Sunday, November 26, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 30 - Question and Answer

Question from Michael Post

The notion that there are 7 separate mitzvahs of esrog but only one long mitzvah of sukkah doesn’t really seem to answer the question.

First, according to the opinion that the esrog could be eaten immediately, the fact that the mitzvah is a full day mitzvah did not cause the esrog to be asur until the end of the day, so similarly the fact that sukkah is a seven day mitzvah should not cause it to be forbidden for the rest of the seven days.

So if I understand correctly, if someone built seven sukkahs, one for each day, all seven would be prohibited from use until the end of Sukkos?

I’m really confused about what makes a sukkah a sukkah (no, not the details…). What causes a structure that happens to meet the minimum sukkah requirements to attain this status whereby the wood is prohibited from use? If someone built a sukkah and intended to use it, but never did, could he take down the wood on Chol Hamoed, or did his intention at the start of the holiday convey the prohibited status? Or is it actually using the sukkah on Sukkos that causes it to attain this status?

If someone was out in a field and found a hut that met the requirements for being a sukkah, and he just sat in it and had a meal, does that structure, which may not even have been built as a sukkah, now acquire sukkah status for the rest of the festival? If someone is going out of town for the last days, their sukkah cannot be taken down before they leave? And, if I am understanding this correctly, someone who builds a “car sukkah” by opening their car door and laying the s’chah across the top can no longer close their car door for the remainder of Sukkos, right? Obviously that is not the case. Why not? Closing the car door effectively demolishes the sukkah.

Answer from Reb Avi Lebowitz from Palo Alto Kollel

The mishna berura 638:3 says that the concept of shem shamayim on a succah only applies if it was made l'sheim chag, to the exclusion of huts that just happen to be kosher as a succah. however, in the sha'ar hatziyun (3) he is not sure if the primary factor is whether it is made l'sheim chag, or used many times (b'kvius) as a succah. The nafka mina would be a succah that is made to use only once, but is made l'sheim chag i.e. a makeshift succah on a trip, would you be allowed to use the materials of that succah for another use. However, it seems clear if originally your intent was to only designate it as a succah for a one time use, it would not be assur afterwards (see gr"a who quotes rif, that a stipulation would work for the wood of the succah. even rashi who disagrees, that is only on yom tov where there is an issur of destroying an ohel, but for a succah built on chol hamoed even rashi would hold that a stipulation of one time use would prevent the material from being assur).


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim

Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld


Beitzah 030: Sukah and Esrog

The Kollel replies:

It seems to me that there is a basic difference between Sukah and Esrog. Sukah is a continual Mitzvah for every moment of all seven days whilst Esrog is a one-time Mitzvah, only once a day. See the MISHNAH on SUKAH 48a that even though one has finished one's meal on the seventh day of Sukos (i.e. in Eretz Yisrael where one does not live in the Sukah at all on Shemini Atzeres) one should nevertheless not dismantle the Sukah. RASHI DH LO YATIR writes that this is because one is obligated all day long to sleep or study inside the Sukah, and if a meal should come one's way, one requires the Sukah to eat it in.

Therefore, according to Rav (end 30b) one may eat the Esrog immediately because (1) the Esrog was only seperated for use on one day and (2) even on that day the Esrog is only specified for the Mitzvah until one performed the Mitzvah, but for no longer, because there is no obligation to "shake" the Esrog more than once a day.

In contrast not only is Sukah a 7-day Mitzvah but in addition, even though one has already fulfilled the Mitzvah, one is obliged to use the Sukah whenever one wishes to eat, sleep or learn Torah.

However if someone built 7 Sukos, one for each day, it would seem to me that he should be permitted to dismantle the Day 1 Sukah once Day 2 arrives, for instance. This is because of the reason the aforementioned Rashi gives that one may not dismantle the Sukah since one may still require it for sleeping or learning. According to this, if one has an alternative Sukah available, it should be permitted to undo the first. In addition, RASHI SHABBOS 45a DH AD seems to say more clearly that there is no prohibition against dismantling a Sukah on Chol ha'Mo'ed. However these latter points require further thought.

(1) See SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 638:1 in REMA who writes that the wood of the Sukah only becomes prohibited if one dwelt in the Sukah on one occasion, whilst if one merely prepared the Sukah but did not live there it does not become prohibited, because "Hazmanah Lav Milsa" ("Preparation is not significant").

MISHNAH BERURAH #9 cites MAGEN AVRAHAM who writes that even if the Sukah was not constructed with the intention of being a Sukah, but was merely intended to provide shelter, nevertheless, if it possesses the requirements of a kosher Sukah, and one sat there once, it is henceforth forbidden for the rest of Yom Tov.

MISHNAH BERURAH adds that this only applies if one specified before dwelling there that one intended that it should be the Sukah for Yom Tov, or if one had intention when dwelling there that it should be used henceforth for the whole of Yom Tov. Otherwise, a Sukah does not acquire Kedushah (to be considered the Sukah of Yom Tov) merely because one used it once.

(2) MISHNAH BERURAH proves the above Halachah from what he writes (638:3) that if somebody sat in the Sukah of (a) shepherds (b) "Burganin" (see RASHI SUKAH 8b DH BURGANIN that this is the booth of the city guards) or (c) "Kayatzin" (workers who guard the produce drying in the fields), this remains an ordinary hut, because merely sitting in these huts and eating one's bread does not give Kedushah to the Sukah.

(3) The question about the person who leaves town for the last days of Sukos and wants to knock down his Sukah, is not so simple. I pointed out that Rashi seems to suggest that if not for the fact that that one might still need the Sukah, there would be no prohibition on dismantling it on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Rashi is cited by MISHNAH BERURAH 666:1. I have found that SHEMIRAS SHABBOS KEHILCHASA (ch. 67 note 177) writes that it would seem that one may not dismantle a Sukah on Chol ha'Mo'ed because this constitutes doing Melachah which is unnecessary for Chol ha'Mo'ed. However SHEMIRAS SHABBOS KEHILCHASA notes that the aforementioned MISHNAH BERURAH would appear to suggest that it is permitted.

See PISKEI TESHUVOS (by R. Simcha Rabinovitz Shlita) 638:3 who cites Poskim who discuss whether one may take down a Sukah during Sukos if one is careful with the Kedushah of the walls and the roof-covering, and does not use them for other purposes. It may be that the mere fact that one demolishes the Sukah represents a lowering of its holiness, which is forbidden.

(4) I did not understand what the problem should be with the car Sukah. (See PISKEI TESHUVOS 628:4 DH UMI'KAN who writes that a Sukah made on a car is Kosher if made strongly and see also PISKEI TESHUVOS 638 note 2). If the car has a sliding roof, one could put the "Sechach" on the roof and the car might be a Kosher Sukah even if the door is open, if there is sufficient amount of Sukah walls provided by the rest of the car's structure.

D. Bloom