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Mental Issues

I heard that in the Arab world if a man wants to marry a woman he must build a house for the two of them and only then will her father agree to give his daughter over in marriage. I am Jewish, so I am better at owning houses than I am at building them with my two hands. But every year, I build a temporary home in which I live for seven days. I have a name for it. I call it a "Succah".

The gemara in Succah [4a] talks about a person who wants to reduce the height of his succah [that is too high] by spreading straw [or dirt] on the floor and "being mevatel" [abandoning it]. Rashi adds that this "bittul" must be done verbally. The gemara doesn't say that. If I would have read the gemara without Rashi I would have said that it is enough to mentally [b'lev] abandon the straw. The gemara in Pesachim [7a and Rashi on 4b] says that when we nullify chametz [bittul chametz] it can be done mentally. So why regarding Succah does Rashi require a verbal declaration?

I cheated and found various answers online.
http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol07/v07n004.shtml#25 (near bottom)

Don't look if you want the enjoyment of solving it yourself...

Dear Beisrunner

Do you live here or in the US? [just curious]

In northern Israel

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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