Sukkah 12aסוכה י״ב א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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12aי״ב א

אי מה חגיגה בעלי חיים אף סוכה נמי בעלי חיים

The Gemara asks: If that juxtaposition is the source of the halakha, say: Just as the Festival peace-offering is brought from animals, so too the sukka roofing should consist of animals. As that is clearly not the case, that verse cannot be the source for the roofing of the sukka.

כי אתא רבין אמר ר' יוחנן אמר קרא (דברים טז, יג) באספך מגרנך ומיקבך בפסולת גורן ויקב הכתוב מדבר

The Gemara cites a different source: When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia he said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that the verse states: “You shall prepare for you the festival of Sukkot for seven days as you gather from your threshing floor and from your winepress” (Deuteronomy 16:13), and the Sages interpreted that it is with regard to the waste of the threshing floor and of the winepress that the verse is speaking. One uses grain stalks and vines for roofing the sukka, materials that are not susceptible to ritual impurity and grow from the ground.

ואימא גורן עצמו ויקב עצמו א"ר זירא יקב כתיב כאן ואי אפשר לסכך בו

The Gemara asks: And say that the verse teaches that one uses the items placed on the threshing floor itself, i.e., stalks with the grain still attached to them, and the items placed in the winepress itself, i.e., vines with the grapes still attached, as roofing. Grain and grapes, like all foods, are susceptible to ritual impurity. If the verse is interpreted in this manner, the mishna’s criteria for roofing fit for a sukka could not be derived from it. Rabbi Zeira said: “Winepress” is written in the verse here, referring to the wine, and it is impossible to roof with wine. Apparently, the verse is referring to stalks and sheaves but not to produce.

מתקיף לה רבי ירמיה ואימא יין קרוש הבא משניר שהוא דומה לעיגולי דבילה אמר רבי זירא הא מלתא הוה בידן ואתא ר' ירמיה ושדא ביה נרגא

Rabbi Yirmeya strongly objects to this: Why can’t a sukka be roofed with wine? Say that it is referring to congealed wine that comes from Senir, from Mount Hermon, which is similar to a cake of figs. Since it is possible to interpret the verse as referring to the use of food for roofing, the mishna’s criteria for roofing fit for a sukka could not be derived from it. Rabbi Zeira said: This matter was in our hands, as we assumed that we found the source in the Torah for the materials fit for roofing, and Rabbi Yirmeya came and took an axe to it. He destroyed the proof by raising the matter of congealed wine.

רב אשי אמר מגרנך ולא גורן עצמו מיקבך ולא יקב עצמו

Rav Ashi said: One may nevertheless derive the ruling of the mishna from this verse: “From your threshing floor,” indicating an item that comes from the threshing floor, but not the items placed on the threshing floor, i.e., grain, itself; “from your winepress,” but not the items placed in the winepress, i.e., grapes, itself. The verse is referring the waste products of the produce placed on threshing floor and in the winepress.

רב חסדא אמר מהכא (נחמיה ח, טו) צאו ההר והביאו עלי זית ועלי עץ שמן ועלי הדס ועלי תמרים ועלי עץ עבות

Rav Ḥisda said that proof can be cited from here: “Go forth to the mount and fetch olive branches, and branches of wild olive, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and the boughs of a dense-leaved tree in order to make sukkot as written” (Nehemiah 8:15). From this verse, the materials for sukka roofing can be derived.

היינו הדס היינו עץ עבות אמר רב חסדא הדס שוטה לסוכה ועץ עבות ללולב:

Apropos this verse, the Gemara asks: These myrtle branches are the same as those boughs of a dense-leaved tree; why does the verse mention both? Rav Ḥisda said that this is how it is to be understood. The term “myrtle branches” is referring to a wild myrtle, unfit for use as one of the four species, to be used for the roofing of the sukka. And the term “boughs of a dense-leaved tree” is referring to the myrtle, whose leaves overlie each other, to be used for the lulav, the mitzva of the four species.

מתני׳ חבילי קש וחבילי עצים וחבילי זרדין אין מסככין בהן וכולן שהתירן כשרות וכולן כשרות לדפנות:

MISHNA: One may not roof a sukka with bundles of straw tied with rope, or bundles of wood, or bundles of twigs. And with regard to all of the bundles, if one untied them, they are fit for use in roofing the sukka, as their lack of fitness is due to the fact that the bundles are tied. And even when tied, all of the bundles are fit for use in constructing the walls of the sukka.

גמ׳ א"ר יעקב שמעית מיניה דרבי יוחנן תרתי חדא הא ואידך החוטט בגדיש לעשות לו סוכה אינה סוכה

GEMARA: Rabbi Ya’akov said: I heard explanations from Rabbi Yoḥanan for two similar halakhot of sukka: One with regard to the halakha in this mishna that bundles may not be used in roofing the sukka, and the other with regard to the mishna below, pertaining to one who hollows out space in a stack of grain by removing sheaves from the bottom of the stack to establish a sukka for him. In that case, the space is surrounded by grain on the sides and above, and therefore it is not a sukka.

חדא משום גזרת אוצר וחדא משום תעשה ולא מן העשוי ולא ידענא הי מינייהו משום אוצר והי מינייהו משום תעשה ולא מן העשוי

The rationale for one of the halakhot is due to the decree of the storehouse. Although, fundamentally, the sukka is fit, the Sages issued a decree prohibiting its use, lest one come to use his storehouse as a sukka and fail to establish it properly. And the rationale for one of the halakhot is due to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared, as no active preparation was performed. And I do not know at present which of the halakhot is due to the decree of the storehouse and which of them is due to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared.

א"ר ירמיה ניחזי אנן דאמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר ר' יוחנן מפני מה אמרו חבילי קש וחבילי עצים וחבילי זרדין אין מסככין בהן פעמים שאדם בא מן השדה בערב וחבילתו על כתפו ומעלה ומניחה על גבי סוכתו כדי ליבשה ונמלך עליה לסיכוך והתורה אמרה תעשה ולא מן העשוי מדהא משום גזרת אוצר הא משום תעשה ולא מן העשוי

Rabbi Yirmeya said: Let us see and determine which rationale Rabbi Yoḥanan applied to each halakha; as Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: For what reason did they say that one may not roof a sukka with bundles of straw, and bundles of wood, and bundles of twigs? It is because sometimes a person comes from the field in the evening, and he has his bundle of wood or straw on his shoulder, and he lifts it and places it atop his storage shed to dry it. And, when the festival of Sukkot arrives, he reconsiders and decides to use the shed as a sukka and the bundle on top of it for roofing. And in that case the roofing would be unfit, as the Torah said: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared. From Rabbi Yoḥanan’s formulation, apparently it is unfit due to the decree lest one come to use his storehouse as a sukka and fail to establish it properly, not due to some fundamental prohibition. From the fact that this case of the bundles is prohibited due to the decree of the storehouse, that case of the stack of grain must be prohibited due to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared.

ורבי יעקב הך דרבי חייא בר אבא לא שמיע ליה

The Gemara asks: And why was Rabbi Ya’akov unable to arrive at Rabbi Yoḥanan’s opinion based on the halakha cited in his name? The Gemara explains: It is because he did not hear this statement of Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, and there was no other proof.

אמר רב אשי אטו חבילי קש וחבילי עצים משום גזרת אוצר איכא משום תעשה ולא מן העשוי ליכא והחוטט בגדיש משום תעשה ולא מן העשוי איכא משום גזרת אוצר ליכא

Rav Ashi said: The distinction of Rabbi Yoḥanan between these two cases is difficult. Is that to say that bundles of straw and bundles of wood are unfit roofing due to the decree of the storehouse and not due to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared? Is that ultimately the principle underlying the decree of the storehouse? And on the other hand, in the case of one who hollows a stack of grain, is the sukka unfit due only to the principle: Prepare it, and not from that which has already been prepared, but not due to the decree of the storehouse? Rather, there is no distinction between the halakhot and both reasons apply to both.

ור' יוחנן אמר לך הכא דקתני אין מסככין בהן לכתחלה הוא

The Gemara notes: And Rabbi Yoḥanan could have said to you, in response to Rav Ashi, that it is not so because the halakhot are formulated differently in the respective mishnayot. Here, in the mishna pertaining to bundles, where it teaches: One may not roof with them, it is ab initio