Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 10 - "Holiday" Decorations

The Gemara discusses hanging ornaments to beautify the Sukkah. The Shelah writes that hanging ornaments in the Sukkah reflects our endearment for the mitzvah of Sukkah. Thus, the more one enhances the beauty of the Sukkah with ornaments, the more praiseworthy he is. Amongst the various items that the Gemara lists for the purpose of decorating the Sukkah are fruits and foods such as grapes, wine, oil and flour. It is noteworthy that these same items are listed in the Gemara Avodah Zara 51 as items that are used for idol worship. Shearim Mitzuyanim B’Halacha (ad loc) rules that one does not have to be concerned with using items for Sukkah decorations even if these same items are used by the gentiles for their winter holidays season. The Chasam Sofer (Orach Chaim 42) rules in a similar vein that one can use for lighting in the synagogue candles that were designated for idolatry but were not actually used in the pagan service. Shearim Mitzuyanim B’Halacha to our Gemara explains why one who uses items that are designated for idolatry is not in violation of the prohibition not to walk in the ways of the gentiles who worship idols. The reason for this is because the Gemara (Sanhedrin 52) states that one can perform any action that is recorded in the Torah, even if such an action subsequently was performed for idolatry. A Jew is not performing the act on account of the idolaters. Rather, he is performing the act because this is what he has been instructed to do by the Torah. The same idea can be said regarding the Sukkah decorations mentioned in the Gemara. One would be allowed to hang Sukkah decorations that are used by the gentiles for their holiday season, as a Jew would be hanging the decorations because the decorations are mentioned in the Gemara and not on account of the gentile’s custom.

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eliezer said...

Is that true of all green and red decorations or only those mentioned in the gemara?

Avromi said...

i am not a posek but it seems all of them - i did ask a posek and he told me the velt is meikel and he seemed to agree with the velt