Eating in the Sukkah

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Eating in the Sukkah

  1. There’s a mitzvah to eat a Kezayit of bread in the Sukkah on the first night of Sukkot. [1]
  2. Based on the pesukim in the Torah which read -בַּסֻּכֹּת תֵּשְׁבוּ, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים; כָּל-הָאֶזְרָח, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, יֵשְׁבוּ, בַּסֻּכֹּת. לְמַעַן, יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: אֲנִי, ה אֱלֹקיכֶם.- "For a seven day period you shall live in booths. Every resident among the Israelites shall live in booths, in order that your [ensuing] generations should know that I had the children of Israel live in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God." [2] When eating in the Sukkah, it's preferable to have intention that G-d commanded us to sit in succot to remember what G-d did for us in the desert. [3]

Bracha of Lesheve BeSukkah

  1. There is a prohabition not to eat any fixed meal-a meal that includes bread or more than a small amount of mezonot (i.e. cookies cake etc)outside the Sukka on Sukkut.This is the halacha for both Sephardic Jews as well as for Ashkenazic jews.(NEEDS SOURCE)
  2. Although it is permitted to eat fruit, drink, water, and have other refreshments outside the Sukka, it is preferable to do so in the Sukka as it expresses a feeling of "being at home" in the Sukka. (NEEDS SOURCE)
  3. It's proper to say the bracha of Leshev before making the HaMotzei. However, it's not an interruption if one does HaMotzei before Leshev. On Shabbat and Yom Tov, the Leshev is said in Kiddish before one drinks from the wine. [4]

Who is obligated to eat in the Sukkah?

(siman 625) (siman 639)

  1. Women
  2. Children
  3. Sick people

Which foods must one eat in the Sukkah?

  1. bread
  2. mezonot- Ashkenazim vs sephardim
  3. For what foods should one make the Bracha of LeShev BaSukkah?

Which foods can one eat out of the Sukkah?

  1. fruits, drinks, and other food that is not a kind of bread or cake.cakes and cookies can be eaten outside the Sukka,but only up to a small amount and therefore one should not eat them out side the Sukka unless knowledgable of the exact amount permitted.

If it’s raining

  1. no obligation

First night of sukkot

(siman 643)

  1. Waiting to do kiddish at nighttime
  2. One should wait to do Kiddish until after Tzet HaCochavim. However, after the fact if one made Kiddish during Ben HaShemashot and ate a Kezayit of bread one should make sure to have another Kezayit after Tzet HaCochavim but one doesn’t need to make another Bracha of LeShev BaSukkah. [5]
  3. On the first night of Sukkos the Bracha of Shehechiyanu should be said after Kiddush. [6]After the fact if one made Shechiyanu before Kiddish one fulfilled one's obligation (and one shouldn't go repeat it after Kiddish). [7]
  4. If one didn’t make a Shechiyanu on the first night of Sukkot, one can make it the rest of days and nights of Sukkot. [8]

If it rains the first night of Sukkot

  1. If it rains the first night of Sukkot,
    1. According to Sephardim, one is exempt from the Sukkah and one should eat in the house. However, if one wants to be strict one may wait a little bit for the rain to stop but one should not wait too long which would cause oneself pain on Yom Tov. If after eating the house the rains stops then if it’s before Chatzot (halachic midnight) one should go into the Sukkah to eat one Kezayit of bread and make Leshev BaSukkah and if it’s after Chatzot one shouldn’t make the Bracha of Leshev unless one eats a KeBaytzah of bread. [9]
    2. According to Ashekenazim, one is not exempt from the Sukkah and one should wait an hour or two for the rain to stop if it does then one should eat in the Sukkah with a bracha of Leshev BaSukkah but if it doesn't one should eat in the Sukkah without the bracha of LeShev BaSukkah. [10]

Intent to sit in the Sukkah

  1. While sitting in the Sukkah, it’s preferable to have intent that one will fulfill the mitzvah of Sukkah and that the Sukkah is in commemoration for the clouds of glory. [11]

Forgetting to say Yaale VeYavo

  1. If on the first night of Sukkot one had the required kezayit of bread and in benching one forgot to say Yaale VeYavo
  • if one remembers after saying Baruch Atta Hashem and didn’t conclude Boneh Yerusalayim, one should conclude with Lamdeni Chukecha, and go back to Yaale VeYavo.
  • if one remembers after the entire Bracha of Boneh Yerushalayim, one should insert the Bracha of Baruch Atta Hashem… Asher Nattan Moadim LeSimcha…Mikadesh Yisrael VeHaZmanim (as printed in the siddur).
  • if one remembers after saying Baruch Atta Hashem Eloken Melech HaOlam (of the Bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv), one should conclude with Asher Nattan Moadim Lisimcha… and then start the Bracha of HaTov VeHaMeitiv again.
  • if one didn’t remember until the middle of HaTov VeHaMeitiv or later, one must repeat benching. [12]
  1. If one forgot Yaale VeYavo in benching any other day or night of Sukkot
  • if one remembers after Boneh Yerusalayim one should say Baruch Atta Hashem…Asher Nattan Moadim LeSimcha…Mikadesh Yisrael VeHaZmanim.
  • if one didn’t remember until the middle of HaTov VeHaMeitiv or later, one doesn’t repeat benching. [13]

Eating or sleeping in the Sukkah before Sukkot

  1. It’s permissible to eat in the Sukkah before Sukkot (erev Sukkot) and it’s not an issue of Bal Tosif. [14]

Other activities in the Sukkah

  1. Sleeping in the Sukkah (click the link)
  2. One should live in one's Sukkah like one lives in one's house the rest of the year. Therefore, one should eat, drink, sleep, hang out, speak to one's friend, and learn in the Sukkah. [15]
  3. One should even bring one's nice utensils into the Sukkah just like uses them during the year in the house, however, one should not bring one's cooking pots into the Sukkah. [16]
  4. One should not do any degrading activity in the Sukkah. Therefore one should not clean the dishes in the Sukkah, however, one may clean the cups. One may certainly not go to the bathroom in the Sukkah even if one goes in a pot. [17]
  5. Because of the holiness of the Sukkah, it's proper to minimize one's mundane speech in the Sukkah and increase one's speech in Torah and holy matters and all the more so one should be careful not to speak any forbidden speech should as Lashon Hara. [18]

Learning in the Sukkah

  1. One should learn in the Sukkah unless one isn't unable to concentrate in which case one should learn inside.[19]
  2. If the cold or heat (if one doesn't have air conditioning in the Sukkah) bothers oneself and one can't concentrate to learn one may learn inside. [20]
  3. If it's a pain to bring all the Seforim into the Sukkah many times (as one needs the space to eat or sleep) then one doesn't have to learn in the Sukkah, however, if one can leave all the Seforim in the Sukkah for the entire holiday one must do that. [21]
  4. One who usually learns in a Bet Midrash doesn't have to learn in a Sukkah. [22]
  5. One should pray in a shul and not in one's Sukkah even if one can get a minyan in the Sukkah. If there's no shul in one's city if one is able to concentrate in the Sukkah one should pray in the Sukkah. [23]
  6. If one usually does Havdalah at home during Sukkot one should do it in the Sukkah. However, those who listen to Havdalah in the shul can do so also on Sukkot. [24]
  7. A community committee meeting can take place as usual and doesn't have to be in the Sukkah. [25]


  1. S”A 639:3, Chazon Ovadyah pg 132
  2. Vayikra (23:42-43)
  3. There is a machloket in Gemara Sukkah 11b of whether we sit in the succa to remember actual succot that they sat in in the desert or the ananei hakavod (clouds of glory) that G-d gave us for protection. Tur 625 says its to remember the ananei hakavod and that’s why we sit in the succa specifically in the winter instead of when we celebrate yetziat Mitzrayim, to show that even though the norm in the winter is to move back into your house and in the summer to move outside, we move outside in the winter to show that we are sitting to fulfill G-d’s will only. The Bach there says that the fact that the tur taught all this with regards to succa is because you haven’t fulfilled your mitzva completely if you didn’t have the reason in mind since the pasuk gives us a reason. Chazon Ovadia (pg 97) quotes the pri megadim(625) as saying that this is only the in order to do the mitzvah in it's best way, however, after the fact even without the intent one has still fulfilled one's obligation because even though mitzvot need kavana this is just the reason for the mitzva. Chazon Ovadyah and Mishna Berura (625:1) agree that this is the halacha. However, Bikkurei Yaakov (625:3) disagrees and says you aren’t yotzei at all.
  4. S"A and Rama 643:3, Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg 145, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot pg 172
  5. Rama 639:3 writes that one make sure not to eat until nighttime. Mishna Brurah 639:25 explains that this is based on the connection between Pesach and Sukkot and by Matzah one may only eat at night as it says in the פסוק. Mishna Brurah continues that after the fact if one ate one should eat another kezayit but not make another LeShev BaSukkah because of Safek Brachot LeHakel. Natai Gavriel (Sukkot 38:12) extends the Rama to not even making Kiddish before nighttime. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 138) agrees with the above halachot.
  6. S"A 643:1
  7. Mishna Brurah 643:3
  8. Magan Avraham 643:1, Mishna Brurah 643:2, Chazon Ovadyah (pg 95)
  9. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 140), Chazon Ovadyah (Sukkot pg 122)
  10. Mishna Brurah 639:35
  11. The Bach 625 writes that since the Torah specifies that we dwell in Sukkot so that we’ll remember the clouds of glory, one must have intent while sitting in the Sukkah that the Sukkah in commemoration for those clouds. Even though the Bikkurei Yacov 625:3 understands that without such intent one doesn’t fulfill the mitzvah of Sukkot, the Pri Megadim A”A 625 holds that this intent is only preferable and after the fact, one fulfilled the mitzvah nonetheless. So rules the Mishna Brurah 625:1 and Chazon Ovadyah (Sukkot pg 95) that the intent is only Lechatchila. Moadim UZmanim (vol 1 pg 169) writes that although the Kavanna doesn’t take away the mitzvah however, one still looses the separate mitzvah of having kavanah.
  12. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 101)
  13. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 101)
  14. Chazon Ovadyah pg 481 holds that’s there no issue of Bal Tosif before the mitzvah was done.
  15. S"A 639:1 writes that one should live in one's Sukkah like one lives in one's house the rest of the year which includes eating, drinking, and sleeping. Mishna Brurah 639:2 adds speaking to one's friend and BeYitzchak Yikra 639:1 adds hanging out. Regarding learning in the Sukkah see further.
  16. S"A 639:1 writes that one should bring one's nice untensils into the Sukkah, however, the cooking pots shouldn't brought in the Sukkah. The Rama adds that one may leave the cooking pots in the Sukkah during the meal but not after the meal, however, the Mishna Brurah 639:5 writes that the minhag is to be strict not to even bring cooking pots in the Sukkah during the meal.
  17. Rama 639:1, Mishna Brurah 639:9
  18. Mishna Brurah 639:2
  19. S"A 639:4. Natai Gavriel 58:1 quotes the Yarot Dvash (Dorosh 6 D"H VeZehu) who explains that one who sits in the sukkah with pure intent, learns, and enjoys the holiday merits a special level of divine presence.
  20. Mishna Brurah 639:29 writes that if it's too cold for oneself in the sukkah and one can't concentrate one may learn inside. Natai Gavriel 48:7 extends this where it's too hot and one doesn't have air conditioning in the sukkah.
  21. Mishna Brurah 639:29, Natai Gavriel 58:3
  22. S"A HaRav 639:4, Kaf HaChaim 639:63, Natai Gavriel 58:6
  23. S"A 639:4 writes that if one wants one may pray in the Sukkah. The Mishna Brurah 639:30 explains that in the place where one has greater kavanah (concentration) one should pray unless there is a shul in the city in which case one should go there (because during the rest of the year one would leave one's house to go to the shul. Pri Megadim (M"Z 639:14), Kaf HaChaim 639:67, and Natai Gavriel 58:8 add that one should pray in the established shul even if one can get a minyan in the Sukkah.
  24. Mishna Brurah 639:30, Shaar HaTzion 639:57, Kaf HaChaim 639:66
  25. Natai Gavriel 58:10 who explains that the Sukkah is supposed to replace one's home but anyway for the meeting one always leaves one's home to go another place and also that they wouldn't be able to concentrate as well in the Sukkah.