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Sukah 24

SUKAH 21-25 - my brother Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored one month of Dafyomi publications for the benefit of Klal Yisrael


QUESTION: Earlier (23a), the Gemara quotes a Beraisa in which Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah argue concerning a Sukah built with an animal as one of the walls. Rebbi Meir says that such a Sukah is Pasul, and Rebbi Yehudah says that it is acceptable. To explain Rebbi Meir's opinion, two reasons were suggested, which the Gemara refuted. Rav Acha bar Yakov now offers another reason. According to the second version of Rav Acha bar Yakov's statement, Rebbi Meir disqualifies such a Sukah because any Mechitzah that is not made by man is not a valid Mechitzah.

Why is it, though, that an animal that is positioned in place to serve as a Mechitzah is not considered made by man? The person takes the animal and places it at the side of the Sukah, and thus the person *did* make the Mechitzah! It must be that according to Rebbi Meir, the material of the Mechitzah itself must be processed by man and not just put in its place by man. If so, a Sukah which has a tree as one of its walls should also be invalid according to Rebbi Meir. But the Mishnah (24b) clearly states that trees may be used as walls for a Sukah. (SEFAS EMES)

ANSWER: The SEFAS EMES points out that TOSFOS (Eruvin 15a, DH Tel) explains that when Rav Acha bar Yakov says that Rebbi Meir holds that a Mechitzah must be made by man in order to be a valid Mechitah, he does not mean that the material itself has to be man made. Rather, he means that it must be the type of material that *can be* made by man. The only item which is considered something that cannot be made by man is a living thing, since it is impossible for man to create a living being. Any other object, though, is valid as a Mechitzah, even though that object itself was not processed by human hands, such as a tree, since it is possible to process wood. This is also what Rashi probably means here (DH Ru'ach Chaim), that it is impossible for a person to fill up something with Ru'ach Chaim (whereas with regard to wood, a person can nail it together in the shape that he wants).


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