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Sick persons and their helpers are exempt from the Sukkah.

The rabbis taught: Not only those who are dangerously sick, but if there is no danger, if one has sore eyes or a headache, he is also exempt.

R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said, “It once happened I had sore eyes when I was in Cæsarea (Kisrin), and R. Jose the Great allowed me and my servants to sleep outside of the Sukkah.”

Sukkah Chapter 2


7 October in History

In 1879, birthdate of Leon Trotsky. Born Lev Davidovich Bronstein to wealthy Jewish farmers in the Ukraine, Bronstein became a revolutionary committed to the overthrown of the Czar. After spending time in Siberia, he joined forces with Lenin. After the Bolshevik Revolution created the Red Army which defeated both the foreign armies that invaded the Soviet Union and the White Forces during the bloody civil war that followed. Trotsky would lose out to Stalin in the power struggle that followed Lenin’s death. Trotsky would be hacked to death by one of Stalin’s agents in 1940 while living in Mexico. Anti-Semites would use Trotsky’s Jewish origins as one source of proof that Communism was part of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.

29 Tishrei in History

Today is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508), one of the leaders of Spanish Jewry at the time of the 1492 expulsion. A minister in the king’s court (after having served as treasurer to the king of Portugal), he chose to join his brethren in their exile. He began writing his extensive and highly regarded commentary on the Torah in 1503 in Venice (where it was published in 1579).

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October 2010