Monday, November 03, 2008

Maharil on Maamid

While we are on the topic of Maharil on Succot, we should not an important Maharil on the chumra, or else halacha, of maamid -- that the schach should not be supported by anything which is mekabel tumah. Maharil considers this requirement to be without foundation, for reasons he explains. Of course, halacha may develop or conclude not in accordance with Maharil. Another interesting aspect of this -- the basis is the Rif, and Maharil reveals that he was not in possession of a Rif, and finally was able to determine what their error was in understanding the Rif when he finally got his hands on one.

And a bit about the sefer. Shu"t Maharil, where the following is from, was actually written by the Maharil. In contrast, the more influential sefer Maharil on Minhagim (mentioned in the previous post about Maharil and burning aravot which had covered the succah) was written by a student, based on derashot given by the Maharil and heard by the student.

While I am at it, I might as well record the subsequent teshuva, which is also of interest. It is about using Shabbos belts, for keys made of iron, or silver.

Here is my rough translation of Maharil on maamid (page 80)

A succah in which the sechach is supported with something which is susceptible to ritual impurity, there are those of our Sages who ruled in this land to prohibit, and so did their students rule after them. And from the day that this was related to me that such was ruled in the name of the Alfasi {=the Rif}, I was extremely astounded, for I learned carefully in Asheri {=piskei haRosh} that it was permitted. And I asked them, "if so, how can they place the supports of the sechach upon the window of a wall, which is connected to the ground, or a wall of stones, and many the like?" And they did not answer me anything.

{The implication is that maamid of maamid would be the same; and further that there are two aspects of kosher schach -- it cannot be makebel tumah and cannot be mechubar lekarka, and if one aspect is invalid for maamid, so should the other.}

And in like manner to this the Rosh asked. And I was not able to investigate where the support for this was, until there was directed to my hand today the sefer haAlfasi {=the Rif}, and I found there from where this ruling came. For in the Mishna, Rabbi Yuda and the Sages argue about one who supports {somech} his succah with the legs of a bed, and the Sages permit. And Rav Alfes rules like Rabbi Yehuda. {See here on my Rif blog, in Rif Succah 10a, on Succah 21b -- there is an image of the daf as well, though the Baal HaMaor is very difficult to see.}

And in the gemara, two different Amoraim give explanations, one because he supported it with something which is susceptible to ritual impurity {but one giving a different reason}. And Rav Alfes does not bring the reasons, but Maharaz {=Baal HaMaor, Rabbi Zerachiah ben Isaac Ha-Levi Gerondi} writes in his commentary this reason only, and they learned from there the laws of Succah, and they thought that this is the reason of Rabbi Yuda. And because of this, they ruled to forbid, and they tie the supports of the succah with ropes, and pegs of wood, and leave off pegs of iron.

However, my humble opinion is not so. For the majority of the Geonim ruled like the Sages {and not as the Rif ruled like Rabbi Yehuda}. And even according to Rabbi Yehuda, other Amoraim explain a different reason, and that other reason is the primary one, as the Rosh proves. And so did all my teachers conduct themselves, and there is no doubt here.

And Maharaz {=Baal HaMaor} who wrote this reason, it is because it is the first one, and simpler, that he took it.

But your reason, that all goes after the support, it is not so. For that is stated about that which supports a vessel to receive liquid, which is what Rabbi Meir deals with in the first perek of Shabbat, and we establish like him. But whether the support is the primary part of the vessel, this is a dispute of Rabbi Nechemiah and the Sages in perek Bameh Isha {also in Shabbat}, and their topic is not relevant to here, and we do not learn from there to the matter of Succah, which is attached. And there, they argue in the matter of a vessel, which is the primary part of the vessel. And in the matter of a ring which is attached to a house, he said that it is nullified in respect to the house, and behold it is like it, and we do not go after the support.

And that which you have written that the Mordecha and Rabbi Shmuel require one to wait until midnight {presumably if it is raining}, this is a teshuva of Maharam. But I did not see our teachers conducting themselves so, but rather at the time of eating, we go after that time as is implied in the language of the others of our Rabbis, that a person should assess himself, if he would go out of his house because of pain {/annoyance, aggravation} such as this, such as in the gloss {Hagah} in Maimoni.
And at the top of the next page (pg 81) is the teshuva about Shabbos belts. Note that the siman brought for it is in Melachim Aleph, 20:11:
יא וַיַּעַן מֶלֶךְ-יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר דַּבְּרוּ, אַל-יִתְהַלֵּל חֹגֵר כִּמְפַתֵּחַ. 11 And the king of Israel answered and said: 'Tell him: Let not him that girdeth on his armour boast himself as he that putteth it off.'
with a great pun, and a rereading of choger as chagor, and kimfateach as bemafteach. Heh.


: These are important halachic sources, and are relevant to halacha. But don't rely on these posts, by themselves, as halacha lemaaseh.

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