Monday, September 24, 2007

Succot and Eretz Yisrael

It once occurred to me that there are two positive mitzvot in all the Torah that can be done while sleeping: Succah and Yishuv HaAretz. This was a yearly vort that I would give people until I found it worded slightly differently in the name of the GR"A in the first chapter of Kol HaTor: There are two mitzvot that a person enters in to with their entire body: Succah and Eretz Yisrael. The mitzvah of Succah is that it should be made, and not from what is already made (Aseh v'lo min he'asuy), and thus it is for Tzion (that the building of Tzion/Eretz Yisrael requires doing from Am Yisrael). May we all be zocheh to perform these two mitzvot in their shleimut during the coming Chag!


  1. There is a third: mikvah. Interestingly, according to hilchot rambam, one is purified only after leaving the mikva. Similarly, we enter the sukkah, but are required to leave and may not dwell within. Eretz Yisrael? Perhaps it is Torah that must leave; perhaps it was the galut 2000 years ago?

    thanks for your posts.
    chag sameach,

  2. It seems to me in my humble opinion that the Mikvah is not a mitzvah (at least according to the Rambam) due to it being a regulation on *how* to become tahor if needed. There is no mitzvah to be tahor, however it is a required action to fulfill other mitzvot.

    I personally went without mikvah for a couple of years, I had to be careful due to surgery to not get water in my ears. I did not miss any d'oraita mitzvah.

    It is somewhat analogous to Shmitah. I could say that Shmitah is the mitzvah active for the longest amount of time. You could then turn around and say that Nezirut can be for an entire life, but no one is required to take such an oath.

    Interesting idea regarding leaving the Succah. Chag Sameach!

  3. I am wondering if you are referring to mikva for a man, a woman, or both?

    Since we have access to no other way to become tahor other than mikva, even though it's a precondition to fulfilling a mitzvah, how is it possible to separate them?

    In any case, I have only 2 minutes to post the question! Be well and chag sameach! sme

  4. There may not be a requirement to go to the mikvah per se, but you have to go in order to bring the korban Pesach which is a mitzvah aseh d'Oraita (and we should merit to *have* to bring it this coming Pesach!)

  5. These are all incidentals. If a Cohen is brought up in tahorah and comes in contact with nothing that can receive tum'ah, then theoretically such a Cohen would be ideal to shecht the parah adumah when the time comes. A person need not become tameh ever in his life. Of course those of us who have been to Chutz La'Aretz receive tumah from that, as well as anyone who has been to a cemetary or hospital. Purification (becoming tahor) is dependent on a need, which is not obligatory.

    Anyway, my drash about sleeping and doing the mitzvah still stands :)

  6. Does a person enter the mitzvah of yishuv haaretz with this enite body? I'm not quite sure what that means. I have also heard this b'shem the Gra but I would really like to see his lashon inside. Maybe you can tranliterate it. If a person is floating above EY, are they sorrounded by EY? Maybe yes. But if not, when a person stands on EY, he is also not surrounded.

  7. And stam a zoi, you are saying something interesting that I think needs hesbir. We know that mitzvos tzrichos kavana. So a person that is sleeping is not cabable of kavana. But, I think you are correct that he is still m'kaim the mitzvah at that time that he is sleeping. However, I am not sure why. At the time he went to sleep, he was m'kaim the mitzvah, but why is he still m'kaim it when he is sleeping? I'm sure someone talks about it.

  8. Regarding sleeping and doing a mitzvah: I learned it in Brachot Yerushalmi (2:3) mashma that one needs to make 1 brachah of leishev basukkah at the beginning of sukkot, so the sleep is not thought of as a hefsek for the kiyum mitzvah.

    Regarding the lashon from Kol HaTor:

    שתי המצוות שהאדם נכנס בהן שלם בכל גופו הן סוכה וארץ ישראל

    I remember seeing this elsewhere but I don't remember offhand. Perhaps the GR"A on Moadim would have this as well.