Halacha for Thursday 3 Tishrei 5782 September 9 2021

The Obligation to Eat in the Sukkah

Since there is not so much time left to discuss the laws of Sukkot, let us now spend the next few Halachot discussing some pertinent Halachot for the upcoming Sukkot holiday.

A Meal of an Established Character
Throughout the entire Sukkot holiday, both during the night and day, it is prohibited to eat a meal of an established character outside of the Sukkah. The amount of food one is required to eat in order for one’s meal to constitute a “meal of an established character” is more than a Kebeitza of bread, i.e. approximately sixty grams of bread (fifty-four grams to be exact). When one eats this amount of bread, one must recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing. Less than this amount, however, may be eaten outside the Sukkah and thus, even if one eats this amount inside the Sukkah, one would not recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing.

Eating Cakes and Baked Goods
If one eats more than a Kebeitza (approximately sixty grams) of cake, one must do so inside the Sukkah. Nevertheless, one does not recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing, for there is a dispute among the Poskim whether cake can be considered “bread”. Thus, since we are in doubt, the blessing is not recited in accordance with the great rule, “When in doubt, do not bless,” which we have discussed several times in the past. However, if one eats an amount of cake which others usually consider a meal of an established character (which is three Kebeitzim or approximately 162 grams), one must indeed recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing as though he were eating actual bread. (Regarding reciting the Hamotzi blessing, the “Al Netilat Yadayim” blessing, and Birkat Hamazon upon eating cake, this amount would not suffice and in order to recite all of the aforementioned blessings, one would need to eat at least 216 grams of cake.) Among Ashkenazi communities there are several different customs and we shall not discuss them at length at this point.

The Law Regarding Women
Women are exempt from the Mitzvah of Sukkah just as they are exempt from most positive, time-bound, actively (not passively) performed Torah commandments. Since the Mitzvah of Sukkah is actively performed and time-bound (as it applies only to the period of the Sukkot holiday), women are exempt from performing it. If they do indeed choose to eat in the Sukkah, they are certainly rewarded for this; they should nevertheless not recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing upon doing so.

Nonetheless, according to the custom of many Ashkenazi communities, women may recite a blessing on Mitzvot they are exempt from, such as, taking the Lulav and the other species, reciting the Hallel, and reciting Keri’at Shema. According to this custom, women may recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing upon sitting in the Sukkah as well, as we have explained elsewhere.   

Summary: One may not eat a bread meal outside of the Sukkah if one is eating more than a Kebeitza (fifty-four grams) of bread. When one eats this amount of bread inside the Sukkah, one must recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing before eating. Similarly, if one eats the same amount of cake, one must eat it inside the Sukkah. Nevertheless, the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing should not be recited on cake eaten in the Sukkah unless one eats at least 162 grams of cake in which case one would indeed recite the “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah” blessing. Women are exempt from sitting in the Sukkah. If they decide to go beyond the letter of the law and do so, they shall indeed be rewarded handsomely. They should nevertheless not recite a blessing when doing so since they are, in fact, not commanded to perform this Mitzvah.  

One who has not way to eat in a Sukkah whatsoever is exempt from the Mitzvah of Sukkah.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Lighting the Chanukah Candles

The Mitzvah of Lighting Chanukah Candles There is a Mitzvah to light Chanukah candles throughout all eight nights of Chanukah (beginning from next Sunday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the househ......

Read Halacha

A Guest On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah

Question: If one is staying as a guest at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ home for Shabbat Chanukah, where should one light Chanukah candles on Motza’ei Shabbat? Answer: Regarding a married individual who is staying as a guest at his father’s home, according to the Sephar......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Boarders, Guests, Soldiers, and Yeshiva Students Regarding Chanukah Candles

Question: If one will be away from home as a guest during Chanukah, how should one act regarding lighting Chanukah candles? Similarly, what is the law regarding a soldier who will be at his military base during Chanukah? Answer: If one is away from home during the holiday of Chanukah and stays a......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Married Children Staying with Their Parents and One Staying in a Hotel

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although one who has no one lighting on his behalf at home (for instance, because he has no family or because his family is with him) and is staying as a guest in a friend’s home on Chanukah should have been obligated to light candles in one&rsqu......

Read Halacha

Washing One’s Hands After Taking a Haircut

Question: Is one obligated to wash one’s hands (Netilat Yadayim) after taking a haircut? Answer: Our Sages list various situations where one must wash one’s hands. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 4) states: “The following activities require one to wash one’s hands: ......

Read Halacha

“Al Ha’Nissim”

Starting from the Arvit prayer on the first night of Chanukah (this year, 5782, starting from tonight, Sunday night) “Al Ha’Nissim” is added in the Amida in the middle of the Blessing of Thanksgiving (“Modim Anachnu Lach etc.) as it is printed in all Siddurim. Even if mos......

Read Halacha

The Meaning of Chanukah as it Applies to Us

We have already discussed the essence of the miracle of Chanukah which was that when the wicked Greeks threatened the Jewish nation, the sons of the Hashmonai family rose up against them and were victorious. They then chose a king for the Jewish nation from their priestly family (of Kohanim). Fro......

Read Halacha