Sukkah, Gimmel, Part 2
Sukkah, Gimmel, Part 2
Yesterday we learned that according to R. Shmuel b. Yitzchak, Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel disagree about the minimum size of a sukkah. R. Shmuel rules like Bet Shammai, that the sukkah must be at least large enough to hold his head, most of his body and his table. Today, an amora challenges R. Shmuel bar Yitzchak’s statement.
מתקיף לה רב נחמן בר יצחק: ממאי דבית שמאי ובית הלל בסוכה קטנה פליגי? דלמא בסוכה גדולה פליגי, וכגון דיתיב אפומא דמטולתא, ושולחנו בתוך הבית. דבית שמאי סברי: גזרינן שמא ימשך אחר שולחנו, ובית הלל סברי: לא גזרינן.
R. Nahman b. Yitzchak raised a difficulty: How do we know that Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel disagree concerning a small Sukkah? Perhaps they disagree concerning a large Sukkah, and for instance, where he sat at the entrance of the sukkah with his table inside the house: Bet Shammai holds that we prohibit it lest he be drawn after the table, while Bet Hillel holds that we do not prohibit it?
According to R. Nahman b. Yitzchak (perhaps R. Shmuel’s own brother) Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel both might agree that a sukkah must be at least large enough to hold his head, most of his body and his table. The disagreement is only concerning whether he can sit on the edge of his sukkah with his table outside of the sukkah. Bet Shammai worries that if one sits with his table outside of the sukkah he will be drawn to eat outside of the sukkah. Bet Hillel is not worried about this.
ודיקא נמי, דקתני: מי שהיה ראשו ורובו בסוכה ושולחנו בתוך הבית, בית שמאי פוסלין ובית הלל מכשירין. ואם איתא מחזקת ואינה מחזקת מיבעי ליה.
This, furthermore, may be deduced [from the wording of the Mishnah], for it was stated, ‘If his head and the greater part of his body were within the Sukkah but his table was within the house, Beth Shammai declare it invalid, and Beth Hillel declare it valid;’
But if it was [arguing about the size of the sukkah] it ought to says, [If the Sukkah can] contain, or cannot contain [his head, most of his body and his table].
This is a continuation of the above. By reading a mishnah with precision, R. Nahman proves that Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel disagree about where a person sits and not about the minimum size of the sukkah. The mishnah says, “If his…table was within the house…” The description is dealing with how a person sits. If the mishnah wanted to discuss the size of the sukkah, the wording should have been, “if the sukkah can contain” or “if the sukkah cannot contain.” Thus R. Nahman has proven that the debate is over position within the sukkah, not size of sukkah.