Thursday, September 28, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 26 - Frummies

The Mishna states that if one eats food that measures less than the size of an egg, he is not obligated to sit in the Sukkah. The Mishna relates an incident where they brought in front of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai and Rabban Gamliel food to taste and they would not taste the food until it was brought into the Sukkah. The Gemara explains that this story indicates that if one wants to be stringent on himself and eat even a snack inside the Sukkah, he is permitted to do so. Mahretz Chayus raises a difficulty with this Gemara from the ruling of the Rema in Orach Chaim 639 who rules that one who is exempt from Sukkah and nevertheless sits in the Sukkah is referred to as a hedyot, a commoner. It seems from the words of the Rema that acting in a stricter manner is not viewed favorably. The Mahretz Chayus answers that the reason one should not be overly strict with regard to himself is so he should not appear haughty. Thus, every situation must be judged individually. Regarding the case of the Gemara where one eats a snack inside the Sukkah, people will say that he is eating a little now but he intends to eat more at a later time and for that reason he is sitting in the Sukkah. Regarding one who sits in the Sukkah while it is raining, however, there is no room to justify his actions and therefore doing so is frowned upon.


Yaakov A. said...

My [similar] version of the distinction:

One is allowed to be machmir and enter a sukkah to eat a small amount b/c the mitzvah of sukkah is to spend time there regardless of what you are doing. Therefore, going into it and eating a small amount of food doesn't detract from your overall encompassing general obligation to spend time in the sukkah. So although you entered it with the specific mindset of eating the small amount, you still haven't done anything wrong because you anyways had the general chiyuv of spending time in the sukkah.

But staying in a sukkah while you are in tzar(e.g., rain etc), which absolves you entirely from the entire mitzvah of sukkah, makes you look like a shoteh who sits around in the rain for no good reason. Therefore, you are a hedyot.