Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 3 - Mitzva of Maakeh

The Gemora states that if one has a house that is less than four amos squared, he is exempt from building a fence around the roof, for this is not considered a house. The commentators ask that it is still a stumbling block and if one doesn't build a fence there, it will endanger people's lifes? The Gemora in Bava Kamma 15b learns from the passuk of lo sasim damim beveisecha that one should not raise a wild dog in his house or a rickety ladder. Shouldn't he be required to build a fence here because of the possibility of someone falling?

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The Chazon Ish Yo"D 214 answers that in truth a roof is not a dangerous area and it is not considered a stumbling block. People who ascend a roof understand beforehand that they must be careful and this is a worldly custom. The Torah, nevertheless mandated that one who builds a house is required to build a fence on the roof and this halacha has its guidelines. A house that is less than four amos squared is not regarded as a house for nthis halacha.

The Emek Brocha adds that this explains why one is not allowed to build a professional maakeh on chol hamoed even though he would be permitted to build and fix other things for the fear of bandits. The lack of a maakeh is not an inherent danger and therefore is not considered a dovor heovud and will not be allowed to build on chol hamoed.

Reb Akiva Eiger asks on the obligation to recite a brocha when building a maakeh. Tosfos in Chulin 105a rules that one does not recite a brocha on mayim acaharonim for it was instituted for the benefit of man that he shouldn't harm himself due to the melach sdomis. It would stand t reason that maakeh should not have a brocha either, for it is only to prevent damage? Rabbi dovod Goldberg answers according to the chazon ish, a maakeh is not to prevent damage. In truth, it would not be necessary, the torah taught us that it is required even if it is merely a distant possibility for a damage occuring, hence there is still a brocha.