The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, , at sacred-texts.com
Size and Covering of TabernaclesWhat constitutes a TabernacleExemptionsPalm BranchesMyrtle BoughsWillowsCitronsReading and BlessingThrashing the AltarRejoicingsPouring out of the WaterThe Lighting and DancingSinging and MusicBlowing the TrumpetsOfferings and CoursesThe Course Bilgah.
1. A booth which is above twenty cubits high is disallowed. R. Judah allows it. One which is not ten hands high, one which has not three walls, or which has more sun than shade, is disallowed. "An old booth?" "The school of Shammai disallow it; but the school of Hillel allow it." "What is an old booth?" "One that was made thirty days before the feast: but if it were made with intention for the feast, even from the beginning of the year, it is allowed."
2. "If a man make his booth beneath a tree?" "It is as though he made it in the house." "If one booth be above another?" "The upper one is allowed; but the lower one is disallowed." R. Judah says, "if they cannot inhabit the upper one, the lower one is allowed."
3. "If one spread a cloth over (its roof) 2 on account of the sun; or under (its roof) on account of the falling leaves; or if one spread a canopy over his bed?" "It is disallowed. But he may spread a cloth over two bedposts."
4. "If one have trained a vine, or a gourd, or ivy, and covered it over?" "It is disallowed. But if the covering
be larger than these, or if they have been trimmed, it is allowed." The rule is, everything which contracts uncleanness, and does not grow from the ground, must not be used for a covering; but everything which does not contract uncleanness, and grows from the ground, may be used for a covering.
5. Bundles of straw, and bundles of wood, and bundles of twigs, must not be used for covering. But all of them, if untied, are allowed. And all of them are allowed for side walls.
6. "They may cover it with laths." The words of R. Judah; but R. Meier forbids it. "If one put a board four hands wide over it?" "It is allowed, provided he do not sleep under it."
7. "Rafters over which there is no ceiling?" R. Judah says, "the school of Shammai say, 'let him loosen them, and remove the middle one out of three.' But the school of Hillel say, 'he may either loosen them, or remove the middle one out of every three.'" R. Meier says, "he must remove the middle one out of every three, but he need not loosen them."
8. "If one roof in his booth with spits, or bed-boards?" "If the intermediate spaces be equal to them, it is allowed." "If one pile up loose sheaves to make a booth?" "It is no booth."
9. "If one interweave the side walls from above downwards?" "If they be three handbreadths high from the ground, it is disallowed." "If from the ground upwards they be ten handbreadths high?" "It is allowed." R. José says, "even as from the ground upwards ten handbreadths (are required), so likewise from the roof downwards, ten handbreadths (are required)." "If the covering be three handbreadths above the side walls?" "It is disallowed."
10. "If a house be unroofed and covered over?" "If there be a space of four cubits between the wall and the covering, it is disallowed: also a court, in which there is an enclosed passage." "If the large booth be inclosed with covering, which must not be used, and if there be below it a space of four cubits?" "It is disallowed."
11. "If one make his booth like a pyramid; or lean it against a wall?" R. Eleazar "disallows it, because it has no roof;" but the Sages "allow it." "A large reed mat, which has been made for sleeping purposes?" "It contracts uncleanness, and they must not cover with it." "If made for covering purposes?" "They may use it; and it contracts no uncleanness." R. Eleazar says, "whether large or small, if made for sleeping, it contracts uncleanness, and must not be used for covering; but if made for covering, they may cover with it, and it contracts no uncleanness."
136:1 According to Maimonides, we have in this treatise proof that it is coeval with the laws of Moses on the same subject.
136:2 The cloth would change it into a tent.