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Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, [1843], at

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§ 1. A succah 1 [booth, the interior of] which is above twenty amoth high, is not valid. 2 R. Jehudah declares it valid. One which is not ten hands high, one which has not three walls, or which has more sun than shade, 3 is not valid. An old succah, Beth Shammai hold to be not valid; but Beth Hillel hold it valid. What is [considered as] an old succah? One that had been constructed thirty days before the festival; but if it has been constructed on purpose for the festival, even though it should be a year old, it is valid.

§ 2. If a man construct his succah beneath a tree, it is as if he had constructed it in the house. Should he construct one succah above another, the upper one is valid, but the lower one is not. R. Jehudah saith, "Should the upper one not be habitable, 4 the lower one is valid."

§ 3. If a cloth be spread over [the roof of the succah as a screen] against the sun, or below [the roof, inside] to catch the falling leaves; or if a man has spread a cloth over a [four post] bed tester 5 [the succah] is not valid; but he may spread a cloth over two bed posts.

§ 4. If a man has trained a vine, or a gourd, or ivy over [the succah], and covered it [according to another version, and covered them the succah is not valid]; but should the covering be more [in substance and extent] than these [the vine, &c.], or if they have been cut [trimmed], it is valid. The rule is, every tiling which contracts uncleanness and does not derive its growth from the ground, must not be used as a cover [to the succah]; but every thing which does not contract uncleanness, and does derive its growth from the ground, is to be used as a cover [to the succah].

§ 5. Bundles of straw, bundles of wood [stalks], and bundles of twigs, they must not [use to] cover [the succah]; all of these [however,

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if the bundles be] untied, are valid. All of these [in bundles] may be used as side-walls.

§ 6. They may cover [the succah] with thin boards [laths]. Such is the dictum of R. Jehudah: but R. Meir prohibits it. If a man has put a deal board four hands wide over the succah, it is valid. provided he do not sleep under it [the deal-board].

§ 7. [If] small rafters, over which there is no ceiling [are to be used for a succah], R. Jehudah saith, "Beth Shammai hold [the rafters must be] loosened, and the middle one out of every three be removed;" but Beth Hillel hold, "He needs either [loosen] the rafters, or remove the middle one out of every three." R. Meir saith, "He must remove the middle one out of every three [rafters], but he needs not loosen [the whole of them]."

§ 8. If a man roof in his succah with iron spits [rods], or the boards of the bedstead, should the interspace between them [covered by some vegetable material] be equal to [or larger than] the space roofed in [by the rods, &c.], it is valid. Should a man pile up loose sheaves, to use as a succah, it is not valid.

§ 9. If a person entwine the sidewalls from the roof downwards, should they not reach the ground by three hands wide, the succah is not valid. [If he has entwined them] from the ground upwards, should they be ten hands high, it is valid. R. José saith, "Even as from the ground upwards ten hands [and the height required by law], so likewise from the roof downward [the height required by law] is ten hands. If the covering be at a distance of three hands above the side walls, the succah is not valid."

§ 10. Should a house have been unroofed, and covered [to constitute a succah], if there be [an interspace of] four amoth between the wall and the [vegetable] covering, it is not valid; [such is] likewise [the case with] a court in which there is a covered passage. If the top of a large succah has been inclosed [covered] with [some] material [which] they must not [use to] cover it, should there be below it [an interspace of] four amoth, the succah is not valid.

§ 11. If a man construct his succah in the shape of a pyramid, or leans [supports] the top against the wall [in a slanting direction], R. Eleazar pronounces it not valid, because it [the succah] has no roof; but the sages declare it valid. A large reed mat which has been made [for the purpose] to sleep thereon, [is liable to] contract uncleanness, and they must not cover a succah therewith; [but if made for the purpose of serving] as a cover [for a succah] they may use it as such, and it does not contract uncleanness. R. Eleazar saith,

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[paragraph continues] "Whether it be large or small, if [such a mat has been] made for [the purpose of] sleeping thereon, it contracts uncleanness, and must not be used as a cover; but if [it has been] made [for the purpose of using it] as a cover, they may use it as such, and it does not contract uncleanness."


130:1 It is a standing rule that the succah must be a temporary habitation, constructed for the use of the festival only, and not a permanent dwelling; and it must represent a detached booth or hut.

130:2 ‏פסול‎, null, not valid, as not being in conformity to the rules and regulations laid down. ‏כשר‎, valid, being in conformity to these rules.

130:3 In which the part open to the rays of the sun exceeds in extent the part which is shaded by the cover.

130:4 Because the floor of the upper [which is the] roof of the lower succah, cannot bear the weight it has to carry.

130:5 As that forms a broad [square] top, which converts the bed into a tent, whereas two bed-posts form a narrow top, which is not considered as a tent.

Next: Chapter II