Sukkah 37a:6סוכה ל״ז א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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37aל״ז א

לא מצא ארבעת מינין יהא יושב ובטל והתורה אמרה בסוכות תשבו שבעת ימים סוכה של כל דבר וכן בעזרא אומר (נחמיה ח, טו) צאו ההר והביאו עלי זית ועלי עץ שמן ועלי הדס ועלי תמרים ועלי עץ עבות (ועשו) סוכות ככתוב

According to your reasoning, if one did not find any of the four species to roof his sukka, he will sit idly and fail to fulfill the mitzva of sukka; and the Torah states: “You shall reside in sukkot for seven days” (Leviticus 23:42), meaning a sukka of any material. Likewise, in the book of Ezra, which can refer also to the book of Nehemiah, it says: “Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of a dense-leaved tree, to make sukkot, as it is written” (Nehemiah 8:15). Apparently, a sukka may be constructed even with materials other than the four species.

ורבי יהודה סבר הני לדפנות עלי הדס ועלי תמרים ועלי עץ עבות לסכך ותנן מסככין בנסרין ד"ר יהודה אלמא סיב ועיקרא דדיקלא מינא דלולבא הוא ש"מ

And Rabbi Yehuda holds: These olive branches and pine branches mentioned in the verse were for the walls of the sukka, which need not be built from the four species. Myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of a dense-leaved tree, i.e., again myrtle, all of which are among the four species, were for the roofing. Rabbi Yehuda holds that one may roof the sukka only with the four species. And we learned in a mishna: One may roof the sukka with boards; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. As boards can be produced from one of the four species only if the trunk of the date palm is considered a lulav, apparently, fibers and the trunk of the date palm are the species of the lulav. The Gemara determines: Indeed, conclude from it that this is so.

ומי אמר ר' יהודה ארבעת מינין אין מידי אחרינא לא והתניא סיככה בנסרים של ארז שיש בהן ד' טפחים ד"ה פסולה אין בהן ד' טפחים רבי מאיר פוסל ורבי יהודה מכשיר ומודה רבי מאיר שאם יש בין נסר לנסר כמלא נסר שמניח פסל ביניהן וכשירה

The Gemara wonders: And did Rabbi Yehuda say with regard to the materials fit for roofing a sukka that the four species, yes, they are fit, but other materials, no, they are not fit? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: If one roofed the sukka with cedar [erez] boards that have four handbreadths in their width, everyone agrees that it is unfit. If they do not have four handbreadths in their width, Rabbi Meir deems it unfit and Rabbi Yehuda deems it fit. And Rabbi Meir concedes that if there is between one board and another board a gap the complete width of a board, then one places fit roofing from the waste of the threshing floor and the winepress between the boards and the sukka is fit. Apparently, Rabbi Yehuda permits one to roof the sukka with cedar wood, which is not one of the four species.

מאי ארז הדס כדרבה בר רב הונא דאמר רבה בר רב הונא אמרי בי רב עשרה מיני ארזים הן שנא' (ישעיהו מא, יט) אתן במדבר ארז שיטה והדס וגו':

The Gemara responds: What is the erez to which the mishna refers? It is in fact a myrtle tree, in accordance with that which Rabba bar Rav Huna said, as Rabba bar Rav Huna said that they say in the school of Rav: There are ten types of erez, as it is stated: “I will place in the wilderness the cedar [erez], the acacia-tree, the myrtle, and pine tree; I will set in the plain the juniper, the box-tree, and the cypress all together” (Isaiah 41:19). All the trees listed in this verse are types of cedar, and the myrtle is one of them.

ר' מאיר אומר אפילו במשיחה כו': תניא א"ר מאיר מעשה ביקירי ירושלים שהיו אוגדין את לולביהן בגימוניות של זהב אמרו לו משם ראיה במינו היו אוגדין אותו מלמטה

§ The mishna continues: Rabbi Meir says: One may tie the lulav even with a cord. It is taught in the Tosefta that Rabbi Meir said: There was an incident involving the prominent residents of Jerusalem who would bind their lulavim with gold rings. The Sages said to him: Is there proof from there? They would bind it with its own species beneath the rings, which serve a merely decorative purpose and not a halakhic one.

אמר להו רבה להנהו מגדלי הושענא דבי ריש גלותא בי גדליתו הושענא דבי ריש גלותא שיירי ביה בית יד כי היכי דלא תיהוי חציצה

Rabba said to those who would bind the four species [hoshana] of the house of the Exilarch: When you bind the four species of the house of the Exilarch, leave room for a handgrip on it where there is neither binding nor decoration so that there will not be an interposition between the lulav and the hand of the person taking it.

רבא אמר כל לנאותו אינו חוצץ ואמר רבה לא לינקיט איניש הושענא בסודרא דבעינא לקיחה תמה וליכא ורבא אמר לקיחה על ידי דבר אחר שמה לקיחה

Rava said: That is unnecessary, as any addition whose purpose is to beautify does not interpose. And Rabba said: Let a person not take the four species with a cloth [sudara] around his hand, since I require a complete taking, and there is none in this case due to the interposition between his hand and the lulav. And Rava said: That is not a problem, as taking by means of another object is considered taking.

אמר רבא מנא אמינא לה דלקיחה על ידי דבר אחר שמה לקיחה דתנן אזוב קצר מספקו בחוט ובכוש וטובל ומעלה ואוחז באזוב ומזה אמאי (במדבר יט, יח) ולקח וטבל אמר רחמנא אלא לאו ש"מ לקיחה על ידי דבר אחר שמה לקיחה

Rava said: From where do I say that taking by means of another object is considered taking? It is as we learned in a mishna: One undergoing purification from impurity imparted by a corpse must be sprinkled with purification water with the ashes of the red heifer. If the hyssop used to sprinkle the water was short and did not reach the water in the receptacle, one renders it sufficiently long by attaching a string or a spindle, and then he dips the hyssop into the water, removes it, grasps the hyssop, and sprinkles the water on the one undergoing purification. And why may he do so? Doesn’t the Merciful One say in the Torah: “And a ritually pure person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it” (Numbers 19:18), indicating that one must take the hyssop while dipping it? Rather, may one not conclude from this that taking by means of another object is considered taking?

ממאי דלמא שאני התם כיון דחבריה כגופיה דמי אלא מהכא נפל משפופרת לשוקת פסול

This proof is rejected: From where can that be proven? Perhaps it is different there; since he attached the string to the hyssop, its legal status is like that of the hyssop itself. However, the legal status of the cloth is not like that of the lulav, since it is not attached to the lulav. Rather, the fact that taking by means of another object is considered taking can be learned from here: If the ashes of the red heifer fell from the tube in which they were held into the trough in which the spring water was located, the water is unfit, since taking the ashes and placing them in the water must be performed intentionally.