(a) GEMARA - Maseches Sukah follows Yoma in the Dafyomi cycle as well as in the order of the Vilna Shas, the Mishnayos, and the order given to them by Rambam (in his introduction to the Perush ha'Mishnah). This is also consistent with the pattern of larger-Maseches-first which we discussed in our introduction to Maseches Tamid (I:a), as Shekalim (8 Perakim) is followed by Yoma (also 8), Sukah (5), Beitzah (5), Rosh Hashanah (4), Ta'anis (4) and so on.
The five chapters of Maseches Sukah are dedicated to the Mitzvos of the festival of Sukos and related topics. The first two Perakim discuss the Halachos of the Mitzvah of Sukah. The third and fourth Perakim discuss the details of the Mitzvah of the Arba Minim. The fifth Perek discusses the Korbanos of the festival, as well as Shemini Atzeres, and the special practice of the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah of Sukos.
It has been said in the name of the Vilna Gaon that the very name of the Maseches divulges the Halachic properties of the Sukah. The three letters which comprise the word Sukah, Samech-Kaf-Heh, demonstrate the different Halachically acceptable Sukos: the Sukah with four walls (the shape of a "Samech"); with three walls (like a "Kaf"), and with two walls which meet each other, and another partial wall (the "Heh," see Sukah 7a). It has also been said that the Vilna Gaon once proclaimed that the number of valid Sukos described in the Bavli, Yerushalmi and Tosefta number 91, the Gematria of the word "Sukah" when spelled "full," i.e. with a Vav. The invalid Sukos recorded in those sources number 85, the Gematria of the word "Sukah" when spelled "lacking," i.e. without a Vav.
(b) RASHI - The style of Rashi in this Maseches is similar to his style in the rest of Shas. A commentary has been printed on the first Perek of Sukah which appears to have been written by a Talmid or close associate of Rashi (perhaps Rabeinu Shemaya, according to its annotator). At times, the Ritva quotes Rashi as saying something which does not appear in our texts of Rashi but does appear in this commentary. (The commentary refers to Rashi as "my Rebbi" in four places.) This commentary was discovered on a parchment in Spain which included the commentary of Rashi on the rest of Sukah, aside from the first Perek. It appears that the compiler of that manuscript was missing Rashi's commentary to the first Perek and he therefore substituted a commentary from another early commentator which he recognized by its style to have come from the school of Rashi. The commentary has been printed by Ephraim Kupfer through the Mekitzei Nirdamim Society, under the title "Perushei Maseches Pesachim v'Sukah mi'Beis Midrasho Shel Rashi," Yerushalayim 1984.
(c) TOSFOS - The Tosfos printed with Maseches Sukah was clearly written by Rabeinu Shimshon of Shantz (the "Rash," brother of the Ritzba), author of a well-known commentary on Mishnayos Zera'im and Taharos and possible author of a commentary on the Toras Kohanim. This is evident from the comparison between Tosfos in Sukah and the Rash in Taharos or Zera'im, on those Sugyos that pertain to such issues (cf. Tosfos 4a DH Bayis, 16a DH Mitah, etc.). Rabeinu Shimshon, originally from Sens, France, moved to Eretz Yisrael in his later years.
(This section includes a roughly chronological listing of Rishonim who wrote a Daf-by-Daf commentary on the Maseches. We have included some of the less familiar commentaries even though they were written on the Rif and not on the Maseches itself.)
(1) EARLY, PRE-RASHI COMMENTARIES(a) RABEINU CHANANEL - Rabeinu Chananel ben Chushiel, lived in the 11th century. His father, Rabeinu Chushiel, was one of the famous "four captives" (a group of Roshei Yeshivah who were captured by pirates and redeemed separately by communities along the Mediterranean coast). He was redeemed from bondage in Kirouan, North Africa, and it was there that Rabeinu Chananel was born. Rabeinu Chananel's commentary on Sukah appears in the margins of the Vilna Shas, and it was recently reprinted from manuscript with annotations by Rav David Metzger (Wagschal, Yerushalayim).
(2) SPAIN (ARAGON)(a) RAMBAN - Rabeinu Moshe ben Nachman lived in the 1200's (d. 1270) and was a student of the RAMAH (Rabeinu Meir ha'Levi Abulefia). Although he authored abundant Chidushim on other Masechtos, he has only a page or two of Chidushim on Maseches Sukah. In addition to the small number of Chidushim on Sukah, the Ramban wrote a Halachic compendium relating to the third Perek of Sukah, "Hilchos Lulav," or "Lulav ha'Gadol" (a response to the Ra'avad's "Hilchos Lulav") see below II:6:b. This should be learned in conjunction with the Ramban's "Milchamos Hashem" on the Rif.
A few pages of Chidushim written by a student of the Ramban have been printed in the Otzar ha'Poskim print of the Ramban's Lulav ha'Gadol, see below II:6:b. (These were originally published from manuscript in New York (1971) in the Sefer ha'Zikaron for Rav Shmuel Kalman Mirsky.) In addition, a few pages of the "Chidushei Talmid ha'Ramban" on Sukah (from 25b until 34b) are printed at the end of Rav Blau's RABEINU AVRAHAM MIN HA'HAR on Sukah (see below II:3:f).
(b) RE'AH - Rabeinu Aharon ben Yosef ha'Levi of Barcelona, who lived at the turn of the thirteenth century, authored a commentary on the Rif on a number of Masechtos and the Sefer ha'Chinuch (see our introduction to Berachos). The Re'ah was a student of the Ramban, a colleague of the Rashba, and the teacher of the Ritva. The Chidushim of the Re'ah on Sukah were published from manuscript by Rav Moshe Herschler with annotations in Ginzei Rishonim (Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli, 1981).
(c) RITVA - Rabeinu Yom Tov ben Avraham Al'ashvili, who lived in the 1300's, was a close disciple of the Re'ah and, later, of the Rashba. His commentary on Maseches Sukah was first printed in error under the title of Chidushei Rashba. Actually, the Rashba's Chidushim on Sukah have not yet been found, and the Chidushim on Sukah included until today in the common sets of the Rashba were written by the Ritva, and not the Rashba. This is evident by comparison with the style and works of the Ritva elsewhere, as many have pointed out (such as Rav Elchanan Wasserman, in his introduction to Kobetz He'aros). It has now been printed under the proper name by Mosad ha'Rav Kook (with annotations of Rav Eliyahu Lichtenstein). Since we are missing most of the usual Daf-by-Daf commentaries of the Spanish Rishonim for this Maseches (e.g. the Ramban, Rashba and Chidushei ha'Ran), the Ritva's commentary on Sukah is especially important.
(3) PROVENCE & NARVONA(a) SHITAS RIVAV - Rabeinu Yehudah bar Berechyah of Provence, son of the Ba'al ha'Me'or's brother, wrote a commentary on the Rif on many Masechtos which is printed alongside the Rif. He often uses (without quoting by name) the words of Rashi, making his work an excellent source for verifying the proper Girsa in Rashi.
(b) RABEINU YEHONASAN MI'LUNIL - Lived in the early 1200's and learned under the Ra'avad. His commentary of Sukah is included in the one-volume printing of his Chidushim on 21 Masechtos of Shas, and in Rav Moshe Herschler's Ginzei Rishonim (Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli, 1981).
(c) SEFER HA'HASHLAMAH - Rabeinu Meshulam ben Moshe wrote Sefer ha'Hashlamah on the Rif in order to complement the Rif's commentary by adding the Halachos that were not discussed by the Rif. He died in 1238. His commentary is included in Rav Moshe Herschler's Ginzei Rishonim (Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli, 1981).
(d) SEFER HA'ME'OROS - by Rabeinu Meir bar'Rebbi Shimon ha'Me'ili of Narvona. His commentary was reprinted with annotations by Rav Moshe Yehudah Blau (New York, 1967).
(e) SEFER HA'MICHTAM - Rabeinu David ben Levi lived at the turn of the fourteenth century and learned under his father, Rabbeinu Levi ben Benveneshti. His commentary on the Rif of Maseches Sukah was printed and annotated by Rav Avraham Sofer (Hadar Press, N.Y. 1959).
(f) RABEINU AVRAHAM (BEN HARAV YITZCHAK) MIN HA'HAR - that is, from Montpellier, a contemporary of the Ramban and the Rashba. A major goal of this commentary is to explain each Sugya according to the Rambam. His citations of Rashi sometimes contain variants from the Rashi printed in our Gemaras. The author of this manuscript appears to be the author of the commentaries "Tosfos Rid" and "Tosfos Ri ha'Zaken" which are printed in the margins of Maseches Gitin and Kidushin respectively. His commentary on Maseches Sukah was published from the author's own manuscript by Rav Moshe Yehudah ha'Kohen Blau (New York, 1975 -- includes Chidushei Talmid ha'Ramban on Sukah, mentioned above II:2:a).
(g) ME'IRI - Rabeinu Menachem ben Shlomo (d. 1315) wrote his comprehensive Halachic work, "Beis ha'Bechirah," on 37 Masechtos of Shas. A student of the Rashba, he sometimes even cites from commentaries as late as those of the Ritva. Almost never mentioning another Rishon by name, the Meiri created "nicknames" for the commentators from whom he often cites, such as "Gedolei ha'Rabanim" for Rashi, etc. A convenient list of these, along with their true identities, can be found at the beginning of the Beis ha'Bechirah on Beitzah.
(h) SEFER HA'AGUDAH - a Sugya by Sugya collection of Halachos on the Shas by Rabeinu Alexander Zuslin ha'Kohen (d. 1348; he was killed by gentiles in a pogrom during the period of the Black Plague). Printed with annotations by Harav Elazar Brizel (Yerushalayim, 1966)
(4) GERMANY(a) RA'AVAN - or " Sefer Even ha'Ezer," by Rabeinu Eliezer ben Nasan of Mainz (d. 1170). A contemporary of Rashbam and Rabeinu Tam, he was one of the earliest of the Ba'alei ha'Tosfos. The Rosh was among his descendants. First published in Prague in 1610. A later edition, with annotations by Rav Shalom Albek and Rav Aryeh Leib Rashkes of Shnipeshuk (Vilna), has been reprinted numerous times recently (Wagshal/Moznayim Publishing).
(b) RA'AVYAH - Rabeinu Eliezer ben Yoel ha'Levi (d. 1225), grandson of Ra'avan, authored "Sefer Avi ha'Ezri," which is more commonly known by its author's acronym as "Sefer Ra'avyah."
(c) OR ZARU'A - Rabeinu Yitzchak ben Moshe (d. 1260) authored the Or Zarua. He studied under many of the great sages of his times, including Rabeinu Yehudah he'Chasid, the Ra'avyah, the Sar mi'Kutzi, and the Ba'al ha'Roke'ach. (His son, Rav Chaim Or Zarua, wrote a collection of Teshuvos.) Rabeinu Yitzchak named his work "Or Zarua" out of his excitement when he noted that the end letters of the verse "Or Zarua la'Tzadik..." spell out "R' Akiva." The Or Zarua usually prefaces each Halachah with a citation of the pertinent Gemara and Rashi, making him an excellent source for verifying variant Girsa'os in Rashi. His work details the Halachic opinions as based on the Gemara, setting the pace for the Rosh and others. (According to Rabbi Berel Wein, the Or Zaru'a, printed as it was in a time of increasing persecution against the Jews and decreasing scholarship, opened up new venues of learning for the Jewish people and is considered to have saved Talmudic scholarship in Europe.)
(d) TOSFOS RID and PISKEI RID - Rabeinu Yeshaya (ben Mali, or ha'Rishon) d'Trani was one of the leading sages of Italy/Germany during the early 1200's. His commentary on most of the Masechtos of Shas is known as "Tosfos Rid." He also compiled a Halachic summary of the Maseches called "Piskei Rid," printed in 1992 by Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli.
(e) PISKEI RI'AZ - by the grandson of the above, Rabeinu Yeshaya Acharon Z'L, printed together with Piskei Rid, as listed above. It is often cited in the SHILTEI GIBORIM on the Rif.
(f) RIVEVAN - Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Binyamin ha'Rofei from the family of the Anavim (d. 1280), who studied in Germany under Rabeinu Avigdor Kohen Tzedek and became one of the leading sages of Italy, wrote a commentary to the Rif for many Masechtos. Among his students was the Shibolei ha'Leket. His commentary is printed in Harav Moshe Herschler's Ginzei Rishonim (Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli, 1981).
(5) TOSFOS-STYLE COMMENTARIES(a) TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ - the commentaries of Rabeinu Peretz were compiled and published by his students (who include the Mordechai), which explains why he is often quoted by name in his own Tosfos. Rabeinu Peretz was a student of Rabeinu Yechiel of Paris and Rav Meir (the Maharam) of Rotenberg. The commentary on Sukah was reprinted in 1996 in the set of "Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz ha'Shalem" (Matam Publishing, Yerushalayim). The Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz on Sukah is so strongly based on the version of Tosfos that appears in our Gemaras, that they are nearly identical.
(b) TOSFOS HA'ROSH - Rabeinu Asher ben Yechiel (d. 1328), originally from Germany, fled to Spain after his mentor, Rav Meir of Rotenberg, was taken captive by the authorities and passed away in jail. One of the great sages of Germany, he wrote commentaries and rulings on most of Shas which had a profound influence on the current Halachic practice. His Tosfos are patterned after those of the classic Ba'alei ha'Tosfos, and often shed light on Tosfos' intent. Tosfos ha'Rosh on Sukah, available in the common set of Tosfos ha'Rosh, were recently reprinted from manuscript by with annotations by Harav Yakov David Ilan (Mosad ha'Rav Kook, 1997).
(6) HALACHAH(a) LULAV HA'GADOL of the RA'AVAD - Rabeinu Avraham ben David (d. 1199), author of the Hasagos ha'Ra'avad on the Rambam, one of the greatest sages of Provence. Aside from his comments on the Rif and Ba'al ha'Me'or on Sukah, he compiled an important Halachic work on the third Perek relating to the laws of the four species taken on Sukos. Printed a number of times; recently included together with the following two works in "Chidushei ha'Rishonim Al Maseches Sukah," Otzar ha'Poskim Publishing, 1995, with annotations by Rav Yekusiel Cohen.
(b) LULAV HA'GADOL of the RAMBAN - Written in response to the Ra'avad's above-mentioned Halachic work on the four species of Sukos, the Ramban criticizes many of the Ra'avad's rulings and records his own approach to these Halachos. (The above-mentioned Otzar ha'Poskim volume includes a few pages of comments by a student of the Ramban on this subject as well.)
(c) LULAV HA'GADOL of the ME'IRI - Part #21 of the Me'iri's work on Minhagim, "Magen Avos," this was written to defend the Ra'ava'd's work on the four species from the criticism of the Ramban.
(1) ACHARONIM ON SUKAH(a) ARUCH LA'NER and BIKUREI YAKOV - A broad and penetrating commentary on the entire Maseches by the Rav Yakov Ettinger. He deals with all aspects of the Maseches with awesome sharpness, depth, and breadth. Bikurei Yakov is on the Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Sukah and Lulav.
(b) KAPOS TEMARIM - beautiful insights on the third Perek of Sukah, by Rav Moshe ben Chaviv (Maharam Ibn Chaviv). Published together with his two other popular commentaries on the Gemara, "Yom Teru'ah" (Rosh Hashanah, Perek 3) and "Tosfos Yom ha'Kipurim" (Yoma, last Perek). Some of the printings include marginal notes and comments by later Geonim such as Rebbi Akiva Eiger. First published in Costantinople in 1728.
(c) SEFAS EMES - short and penetrating insights by Rav Yehudah Aryeh Leib of Gur, the second Gerer Rebbe, grandson of the Chidushei ha'Rim (the first Gerer Rebbe).
(d) LIKUTEI HALACHOS - by the Chafetz Chayim, on the parts of Sukah that deal with Kodshim (mostly the fifth Perek). Written in the style of the Rif, the Chafetz Chaim compiled a collection of the Gemara's conclusions along with Rashi-style glosses and an additional commentary, called ZEVACH TODAH, in which he provides insights into the Halachos.
(e) MENACHEM MESHIV - short, helpful comments pertaining to the literal meaning of the Gemara and Rashi, meant for those learning the Maseches quickly -- on Berachos and all of Seder Mo'ed. Includes many Girsa corrections as well.
(f) HE'AROS B'MASECHES SUKAH - written by a student of the renowned Halachic authority Haga'on Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv of Yerushalayim, Shlita, based on Rav Elyashiv's daily Shi'ur in Gemara. These well-written notes comprise often -- but not always -- Halachically oriented discussions of the Sugyos and on each Daf and tackle many of the difficult points in the Gemara and Rashi on this Maseches. Let us pray that we may merit the publication of many more volumes from this set.
(2) ANTHOLOGIES(a) GILYONEI HA'SHAS - by Rav Yosef Engel, author of "Asvan d'Oraisa." Mostly references to, and quotes from, the writings of the Rishonim in their responsa and other early works, with additional insights by the author.
(b) OR HA'YASHAR - important and fascinating references on every Daf of the Shas (and on Tanach and Mishnayos as well) by Rav Shmuel Hilman.
(3) HALACHAH(a) MIKRA'EI KODESH - enlightening in-depth analyses of various aspects of Pesach, based on discussions which Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank (former chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim) held with the other Gedolei Torah of Yerushalayim of his day. Two volumes (one on the laws of Sukah and the other on the Four Species), published in Yerushalayim by Mechon Harav Frank with notes by Rav Frank's grandson, Harav Yosef Cohen.
(b) HALACHAH BERURAH/BIRUR HALACHAH - includes the full text of the Vilna edition of the Gemara with citations from the pertinent Halachos of the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch in the margins ("Halachah Berurah," organized for print by Hagaon Rav Avraham Yitzchak ha'Kohen Kook zt'l), followed by in- depth discussions of the Halachic ramifications of each Sugya ("Birur Halachah"), prepared by Rav Kook's students.
(4) STUDY TOOLS(a) PERUSH CHAI - By now a classic work on Sukah, Rav Chaim Porush's work combines artistic talent with mastery of the text and its commentaries. Graphics include representations not only of every discussion in Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos that can be depicted on paper, but opinions of other Rishonim as well.
Recently, sketches and pictures pertinent to the Maseches have also been printed in other works, such as the new ARTSCROLL SHAS and SHI'UREI HA'YOM (by Rav David Kreshinsky, son in law of Harav Zilber of Dial-a-Daf fame).
(b) MISHNAH BERURAH with PE'ER HA'HALACHAH - graphical depictions of the Halachos of the Four Species as described by the Mishnah Berurah, by Harav David Hirsh (of Telzstone, Israel).
(c) KOLLEL IYUN HADAF - produces invaluable "INSIGHTS TO THE DAF" which touch on many of the questions one is likely to ask on Gemara and Rashi, as well as Halachic clarifications and in-depth discussions on issues and Agados of the Maseches. Our helpful "CHARTS" and "BACKGROUND TO THE DAF" make the Maseches much more approachable, with translations, Girsa notes, and introductions to concepts discussed on the Daf. On Maseches Sukah, we have published a number of GRAPHICS, thanks to Hagaon Harav David Kreshinsky, author of Shi'urei ha'Yom on Sukah and other Masechtos. Summarize what you've learnt with our "REVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS," or our "OUTLINES OF THE DAF," or if you prefer Hebrew, review with our "CONCISE HEBREW REVIEW OF THE DAF." Ask the Kollel your questions on the Daf and receive clear, authoritative answers. We now feature as well Harav Yosef Ben Arza's renowned Hebrew-language "YOSEF DA'AS" pamphlets (although we will not keep them in our archives indefinitely, as our with our other publications). This outstanding publication has long been a staple for those wishing to gain exposure to a broad segment of the commentaries on each Daf. It includes a separate Hebrew review questions section as well. All of the above material is available free of charge through e-mail request (write to INFO@DAFYOMI.CO.IL for more information about the Dafyomi Advancement Forum) or from our archive site, http://www.dafyomi.co.il/today.htm.