Monday, October 09, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 36 - Biblical Injunction

Rabbi Yehudah maintains that the maximum measurement of an esrog is the size at which one can hold two esrogim in one hand. Rabbi Yose maintains that an esrog is valid even if one needs two hands to hold one esrog. Rav Yosef Engel lists approximately twenty instances throughout Shas where we find that the Torah states that something is not allowed and the prohibition is due to a concern that one will violate a different transgression. One example that he cites is the Ran in Pesachim who suggests that perhaps the reason the Torah prohibited one to see chametz on Pesach is because the Torah was concerned that a person will eat the chametz, as chametz is something that a person usually does not stay away from. Another example that Rav Yosef Engel cites is a Medrash in Parshas Naso that states that the Torah prohibited a nazir from drinking vinegar wine because the Torah was concerned that the nazir may come to drink regular wine. In the Sefer Ma’adanei Chaim, Rav Chaim Cohen wonders how Rav Yosef Engel, with all his erudition and scholarship in Shas and Poskim, did not cite our Gemara as one of the examples. Rabbi Yehudah maintains that an esrog cannot be too large as there is a concern that he may have mistakenly placed the lulav bundle in his left hand and the esrog in his right hand, and when he attempts to reverse them, he may drop the esrog. Rashi (based on the explanation of the Sfas Emes) and the Ritva explain that if one drops the esrog, it may cause the esrog to become deficient and the person may not realize it, and he will unknowingly not have fulfilled the mitzvah of taking the four species. Although the measurements for the four species are derived from a Halacha LeMoshe MiSinai which is a Biblical requirement, it is nonetheless apparent that the rationale for the maximum measurement of an esrog is due to a concern that perhaps one may drop the esrog. The Sfas Emes maintains that based on this Gemara, we must say that Rabbi Yehduah’s requirement regarding the size of an esrog is only rabbinical in nature.


Abba said...

Rashi on "haw Lon Vhaw Lehu" states that Eretz Kush is closer to Bavel, further from Eretz Yisroel. If Kush is Etheopia, it should be the reverse. Any other country that refers to Kush?

Avromi said...

I found this here - precisely your question

Why, according to Rava, is an Esrog Kushi valid in Bavel? Rashi explains
that Bavel is close to Kush, and the Esrogim of Kush are thus commonly
found in Bavel. (Support for Rashi's explanation may be found in the
Yerushalmi (Sukah 3:6).)

The land of Kush is commonly identified as Ethiopia. If Kush is
Ethiopia, though, why does Rashi say that it is close to Bavel? Ethiopia
is closer to Eretz Yisrael than it is to Bavel, and thus its Esrogim
should be more common in Eretz Yisrael than in Bavel.

Apparently, the land of Kush mentioned in the Mishnah and Beraisa does
not refer to the Kush in east Africa. Rather, it refers to a country
close to Hodu (India), as mentioned in the Gemara in Megilah (11a).
(This Kush was likely in the region of the Hindu-Kush Mountains in east

Abba said...

re daf insight on Kush. In Megilla, "MayHodu V'Ad Kush" has 2 pshatim; 1] they are at the end of the globe, 2] they are near each other. If Hodu is to mean India, then Kush is one of the countries to the west that would be closer to Bavel [IRAQ]