Translation:Mishnah/Seder Moed/Tractate Sukkah/Chapter 1
A sukkah which is taller than twenty amot is unfit for use, [however], Rabbi Yehudah permits it. One which is not ten tephachim tall, or which does not contain three walls or which has more sun that shade, is unfit for use. [Regarding] an old sukkah- Beit Shammai forbid it and Beit Hillel permit it. What is an old sukkah? Anything which he made, thirty days before the festival [of Sukkot]. However, if he made it for the sake of the festival, even [if he made it] from the beginning of the year, it is fit for use.
One who makes a sukkah under a tree, it is like he made it under a house. If there is one sukkah on top of another one, the top one is kosher and the bottom isn't. Rabbi Yehudah says if nobody is living in the top one, the bottom one is usable.
If one spread a sheet over the s'chah because of the sun, or beneath it because of the falling leaves, or if one spread a sheet over a four-poster bed within a succah, the succah is invalid. However, one may spread a sheet over a two-poster bed.
If one lifted onto the succah a grapevine, a gourd, or ivy, and coverd it with valid s'chah, the succah is invalid. But if the valid s'chach exceeded them, i.e. there was more calid s'chach than grapevine etc. atop the succah, or if he detached the vines from the ground, -the succah is valid. This is the rule: Whatever is susceptible to tumah or whatver does not grow from the ground, we may not use for s'chah. But whatever is not susceptible to tumah, and grows from the ground, we may use as s'chah.
Bundles of straw, bundles of wood and bundles of cane: One may not use them for s'chah while they are bound together. But once he untied them, all of these bundles are valid for s'chah. And all of these (the items mentioned in our chapter as being invalid for s'chah) are valid for use as walls.
We may cover a succah with boards; these are the words of R'Yehudah. But R'Meir prohibits them. If one put a board that is four tefachim wide on a succah, the succah is still valid and one can discharge his obligation with it, provided that he does not sleep beneath the board.
A roof of boards that has no plaster on it- R'Yehudah says that Beis Shammai and Baeis Hillel disagree over what must be done to render it valid: Beis Shammai say that one loosens the boards and takes out one board from between every two boards. And Beis Hillel say that one loosens them or takes out one board from between every two boards. R'Meir says: One takes out one board from between every two bards, and he does not loosen them; i.e. it does not help to loosen them.
One who makes a roof over his succah with spits or with the sides of a bed, it there is space between them as wide as the items themselves, [and he fills the gaps with materials eligible for s'chach,] the succah is valid. If one hollos out a haystack to make a succah for himself, it is not a valid succah.
If one constructs walls from the top down, then if the wall is three tefachim above the ground, it is invalid. [However, if one makes walls] from the bottom up, then if the wall is ten tefachim high, it is valid, [regardless of the vertical gap between it and the s'chah.] But R'Yose says: Just as a wall built from the bottom up is valid provided it is ten tefachim high, [regardless of the gap between it and the s'chach,] so too a wall built from the top down is provided it is ten tefachim high, [regardless of the gap between it and the ground.]
If one distanced the s'chach three tefachim from one of the walls, [ thus leaving three tefachim of open space between it and the wall,] the succah is invalid. In the case of a house whose roof was breached and the owner placed s'chach over the opening, if there is a distance of four amos from wall to the s'chach, it is invalid as a succah. And so is the law in a case of a courtyard surrounded by porches over wich s'chach was placed. similarly in the case of a large succah wose s'chach is surrounded by material that may not be used for s'chach, if there is a space four amos wide beneath the ineligible material, the succah is invalid.
If one makes his succah like a hut, or he leaned against a wall, in either case R'Eliezer rules that it is invalid because it has no roof, but the Sages rule that it is valid.
Mishnah 12 ?
The law of a large reed mat: If one made it for reclining purposes, it is susceptible to tumah and we may not cover a succah with it. But if he made it for covering a succah, we may indeed cover a succah with it, and it is not susceptible to tumah. But R'Eliezer says: Whether the mat is small or large, if he made it for reclining, it is susceptible to tumah, and we may not cover a succah with it; but if he made it for covering a succah, we may indeed cover with it, and it is not susceptible to tumah.