Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Sukkah 29

Today's daf contains the Gemara's explanation of a parable contained in a Mishna found on Sukkah 28b. The Mishna first discusses how much rain must fall before a person can leave a sukkah to finish a meal indoors. Immediately thereafter, the Mishna relates a parable that compares the rain falling on the residents of a sukkah to a slave who comes to mix wine for his master and the pitcher of water is poured out on his face.

The Gemara on 29a notes that the Mishna does not actually define who is pouring the water. Rashi explains that it could be that the servant is clumsy and winds up tripping and pouring the water on his master. However, the Gemara determines that it is the master who pours the water on the servant's face. In so doing he is saying "I do not want your service."

One of my favorite vorts on Sukkos is the Vilna Gaon's explanation on what it means if the rain falls while one is in the sukkah on the first night of Sukkos. He explains that Sukkos falls after the judgment period of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These are times of serious judgment. After we have been judged for the good, the holiday of Sukkos comes and we rejoice that Hashem has cleansed us and taken us back.

The concept of the mixing of the wine runs parallel to the judgment/acceptance theme. The wine in the times of the Gemara was far too strong to drink undiluted. As such, they would add water to the wine in order to "sweeten" it. Once diluted with water, the wine was drinkable. However, if the water was not added, the wine was undrinkable.

The Gaon explains that if Hashem pours the water out on those sitting in the sukkah, He is in effect stating - I did not accept your teshuva and you will be subject to din, as personified by the strong wine.

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Yaakov said...

I missed these looking forward to more.Check out Rabbi Elefant shiur for the halachos of how much rain needs to fall in your succah.For example does it need to be porridge that is ruined or any food.

Neil T said...

Thanks so much!