Sukkah Daf 52‏

May the studying of the Daf Notes be a zechus for his neshamah and may his soul find peace in Gan Eden and be bound up in the Bond of life.

  1. Regarding the eulogy in the future described in the verse, one opinion maintains that the eulogy will be for Moshiach ben Yosef who will be killed at war and a second opinion maintains that the eulogy will be for the evil inclination that will be abolished in the future. The reason here will a eulogy for the evil inclination is because HaShem will slaughter the evil inclination before the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous the evil inclination will appear like a great mountain that is difficult to climb, whereas to the wicked the evil inclination will appear like a strand of hair that can be easily cut. The righteous will cry when they remember how they struggled to overcome the evil inclination, and the wicked will cry when they realize how easy it could have been to overcome the evil inclination. HaShem will also wonder with them at that time. (52a1)

  2. The evil inclination at first appears like the thread of a spider but in the end appears like a cart rope. This means that initially one can resist the temptation to sin, but once a person commits the sin often, it is much more difficult to resist the temptation. The thread of a spider is weak and one can break it easily, and similarly one who confronts sin for the first time can resist the temptation. A cart rope, however, is very strong and is hard to break, and is similar to one who has become accustomed to sin and finds it difficult to resist the temptation of sinning further. (52a1-52a2)

  3. When Moshiach Ben Dovid will  see in the future that Moshiach ben  Yosef will be killed, Moshiach Ben Dovid will ask HaShem for life, and HaShem will respond that Dovid already requested life and HaShem granted him life, as it is said, he asked life of you and you have already granted it to him. (52a2)

  4. The evil inclination has seven names. Its names are: evil, uncircumcised, impure, the enemy, a stumbling block, a stone, and the hidden one. (52a2)

  5. Abaye said that regarding the evil inclination it is said for he has done greatly, and this implies that the evil inclination incites Torah scholars more than anyone else. Proof to this is because Abaye once overheard a man say to a woman, “let us awaken early and travel together.” Abaye decided to follow them to prevent them from sin. Upon reaching a crossroads, they departed from each other by saying, “our paths are far apart from each other and being together would have been nice.” Thus, they ultimately did not commit any sin. Upon witnessing this, Abaye said about himself, “if this would have occurred with myself, I would have been incapable of restraining myself from  sin.” Abaye felt bad about this thought, until an old man came and consoled him, saying, “the greater one is, the greater is his evil inclination.” (52a3)

  6. The evil inclination is constantly seeking to overcome a person, and if not for HaShem protecting the person, one would be unable to withstand the overtures of the evil inclination. (52a3-52b1)

  7. If the evil inclination attempts to  entice a person to sin, he should bring the evil inclination into the study hall, and if he is like a stone he will melt and if he is like iron he will break. This is because Torah is the antidote to the power of the evil inclination. (52b1)

  8. The evil inclination incites one to sin in this world and then testifies against him in the next world. Proof to this is from the verse that states he who pampers his servant from youth shall have him as a ruler (manon) at last. According to the rules of atbach introduced by Rabbi Chiya, a witness is referred to as manon. [The letter aleph equals one and the letter tes equals nine, which is a sum of ten and these two letters can be interchanged. The same follows with beis, which equals two, and ches, which equals eight. When we apply this concept to the word manon, the result is the word sahadah, which means a witness.] Thus, the evil inclination that is pampered in this world will end up bearing witness against the person in the next world. (52b1)


  9. Rava observed: First he (the evil inclination) is called a traveler, then he is called a guest, and finally he is called a man, for it is written: And there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was reluctant to take of his own flock and of his own herd to prepare for the guest, and then it is written: but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.


  10. 10.Rabbi Yochanan remarked: There is a small organ in man which satisfies him when he starves it, and makes him hungry when he satisfies it, as it is written: When they afflicted themselves, they became satisfied.


  11. 11.Rav Chana bar Abba stated: It was said at the Academy: There are four things of which the Holy One, Blessed be He, regrets that He had created them, and they are the following: Exile, the Chaldeans, the Ishmaelites and Evil Inclination.


    The Gemora cites the Scriptural sources to prove that.


  12. 12.R. Johanan remarked If not for these three verses (which testify that it is in God’s Hand to remove the Evil Inclination from us), the feet of Israel’s enemies (a euphemism referring to the Jewish people) would have faltered (for now we are able to argue in judgment that it is God Who caused us to sin, for He created the Evil Inclination). One is that which is written: Whom I have caused to be evil; and one is that which is written: Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel; and one is that which is written: And I will take away the stony heart from your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.



(a) (Rav Chana bar Bizna citing Rabbi Shimon Chasida): The four Charashim-craftsmen are…the Messiah descending from King David, the Messiah descending from the tribe of Yosef, the prophet Eliyahu and the righteous priest.

Question (Rav Sheishes): Then why does the verse refer to these as dispersers when we know them to be gatherers?

Answer (Rav Chana): Read the end of the verse and you will see that the dispersers are the nations whom the four shepherds attack.

(Rav Sheishes, to himself): It is a losing proposition to start up with Rav Chana in matters of homiletics.


The seven shepherds (Michah 5) are… King David in the middle, Adam, Sheis and Mesushelach to his right, and Avraham, Yaakov and Moshe to his left.

The eight princes are… Yishai, Shaul, Shmuel, Amos, Tzephania, Tzidkiyah, the Messiah and Eliyahu.



Question: Did each young Kohen bring up 120 Lug, or were they divided 30 Lug by each of four Kohanim?

Answer (Beraisa): 30 Lug each.

(Beraisa): These were even more choice men than the son of Marsa bas Beisus.

The son of Marsa bas Beisus was able to carry two sides of oxen while walking slowly up the Kevesh.

The other Kohanim did not let him carry them alone in order to fulfil the verse which states that with the multitude of people is the glory of the King.

Question: In what way were these Kohanim superior?

Answer: They carried heavier burdens.

Question: Not heavier than sides of an ox!

Answer: They carried their load up a ladder, not up a ramp.



Mechcitzah in Shul

The Mishnah stated that at the end of the first day of Sukkos they went down to the Women’s Courtyard and they made a great adjustment. The Gemara explains that originally the Women’s Courtyard was smooth and at a later date they surrounded it with a  balcony. They decreed that the women should  sit above in the balcony and the men below so they should not mingle with each other A Baraisa states that originally the women watching the Simchas Bais Hashoeva would be inside the Women’s Courtyard and the men observing would be on the outside but this led to frivolity. They then instituted that the women should be on the outside and the men should be on the inside but there was still frivolity, so they decreed that the women should be above and the men below.


Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Orach Chaim 1:39) writes that the primary purpose of a mechitza , a barrier, is not to prevent the men from looking at the women. He proves this from our Gemara which states that the balcony was instituted because of frivolity that transpired between the men and the women. Rav Moshe writes further that the balcony they constructed did not consist of a dividing wall and the women could still be seen. Although it is true that the men standing directly underneath the balcony could not see the women, the men dancing in the middle were able to see the women. Thus, the purpose of the balcony was to prevent intermingling and frivolity. Rav Moshe rules that the most preferable mechitza in a synagogue would be a balcony. If is not possible to erect a balcony, they should erect a dividing wall that is at least eighteen tefachim high. This will not prevent the women from being seen, but it will prevent intermingling and levity.
The Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna here indicates that the balcony was constructed in order to prevent the men from seeing the women. In his commentary to the Mishna in Middos, the Rambam writes that the balcony was erected because of the concern that the men and women would mingle. The Tosfos Yom Tov writes that the men standing under the balcony could not see the women and the men that were dancing in the middle were pious and saintly and there was no need to be concerned that they would be frivolous. Yet, this is quite perplexing as we know that the evil inclination can never be underestimated.


There is a well-known story regarding Rav Elya Lopian, who despite being a great Torah scholar and was very pious, was still concerned about entertaining any immoral thoughts. A student of Reb Elya once sought permission to attend a wedding. Rav Elya questioned the student regarding the modesty of the women who would be attending the wedding. The student, who was well aware of the challenge that he would be facing, began to justify his attendance by declaring that he would be seated at a special table with his parents and he ended his rationalization by stating that the immodesty would not have an effect on him. When Reb Elya heard this, he was very disturbed and he told the student, “listen, I am already over eighty years old, and blind in one eye, yet despite all these factors, when I walk in the street I am still fearful that I will perhaps inadvertently succumb to even the slightest temptation of immorality. How is it, then, that you, a young boy with two good eyes, can honestly tell me that immodesty will not have an effect on you?!” The Piskei HaRid writes that there was a wall in the Bais HaMikdash that was constructed in a manner that the men could not see the women but the women were still able to see the men, similar to a one-way mirror.





Names of the Evil Inclination


The Gemara states that the evil inclination has seven names. Why is it important for us to know that the evil inclination has seven names?


I once heard from my Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller, Rosh HaYeshiva of Telshe in Chicago, that when Yaakov encountered the angel of Esav, Yaakov inquired as to the name of the angel. The angel responded, “why then do you inquire of my name?” The obvious question is, why did Yaakov inquire of the angel regarding his name, and why did the angel refuse to divulge his name? The answer is that Yaakov was not merely seeking to validate the name of the angel. Yaakov was saying to the angel, “you are the evil inclination, and you are my enemy. I need to know your name, i.e. your nature, so I and my descendants can know how to do battle with you throughout the generations.” The angel responded, “you cannot fight me, because I always appear with a different name, i.e. in every generation a new group arises that attempts to topple the citadel of Torah and its observance.” Similarly, the Gemara here records the various names of the evil inclination, so we can actually discern its true nature and battle with him until we are successful in vanquishing him.

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