Friday, October 13, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 41 - Highlights

1. There is a dispute in the Gemara if the sanctity of Shemittah produce can be deconsecrated onto money by exchanging the money for the produce. All agrees that when the produce is sold, the sanctity rests on the money. The dispute is when the owner attempts to exchange the produce for money. Rav Ashi qualifies this dispute as referring only to the deconsecrating of the money that was exchanged with Shemittah produce. All agree, however, that the Shemittah produce itself cannot be deconsecrated with an ordinary exchange as one can do with hekdesh. Rather, the Shemittah produce must be purchased. (41a1)
2. The Mishna states that originally, the mitzvah of lulav was for seven days in the Bais HaMikdash and for one day outside the Bais HaMikdash. After the destruction of the second Bais HaMikdash, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai instituted that the lulav should be taken for all seven days of Sukkos as a commemoration to the Bais HaMikdash. (41a2)
3. Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai also instituted that one is not permitted to eat from the new grain the entire day of the sixteenth of Nissan. In the times of the Bais HaMikdash, the new grain could only be eaten after the omer offering was brought on the sixteenth of Nissan. Subsequent to the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, one was biblically permitted to eat the new grain on the sixteenth of Nissan in the morning. Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai was concerned, however, that the Bais HaMikdash may be built the following year on the night of the sixteenth of Nissan and there would not be enough time to prepare the omer offering. People might then say that the new grain will be permitted in the morning just as it was the previous year. This assumption would be erroneous, because the previous year there was no Bais HaMikdash, thus there was no possibility of offering the omer, and for that reason the new grain was permitted in the morning. During the present year, however, there is a Bais HaMikdash, and one must wait for the offering of the omer or one must wait until the end of the day. Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai therefore instituted that one was prohibited from eating the new grain the entire day of the sixteenth of Nissan. (41a2-41a3-41a4)
4. The Mishna states that when the first day of Sukkos occurs on Shabbos, the people would bring their lulavim to the synagogue on Friday and the next day, which was Shabbos, they would come early to the synagogue and each person would recognize his lulav and take it. The reason each person was required to take his own lulav is because there is a Halacha that one must fulfill his obligation on the first day of Sukkos with his own lulav, so one was not permitted to take a lulav that belonged to someone else. (41b1)
5. The Gemara relates an incident where Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Eliezer ben Azaryah and Rabbi Akiva were journeying on a boat and only Rabban Gamliel had a lulav with him, which he had purchased for a thousand zuz. Rabban Gamliel first fulfilled his own obligation with the lulav and he then gave the lulav to the other rabbis so that they could discharge their obligation. The Gemara states that since it was recorded that Rabbi Akiva returned the lulav to Rabban Gamliel, we can deduce a law that a present given on condition that it be returned is considered a present. Thus, the rabbis were able to fulfill their obligation with the lulav that belonged to someone else, despite the fact that the incident occurred on the first day of Sukkos when one is require to own the lulav. From the fact that the Baraisa mentioned that Rabban Gamliel purchased the lulav for a thousand zuz, it is evident how the sages of those times cherished the mitzvos. (41b2-41b3)
6. The Gemara states that one should not hold Tefillin or a Sefer Torah in his hand while he is praying Shemone Esrei. The reason for this ruling is because he will be concerned about protecting the Tefillin or Sefer Torah and he will not be able to concentrate on his prayers. Ameimar would hold his lulav while praying, and this was also the custom of the people of Jerusalem. The reason that they were permitted to hold the lulav while they prayed is because taking the lulav is a mitzvah and since they cherished the mitzvah, they were not preoccupied by its weight and by the necessity to guard the lulav from falling from their hands. (41b3-41b4)