Sukkah Design

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
After 15 years of faithful service, the timber of our Succah is now rotting and requires replacing.
I am designing a new timber succah and want to clarify a couple of halachic issues.
1) In order to make the sechach more wind resistant , I want the sechach to rest on wooden battens six inches below the top of the walls. I want to double check whether there is any halachic objection if I fix these sechach-supporting battens to the structure with screws/bolts.
2) In order to make the whole structure more stable , I would like to attach 6 wooden battens with screws between my house wall and the opposite succah wall – this would have the effect of there being 6  wooden battens 6 inches above the sechach which are fixed with screws at each end – Is this a problem?
Many thanks for your continued help, advice and support.

Hi Stan
TY for your advance-planning email.
Your sukkah plans sound fine. Just bear in mind that the sukkah must be built sufficiently to withstand a typical Golders Green autumn wind prior to laying the sekhakh in place. The reason for this is that the sekhakh must be placed upon a structure which qualifies as a sukkah with regard to walls and durability. One may not place the sekhakh first and then build the walls. My concern is that if the walls require the reinforcement of the upper battens, the structure may be regarded as unsound until that point, which may be tantamount to placing the sekhakh first and building the walls second—which could invalidate the sukkah.
But if you adhere to this consideration it should be fine.
Best wishes and Shana tovah
Rabbi Rashi Simon

Questions & Answers
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Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Easy as א-ב-ג?
Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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