Halacha for Sunday 14 Tishrei 5780 October 13 2019

The Laws of the Holiday of Sukkot

As per the request of many of our members and as a public service, we shall now list a synopsis of some laws which are essential for the upcoming Sukkot holiday:

  1. The Sukkah must be made of three walls and Sechach (the roof). The walls may be made of any material which can withstand a normal wind, excluding sheets and the like which cannot and are thus invalid.
     
  2. If the walls are made from metal, plastic, or anything else which does not grow from the ground, one should not place the Sechach directly on them; rather, one should place some wooden beams on top of the walls and place the Sechach on these beams, for these beams grow from the ground and thus are incapable of becoming impure.
     
  3. The Sechach must be made of something that grows from the ground, for instance, wooden slats, tree branches, and the like. Likewise, it must be detached from the ground as opposed to a tree which is still attached to the ground and cannot be used. Similarly, the Sechach must be made of material that is unable to become impure, excluding foods or wooden vessels such as wooden crates or chests, for these are indeed capable of becoming impure. A mat made of straw which is usually made for lying on is capable of becoming impure and is thus invalid for use as Sechach. However, mats made of reeds (or bamboo) specially made for use as Sechach are completely valid for use as Sechach.

     
  4. Decorations hung from the Sechach to beautify the Sukkah may in fact invalidate the Sukkah in certain instances since they are not valid to be used as Sechach. Therefore, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that one must be sure to hang these decorations in close proximity to the Sechach, i.e. within four Tefachim (32 cm). The decorations should not hang down more than 32 cm from the Sechach, for they can invalidate the Sukkah in this way, as we have explained. However, when the decorations are within 32 cm of the Sechach, they are considered to be a part of the Sechach and there is no concern for invalidation of the Sukkah, even if they are quite large.

     
  5. The Sechach should be made in a light manner, such that large stars can be seen through it. Nevertheless, even if one made the Sechach in a way that stars cannot be seen through it, it is still valid. However, if one made the Sechach so thick that rain cannot pass through it, one should be stringent and invalidate such a Sukkah. One should likewise be careful not to build his Sukkah under a balcony or roof, for this kind of Sukkah is invalid according to the letter of the law.
     
  6. On Erev Sukkot, one should not eat over an egg’s volume (approximately 54 grams) of bread past the tenth halachic hour of the day (from approximately 4:00 PM and on), so that one will be able to eat the festive holiday meal that night with an appetite. Some are stringent and abstain from this beginning from halachic midday. When necessary, one may rely on the more lenient view.
     
  7. There is a positive Torah commandment to eat an olive’s volume (approximately 27 grams) of bread in the Sukkah on the first night of Sukkot. Before eating, one should have in mind that he is sitting in the Sukkah in commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt and that he is fulfilling a positive Torah commandment with this eating.

     
  8. On the other days of the Sukkot holiday (besides the second night in the Diaspora), there is no obligation to have a bread meal; however, if one wishes to eat more than an egg’s volume of bread (approximately 54 grams), one must do so in the Sukkah. In this case, one must recite the blessing of “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Leeshev Ba’Sukkah,” as we have discussed at length previously.

     
  9. One may eat fruits, vegetables, and rice outside of the Sukkah; one may certainly drink water or juice outside of the Sukkah. If one wishes to eat more than an egg’s volume of cake or other pastries, one must do so in the Sukkah, however, one would not recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing in this instance. If one plans on eating an amount of cake or pastries which others would consider a meal (approximately 162 grams), one would need to recite the blessing of “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah.”
     
  10. When one eats a food in the Sukkah which requires the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing, it is preferable to recite this blessing before one sits down to eat. After reciting the blessing, one should have a seat, recite the appropriate blessing for what he is eating, and begin to enjoy his meal.

8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of the Holiday of Sukkot

As per the request of many of our members and as a public service, we shall now list a synopsis of some laws which are essential for the upcoming Sukkot holiday: The Sukkah must be made of three walls and Sechach (the roof). The walls may be made of any material which can withstand a normal wi......

Read Halacha

A Father Who Absolves His Son from Honoring and Revering Him

The following discussion is crucial to understanding important laws regarding honoring one’s parents. In the previous Halachot, we have discussed some laws pertaining to honoring and revering one’s parents. There are certain laws that relate to a child’s obligation to honor his ......

Read Halacha

Calling One’s Father or Mother by Name

Question: May one call one’s father by his first name? Also, may one call a friend with the same name as one’s father by his first name? Answer: A child may not call his father or mother by their first name. For instance, if one’s father’s name is “Shmuel,” the......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Honoring and Revering One’s Parents

As was mentioned in the previous Halacha, the Mitzvah of honoring one’s parents includes two different aspects: honoring one’s parents and revering one’s parents. Indeed, the Torah states, “Honor your father and mother” and “Each man shall fear his mother and fath......

Read Halacha


Cognac, Brandy, and Champagne- The Jews of the Ship that was Swept Out to Sea

In the previous Halacha we have explained the law that our Sages imposed a prohibition on a non-Jew’s wine and usually, the wine is not only forbidden to consume, it is likewise forbidden to benefit from. Champagne Clearly, champagne is absolutely forbidden for consumption if it was not pr......

Read Halacha

May a Son Disagree with His Father?

In the previous Halacha we have mentioned that a son or daughter may not contradict the words of their parents, for the Gemara (Kiddushin 31b) explains that included in the Mitzvah to revere one’s parents is not contradicting their words by saying that their words are incorrect. Regarding t......

Read Halacha

Introduction to the Laws of Honoring One’s Parents

Several years ago, we have discussed the laws of honoring one’s parents here at “Halacha Yomit. We will, G-d-willing, spend the next few days revisiting these laws along with some additions to what we have published in the past. The Importance of the Obligation to Honor One’s Pa......

Read Halacha

The Laws of a Jew Who is Not Shabbat-Observant Regarding Wine

In the previous Halachot we have discussed the enactment of our Sages that all non-Jewish wine or wine touched by a non-Jew is forbidden for consumption. There are instances where the wine will be forbidden to benefit from as well as we have discussed. A Non-Observant Jew Our Sages taught that a......

Read Halacha