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A Miracle! But Will It Help Me?

What is the law in a case where a tree miraculously grew in my backyard [unlikely not only because open miracles rarely occur but because I don't have a backyard]. May I cut down the tree and use it as schach? Does the torah require that I use naturally grown schach or does miracle schach work too?

The Kojiklover Rov [Eretz Tzvi Vol. 2 Page 151] asked a similar question. The gemara [Sanhedrin 59b] relates that a Rabbi miraculously created a calf using kabbalistic powers [saves on the meat bill...]. May the skin of this calf be used for the parchment of a sefer torah or tefillin? He cited the gemara in menachos [69b] that teaches that wheat which fell [miraculously] from the clouds may be used for menachos [flour offerings]. Maybe then the same would apply to miraculous skin. And maybe the same would apply to miraculous schach. They may all be used for mitzvos.

But, as they say in the yeshivos "It's not so pashut". The Shlah [cited by the Eretz Tzvi] writes that a kabalistically created animal is not considered an animal and thus doesn't require a kosher shchita. According to him the skin would also not be valid for parchment and a miraculous tree would not be considered a tree at all.

See Sefer Chashukei Chemed on Maseches Succah Page 85 for a discussion.

Conclusion: When it happens - ask a Rov!

It's important to also make the distinction between if the tree miraculously appeared in your backyard or if it miraculously grew there.

because if it miraculously appeared the automatically it's not gidulei karka and not kosher for schach, but if it grew and only the speed of its growth is what is miraculous, then you have a shailah on your hands.


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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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