Halacha for Tuesday 13 Tishrei 5778 October 3 2017

The Blessing of “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah”

Question: Regarding the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing, what is more halachically preferable: To recite the blessing while standing before sitting down to begin one’s meal in the Sukkah or should one recite this blessing when he is already seated after having recited the Hamotzi blessing on the bread?

Answer: During the night and day of the first day of Sukkot (the first two days outside of Israel) and on the Shabbat which coincides with Sukkot when the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing is recited in the Kiddush, one should recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing at the end of the Kiddush after which one should sit down and drink some of the wine. (On the first night of Sukkot, the “Shehecheyanu” blessing is recited after the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing, i.e. after reciting the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing, one should be seated, recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing, and drink some of the wine.) Our question applies to the other days of Sukkot when Kiddush is not recited as some people have the custom to recite this blessing after the Hamotzi blessing when they are already seated while others customarily recite the blessing when they enter the Sukkah (after having washed their hands for eating a bread meal) while they are still standing and after reciting the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing they sit down, recite the Hamotzi blessing and begin eating.

Indeed, the Maharam of Rottenberg followed the latter custom of reciting the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing while standing before sitting down to recite the Hamotzi blessing as this seems to be the implication of the Baraita (Sukkah 46a) which states, “When one enters the Sukkah to sit in it, one recite the ‘Leeshev Ba’Sukkah’ blessing.” This implies that one should recite the blessing while he is still standing and only then be seated and recite the Hamotzi blessing. Additionally, when one recites the blessing in this way before sitting down, he is indeed reciting the blessing before performing the Mitzvah, for the primary part of the Mitzvah is sitting in the Sukkah. It seems that it is therefore preferable to recite the blessing while one is still standing and not after he sits down. This is likewise the opinion of the Rambam who rules that one should recite this blessing before sitting down and before reciting the Hamotzi blessing. He writes that this was indeed the custom of the Sephardic (Spanish) sages.

Nevertheless, others write that it is preferable to recite this blessing only after one has been seated in the Sukkah, for actually sitting in the Sukkah is not the essence of the Mitzvah; rather, the Mitzvah is when one remains in the Sukkah to eat. They therefore write that it is better to recite this blessing after the Hamotzi blessing.

Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch quotes the opinion of the Rambam who writes that one should recite the blessing before sitting down in the Sukkah. Nevertheless, Maran continues that the prevalent custom is to recite the blessing after one has already been seated and after one has already recited the Hamotzi blessing.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l quotes the words of Maran HaShulchan Aruch and writes that it is nevertheless preferable to follow the opinion of the Rambam and recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing while one is still standing and only then to sit down and recite the Hamotzi blessing. Hagaon Ya’abetz in his Sefer Mor Uktziah and Hagaon Harav Chaim Palagi in his Sefer Mo’ed Le’Kol Hai rule likewise.

Thus, halachically speaking, it is preferable to recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing before sitting down to eat in the Sukkah and afterwards, one should be seated and recite Hamotzi. Those who customarily recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing after reciting the Hamotzi blessing while already seated have on whom to rely.

When Kiddush is recited (either on Yom Tov or Shabbat), one should recite the Kiddush while standing and then recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing and be seated. On the first night of the Sukkot holiday when “Shehecheyanu” is recited as well, one should recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing while standing and then recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing while seated.

On the second night of Sukkot outside of Israel, one should recite “Shehecheyanu” at the end of the Kiddush and only afterwards recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing.

Ask the Rabbi


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

The Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

Megillah Reading-The Proper Procedure for One Who Has Missed Hearing a Portion of the Megillah

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

The Proper Time to Light Chanukah Candles

One should preferably light Chanukah candles immediately when the stars appear in the sky, which is approximately fifteen minutes after sunset during this time of year. Some Ashkenazim, however, customarily light at sunset. The Earliest Possible Time to Light Chanukah Candles Chanukah candles sh......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor

On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Tetzaveh this year, 5777) and in the second one we read the portion of &ld......

Read Halacha

The Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel”-5777

It is customary to donate money before Purim as “a commemoration of the Half-Shekel” which was donated by the entire Jewish nation when the Bet Hamikdash stood. This money is customarily collected on the eve of Purim before reading the Megillah, as our Sages tell us (Megilla 13b) that &l......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

The Essence of Leavening The Torah (Shemot 13) tells us regarding the holiday of Pesach: “Matzot shall be eaten for seven days; neither leaven nor sourdough shall be seen in all of your borders.” The leaven that the Torah prohibits is produced by the combination of grain-flour and water......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Yom Kippur-Unique Laws for this Year

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza&rsq......

Read Halacha