Sukkah 14aסוכה י״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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14aי״ד א

יורדין לידי טומאה במחשבה ואין עולין מטומאתן אלא בשינוי מעשה מעשה מוציא מיד מעשה ומיד מחשבה מחשבה אינה מוציאה לא מיד מעשה ולא מיד מחשבה

descend into their state of ritual impurity by means of thought? Although an unfinished vessel ordinarily cannot become ritually impure, if the craftsman decided to leave it in its unfinished state, it immediately assumes the legal status of a completed vessel and can become ritually impure. However, they ascend from their state of ritual impurity only by means of a change resulting from an action. Merely deciding to complete the unfinished vessel does not alter its status. It loses its status as a vessel only when he takes action to complete it. Action negates status created by action and status created by thought; however, thought negates neither status created by action nor status created by thought. Therefore, once the straw of the grain harvested for food is considered a handle and is susceptible to ritual impurity, its status cannot be negated by thought alone.

וכי תימא הני מילי כלים דחשיבי אבל ידות דלצורך אכילה נינהו במחשבה נעשה ובמחשבה סלקא והתנן כל ידות האוכלין שבססן בגורן טהורות (ור' יוסי מטמא)

And if you say: There is a distinction between the cases, as this principle applies only to vessels, which are significant, but with regard to handles that are not independently significant but are merely for the purpose of handling food, perhaps by means of thought they become handles and by means of thought they emerge from that status; but didn’t we learn in the mishna to the contrary? All handles of food that one besasan on the threshing floor are ritually pure, as through one’s actions he indicated that has no use for them and does not consider them significant. And Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure.

בשלמא למאן דאמר בססן התיר אגודן שפיר אלא למאן דאמר מאי בססן בססן ממש מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara elaborates: Granted, according to the one who said that besasan means that one untied their binding, it works out well. Although no action was performed on the sheaves, nevertheless, since their only purpose is to facilitate binding the sheaves, he indicated by unbinding them that the handles no longer suit his needs. However, according to the one who said: What is the meaning of besasan? It means he actually trampled them, what can be said? According to that opinion, only an action can negate the status of the handles. What, then, is the rationale for the opinion of the Rabbis, who hold that thought alone can negate their status?

הכא נמי שבססן ממש אי הכי מאי טעמייהו דאחרים דאמור כרבי יוסי דתנן רבי יוסי מטמא

The Gemara answers: Here too, the dispute between the Rabbis and Aḥerim with regard to using grain for roofing the sukka is in a case where one actually trampled them, and that is the reason that they are no longer susceptible to ritual impurity. The Gemara asks: If so, and a change was made to the grain itself, what is the rationale for the opinion of Aḥerim, who nevertheless prohibit their use as roofing? The Gemara answers: It is because Aḥerim state their opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, as we learned in the previously cited mishna: Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure even after trampling.

האי מאי בשלמא התם טעמא דרבי יוסי חזיא לכדרבי שמעון בן לקיש דאמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש הואיל וראויות להופכן בעתר

The Gemara asks: What is the basis of this comparison between the cases? Granted, there, in the dispute concerning the ritual impurity of the grain on the threshing floor, the rationale for the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, i.e., that the handles remain susceptible to ritual impurity, is that they are suitable for use. This is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, as Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: Even after the grain is trampled the straw suits his needs, since the straw is suited to facilitate turning over the grain with a pitchfork, as the straw prevents the grain from falling between the prongs of the pitchfork.

אלא הכא למאי חזיא חזיא לכי סתר למנקט להו בגילייהו

However, here, where one needs the straw only for roofing the sukka, for what are the handles suited after they have been trampled? They serve no purpose in terms of handling the grain. The Gemara answers: They are suited when one dismantles the roofing, in order to hold the grain by the straw, so that it will scatter. Therefore, Aḥerim hold that the straw remains capable of contracting ritual impurity.

גופא כל ידות האוכלין שבססן בגורן טהורות ורבי יוסי מטמא מאי בססן רבי יוחנן אמר בססן ממש ר' (אליעזר) אומר התיר אגדן

Apropos the dispute between the Rabbis and Rabbi Yosei, the Gemara discusses the matter itself: All handles of food that one besasan on the threshing floor are ritually pure, and Rabbi Yosei deems them capable of becoming ritually impure. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of besasan? Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It means that one actually trampled them under foot. Rabbi Elazar says: It means he untied their binding.

בשלמא לרבי (אליעזר) דאמר בססן התיר אגדן היינו דמטמא רבי יוסי אלא לרבי יוחנן דאמר בססן ממש אמאי מטמא רבי יוסי א"ר שמעון בן לקיש הואיל וראויות להופכן בעתר

The Gemara notes: Granted, according to Rabbi Elazar, who said that besasan means that he untied their binding, this is the reason that Rabbi Yosei deems the handles capable of contracting ritual impurity. However, according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, who said that besasan means that one actually trampled them, why does Rabbi Yosei deem the handles capable of contracting ritual impurity? Didn’t one thereby render them insignificant? Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: Even after the grain is trampled, the straw suits his needs, since the straw is suited to facilitate turning over the grain with a pitchfork.

א"ר (אליעזר) למה נמשלה תפלתן של צדיקים כעתר לומר לך מה עתר זה מהפך את התבואה בגורן ממקום למקום אף תפלתן של צדיקים מהפכת דעתו של הקב"ה ממדת אכזריות למדת רחמנות:

Apropos a pitchfork, the Gemara cites a related aggadic teaching: Rabbi Elazar said: Why are the prayers of the righteous likened to a pitchfork [eter]? It is written: “And Isaac entreated [vayetar] the Lord for his wife, because she was barren” (Genesis 25:21), to say to you: Just as this pitchfork overturns the grain on the threshing floor from place to place, so too, the prayers of the righteous overturn the mind of the Holy One, Blessed be He, from the attribute of cruelty to the attribute of mercy, and He accepts their prayers.

מתני׳ מסככין בנסרים דברי רבי יהודה ורבי מאיר אוסר נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ובלבד שלא יישן תחתיו:

MISHNA: One may roof the sukka with boards like those used in the ceiling of a house; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Meir prohibits their use. If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. He fulfills his obligation, provided he does not sleep beneath the board.

גמ׳ אמר רב מחלוקת בנסרין שיש בהן ארבעה דרבי מאיר אית ליה גזרת תקרה ורבי יהודה לית ליה גזרת תקרה אבל בנסרין שאין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה ושמואל אמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה

GEMARA: Rav said: The dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, the standard size for boards used in house ceilings, as Rabbi Meir is of the opinion that the Sages issued the decree of the roof. In that case, the roofing of the sukka with boards that wide could be confused with a ceiling. If it were permitted to roof the sukka with a board that size, one might come to sleep beneath the ceiling of his own home during the Festival. And Rabbi Yehuda is not of the opinion that the Sages issued the decree of the roof. However, with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is fit. And Shmuel said: The dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width; however, if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit.

אין בהן ארבעה ואפי' פחות משלשה הא קנים בעלמא נינהו

The Gemara asks: According to Shmuel, the dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, and apparently the same would hold true even if their width were less than three handbreadths. In that case, aren’t they merely reeds; why would Rabbi Meir prohibit their use?

א"ר פפא הכי קאמר יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה פחות משלשה דברי הכל כשרה מ"ט קנים בעלמא נינהו כי פליגי משלשה עד ארבעה מר סבר כיון דליתנהו שיעור מקום לא גזרינן ומר סבר כיון דנפקי להו מתורת לבוד גזרינן

Rav Pappa said that this is what Shmuel is saying: If they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that the sukka is unfit. If their width is less than three handbreadths, everyone agrees that the sukka is fit. What is the reason? It is because they are merely reeds. When they disagree in the mishna, their disagreement pertains to a case where the boards are from three to four handbreadths wide. In that case, one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that since they are not the measure of a significant place, we do not issue a decree prohibiting their use. And one Sage, Rabbi Meir, holds that since they have departed from the halakhic status of being joined [lavud], which applies only to gaps of less than three handbreadths, we issue a decree prohibiting their use as roofing.

תנן נתן עליה נסר שהוא רחב ארבעה טפחים כשרה ובלבד שלא יישן תחתיו בשלמא לשמואל דאמר בשאין בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל יש בהן ארבעה דברי הכל פסולה משום הכי לא יישן תחתיו אלא לרב דאמר בשיש בהן ארבעה מחלוקת אבל אין בהן ארבעה דברי הכל כשרה לר' יהודה אמאי לא יישן תחתיו

The Gemara cites proof with regard to the dispute between Rav and Shmuel. We learned in the mishna: If one placed a board that is four handbreadths wide atop the sukka, the sukka is fit. He fulfills his obligation, provided he does not sleep beneath the board. Granted, according to Shmuel, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that do not have four handbreadths in their width, however, if they have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit roofing, it is due to that reason that one should not sleep beneath the board. However, according to Rav, who said that the dispute is with regard to boards that have four handbreadths in their width, however, if they do not have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is fit, according to Rabbi Yehuda, why may one not sleep beneath it?

מי סברת דברי הכל היא סיפא אתאן לרבי מאיר

The Gemara answers: Do you hold that this last halakha in the mishna, about not sleeping beneath the board, is a ruling with which everyone, including Rabbi Yehuda agrees? Rather, in the latter clause of the mishna we have come to the opinion of Rabbi Meir. He alone, not Rabbi Yehuda, holds that one may not sleep beneath the board. Therefore, no proof can be cited from the mishna.

תא שמע שני סדינין מצטרפין

The Gemara cites an additional proof. Come and hear: Two sheets placed over the roofing of the sukka join together to constitute four handbreadths, the measure of unfit roofing that renders a sukka unfit.