This baraita accords with what Rava said. It also provides a little bit of extra detail about the oxen they would bring.
In yesterday’s section we learned that R. Judah seems to hold that as long as the tent was made by a human it functions as a tent. We now return to our mishnah in Sukkah in which R. Judah allows one to sleep under a bed, even though the bed was clearly made by a human being.
The Talmud now brings our mishnah in Sukkah as a difficulty on R. Judah. A bed clearly is more than a few fistfuls high and yet to R. Judah it doesn’t seem to count as a tent. They resolve that difficulty by saying that the bed doesn’t function as a tent because it was made for what goes on top. It is not a “tent” because a “tent” is made for what goes underneath.
The problem with the previous resolution is that oxen are also used for what goes above and not for what goes below. Therefore they too shouldn’t be considered tents.
Rabin provides the answer that oxen sometimes are used for what goes below as well. In the summer the shepherd sits underneath to protect himself from the sun and in the winter from the rain (but watch out shepherd, cause you might still get wet under there!).
But again, the Talmud retorts, the bed also could be considered to be used for what goes below—shoes and sandals! [I like it that they put their shoes and sandals under their beds even two thousand years ago]. So if an ox is considered a tent because sometimes the space underneath it is used, so too a bed should be considered a tent, despite the fact that one usually uses the space above.
The answer is that the oxen’s torso is a tent because it is meant to shelter the oxen’s innards. This is not just some temporary use, but truly the main function of an oxen’s torso, whereas the main function of a bed is for sleeping on top. So a bed does not count as a tent whereas the oxen’s torso does.
Today’s section offers a different reason for why R. Judah allows one to sleep under a bed in the sukkah.
The Talmud now tries to explain that R. Judah in this mishnah follows his reasoning found elsewhere throughout the tractate. R. Judah says that for something to count as a sukkah it must be a “permanent abode” meaning that it has the dimensions of a building in which a person could live permanently. In the case at hand, the sukkah is more permanent than the bed, which is not at all a “permanent abode/tent.” Therefore, the temporary abode of the bed would not annul the fact that he is indeed sleeping in the sukkah, the more permanent abode.
The problem is that R. Shimon also demands that a sukkah be a permanent above (as we saw on 7b he requires that it have four walls) and yet he doesn’t allow one to sleep under a bed in a sukkah, as we saw in our mishnah (bottom of 20b).
The Talmud resolves this by stating that R. Judah and R. Shimon agree that the sukkah needs to be a permanent abode. However, they disagree about whether the temporary tent (the bed) can annul the permanent tent (the sukkah). R. Shimon would say that it does and therefore, one who sleeps under a bed in a sukkah has not fulfilled his duty. R. Judah says that the temporary tent does not annul the fact that he is sleeping in a sukkah and therefore he has fulfilled his obligation.
This section relates to R. Shimon’s statement in the mishnah back at the end of Daf Kaf.
This is a more expanded version of R. Shimon’s statement from the mishnah. In the mishnah R. Shimon relates the story of R. Gamaliel who tells the other sages to look at Tabi his slave who is sleeping under the bed, knowing that slaves are exempt from the mitzvah of sukkah but that others who sleep under the bed have not fulfilled their obligation. The baraita teaches pretty much the same thing.
The Talmud inquires why R. Gamaliel said “from the casual conversation of R. Gamaliel” why not just say “from his words?” The answer is that R. Shimon teaches us that even the casual conversation of sages is worthy of study. This is derived from the verse in Psalms 1 which refers to a Torah scholar (see verse 2). Even his leaf, the lightest part of a tree, will not wither, for it too is worthy of study.
There’s a bit of irony here in that when R. Shimon says “casual conversation” he himself is teaching something “casually.” So R. Shimon teaches casually that we should pay attention to “casual” conversation.
This section begins to deal with a new mishnah.
The person uses his bedposts to support the sukkah. The sages and R. Judah dispute whether this sukkah is valid if it cannot stand without the support from the bedposts.
The Talmud tries to explain why R. Judah disqualifies such a sukkah. There are two amoraic opinions, but as sometimes happens, the Talmud doesn’t know which statement goes with which amora. In any case, one amora holds that R. Judah disqualifies the sukkah because it is not permanent enough. As we have seen a few times, the amoraim say that R. Judah requires that the sukkah have a relatively high degree of permanence. The other opinion holds that the problem is that the sukkah is propped up on something that is susceptible to impurity, namely the bed.
The Talmud will now explore the ramifications of the differences between these two opinions.
These two opinions would differ if someone made a sukkah by sticking four iron stakes in the ground and using them to hold up the skhakh. The sukkah would be directly supported by something that receives impurity, and therefore the amora who explains that R. Judah disqualifies a sukkah propped up by something susceptible to impurity would also hold that R. Judah would disqualify this sukkah. However, this sukkah is permanent, or at least more permanent than one supported by a bed. So the other amora would say that R. Judah allows this sukkah.
Abaye limits R. Judah’s disqualification to a case where he supported the skhakh with the bedposts. If he, props up the skhakh in another way (such as putting iron posts into the ground), but the beds serve as walls of the sukkah the sukkah is valid. This sukkah is permanent because it is not attached to the bed nor is it propped up by the bed.