ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafSukah 53
SUKA 36-56 (End of Maseches) have been dedicated by the wife and daughters
of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of
Queens N.Y. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will
long be remembered.
(a) At the Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah ...
1. ... the pious men and men of good deeds who had never sinned would say
'Ashrei Yalduseinu, she'Lo Biyshah es Ziknaseinu'?
(b) They both used to say - 'Praiseworthy is the man who did not sin;
someone who did, should do Teshuvah and he will be pardoned.
2. ... whereas the Ba'alei Teshuvah used to say 'Ashrei Ziknaseinu,
she'Kiprah es Yalduseinu'?
(a) Hillel used to say 'Im Ani Ka'an, ha'Kol Ka'an'. 'Ani' - refers to
Hashem (as we explained above on 45a) (see also Tosfos DH 'Im').
(b) He also used to say (though it is not clear that he said this at the
Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah') 'The place that I love, there my feet carry me',
adding - 'If you will come to My house, I will come to your's; if you don't
come to Mine, I won't come to your's'! as it is written in Yisro "Wherever
My Name is mentioned, I will come to you and bless you'
(c) And when he saw the skull of a known murderer floating on the water, he
said - 'Because you drowned others, you were drowned, and the one who
drowned you, will eventually himself be drowned'.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan said that - a man's feet are his guarantors; wherever he
is destined to be (when Hashem wants him there), his feet will take him
there (see Agados Maharsha DH 'Taman' - it is unclear why Rashi restricts
Rebbi Yochanan's statement to where the person is destined to die).
(b) Elicharaf and Achyah, the sons of Shishah - were Shlomoh ha'Melech's
scribes. He sent them to Luz (a town where nobody died) after having been
told by a sad-looking Angel of Death that he had been ordered to kill them.
Not understanding the reason for the Mal'ach ha'Maves' sadness - he sent
them with demons to Luz (thinking that he would save their lives).
(c) As they reached the gates of Luz, they died. The following day, a happy
Mal'ach ha'Maves informed Shlomoh that he had been ordered to kill the two
men at the gates of Luz, but had not known how to get them there. Shlomoh
had played right into his hands, and with the swiftest of Sheluchim.
(d) That is when Shlomoh said - 'A man's feet are his guarantors; wherever
he is destined to be his feet (or whoever acts on their behalf) will take
(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel used to dance at the Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah
with eight fire-brands (others used to dance with eggs or cups of wine). He
also used to perform Kidah (prostrating oneself in a way that only his face
touched the ground, and coming up again without using the force of his hands
- seeing as only the thumbs of his hands were touching the floor).
(b) When Levi attempted Kidah in front of Rebbi - he became lame.
(c) This was a punishment - for having once spoken out harshly against
Hashem - accusing Him of ascending to the heaven and not keeping watch over
His people Yisrael (in spite of the Pasuk in Tehilim "Behold the Guardian of
Yisrael neither sleeps nor slunbers").
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Chananyah, who was a Levi, testified that they did
not sleep for a full seven days during the Sukos festivities. They would go
from the Tamid shel Shachar to Tefilas Shachris, to the Korban Musaf, to
Tefilas Musaf - to the Beis ha'Medrash, to the dining-room, to Tefilas
Minchah to the Tamid shel Bein ha'Arbayim and then to the Simchas Beis
ha'Sho'eivah, which lasted throughout the night.
(b) The literal interpretation of Rebbi Yehoshua's testimony is unacceptable
- on the grounds of Rebbi Yochanan's ruling, that someone who takes an oath
not to sleep for three days, receives Malkos and is permitted to sleep
immediately (seeing as it is impossible to go for *three* days without
sleeping - let alone *seven*).
(c) What he really meant however, is that - they did not sleep *properly*
for the entire seven-day period (only on each other's shoulders).
(a) A certain Rabbi explained that the *fifteen* steps (leading from the
Ezras Yisrael down to the Ezras Nashim) corresponded to the occasion when
David was digging the Shitin for the Mizbe'ach, and the water threatened to
rise and drown the world. David then said the *fifteen* Shir ha'Ma'alos and
the water subsided - in that case, asks Rav Chisda, he should have called
them, not 'Shir ha'Ma'alos', but 'Shir Yordos'?
(b) The correct version of the story therefore is that - David first threw
the Name of Hashem (which he had written on a piece of clay) into the
threatening water, at which it subsided to a depth of sixteen thousand Amos
(a depth that would cause the world to dry up). So he said the fifteen 'Shir
ha'Ma'alos', raising its level by one thousand Amos with each 'Shir
ha'Ma'alos' that he said, until finally, the water levelled off at one
(c) David ha'Melech, not knowing the Halachah, announced that whoever knew
whether it was permitted to write the Name of Hashem in order to save the
world and refused to divulge the ruling, would suffocate. Achitofel
permitted it from a Kal va'Chomer from Sotah - if it was permitted to write
the Name of Hashem and throw it into the water, in order to make peace
between a man and his wife, then it should certainly be permitted to bring
peace to the whole world!
(d) Sometimes, one strikes water much closer to the surface - such as by the
'Ladder of the Euphrates', whose waters are higher (closer to the surface)
than those of most rivers.
(a) They blew the trumpets again when they reached the tenth step - the
Gemara itself is uncertain whether the tenth step is from the top or from
(b) Having stated (with regard to their ancestors) 'their faces to the
east', it was nevrtheless necessary to add 'and their backs to the west' -
because this hints at the additional abomination of exposing themselves and
defacating towards the Heichal.
(c) Rebbi Zeira has taught us that if someone says 'Shema, Shema', it is as
if he was referring to dual deities. 'Anu le'*Kah*, u'le'*Kah* Eineinu' of
Rebbi Yehudah does not have the same connotation - because what they
actually said was 'Anu le'Kah Mishtachavim, u'le'Kah Einieinu Modim' (and
since 'Modim' and 'Mishtachavim' are two different things, it does not have
the connotations of doing the same thing to two deities).
(a) The *minimum* number of blasts daily was twenty-one - three for the
opening of the gates (early in the morning), nine for the Tamid shel Shachar
and nine for the Tamid shel Beis ha'Arbayim.
(b) The *maximum* number - was forty-eight.
(c) Each time they blew nine blasts for the Korban - they would blow three
at the beginning of the Shir, then twice more during the Shir (e.g. after a
third of the way and then, when they reached the two-thirds mark). And each
time the Kohanim blew the trumpets, the people would prostrate themselves to
(a) For the Korban Musaf too - they would blow nine blasts.
(b) The six blasts that they blew on Erev Shabbos were blown in two groups -
three to stop the people from doing work, and three to bring in Shabbos.
(c) The remaining twelve blasts that made up the forty-eight on Erev Shabbos
during Sukos - were all connected to the water-drawing ceremony (to add to
(d) The Kohanim blew three of these blasts when the Kohen (and the group
that was accompanying him) who was about to set out to fill the jar with
water, reached the upper-gate (the Sha'ar Nikanor), three ... when he
reached the lower gate (leading out of the Ezras Nashim on the east), three
when he entered the Azarah through the Sha'ar ha'Mayim, and three when the
Kohanim placed the Aravos on the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach. Their source is the
Pasuk in Yeshayah "u'She'avtem Mayim be'Sason".
(a) Rebbi Yehudah lists the *minimum* number of blasts as *seven*, and the
*maximum* as *eighteen* - because he holds that each set of Teki'ah,
Teru'ah, Teki'ah is considered *one* blast; the Rabbanan hold that they are
1. Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "u'Seka'tem Teru'ah" - that Teki'ah
and Teru'ah are both part of the same note.
(c) Rebbi Yehudah explains that this last case was not really a Mitzvah, but
only a Si'man (so it did not matter that they were only blowing half a
note). The Rabbanan counter this by saying that - although it might have
initialy begun as a Si'man, nevertheless, the Torah has now turned into a
Mitzvah, and it would not issue a command to perform half a Mitzvah, as we
2. The Tana Kama learns from "u've'Hakhil es ha'Kahal, Tiske'u ve'Lo Sari'u"
- that they are two independent notes (otherwise, the Torah would be telling
them to blow half a note.
(a) When Rav Kahana said that there is nothing between the Teki'ah and the
Teru'ah - he meant that no pause is permitted between the Teki'ah and the
Teru'ah (only a minimum of one breath), like Rebbi Yehudah, who considers
them all to be one note.
(b) We might have explained Rav Kahana's statement like the Rabbanan (who
consider them to be two notes) - and what he would then have meant is that
one is not permitted to make a *long break* (like Rebbi Yochanan, who
permits even nine notes in the space of nine hours), but that a short pause
would be permitted.
(c) We reject this contention however - on the grounds that Rav Kahana
should not then have said 've'Lo K'lum', implying that not even a *short
pause* is permitted, like Rebbi Yehudah.