Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 31 - Highlights

1. There is a dispute between Rabbi Eliezer and the Chachamim regarding a stolen Sukkah and regarding one who constructs his Sukkah in a public domain. The dispute is predicated on a dispute as to whether one can fulfill the mitzvah of Sukkah in a Sukkah that is not his. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that one cannot fulfill the mitzvah of Sukkah in a Sukkah that is not his and for this reason a stolen Sukkah is invalid. (31a1)
2. The Gemara relates a story that a certain elderly woman went to Rav Nachman and claimed that the Reish Galusa and all the Chachamim were sitting in a stolen Sukkah. Her claim was that the servants of the Reish Galusa stole wood from her and used it to build their Sukkah. Rav Nachman, however, did not pay attention to her claim. The woman persisted with her claim and she said that a woman whose father had three hundred and eighteen servants is screaming before you and you refuse to listen to her. Rav Nachman told his students that the woman did not have a valid claim as once the Sukkah is constructed with stolen wood, the wood does not to be returned. This is based on a rabbinic decree referred to as takanas hashavim, the decree for the returnees, and therefore the Sukkah is deemed to be valid. This decree was enacted so that thieves would be inspired to repent their ways. If a thief was compelled to demolish his structure to return the stolen property, he would not seek to repent. (31a2)
3. There is a dispute in the Gemara if a lulav is required to be hadar, beautiful in its halachic requirements, similar to an esrog, or perhaps a lulav does not have this requirement. (31a)
4. One is not allowed to add a fifth specie to the four species and one is prohibited from taking less than four species. One cannot substitute any of the four species from those that are listed in the Torah, and this is true even if one the species are not available. (31a3-31b1)
5. One cannot use a lulav that is from an asheirah tree from the times of Moshe. The reason for this ruling is because an asheirah must be burned and the asheirah is deemed to have been burned already and subsequently the lulav from the asheirah tree does not have the requisite measurements for a lulav to be considered valid. (31b2-31b3)