Friday, September 08, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 6 - Three and a bit

The Gemara quotes a verse in Yeshaya as proof to the opinion of Rabbi Shimon that a Sukkah requires a fourth wall. The verse quoted states and there will be a Sukkah as a shade from heat in the daytime, as a protection and refuge from storm and from rain. The Gemara earlier used this verse as proof that until twenty amos a person sits in the shade of a Sukkah, but higher than twenty amos, one is not sitting in the Sukkah but in the shade of the walls. The Aruch LaNer wonders why Rabbi Shimon uses a verse from the prophets to teach a practical halacha. One must also wonder why the Gemara continues to use this verse when the verse is referring to the Messianic Era. Perhaps we can suggest a Homiletical interpretation of this Gemara. The Medrash states that HaShem created the three directions of the world closed off and the fourth direction He left open. The reason for this is because HaShem says, “let the arrogant and the idol worshippers come and close the fourth wall.” It would follow then that in the Messianic Era, when there will no longer be idol worship and no one will be arrogant, Hashem Himself will close the fourth wall of the world. Similarly, Rabbi Shimon maintains that a Sukkah requires three walls and a fourth wall of at least a tefach. This symbolizes that one should not be arrogant. Rather, one should be humble, as is reflected in the minimal measurement of the fourth wall, and then he will merit basking in the Divine Presence when HaShem in His glory closes off the fourth direction.

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