RAVA'S INTERPRETATION OF THE MISHNAH
(Rava): A large mat is normally meant for Sechach (but if made for sleeping is Mekabel Tum'ah.
(Tana Kama): An undesignated small mat is subject to Tum'ah and is Pasul for Sechach
(R. Eliezer): Both a small and a large mat are Kosher for Sechach.
Question (Abaye): The language of R. Eliezer in the Mishnah implies that the large is like the small, not the reverse (a Tana normally mentions the obvious case first, and then the case that he is learning from it)!?
Second Question (Abaye): It seems clear that R. Eliezer is the Machmir position (as implied in the Beraisa)!?
R. PAPA'S INTERPRETATION OF THE MISHNAH
(R. Papa): All agree that an undesignated small mat is for lying on, and they argue about a large mat.
(Tana Kama): As we understood before, an undesignated large mat is for Sechach.
(R. Eliezer): A large mat is also for lying on (and may not be used).
Question: Then what did R. Eliezer mean when he spoke of a mat made for Shechivah (imply- ing that this is not its assumed state)?
Answer: He meant that its undesignated use is li'Shechivah.
ANOTHER BERAISA ON MATS
(Tana Kama): Large mats made of soft grasses may be used as Sechach, while small mats of the same material are presumed to be made for sleeping.
Those made of harder rushes are Kosher if twisted (and thus are thick and lumpy) but if woven (are smooth enough to sleep on and) are not Kosher.
Small rush mats, even when they are twisted are not Kosher for Sechach, because they are fit for sleeping on (small reed mats are Kosher when they are twisted, their leniency deriving from their being hard).
(R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi citing his father): All of the harder rushes may be used as Sechach, even if woven.
R. Dosa cited R. Yosi the same way.
Question: But elsewhere we find R. Dosa holding not like R. Yosi and considering such a mat as Tameh!
R. Dosa declares Chotzelos to be Kelim and subject to becoming Tameh.
They become a Rishon, but not an Av (through the appropriate contact with a Zav, which they would be if they were Tamei Medras).
The Chachamim say that they are even subject to becoming Tameh Medras (and whatever can become a Medras, will become a Rishon, should it touch an ordinary Av).
(R. Avdimi b. Hamduri): Chotzelos are the leather satchels of shepherds.
(Resh Lakish): Chotzelos are mats.
Resh Lakish spoke in reverence about R. Chiya (Hareini Kaparas R. Chiya u'Vanav).
This is because Ezra, Hillel and R. Chiya each came from Bavel to reinstate Torah in Eretz Yisrael.
R. Dosa and the Chachamim agree about the mats of Usha (Tameh) and those of Teveriah (Tahor) and they argue about whether people normally sit on the other mats of the world.
Thus, according to Resh Lakish, R. Dosa declares mats to be Tameh!?
Answer: That is speaking of a mat which has a raised lip around it (making it a Kli) while we are speaking of a flat mat.
Question: In another Beraisa, R. Dosa teaches that Chotzelos are subject to Tumas Mes (not Medras, while the Chachamim add Medras).
This is understandable according to R. Avdimi b. Hamduri.
One might use a satchel made of rushes for large fruit, and one made of sack-cloth or horse-hair for legumes and smaller fruit.
This is due to the difference in the way they are woven (with or without large gaps in the weaving).
However, according to Resh Lakish, once R. Dosa has taught that they are not made for sleeping, mats are useless!?
Answer: They each have a use.
A mat made of sack-cloth or horse-hair might be used as a curtain or sifter.
A mat made of rushes may serve as a cover for a beer-barrel.
The above question and answer could also be reframed as a question on R. Avdimi (trying to discover the use of the sacks), while understanding the use of the mats according to Resh Lakish.
(R. Chanayah citing an old man he met in Bavel): One may use mats for Sechach.
R. Yehoshua, his uncle agreed with the old man.
R. Chisda added that this ruling would only apply to a mat that had no lip.
(Ula): The mats of the B'nei Mechuza would have been eligible for Sechach had they not had rims (a Beraisa supports this distinction).
MISHNAH: SLEEPING IN THE SUKAH
(Tana Kama): One may not sleep underneath a bed in the Sukah.
(R. Yehudah): It is permitted (a temporary Ohel cannot negate a permanent one) and supports his view from his experience.
Tavi, R. Gamliel's slave, once slept under a bed in a Sukah and R. Gamliel boasted that Tavi was a scholar, knowing the relevant Halachos (that one Ohel is Mevatel another and that slaves are exempt from Sukah).
We learn from R. Gamliel's statement that someone who sleeps under a bed in the Sukah has not fulfilled his obligation.
SLEEPING UNDER A BED
Question: But given that beds are less than 10 Tefachim off the ground, why would it be considered an interrupting Ohel?
Answer (Shmuel): The Mishnah is speaking of a bed raised 10 Tefachim from the ground.