִלְתַּיִם וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד בִּכְלֵי שִׁיר שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ לְנַגֵּן בּוֹ. וּמִי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ בַּפֶּה בַּפֶּה. וְרוֹקְדִין וּמְסַפְּקִין וּמְטַפְּחִין וּמְפַזְּזִין וּמְכַרְכְּרִין כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד כְּמוֹ שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ וְאוֹמְרִים דִּבְרֵי שִׁירוֹת וְתֻשְׁבָּחוֹת. וְשִׂמְחָה זוֹ אֵינָהּ דּוֹחָה לֹא אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְלֹא אֶת יוֹם טוֹב:

What was the nature of this celebration? - The Mishnah (Sukkah 5:1-2) states:

Whoever has not seen Simchat Beit Hasho'evah has never seen rejoicing in his life!...

There were golden candelabras....There was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illuminated with the light of Beit Hasho'evah.

The pious and men of stature would dance before them with torches of fire in their hands and recite songs of praise. The Levites would play the harps, lutes, cymbals, and all other types of instruments on the steps...leading down from the Israelites' courtyard.

The flute would be sounded - Indeed, from the Mishnah (Sukkah 5:1), which states: "The flute, for five or six days; this was the flute of Beit Hasho'evah," it appears that this was the major element of the celebration.

and songs played on the harp, lute, and cymbals. [In addition,] each person would play on the instrument which he knew. Those who could sing, would sing. - See the quote from the Mishnah above.

They would dance and clap their hands, letting loose and whistling, each individual in the manner which he knew. Words of song and praise were recited. - Note the following halachah and commentary.

This celebration does not supersede either the Sabbath or the festival [prohibitions]. - Since, as explained above, the celebration involved musical instruments, it would not be held on the first night of the festival (or on the Sabbath), when playing such instruments is forbidden (Hilchot Shabbat 23:4).

The celebration is an extension of a Torah commandment, while the above prohibition is only Rabbinic in nature. Furthermore, it was held in the Temple, where Rabbinic prohibitions of this nature were usually suspended (אין שבות במקדש, Pesachim 65a). Nevertheless, since there is no specific Torah obligation to celebrate in this manner, the celebrations were suspended because of the Rabbinic prohibition (Likkutei Sichot, ibid.).

14

It is a great mitzvah to maximize this celebration. The common people and anyone who desired would not perform [in these celebrations]; only the greatest of Israel's wise men: the Rashei Yeshivot, the members of the high court, the pious, the elders, and the men of stature. They were those who would dance, clap their hands, sing, and rejoice in the Temple on the days of the festival of Sukkot. However, the entire people - the men and the women - would come to see and hear.

יד

מִצְוָה לְהַרְבּוֹת בְּשִׂמְחָה זוֹ. וְלֹא הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין אוֹתָהּ עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ וְכָל מִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. אֶלָּא גְּדוֹלֵי חַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָאשֵׁי הַיְשִׁיבוֹת וְהַסַּנְהֶדְרִין וְהַחֲסִידִים וְהַזְּקֵנִים וְאַנְשֵׁי מַעֲשֶׂה הֵם שֶׁהָיוּ מְרַקְּדִין וּמְסַפְּקִין וּמְנַגְּנִין וּמְשַׂמְּחִין בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּימֵי חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת. אֲבָל כָּל הָעָם הָאֲנָשִׁים וְהַנָּשִׁים כֻּלָּן בָּאִין לִרְאוֹת וְלִשְׁמֹעַ:

It is a great mitzvah to maximize this celebration - for the experience of genuine Torah happiness is a fundamental and necessary element of our service of God, as explained in the following halachah.

The common people and anyone who desired would not perform [in these celebrations] - Though they would attend, as mentioned in the final clause of the halachah

only the greatest of Israel's wise men: the Rashei Yeshivot, the members of the high court, the pious, the elders, and the men of stature. - for it was only their celebration that could inspire the people with spiritual feeling.

They were those who would dance, clap their hands, sing, and rejoice in the Temple on the days of the festival of Sukkot. - Sukkah 53a relates how Hillel the Elder would rejoice at Simchat Beit Hasho'evah. Other Sages would also participate. For example, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel would juggle eight torches of fire and bow down so low he could kiss the ground. The Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 5:3) relates how Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzedek would perform unique feats of jumping.

However, the entire people - the men and the women - would come to see and hear - deriving joy from this passive participation.

15

The happiness with which a person should rejoice in the fulfillment of the mitzvot and the love of God who commanded them is a great service. Whoever holds himself back from this rejoicing is worthy of retribution, as [Deuteronomy 28:47] states: "...because you did not serve God, your Lord, with happiness and a glad heart."

Whoever holds himself proud, giving himself honor, and acts haughtily in such situations is a sinner and a fool. Concerning this, Solomon warned [Proverbs 28:10]: "Do not seek glory before the King."

[In contrast,] anyone who lowers himself and thinks lightly of his person in these situations is [truly] a great person, worthy of honor, who serves God out of love. Thus, David, King of Israel, declared [II Samuel 6:22]: "I will hold myself even more lightly esteemed than this and be humble in my eyes," because there is no greatness or honor other than celebrating before God, as [II Samuel 6:16] states: "King David was dancing wildly and whistling before God."

טו

הַשִּׂמְחָה שֶׁיִּשְׂמַח אָדָם בַּעֲשִׂיַּת הַמִּצְוָה וּבְאַהֲבַת הָאֵל שֶׁצִּוָּה בָּהֶן. עֲבוֹדָה גְּדוֹלָה הִיא. וְכָל הַמּוֹנֵעַ עַצְמוֹ מִשִּׂמְחָה זוֹ רָאוּי לְהִפָּרַע מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כח מז) "תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר לֹא עָבַדְתָּ אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְטוּב לֵבָב". וְכָל הַמֵּגִיס דַּעְתּוֹ וְחוֹלֵק כָּבוֹד לְעַצְמוֹ וּמִתְכַּבֵּד בְּעֵינָיו בִּמְקוֹמוֹת אֵלּוּ חוֹטֵא וְשׁוֹטֶה. וְעַל זֶה הִזְהִיר שְׁלֹמֹה וְאָמַר (משלי כה ו) "אַל תִּתְהַדַּר לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ". וְכָל הַמַּשְׁפִּיל עַצְמוֹ וּמֵקֵל גּוּפוֹ בִּמְקוֹמוֹת אֵלּוּ הוּא הַגָּדוֹל הַמְכֻבָּד הָעוֹבֵד מֵאַהֲבָה. וְכֵן דָּוִד מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמַר (שמואל ב ו כב) "וּנְקַלֹּתִי עוֹד מִזֹּאת וְהָיִיתִי שָׁפָל בְּעֵינָי". וְאֵין הַגְּדֻלָּה וְהַכָּבוֹד אֶלָּא לִשְׂמֹחַ לִפְנֵי ה' שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב ו טז) "וְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד מְפַזֵּז וּמְכַרְכֵּר לִפְנֵי ה'": סָלִיק הִלְכוֹת שׁוֹפָּר סֻכָּה וְלוּלָב

, the Rambam derives a fundamental principle in the service of God.

The happiness with which a person should rejoice in the fulfillment of the mitzvot and the love of God who commanded them is a great service. - By mentioning this concept at the conclusion - but as part - of the these halachot, the Rambam emphasizes how the celebration of the festivals is not just an isolated experience, but rather is intended to influence the totality of our service of God. The rejoicing of the festival of Sukkot enables us to appreciate true happiness in all aspects of our Torah service.

Whoever holds himself back from this rejoicing is worthy of retribution, as [Deuteronomy 28:47] states: "...because you did not serve God, your Lord, with happiness and a glad heart." - This verse comes after the full description of the curses and retribution which God will visit upon the Jewish people for their sins. From the Rambam's statements, it appears that it is the lack of happiness in the service of God, and not the sins themselves, which brought about this punishment.

The Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, explains that even though the punishment comes for the sins, had the Jewish people served God with true joy and happiness, that happiness would have caused Him to overlook those transgressions, regardless of how serious they were. In contrast, a lack of happiness in the performance of the mitzvot demonstrates a deficiency in the person's awareness of the connection to God established thereby.

Whoever holds himself proud, giving himself honor, and acts haughtily in such situations is a sinner and a fool - for he is concerned with himself, rather than with God.

Concerning this, Solomon warned [Proverbs 28:10]: "Do not seek glory before the King." - i.e., God, in whose presence we are at every moment.

[In contrast,] anyone who lowers himself and thinks lightly of his person in these situations - transcending his self-consciousness and committing himself to God totally, without any restrictions

is [truly] a great person, worthy of honor - his ability to open himself up to God allows him to serve as a medium for the expression of His greatness, and thus, his own personal prestige rises, because, as our Sages commented: "A king's servant is like a king."

who serves God out of love. - See Hilchot Teshuvah, Chapter 10.

Thus, David, King of Israel - The mention of David's position further emphasizes the concept explained. Alternatively, a king has a connection to each of his subjects. Thus, mentioning the example of the king of Israel emphasizes how each Jew has a potential to achieve this rung of service.

declared [II Samuel 6:22]: "I will hold myself even more lightly esteemed than this and be humble in my eyes," because there is no greatness or honor other than celebrating before God, as [II Samuel 6:16] states: "King David was dancing wildly and whistling before God." - When Michal, Saul's daughter, witnessed David's recklessness and total lack of inhibitions, she reproved him for conduct unbefitting a king. David answered her sharply, explaining that it is precisely this ability to give oneself totally over to Godliness which characterizes a Jewish monarch and makes him fit to lead the people in the service of God.

Though the Rambam stresses how an approach of humility and happiness befits people of honor - as is obvious from the nature of the Sages' celebration of Simchat Beit Hasho'evah - these ideas also apply to every Jew. When an individual is conscious of God's constant presence, he will naturally be infused with these two emotions. He will feel his own smallness in God's presence, yet he will also feel real joy at the knowledge that God is with him at every moment, and that through his service of Torah and mitzvot, he can develop a greater connection with Him.

May our service of God with joy hasten the time when "crowned with eternal joy" (Isaiah 35:10), we will be able to "rejoice before God, your Lord, for seven days," in the Messianic Temple. May we merit it, speedily, in our days.

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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 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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