Halacha for Thursday 11 Tishrei 5780 October 10 2019

The Blessing of “Lee’shev Ba’Sukkah”

Question: Regarding the “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev Ba’Sukkah” blessing is recited in the Kiddush, one should recite the “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev Ba’Sukkah” blessing, i.e. after reciting the “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev 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 ‘Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev Ba’Sukkah” blessing and be seated. On the first night of the Sukkot holiday when “Shehecheyanu” is recited as well, one should recite the “Lee’shev 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 “Lee’shev Ba’Sukkah” blessing.

8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Koshering Vessels for Pesach

One may not use Chametz vessels on Pesach since vessels which have been used to cook in or have had hot Chametz placed in them have Chametz flavor absorbed in them. Thus, just as we separate between meat and dairy utensils all year long, we must likewise separate between the utensils we use all year......

Read Halacha

Arriving Late to or Skipping Some Portions of the Megillah Reading

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

Some Detailed Laws Regarding Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

In the previous Halacha we have briefly discussed the primary laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (legumes) on Pesach. We have explained that according to all communities, legumes such as rice and chick peas are not actual Chametz, for only grain products can be considered Chametz. However, Ashkenazim cust......

Read Halacha

Koshering Sinks and Kitchen Countertops

We have previously discussed that just as one should designate vessels for milk and meat respectively, likewise, regarding the holiday of Pesach, one should not use one’s regular Chametz vessels that were used all year round; rather, one should designate special kosher for Pesach vessels. N......

Read Halacha


Caution Regarding Chametz Issues

The Prohibition to Eat and Benefit From Chametz The Torah (Shemot 13) states regarding the holiday of Pesach: “Matzot shall be eaten for seven days; neither leaven nor sourdough shall be seen in your borders.” Our Sages taught in Masechet Pesachim (21b among other places) through exp......

Read Halacha

Koshering an Oven for Pesach

Question: Can a household oven be koshered for Pesach? Answer: Maran zt”l discusses this issue in several of his works (among them Yabia Omer, Volume 5, Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 7) and this issue is a halachically complex one for the flowing reasons: When foods are being baked or cooke......

Read Halacha

Chametz Which Becomes Inedible Before Pesach

The Prohibition to Eat and Benefit from Chametz on Pesach Just as one may not eat Chametz on Pesach, Hashem has likewise commanded us not to retain any Chametz in our possession on Pesach. It is similarly forbidden to benefit from Chametz on Pesach, as we have already explained. Actual Chametz W......

Read Halacha

Matanot La’Evyonim

In the previous Halacha we briefly discussed the Mitzvah of “Matanot La’Evyonim” on Purim day which is the distribution of two monetary gifts, one to each pauper. What Must One Give? In order to fulfill this Mitzvah, one need not give actual gifts; rather, it is permissible to ......

Read Halacha