לא תיהני ליה אמלתרא דהא היכל אמלתרא הויא ליה ואפילו הכי עשרים אמה הוא דגבוה דתנן חמש אמלתראות של מילה היו על גביו זו למעלה מזו וזו למעלה מזו
a molded or protruding cornice [amaltera] crowning the entrance should not be effective in rendering an alleyway fit to carry within it if it is higher than twenty cubits, as the Sanctuary had a cornice, and even so it was twenty cubits high, and no more. As we learned in a mishna: Over it were five oak cornices, one protruding above the other.
והאי מאי תיובתא דילמא כי תניא ההיא דאמלתראות באולם תניא
The Gemara attempts to dismiss this difficulty: And, with regard to that mishna, what is the refutation? Perhaps when that mishna with regard to cornices was taught, it was taught with regard to the Entrance Hall, whose height was forty cubits, and not with regard to the Sanctuary.
והאי מאי קושיא דילמא תבנית היכל כתבנית אולם
The Gemara responds: And what is the difficulty with that? Perhaps the design of the Sanctuary was like the design of the Entrance Hall. Just as there were cornices in one doorway, there were cornices in the other.
אלמה אמר רבי אילעא אמר רב רחבה ארבעה אף על פי שאינה בריאה ואם יש לה אמלתרא אפילו גבוהה יותר מעשרים אמה אינו צריך למעט
The Gemara returns to its question with regard to a cornice: Why then did Rabbi Ile’a say that Rav himself said: If the width of a cross beam is four handbreadths, even if it is not sturdy, it renders the alleyway fit for carrying within it. And if it has a cornice, even if it is higher than twenty cubits, one need not diminish its height.
אמר רב יוסף אמלתרא מתניתא היא מאן קתני לה
Rav Yosef said: This halakha with regard to a cornice was not actually stated by Rav, but rather it is a baraita. Who, in fact, teaches that baraita? Perhaps it is not an authoritative baraita, and Rav does not have to accept what it says.
אמר אביי והא חמא בריה דרבה בר אבוה קתני לה ותיהוי אמלתרא מתניתא ותיקשי לרב
Abaye said: Isn’t it Ḥama, son of Rabba bar Avuh, who teaches it? And therefore, even if the halakha with regard to a cornice will be a baraita, it nevertheless poses a difficulty to Rav.
אמר לך רב דל אנא מהכא מתנייתא מי לא קשיין אהדדי אלא מאי אית לך למימר תנאי היא לדידי נמי תנאי היא
Rav could have said to you: Even if you eliminate me and my explanation from the discussion here, don’t the two baraitot themselves, the baraita that states that the Rabbis derive the dimensions of an entrance from the doorway of the Sanctuary and the baraita that states that in the case of a cornice, even if it is higher than twenty cubits, it need not be lowered, contradict each other? Rather, what have you to say to reconcile the contradiction? The matter is the subject of a dispute between tanna’im; so too, according to my opinion, it is the subject of a dispute between tanna’im.
רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר בלא רב מתנייתא אהדדי לא קשיין לרבנן קורה טעמא מאי משום היכרא והאי דקתני יתר מפתחו של היכל סימנא בעלמא
Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Without Rav, the baraitot do not contradict each other, as according to the Rabbis, what is the reason that a cross beam renders an alleyway fit for carrying? Because it serves as a conspicuous marker between the alleyway and the public domain. Ordinarily a cross beam more than twenty cubits high is not noticeable; however, a cornice attracts attention even at that height. And that which is taught in the other baraita with regard to the height of a beam at the entrance to an alleyway: Greater than the entrance of the Sanctuary, is merely a mnemonic device. No actual halakhot are derived from the entrance of the Sanctuary.
ורב נחמן בר יצחק הניחא אי לא סבירא ליה הא דרבה אלא אי סבירא ליה הא דרבה דאמר רבה כתיב למען ידעו דורותיכם כי בסכות הושבתי עד עשרים אמה אדם יודע שדר בסוכה למעלה מעשרים אמה אין אדם יודע משום דלא שלטא ביה עינא
The Gemara notes: And that the explanation of Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak works out well if he does not hold this opinion of Rabba; however, if he holds this opinion of Rabba, it is difficult. As Rabba said with regard to the fitness of a sukka whose roofing is higher than twenty cubits that it is written: “In order that your generations should know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:43). When the roofing of a sukka is up to twenty cubits high, a person is aware that he is dwelling in a sukka; however, when the roofing of the sukka is above twenty cubits, a person is not aware that he is dwelling in a sukka, because the eye does not discern the sukka roofing. One does not usually raise his head to look that high, and consequently, he sees the walls and does not notice the defining feature of the sukka, its roofing.
אלמא גבי סוכה נמי בהיכרא פליגי איפלוגי בתרתי למה לי
The Gemara explains the difficulty: Apparently, with regard to sukka as well, the Rabbis and Rabbi Yehuda disagree whether or not an item more than twenty cubits high is conspicuous. According to Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak, why do I need them to disagree about the same point in two cases, that of sukka and that of an alleyway? That the dispute between the Rabbis and Rabbi Yehuda with regard to sukka revolves around this issue indicates that their dispute with regard to an alleyway revolves around a different point, as asserted by Rav.
צריכא דאי אשמעינן גבי סוכה בהא קאמר רבי יהודה כיון דלישיבה עבידא שלטא ביה עינא אבל מבוי דלהילוך עביד אימא מודה להו לרבנן ואי אשמעינן בהא בהא קאמרי רבנן אבל בהך אימא מודו ליה לרבי יהודה צריכא
The Gemara answers: It is necessary to teach both disputes, as had the mishna taught us only with regard to sukka, one might have thought that only in this case does Rabbi Yehuda say that an object is conspicuous even above twenty cubits; since a sukka is designed for extended dwelling, the eye undoubtedly discerns the roofing at some point. However, in the case of an alleyway, which is designed for walking, say that he concedes to the Rabbis that a person walking in an alleyway does not notice objects at so significant a height. And had the mishna taught us only with regard to that case of an alleyway, one might have thought that only in that case do the Rabbis say that people do not notice objects at so significant a height; however, in that case of sukka, say that they concede to Rabbi Yehuda, for the above-stated reason. Therefore, it is necessary to teach both disputes.
מאי אמלתרא רב חמא בריה דרבה בר אבוה אמר קיני כי אתא רב דימי אמר אמרי במערבא פסקי דארזא
The Gemara seeks to arrive at a precise definition of amaltera, translated above as cornice. What is an amaltera? Rav Ḥama, son of Rabba bar Avuh, said: It refers to decorative wood carvings in the shape of birds’ nests. When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said that they say in the West, Eretz Yisrael, it is referring to cedar poles.
מאן דאמר פסקי דארזא כל שכן קיני מאן דאמר קיני אבל פסקי דארזא לא
The Gemara explains: The one who said that amaltera refers to cedar poles would all the more so permit use of carvings of birds’ nests, as a cross beam engraved with images attracts attention and is noticeable even at a great height. However, the one who said that amaltera refers to carvings of birds’ nests would say that the halakha with regard to a cornice applies only to them, but not to cedar poles.
ומאן דאמר פסקי דארזא מאי טעמא משום דנפיש משכיה והא סוכה דנפיש משכיה וקאמרי רבנן דלא
The Gemara clarifies the opinion of the one who said cedar poles. What is the reason for his opinion? He holds that since its length is great, a cedar pole attracts attention. But isn’t the length of a sukka great as well, and nevertheless, the Rabbis say that a sukka higher than twenty cubits is not fit?
אלא כיון דקא חשיב אית ליה קלא:
Rather, the reason is as follows: Since a cedar pole is of significant value, it generates publicity. People passing through an alleyway stop and stare at a cross beam of that kind, even when it is higher than twenty cubits, leading others publicity to do so as well.
מקצת קורה בתוך עשרים ומקצת קורה למעלה מעשרים מקצת סכך בתוך עשרים ומקצת סכך למעלה מעשרים אמר רבה במבוי כשר בסוכה פסול
The Gemara raises a question: If part of the cross beam of an alleyway is within twenty cubits of the ground, and part of the cross beam is above twenty cubits, and similarly, if part of the roofing of a sukka is within twenty cubits, and part of the roofing is above twenty cubits, what is its legal status? Rabba said: In the case of an alleyway, it is fit; in the case of a sukka, it is unfit.
מאי שנא במבוי דכשר דאמרינן קלוש סוכה נמי לימא קלוש
The Gemara asks: What is different in the case of an alleyway that the ruling is that it is fit? It is because we say: Thin the part of the cross beam that is beyond twenty cubits, i.e., consider it as if it were not there. If so, in the case of sukka too, say: Thin the roofing that is beyond twenty cubits.
אי קלשת הויא לה חמתה מרובה מצילתה
The Gemara answers: If you thin the roofing beyond twenty cubits, it will result in a sukka whose sun is more than its shade. Were the section of the roofing above twenty cubits removed, the roofing that remained would not provide sufficient shade for the sukka.
הכא נמי אי קלשת הויא לה קורה הניטלת ברוח אלא על כרחך נעשו כשפודין של מתכת הכא נמי על כרחך נעשית צילתה מרובה מחמתה
The Gemara rejects this argument: Here too, in the case of a cross beam, if you thin the section above twenty cubits, it would become a weak and unstable cross beam that is removed by the wind, which does not render the alleyway fit for carrying within it. Rather, perforce, the status of the remaining parts of those cross beams becomes like that of metal skewers [shefudin], which, although they are thin, are not removed by the wind. Here too, in the case of a sukka, perforce, even after the upper roofing is removed, the status of the sukka becomes like that of a sukka whose shade is more than its sun.
אמר רבא מפרזקיא סוכה דליחיד היא לא מדכר מבוי דלרבים מדכרי אהדדי
The Gemara explains Rabba’s distinction differently. Rava from Parzakya said: A sukka, which is generally erected for an individual, if the portion of the roofing below twenty were removed and only the portion above twenty remained, he would not be reminded to lower the remaining roofing and would dwell in a sukka that is unfit. An alleyway, in contrast, which is used by many people, if the section of the cross beam below twenty cubits were removed, they would remind each other to remedy the situation.
רבינא אמר סוכה דאורייתא אחמירו בה רבנן מבוי דרבנן לא אחמירו ביה רבנן
Ravina said a different explanation: With regard to a sukka, since its mitzva is by Torah law, the Sages were stringent. However, with regard to an alleyway, since the entire requirement to place a cross beam across the entrance in order to permit carrying in an alleyway is only by rabbinic law, the Sages were not stringent.
רב אדא בר מתנה מתני להא שמעתא דרבה איפכא אמר רבה במבוי פסול בסוכה כשירה
The Gemara cites a different version of Rabba’s distinction: Rav Adda bar Mattana taught this halakha of Rabba in the opposite manner. Rabba said: In the case of an alleyway, it is unfit; in the case of a sukka, it is fit. As a result, all the previous explanations must be reversed.
מאי שנא סוכה דכשירה דאמרינן קלוש במבוי נמי לימא קלוש
The Gemara asks: What is different in the case of a sukka that it is fit? Because we say: Thin the roofing that is beyond twenty cubits. If so, then in the case of a cross beam as well, let us say: Thin the part of the cross beam that is beyond twenty cubits.
אי קלשת הוי לה קורה הניטלת ברוח הכא נמי אי קלשת הויא לה חמתה מרובה מצילתה אלא על כרחך נעשית צילתה מרובה מחמתה הכא נמי על כרחך נעשו כשפודין של מתכת
The Gemara answers: If you thin the part beyond twenty cubits, it will become a weak and unstable cross beam that moves in the wind. The Gemara rejects this argument: Here too, in the case of a sukka, if you thin the upper section of the roofing, it would become a sukka whose sun is more than its shade. Rather, perforce, even after the upper roofing is removed, the status of the sukka becomes like that of a sukka whose shade is more than its sun; here too, in the case of an alleyway, perforce, the status of the remaining parts of those cross beams becomes like that of metal skewers, which, although they are thin, do not move in the wind.
אמר רבא מפרזקיא סוכה דליחיד היא רמי אנפשיה ומדכר מבוי דלרבים היא סמכי אהדדי ולא מדכרי דאמרי אינשי קדרא דבי שותפי לא חמימא ולא קרירא
The Gemara offers a different explanation of Rabba’s distinction: Rava from Parzakya said: In the case of a sukka, which is generally erected for an individual, he casts responsibility upon himself and is reminded to make certain that the roofing is fit. In the case of an alleyway, which is used by many people, they are likely to rely upon each other and are not reminded to check the height of the cross beam. As people say: A pot belonging to partners is neither hot nor cold. When responsibility falls upon more than one person, each relies on the other, and ultimately the task is not completed.
רבינא אמר סוכה דאורייתא לא בעי חיזוק מבוי דרבנן בעי חיזוק
Ravina offered a different explanation and said: The mitzva of sukka, which is by Torah law, does not require reinforcement by the Sages, and consequently, they were lenient in that case. However, since the entire requirement to place a cross beam across the entrance to an alleyway is by rabbinic law, it requires reinforcement, and therefore the Sages were stringent.
מאי הוי עלה רבה בר רב עולא אמר זה וזה פסול רבא אמר זה וזה כשר
Since there are two contradictory versions of Rabba’s statement, the Gemara inquires: What practical conclusion was reached about this problem, if part of the roofing of the sukka or the cross beam was above twenty cubits? Rabba bar Rav Ulla said: In that case, both this, an alleyway, and that, a sukka, are unfit. Rava said: Both this and that are fit,