Sukkah 20a:11סוכה כ׳ א:יא
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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20aכ׳ א

והכי קאמר מחצלת הקנים גדולה עשאה לשכיבה מקבלת טומאה ואין מסככין בה טעמא דעשאה לשכיבה הא סתמא נעשה כמי שעשאה לסיכוך מסככין בה (קטנה עשאה לסיכוך מסככין בה טעמא דעשאה לסיכוך הא סתמא נעשה כמי שעשאה לשכיבה ואין מסככין בה) ואתא ר' אליעזר למימר אחת קטנה ואחת גדולה סתמא כשרה לסיכוך

And this is what the mishna is saying: With regard to a large mat of reeds, if one produced it for the purpose of lying upon it, it is susceptible to ritual impurity, and one may not roof a sukka with it. The reason is that one produced it specifically for the purpose of lying upon it; however, by inference, a mat that one produced without designation becomes as a mat produced for roofing, and one may roof a sukka with it. With regard to a small mat of reeds, if one produced it for roofing, one may roof a sukka with it. The reason is that one produced it specifically for roofing; however, by inference, a mat that one produced without designation becomes as a mat produced for the purpose of lying upon it, and one may not roof a sukka with it. And Rabbi Eliezer comes to say that both a small mat and a large one produced without designation are fit for roofing.

אמר ליה אביי אי הכי ר' אליעזר אומר אחת קטנה ואחת גדולה אחת גדולה ואחת קטנה מיבעי ליה

Abaye said to him: If so, if their dispute is only with regard to a small mat, then instead of saying: Rabbi Eliezer says: Both a small mat and a large mat, the mishna needed to say: Both a large mat and a small mat. In a phrase with the format: Both this and that, one typically mentions the more obvious item first. Why then, does Rabbi Eliezer mention the small mat first, if it is with regard to the small mat that they disagree?

ועוד כי פליגי בגדולה הוא דפליגי ורבי אליעזר לחומרא דתניא מחצלת הקנים בגדולה מסככין בה ר' אליעזר אומר אם אינה מקבלת טומאה מסככין בה

And furthermore, there is proof that when they disagree, it is with regard to a large mat, and Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion is a stringency and not a leniency, as it is taught in a baraita: In the case of a reed mat, with a large mat one may roof a sukka. Rabbi Eliezer says: If it is not susceptible to ritual impurity, one may roof his sukka with it. Apparently, Rabbi Eliezer holds that without designation, one may not roof his sukka with a large mat.

אלא אמר רב פפא בקטנה כולי עלמא לא פליגי דסתמא לשכיבה כי פליגי בגדולה ת"ק סבר סתם גדולה לסיכוך ורבי אליעזר סבר סתם גדולה נמי לשכיבה

Rather, Rav Pappa said: Rava’s proposed resolution is rejected. Rather, with regard to a small mat, everyone agrees that if it was produced without designation, presumably it is for the purpose of lying upon it. When they disagree, is with regard to a large mat: The first tanna holds that a large mat produced without designation is presumably for roofing, and Rabbi Eliezer holds that a large mat produced without designation is also presumably for the purpose of lying upon it.

ומאי עשאה לשכיבה דקאמר הכי קאמר סתם עשייתה נמי לשכיבה עד דעביד לסיכוך

What, then, is the meaning of: If one produced it for the purpose of lying upon it, that Rabbi Eliezer states? This is what he is saying: Making mats without designation is also for the purpose of lying upon it, until one makes it specifically for roofing.

ת"ר מחצלת של שיפה ושל גמי גדולה מסככין בה קטנה אין מסככין בה של קנים ושל חילת גדולה מסככין בה ארוגה אין מסככין בה

§ The Sages taught in the Tosefta: In the case of a mat [maḥatzelet] woven of papyrus or bulrushes, if it is a large mat, one may roof a sukka with it, as it is not typically produced for the purpose of lying upon it. If it is a small mat, one may not roof a sukka with it, as it is typically produced for the purpose of lying upon it. However, with regard to a mat produced of ordinary reeds or reeds specifically used for plaiting, if the mat is plaited with a large, coarse weave, one may roof a sukka with it, as it was certainly not produced for the purpose of lying upon it. If it is woven with a small, fine weave, one may not roof the sukka with it, as typically mats of this sort are woven only for the purpose of lying upon them.

רבי ישמעאל בר' יוסי אומר משום אביו אחת זו ואחת זו מסככין בה וכן היה רבי דוסא אומר כדבריו

Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, said in the name of his father: Both with this plaited mat and with that woven mat, one may roof a sukka, as without specific designation otherwise they are not produced for the purpose of lying upon them, and therefore they are ritually pure. And likewise, Rabbi Dosa would say in accordance with his statement.

תנן התם כל החוצלות מטמאין טמא מת דברי ר' דוסא וחכמים אומרים מדרס

We learned in a mishna there: All types of ḥotzalot can become ritually impure with impurity imparted by a corpse. Since their legal status is that of a vessel, they become a primary source of ritual impurity. This is the statement of Rabbi Dosa. And the Rabbis say: They become impure with the impurity imparted by treading. If a zav lies or sits on one of the ḥotzalot, they become a primary source of ritual impurity, like a chair or bed of a zav.

מדרס אין טמא מת לא והא אנן תנן כל המטמא מדרס מטמא טמא מת אימא אף מדרס

The Gemara asks: Impurity imparted by treading, yes; impurity imparted by a corpse, no? But didn’t we learn in a mishna: Any item that becomes ritually impure with impurity imparted by treading also becomes ritually impure with other types of impurity, including impurity imparted by a corpse, although the reverse is not necessarily so. The opinion of the Rabbis is difficult. The Gemara explains: Emend the mishna and say: They become ritually impure even with the impurity imparted by treading. These mats are not merely nondescript vessels, which become primary sources of ritual impurity through exposure to a corpse, they are vessels designated for sitting and lying upon them, and therefore they also become primary sources of ritual impurity if a zav sits or lies upon them.

מאי חוצלות אמר רב אבדימי בר המדורי מרזובלי מאי מרזובלי אמר ר' אבא מזבלי ר' שמעון בן לקיש אומר מחצלות ממש

The Gemara asks about the term used in the mishna: What is the meaning of ḥotzalot? Rav Avdimi bar Hamduri said: They are marzovelei. The Gemara is unfamiliar with the term and asks: What is the meaning of marzovelei? Rabbi Abba said: They are called mezablei in Babylonia. They are leather sacks used by shepherds to feed their animals. Shepherds place them under their heads when lying down. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says: Ḥotzalot are a different term for actual mats.

ואזדא ריש לקיש לטעמיה דאמר ריש לקיש הריני כפרת רבי חייא ובניו שבתחלה כשנשתכחה תורה מישראל עלה עזרא מבבל ויסדה חזרה ונשתכחה עלה הלל הבבלי ויסדה חזרה ונשתכחה עלו רבי חייא ובניו ויסדוה וכן אמר רבי חייא ובניו לא נחלקו רבי דוסא וחכמים על מחצלות של אושא

The Gemara notes: And Reish Lakish follows his line of reasoning stated elsewhere, as Reish Lakish said: I am the atonement for Rabbi Ḥiyya and his sons, as initially, when some of the Torah laws were forgotten from the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael, Ezra ascended from Babylonia and reestablished the forgotten laws. Parts of the Torah were again forgotten in Eretz Yisrael, and Hillel the Babylonian ascended and reestablished the forgotten sections. When parts of the Torah were again forgotten in Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Ḥiyya and his sons ascended and reestablished the forgotten sections. This expression of deference toward Rabbi Ḥiyya introduces the halakha that Reish Lakish is citing in his name. And so said Rabbi Ḥiyya and his sons: Rabbi Dosa and the Rabbis did not disagree concerning the soft mats of Usha,