"You Shall Dwell" - Similar to [Normal] Residence" and the Law of Discomfort (Mitzta'er)

  • Rav Shmuel Shimoni
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

Gemara Sukka
Yeshivat Har Etzion


Shiur #03: "'You Shall Dwell' – Similar to [Normal] Residence" and the Law of Discomfort (Mitzta'er)

By Rav Shmuel Shimoni

 

 

Mitzta'er - One Who Suffers Discomfort

 

            Today we shall deal with an exemption that is certainly unique to the mitzva of sukka: the law of mitzta'er, one who suffers discomfort.  It is reported about R. Chayyim Ozer, the author of the "Achiezer," that he was once a guest in the sukka of R. Barukh Ber Leibowitz, author of the "Birkat Shemuel." R. Barukh Ber suffered discomfort in the sukka on account of the cold, offered his apologies and went into the house, whereas the Achiezer, who did not share his discomfort, remained in the sukka.  A few minutes later, R. Barukh Ber came out and rejoined him, and in response to his guest's astonishment, he explained that while the law of mitzta'er exempts him from the mitzva of sukka, it does not exempt him from the mitzva of hospitality, and therefore he must sit in the sukka together with his guest.

 

            What is the source of the law of mitzta'er?

 

You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are home born in Israel shall dwell in booths.  (Vayikra 23:42)

 

            Several exemptions from the mitzva of sukka are derived from the derasha, "'You shall dwell' – similar to [normal] residence," which teaches that one is not obligated to sit in a sukka in a manner that does not correspond to the normal manner in which he resides in his house.  See for example, Tosafot 26a, s.v. holkhei:

 

Wayfarers during the day – all this is derived from "'You shall dwell' – similar to [normal] residence." For just as a person in his house does not refrain from embarking on a journey, [so too when he is in his sukka].  And similarly, someone who suffers discomfort whom they exempted earlier from the sukka, this is because of "'You shall dwell' – similar to [normal] residence." For a person does not reside in a place where he suffers discomfort.

 

            The Ritva (26a) raises the objection that this derivation is not at all simple, "for on the contrary, since it does not say, 'you shall reside,' but rather 'you shall dwell,' this implies the opposite." He therefore proposes two explanations of this derivation.  The first explanation builds on the intention of the mitzva: "For we learn this from the intention of the mitzva, for the Torah says: 'You shall dwell in booths seven days,' that is to say, as you would dwell in your houses." He proposes a second explanation in his commentary to p. 28b in the name of the Ramban:

 

The question may be raised: Why is the "home born" (ezrach) mentioned at all? I heard in the name of our great teacher, the Ramban, of blessed memory, that it comes to teach that the obligation of sukka applies only to one who is 'like a green tree (ezrach) in its native soil' (Tehilim 37:35), to the exclusion of wayfarers, and produce watchmen, and one who suffers discomfort, and the like.  And that which we say in many places, "'You shall dwell' – similar to [normal] residence" – is derived from here.  For this verse clarifies that when it says, "you shall dwell," it is not any dwelling, but dwelling similar to normal residence, as in: "And Yaakov dwelt [vayeshev] in the land in which his father had sojourned" (Bereishit 37:1) and other verses.[1]

 

            These two explanations seem to reflect different understandings.  If indeed we learn from "'You shall dwell' – similar to [normal] residence," this means that there exists a model – one's normal residence – to which the sukka is supposed to correspond.  There is, indeed, a fundamental tannaitic controversy in the first chapter of the tractate whether the sukka must be a permanent structure, so that it totally replaces the house, or it is only a temporary structure.  But even according to the second opinion, we are dealing with something that temporarily serves as one's house.  If dwelling in the sukka involves leaving the house for something that cannot be seen as one's house, there is a lack of correspondence to the model, and in such a situation the Torah's command does not apply.

 

            The Ramban's explanation, on the other hand, goes off in a different direction.  There is a certain manner in which one must dwell in the sukka: "like a green tree in its native soil." A person must derive pleasure from the freedom and protection that God grants him even when he is not in his permanent home.  There is a clear difference between the two explanations in the case where dwelling in the sukka would be accompanied by discomfort that does allow a person to be "like a green tree in its native soil," but this discomfort does not stem from his dwelling in the sukka, but from circumstances that exist in his permanent house as well.  According to the Ramban, the exemption would apply even in such a case, for the desired quality of dwelling in the sukka would be missing.  According to the first explanation, on the other hand, dwelling in the sukka would be obligatory in such a situation, for this is "similar to [normal] residence" – the sukka is similar to the model of the normal house.

 

            The Sefer Yere'im (no. 421) clearly follows the first approach:

 

A mitzta'er is exempt from the sukka.  This refers to one who suffers discomfort in the sukka, and when he goes out, he is spared [that discomfort].  And the reason is that we need [dwelling] similar to [normal] residence, and a person does not normally remain in his house in discomfort.

 

            The Shulchan Arukh follows this approach as well (640:4):

 

A mitzta'er is only exempt if he can spare himself of the discomfort [by leaving].  But otherwise he is obligated to dwell in the sukka, even if he suffers discomfort.

 

            The Maharik (175), however, cites the words of the Yereim, and raises an objection from the Gemara on p. 25b, which states:

 

Rabbi Abba bar Zavda said in the name of Rav: A mourner is obligated in sukka.  – This is obvious.  – You might have said: Since Rabbi Abba bar Zavda said: One who suffers discomfort is exempt from the sukka – he too suffers discomfort.  Therefore he teaches you that this applies to discomfort that comes on its own.  Here, however, it is he [= the mourner] who causes himself to be distressed, and he is obligated to settle his mind.

 

            There does not seem to be any difference between the mourner's state of mind in the sukka and his state of mind in his house.  Thus the Maharik writes:

 

            But according to R. Eliezer of Metz (= the Yere'im), why mention that he is obligated to settle his mind.  Learn it from the fact that if he leaves the sukka, his pain will not diminish and he will not be spared the discomfort.  For it is very forced to say that sitting in the sukka will increase the pain of his grief.  On the contrary, logic dictates the opposite.

 

            The Rishonim seem to have been aware of the objection raised by the Maharik, and they tried to answer it in various ways.  The approach that the Maharik viewed as very forced was accepted by the Rosh as legitimate (2, 4):

 

Rabbi Abba bar Zavda said in the name of Rav: A mourner is obligated in sukka.  – This is obvious.  – You might have said: Since Rabbi Abba bar Zavda said: One who suffers discomfort is exempt from the sukka – he too suffers greater discomfort sitting in the sukka than sitting in his house, because a mourner prefers to be alone, sitting in a dark and grievous place, so that he may immerse himself in his sorrow.  Therefore he teaches you that this applies to discomfort that comes on its own.  Here, however, it is he [= the mourner] who causes himself to be distressed, and he is obligated to settle his mind.

 

            Rashi on the Gemara (ad loc.) seems to have taken a different direction:

 

Discomfort that comes on its own – where the sukka causes him discomfort, e.g., the sun, or the cold, or the smell of the things used for sekhakh.

 

            Rashi implies that indeed the Gemara's initial understanding was not in accordance with the view of the Yere'im that the law of mitzta'er is limited to discomfort coming from the sukka itself, but this is precisely the Gemara's point in its conclusion.

 

            The Taz (640, nos. 7-8) views these resolutions as being very forced, and therefore he develops a different approach.  He first addresses the view of the Yere'im, accepted as law by the Shulchan Arukh, and asks: Surely this is obvious! For why should we allow a person to cancel the mitzva of sukka for no reason? The formulation that he puts forward seems to go in the opposite direction of the Yere'im, a position that we have attributed to the Ramban:

 

            Unless he can spare himself of the discomfort, for we need [dwelling] similar to [normal] residence, and a person does not ordinarily remain in his house in discomfort.  Thus writes the Mordekhai in the name of the Yere'im.  But there is a difficulty: This is obvious! Why should he be exempt if he has no greater discomfort in the sukka than in his house? Why should he cancel the mitzva of sukka for no reason? It may be suggested that one might have thought that the reason for the exemption of mitzta'er is that the essence of the mitzva of sukka is to remember the idea of the sukka, as it says, "For I caused them to dwell in booths." And a person who suffers discomfort is involved in his discomfort and doesn't put his heart to this, and therefore he is exempt.  Therefore the verse comes to teach you that this is not the reason, but rather that we need [dwelling] similar to [normal] residence, and a person does not reside in a place of discomfort if he can relieve himself of it by leaving, and the same applies to sukka.

 

            The Gemara's initial assumption, according to this formulation, was that any situation of discomfort makes it difficult for a person to remember and experience the idea of a sukka.  It would seem that we are dealing with nothing more than a rejected initial assumption, but in his next comment, the Taz relates to the passage dealing with the law of mitzta'er regarding a mourner, and after rejecting the various explanations, he proposes that indeed there are two different laws regarding mitzta'er:

 

It seems to me that both of them are true, for there are two types of discomfort.  The one, if he suffers discomfort specifically on account of the sukka, the sukka causing him discomfort if he sits there.  In such a case the exemption on account of anxiety does not apply, for on the contrary, then he remembers the mitzva of sukka more, since he is forced to dwell in a place that causes him discomfort.  As it is stated in sec. 625 that for this reason God, blessed be He, commanded that we erect a sukka in Tishrei rather than in Nisan, because in Tishrei other people leave the sukka, etc.  Here we say that he is only exempt if he has a place where he will be spared [the discomfort].  But other sources of anxiety that cause a person discomfort for other reasons, like if he is sick or suffers other bodily discomforts, where he has no greater relief in the house than in the sukka, nevertheless he is exempt on account of the anxiety, because he cannot have the [proper] intentions for the sukka.  Thus, I might have said that the same applies also to a mourner, even though for him there is no difference between a house and a sukka.  Therefore it teaches you that this is not called anxiety at all, because he is obligated to settle his mind and allow himself to be obligated in God's mitzva, blessed be He.

 

            In other words, there is a law of mitzta'er that is connected to the very discomfort that a person suffers, such that it prevents him from properly remembering the purpose of the sukka.  This is not dependent upon his house offering him a better situation.  However, if we are dealing with discomfort that stems from the very dwelling in the sukka, this does not impair a person's ability to remember, for on the contrary, it emphasizes that he is now sitting in a place that is different than usual.  There is, however, also a second law that states that a sukka must be "similar to [normal] residence," so that dwelling in the sukka must be similar to dwelling in the house.  For this reason, discomfort that could be relieved by going into the house exempts a person from his obligation to dwell in a sukka.

 

Watchmen Over Gardens and Orchards

 

            Watchmen over gardens and orchards are exempt both by day and at night.  – Let them build a sukka there and dwell in it! – Abaye said: "You shall dwell" – similar to [normal] residence.  Rava said: The breach calls out to the thief.  What is the difference between them? There is a difference between them where he guards a pile of fruit.  (Sukka 26a)

 

            Several questions may be asked regarding this Gemara:

 

-           Why, according to Abaye, is there no "dwelling similar to [normal] residence" here?

 

-           Why does Rava not think that this rationale works to exempt the watchmen? Surely it is difficult to assume that he disputes the very principle, as Tosafot write ad loc.: "It is not because Rava does not accept the derasha of dwelling similar to [normal] residence, for it is taught in a Baraita later in the chapter (28b)"?

 

-           How does the argument of "a breach calls out to the thief" exempt a person from a biblical commandment?

 

The Rishonim disagree about the answer to the first question.  Rashi writes:

 

"Similar to [normal] residence" – as he resides all year long in his house.  The Torah requires a person to leave his house and dwell in a sukka with his bed and utensils and linens.  And this person cannot bring them there because of the exertion [involved].

 

            The words of Rashi contain two novel ideas:

 

-           We expect the person to dwell in his sukka in the same conditions as he lives in his house, and not in the conditions to which he is accustomed as a watchman.  In other words, the model is not the alternative had it not been for the mitzva of sukka, but rather one's permanent residence.

 

-           Even if a person is capable of bringing his household utensils to the sukka, we do not require him to exert himself in order to do so.  We are not familiar with an exemption from mitzvot based on exertion.  It seems that such exertion is regarded as discomfort, so that the exemption here is that of mitzta'er.

 

            Let us now compare this to the explanation of Ribav, (R, Yehuda bar Berakhya, nephew of the Baal Ha-maor) (12a in Alfasi):

 

Abaye said: "You shall dwell" – similar to [normal] residence.  That is to say, a person is only obligated to dwell in a sukka at a time that he would ordinarily dwell in his house the rest of the year.  But watchmen over gardens and orchards are never accustomed to dwell in their homes, but rather in the gardens and orchards.  Therefore they are exempt from sukka.

 

            The Ribav makes no mention of household articles and utensils.  According to him, and in this there is a certain similarity to the first novelty in Rashi's position, the sukka is not meant to substitute for the place where the person would be were it not Sukkot, but for a normal house.  Someone who does not live in a normal house, is not obligated to replace his watchman's hut with a sukka.

 

The Ritva adopts a different approach:

 

Let them build a sukka there! – Abaye said: "You shall dwell" – similar to [normal] residence." Since one does not ordinarily establish a permanent residence there, he is not obligated to build a sukka there.

 

            The Ribav based the exemption on the fact that the mitzva of sukka relates to people who live in normal houses.  The Ritva does not base himself on the place where the person would be living were it not for the holiday of Sukkot, but rather on his situation were he to build a sukka.  A sukka must correspond to a reasonable house – "similar to [normal] residence" – and in a place where one does not ordinarily build a permanent house, one is also not obligated to erect a sukka.

 

            Of course, Rava must disagree with all these arguments.  The Ritva writes: "Rava maintains that we do not take the derasha, "Dwelling similar to [normal] residence," to that extent that one should only construct his sukka in a place where he is accustomed to establish his permanent house." As for the arguments put forward by Rashi and Ribav, it is very possible that Rava disagrees with their basic premise, and that he maintains that it suffices if the sukka corresponds to the situation in which the person would be were it not for the festival of Sukkot.  Thus writes the Ran:

 

Rava said that we do not exempt him for this reason, for it is similar to [normal] residence, for all year long he lives in those structures in the gardens and with the same utensils.

 

            According to this, the controversy between Abaye and Rava is similar to the two approaches that we saw in the Rishonim concerning the basis for the law of mitzta'er, whether it stems from the degree of correlation that must exist between the sukka and the house, or it stems from a certain objective level of comfort that sitting in a sukka must reach.  It is possible that the disagreement is in the framework of Rava's position which has been accepted as law, whether he denies the specific application of the principle of "dwelling similar to [normal] residence" in our case, or he disagrees with the very possibility of setting an objective threshold for the manner of dwelling in a sukka.

 

            As for Rava's argument that an exemption from a biblical commandment may be granted on account of a concern about thievery, the Ritva writes:

 

The matter is astonishing.  Does Rava not have the law that "dwelling [in a sukka] must be similar to [normal] residence"… And furthermore, how does he exempt a person from sukka because of a concern about monetary loss? Is a person ever exempted from a mitzva for that reason? It may be suggested that both [Abaye and Rava] are on account of "Dwelling similar to [normal] residence." But Abaye takes the derasha further and exempts a person even when there is no loss, since this is not the ordinary place for him to build his house.  And Rava maintains that we do not take the derasha, "Dwelling similar to [normal] residence," to that extent that one should only construct his sukka in a place where he is accustomed to establish his permanent house.  However, when there is monetary loss and he suffers discomfort and a loss, in such a case we exempt him on account of "dwelling similar to ordinary residence."

 

            The Yere'im (no. 421) also writes that both Abaye and Rava base their positions on the principle that dwelling [in a sukka] must be similar to [normal] residence:

 

Abaye said: "You shall dwell" – similar to [normal] residence.  This means like ordinary residence, and one does not ordinarily establish residence in a field.  Rava said: The breach calls out to the thief.  And one does not ordinarily establish residence in a place that the residence will lead to a loss.

 

            The Yere'im's position is slightly difficult, for he implies that all agree that there exists an objective threshold of normal residence that must be met, and we saw earlier that the Yere'im heads those who see in the law of mitzta'er correlation with the ordinary level of residence, and nothing more.  His position therefore requires further examination.  This might serve as proof to the position of the Taz, who maintains that even according to the Yere'im there exist two laws of mitzta'er.

 

Discomfort While Sitting In A Sukka And On The Way To The Sukka

 

            Before concluding, let us address the difference between two different situations of discomfort.  There are cases in which the dwelling in the sukka is itself accompanied by discomfort, e.g., when rain is falling into the sukka.  There are, however, other cases, in which a person must suffer discomfort in order to reach the state that he can dwell in the sukka.  Even in such cases, there are times that a person is exempt from sukka, and here too because of the requirement that one's dwelling in a sukka be similar to his ordinary residence.  That is to say, a person is not required to invest greater efforts in order to reach a sukka than he would to reach his house.  Let us bring several examples to this second type of mitzta'er:

 

Rashi's explanation cited above regarding the exemption granted to watchmen over gardens and orchards: "'Similar to [normal] residence' – as he resides all year long in his house, the Torah required him to leave his house and dwell here in a sukka with his bed and utensils and linens.  And this person cannot bring them there because of the effort." Were the person to exert himself and bring his household effects to the sukka, he would be able to live there as he does in his house, but the Torah does not require him to make that effort.

 

            The Mishna states that sick people and their aides are exempt from the sukka.  What is the basis of the allowance granted the aides? Surely they are healthy, and if they move into a sukka, they will comply with the requirement of ordinary residence.  Some Acharonim understand that this exemption does not stem from the need for "ordinary residence," but from the law that "one who is engaged in a mitzva is exempt from other religious duties" (see Shulchan Arukh Ha-rav, 640:7), but the Arukh Ha-shulchan (640:4) disagrees, and suggests a different understanding: "It seems to me that this all falls under the law that a person's dwelling in a sukka must be similar to his ordinary residence.  Just as a person whose house is hard on his health will leave his house, so too regarding a sukka.  And just as a sick person's aides leave their house and sit next to the patient, so too regarding a sukka.  This applies even if they are being paid, for they are no worse than produce watchmen, who are exempt, as will be explained, for a sukka is no better than a person's house."

 

            The Baraita on p. 29a states: "Our Rabbis taught: If a person was eating in a sukka, and it began to rain, and he went down [to his house], we do not trouble him to go back up until he has finished his meal."

 

            Following the Terumat Ha-deshen, the Rema rules (640:4): "If the candles in the sukka blew out on Shabbat, and a person has light in his house, he is permitted to leave the sukka in order to eat where there is light, and he is not required to go to another person's sukka where there is light, if this involves excessive effort."

 

How are we to relate to a person who is exempt from the obligation of sukka because of the law of mitzta'er, but nevertheless is stringent with himself and sits in the sukka? The Hagahot Maimuniyot (Hilkhot Sukka 6, no. 3) writes:

 

            R. Simcha writes: I maintain that anyone who is exempt from the sukka but fails to leave does not receive reward and is regarded as a fool, as it is stated in the Yerushalmi, that anyone who is exempt from some obligation, but fulfills it, is called a fool.

 

            This ruling is accepted by the Rema (639:7).  It is part of an issue that goes beyond our discussion, namely, excessive stringency (the Be'ur Halakha restricts this judgment to situations involving a certain transgression, e.g., mitzta'er who diminishes his enjoyment of the festival).  However, as many have noted, its stands to reason that this ruling is true regarding a stringency that does not involve the fulfillment of a mitzva, as opposed to lulav for women or the like.  If this is correct, then we must understand that in the case of mitzta'er, there is no value whatsoever to sitting in a sukka, because it is not similar to ordinary residence.  According to this, there may be additional problems with dwelling in a sukka in a state of discomfort:

 

            A blessing recited in vain.  The Be'ur Halakha at the beginning of sec. 640 writes: "It seems that in cold weather, one should be careful to wear warm clothing when he eats in the sukka, so that he not fall into the category of mitzta'er on account of the cold, and there be concern about a blessing recited in vain." See also Birkei Yosef, no. 8: "There are those who are in doubt regarding those who are exempt from sukka but wish to be stringent upon themselves and eat and sleep [there], whether they may recite a blessing.  The Bet Moed says that since he accepted it upon himself as an obligation, he demonstrates that he does not suffer discomfort, and so he recites a blessing.  It seems to me that one should not rely on this argument, for a person knows his discomfort… and it is unfitting to sit in a sukka if he is exempt, and this is not called a stringency.  And if a person refuses to listen to his teachers and wishes to be stringent in a place where stringency is inappropriate, why should he recite a blessing? And if he recited a blessing it is a blessing in vain."

 

            The Gemara on p. 9a states: "From where do we know that the wood of a sukka is prohibited all seven days? As it is stated: 'The festival of Sukkot, for seven days unto the Lord.'" Obviously, when a person sits in a sukka and fulfills thereby the mitzva, there is no problem in his deriving pleasure from the wood of the sukka.  But what is the law regarding one who remains in his sukka even while it is raining, or the like? The author of Responsa Oneg Yom Tov (no. 49) dealt at length with this issue, raising an objection against the Rema who merely noted that such a person is called a fool, but did not relate to the prohibition that this involves.  He proposed several solutions; see there.

 

            Assuming that the principle arising from the Rema is generally accepted (it is the custom of Chabad to continue eating in a sukka even if it is raining; perhaps we will find justification for this practice in a later shiur), let us once again relate to the distinction between the two situations of mitzta'er.  The author of the Machatzit Ha-shekel (on the Magen Avraham, at the beginning of sec. 639) understood that the law of the Rema applies also to a person who makes extraordinary efforts, beyond the requirements of the law, to cross a river in order to reach a sukka.  According to him, there is no distinction between the two situations of mitzta'er.  Rabbi Akiva Eiger, however, disagrees:

 

            This is not similar to the law regarding one who is exempt, but nevertheless performs the mitzva, for that applies only to one who sits in a sukka when it is raining.  For at that time he is exempt from sitting in a sukka.  That is not the case here, for he was not required to trouble himself and cross [the river] by boat, but once he has already crossed, then when he is in the place of the sukka, and there is no trouble, he is obligated to sit in the sukka, and he fulfills a mitzva, and may recite a blessing.  (Responsa Rabbi Akiva Eiger, first series, no. 68)

 

            According to R. Akiva Eiger, there is room to discuss whether a person who is stringent upon himself and crosses a river is indeed called a fool, but once he reaches the stage of sitting in the sukka, he fulfills thereby the mitzva, and he is even regarded as one who is obligated in the mitzva, for now his actions have the quality of ordinary residence.  It should be added, that if the reason that such stringency is regarded as the custom of fools is that there is no value to such sitting in a sukka, then in this case there is no room for such concern.  Thus, indeed, writes the Be'ur Halakha on the aforementioned ruling of the Rema in the name of the Bikkurei Yaakov:

 

            It seems to me that that which we say that it is nothing but the act of fools for which there is no reward – this is only when he is exempt at the time that he is sitting [in the sukka], for example, if he suffers discomfort, or the like, and especially when it is raining, for it is like throwing water in his face, where his master shows him that he is not pleased by his service, and he wishes to force his service on his master, which is not correct behavior.  However, one who is exempt because of the trouble involved in returning to a sukka, e.g., where the rain stopped in the middle of the night or the middle of his meal, or where he must go to his friend's sukka – in such a case there is reward, for it is no worse than one who drinks water in a sukka, regarding whom we say that he is praiseworthy, even though by law he is exempt.  And all the more so when at the time that he sits [in the sukka] he properly fulfills the mitzva of sukka, even though at the outset he was not obligated to go there.  And therefore, even the Hagahot Maimuniyot writes only that "anyone who is exempt from the sukka but fails to leave," implying that at the time that he sits [in the sukka] he is exempt.

 

            Next week we shall begin to study one of the most fundamental issues regarding the mitzva of dwelling in a sukka – the dispute between Rabbi Eliezer and the Sages on p. 27a.  Next week we shall focus on the position of Rabbi Eliezer.  Please study the Mishna and the Gemara until "achat li-khevod konekha." In addition:

 

-           Tosafot, s.v., teshvu (until "leilot ki-be-yamim"), ve-ha, chazar, be-minei.  Maharshal in Chokhmat Shelomo on Rashi, s.v. chazar bo; Maharsha, ad loc.

 

-           Ritva, s.v. ha di-tenan ve'od amar Rabbi Eliezer, until the end of the page.

 

Tosafot Rid:

 

And Rabbi Eliezer also said: One who fails to eat on the first night of the festival compensates on the last night of the festival.  This means that he compensates and eats in the sukka.  And there is no problem here of bal tosif [= the prohibition of adding to a mitzva], for since his intention is to compensate for a deficiency in the seven days of [sitting in a] sukka, he has no intention of adding [to the mitzva].  Certainly, if he ate all fourteen meals in the sukka, and on the eighth day he ate another meal in the sukkai, this would involve bal tosif.  And the teacher [= Rashi] explained that if he makes up the deficiency in a sukka, there is bal tosif.  But this does not seem correct to me.

 

Tosafot Ha-rosh:

 

But surely Rabbi Eliezer said: A person is obligated to eat fourteen meals in the sukka.  And Rashi explained: Since a person is obligated to eat in a sukka, how can he make it up on the last night of the festival? Surely, if he eats in the sukka for the sake of the mitzva, he violates the prohibition of bal tosif.  This is difficult, for then what is the answer that Rabbi Eliezer retracted what he said that a person is obligated to eat fourteen meals in a sukka.  In any case, how can he make it up in the sukka on the last night of the festival; he violates the prohibition of bal tosif.  Therefore, it seems to me that the question is as follows: Surely, Rabbi Eliezer said that a person is obligated to eat fourteen meals in a sukka.  Why then did he say that one who fails to eat on the first night of the festival [compensates on the last night of the festival]? He should have said that one who fails to eat one of the [fourteen] meals compensates! And the Gemara answers that Rabbi Eliezer retracted.  But that which he eats on the last night of the festival outside a sukka is not difficult.  This is similar to one who forgets to recite the afternoon service on Shabbat, and must pray two weekday prayers on Motzaei Shabbat, and with that weekday prayer fulfills his obligation regarding the Shabbat prayer that he had forgotten and not recited, since there is no other way.  Here too one who cannot eat in a sukka fulfills his obligation outside the sukka.

Rabbi Eliezer retracted.  Rashi explained that he went back to the position of the Sages that there is no set amount [of meals] and if a person wishes to fast, he may do so with the exception of the first night of the festival.  His explanation is difficult, for the term, hishlim, does not denote compensation, but filling in the count of fourteen meals.  And furthermore, since we learn from matza, we do not find that there is compensation for the eating of matza on the first night of Pesach.  And furthermore, there is a slight implication in the Yerushalmi that an olive-size of grain is required for his meal on the first night of the festival, as with matza.  And here it says that he can make it up with deserts.  And furthermore, the story of Agripas's administrator implies that Rabbi Eliezer did not exempt a person with a single meal.  Therefore, it seems that R. Eliezer retracted what he said regarding making up meals in the sukka, but he still requires fourteen meals.  And thus we find in the Yerushalmi: Rabbi Yitzchak said: They are compared for the mitzva.  Lekhatchila one must eat in the sukka, but if he failed to eat, he can make it up on the eighth day without a sukka.

 

(Translated by David Strauss)