ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafSukah 51
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) According to Rebbi Meir (in the Mishnah in Erchin), it was the slaves of
the Kohanim who played the instruments whilst the Korban was being brought;
according to Rebbi Yossi, it was members of distinguished families of
Yisrael, and - according to Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos it was the Levi'im.
(b) If the basis of their Machlokes is that Rebbi Meir holds 'Ikar Shirah
be'Peh', and Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos, 'Ikar Shirah b'Ch'li' - how will we
explain Rebbi's reasoning?
(c) We conclude that each one holds that *that* is how they happened to do
it. They all hold 'Ikar Shirah be'Peh'.
(d) We nevertheless learn from ...
1. ... Rebbi Meir, who says that it was slaves who played the instruments -
'Ein Ma'alin mi'Duchan le'Yuchsin' (that playing the instruments by the
Duchan was *not* a mark of Yichus (since the player could even have been a
2. ... Rebbi Yossi, who said that it was only Kasher families who played -
that it *was* 'Ma'alin mi'Duchan le'Yuchsin.
3. ... Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos, according to whom it was Kasher Levi'im
who played, that - whoever played was a Kasher Levi, both as regards Yichus,
and as regards receiving Ma'aser in the granaries.
(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba disagrees with Rav Yosef (on the previous Amud).
According to him, both Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabbanan agree,
that the instruments were considered an Avodah, and that they overrode
Shabbos. The Machlokes, in his opinion, concerned playing by the Simchas
Beis Hasho'eivah - Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah holds that even the
additional Simchah that is derived from the instruments overrides Shabbos;
whereas the Rabbanan maintain that this is not a real Mitzvah, and does not
therefore override Shabbos.
(b) The Tana of a Beraisa, who quotes the Machlokes with regard to the
instruments of the Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah, corroborates Rebbi Yirmiyah bar
Aba, and proves Rav Yosef wrong. We try to establish their Machlokes by the
Shir shel Korban *too*, (in order not to disprove Rav Yosef - who maintains
that *that* is where they argue - wrong on *two* scores). Nevertheless, the
Tana chooses to present their argument specifically by the instruments of
the Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah, and not by the Korban - to teach us just how
far Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah goes, in permitting the playing of
(c) We finally establish from the Lashon of the Tana in our Mishnah '*Zehu*
Chalil shel Beis Hasho'eivah, she'Eino Docheh Lo es ha'Shabbos ... ' that -
it is only the Chalil of the *Beis Hasho'eivah* that does *not* override
Shabbos, but that by the *Shir of the Korban*, it *does*. Now the author of
this statement can only be the Rabbanan (seeing as, according to Rebbi Yossi
b'Rebbi Yehudah, the Chalil of the Beis Hasho'eivah too, overrides Shabbos)
- a clear proof for Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba, and a disproof for Rav Yosef
even as regards playing the instruments by the *Shir for the Korban*, which
we now see that the Rabbanan concede.
(a) The opinion that holds that the main Shirah is ...
1. ... the *singing*, explains the Pasuk which writes with regard to the
singing "ve'al-Yedei *K'lei* David Melech Yisrael" - to mean that the
instrumentalists gave the singers their cue to begin singing.
(b) The "Mechatzerim" - were the two Kohanim who played the trumpets when
the Temidin and the Musafin were brought, but not by the Simchas Beis
Hasho'eivah (though the Mishnah will shortly include trumpets among the
instruments that were used there).
2. ... *playing the instruments*, explains the Pasuk there "Vayehi ke'Achad
la'Mechatzerim *ve'la'Meshorerim*" - to mean that just as la'Mechatzerim
refers to instruments, so too, does "ve'la'Meshorerim".
(a) Someone who did not see the 'Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah' - says the Tana
of our Mishnah - never saw Simchah in his life.
(b) The Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah took place in the Ezras Nashim - and they
made the big Tikun there on the previous evening (on Motza'ei Yom-Tov
(c) The Tana says that they went *down* there - he meant that Kohanim and
Levi'im *descended* from the Ezras Yisrael to the Ezras Nashim - because it
was slightly lower down on the Har ha'Bayis).
(d) Each of the giant Menoros contained - four basins and four ladders led
up to each basin.
(a) It was young Kohanim who ascended these ladders - holding between them
bowls of a hundred and twenty Lug (hinting to the light of Moshe Rabeinu's
Torah - Tosfos Yom-Tov).
(b) They made the wicks out of the worn-out pants and belts of the Kohanim.
(c) The Tana, describing the extent of light that emanated from these lamps,
explains how - there was not a courtyard in Yerushalayim that was not
illuminated from their light.
(d) The Chasidim and Anshei Ma'aseh used to dance in front of the crowds who
had come to celebrate, juggling fire-brands, and singing songs of praise.
(a) The Levi'im played on a variety of instruments (various types of harps,
cymbals and trumpets etc.) - on the fifteen steps that led down from the
Ezras Yisrael to the Ezras Nashim.
(b) The fifteen steps - corresponded to the fifteen Shir ha'Ma'alos in
(c) Two Kohanim were standing by the upper-gate (Sha'ar Nikanor - Tosfos
Yom-Tov) that separated between the Ezras Yisrael and the Ezras Nashim -
their function was to blow the trumpets, details of which will appear later
in the Sugya.
(d) When the man (Gevini K'ruz) gave the signal (or the rooster crowed) -
the Kohanim blew a Teki'ah, Teru'ah, Tek'iah, which was, in turn, a signal
to proceed to the Shilo'ach to fill the jar with water for the Simchas Beis
(a) According to our Tana, they blew the trumpets two more times - when they
(the Kohen designated to fill the jar of water from the Shilo'ach, together
with his entourage) reached the tenth step, and again, when they reached the
floor of the Ezras Nashim.
(b) The Kohanim would continue blowing the last set of 'Teki'ah, Teru'ah,
Teki'ah' - until they reached the eastern gate of the Ezras Nashim.
(c) When they reached the Eastern-gate - they would turn round towards the
west and announce: 'Our fathers who were in this same location, turned their
backs to the Heichal and faced the east, to bow down to the sun. But our
eyes are turned to Hashem'.
(d) According to the Tana Kama, they ended with the words 'Anu le'Kah
Eineinu'. According to Rebbi Yehudah, they would say - 'Anu le'Kah, u'le'Kah
(a) The Tana says about someone who did not see ...
1. ... Yerushalayim in the time of its glory - never saw a beautiful city in
(b) This is referring to the *second* Beis Hamikdash - after it had been re-
built by Herod.
2. ... the Beis Hamikdash before its destruction - never saw a glorious
building in his life.
(c) He used various colored marble-stones, and the rows of stones were
staggered (one in, and one out).
(d) He wanted to overlay it with gold - but the Rabbanan told him to leave
it as it was, because it resembled the (different colors of the) waves of
the sea, and was more beautiful the way it was.
(a) The Tana says about someone who did not see the '*D'yu*flustun' of
Alexandria - that he never saw the glory of Yisrael. '*D'yu*flustun' means
that it had a double row of sophisticated seats built for the community
leaders (such as Yochanan ben Kerei'ach and the army officers who went to
live there after the Churban).
(b) A Basilki is a tall palace.
(c) The Shul seated one million, two hundred thousand people.
(d) The seventy-one thrones - corresponded to the seventy members of the
seventy-one elders who sat on the Beis-Din ha'Gadol.
(a) The seating plan of Alexandria's gigantic Shul was unusual - inasmuch as
all the people who belonged to a particular trade or profession would sit
together (blacksmiths, goldsmiths, weavers etc.). The purpose of this
arrangement was to enable strangers who arrived in town to find their place
in Shul, and subsequently to find work.
(b) The large wooden platform in the middle of the Shul was used by a man
with a flag - who would wave it as the Chazen finished each Berachah,
enabling even those congregants who were too far away to hear the Chazen, to
answer 'Amen' (provided they kept track of which Berachah he was reciting).
(c) A King called Alexander (not Alexander Mokdon, who built it) destroyed
it - because they contravened the Pasuk in Shoftim "Lo Sashuv ba'Derech
ha'Zeh Od" (forbidding Jews to go and live in Egypt).
(d) When King Alexander entered the city, he found them reading the Pasuk
"Yisa Hashem Alecha Goy me'Rachok". Alexander saw in this Pasuk, a sign to
destroy it - because he should have taken ten days to arrive, but a strong
wind brought him there in five.
(a) The big Tikun that they made in the Ezras Nashim - was to build a
balcony for the women to stand.
(b) First they tried placing the women *inside* (in the Ezras Nashim) and
the men *outside* (in the large yard of the Har ha'Bayis and the Chil) - but
this only led to lightheartedness. And the same happened when they tried
reversing them, the men *inside* and the women *outside*.
(c) It did not seem right to add these balconies to the walls of the Beis
Hamikdash - because when David handed over the plans for the Beis Hamikdash
to his son Shlomoh, he said to him "ha'Kol bi'Ch'sav mi'Yad Hashem Alai
Hiskil". None of the plans were his own.
(d) We finally justify the Tikun - from a Pasuk in Zecharyah - because if
the Navi speaks of separating men and women by a *Hesped* (where the Yeitzer
ha'Ra is naturally not so strong, and where anyway, the Yeitzer ha'Ra will
have already have *been killed* (as we shall soon see), then how much more
so in the time of *rejoicing* and *nowadays*, where the Yeitzer ha'Ra is not
only alive and well, but very much more potent.