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Shabbat, 1 Nissan 5778 / March 17, 2018

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Six

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Shofar, Sukkah, vLulav - Chapter Six

1

Women, slaves, and minors are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah of] sukkah. A tumtum and an androgynous are obligated because of the doubt [concerning their status]. Similarly, a person who is half slave and half free is obligated.

A minor who does not require his mother's [presence] - i.e., a child of five or six - is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah according to Rabbinic decree, to train him in [the performance of] mitzvot.

א

נשים ועבדים וקטנים פטורים מן הסוכה. טומטום ואנדרוגינוס חייבים מספק. וכן מי שחציו עבד וחציו בן חורין חייב. קטן שאינו צריך לאמו שהוא [כבן חמש] כבן שש חייב בסוכה מדברי סופרים כדי לחנכו במצות:

Women, slaves, and minors are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah of] sukkah. - The same laws that apply to hearing the shofar apply to Sukkah. Hence, women and slaves are free of obligation, as is the case regarding all mitzvot whose fulfillment is associated with a specific time. Minors have no obligations at all according to the Torah. (See the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachah 1.)

See also the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachah 2 regarding a woman's right to perform the mitzvah if she desires, and whether permission is granted for her to recite a blessing.

A tumtum and an androgynous are obligated because of the doubt [concerning their status]. - See the commentary on the above halachah for a definition of these terms and their status. Note Halachah 13 regarding their recitation of a blessing.

Similarly, a person who is half slave and half free is obligated. - See the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachot 1 and 3.

A minor who does not require his mother's [presence] - Sukkah 28b offers two definitions of this term:

a) a child who does not need his mother to help him after he relieves himself;

b) a child who does not wake up in the night and call out: "Mommy! Mommy!"

Nevertheless, based on Eruvin 82a, the Rambam provided us with a more definite guideline...

i.e., a child of five or six - is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah according to Rabbinic decree - According to Rashi (Berachot 48a) and the Ramban (Milchamot Hashem, Berachot 20b), there is no obligation incumbent on the child himself. The child's father is obligated to educate him. If he has no father, the obligation falls on his mother and on the local Rabbinic court (Terumat Hadeshen 99).

Tosafot (Berachot 48a) differs and explains that the Sages placed the obligation on the minor himself. From the Rambam's phraseology, it appears that he accepts this view.

Support for this premise can be derived from the Rambam's decision in Hilchot Berachot 5:15-16, which states that an adult who ate a small meal can fulfill his obligation by listening to a child reciting the grace after meals (for both are obligated by virtue of Rabbinic decree). Though others object on the grounds that the child himself is not obligated in the mitzvah, the Rambam states that such a practice is acceptable.

to train him in [the performance of] mitzvot. - The Rambam mentions the same concept in Hilchot Tzitzit 3:9, Hilchot Berachot 5:1, and Hilchot Lulav 7:19.

2

The sick and their attendants are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah. This applies not only to a person who is dangerously ill, but also to one with a headache or a sore eye.

A person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah] is freed from the obligation [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah. This applies to the person himself, but not to his attendants.

Who is "a person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah]"? A person who cannot sleep in the sukkah because of the wind or because of the flies, mites, or the like, or because of the smell.

ב

חולים ומשמשיהן פטורים מן הסוכה. ולא חולה שיש בו סכנה אלא אפילו חש בראשו ואפילו חש בעיניו. מצטער פטור מן הסוכה הוא ולא משמשיו. ואיזהו מצטער זה שאינו יכול לישן בסוכה מפני הרוח או מפני הזבובים והפרעושים וכיוצא בהן או מפני הריח:

The sick and their attendants - Since the latter's performance of a mitzvah - tending to the sick - does not enable them to perform the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah, they are absolved from the obligation. (See Sukkah 25a, 26a.) However, this leniency is granted only during the time the sick person requires their assistance (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 640:7).

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah. This applies not only to a person who is dangerously ill - who is free from the obligation to perform all mitzvot, even those as severe as the Sabbath or Yom Kippur;

but also to one with a headache - or any other minor illness (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:4).

This leniency is granted because of one of the basic principles related to the mitzvah of sukkah. Leviticus 23:42 states: "You shall dwell in sukkot (תשבו בסכת)." On that verse, Sukkah 26a comments: תשבו כעין תדורו - i.e., dwelling in the sukkah is comparable to living in one's own home. Thus, a person is not required to dwell in a sukkah under circumstances which would cause him to leave his own home.

Since a person who is sick would seek the most comfortable lodgings possible and would not camp outside, he is not obligated to do so to fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah (Rabbenu Manoach).

or a sore eye. - Sukkah 26a relates that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel was granted permission to sleep outside the sukkah for this purpose.

The Torah's prohibitions are suspended not only when a person's life is in danger, but also when a particular limb might be lost. Though this premise is accepted by the Rambam (see Hilchot Shabbat 2:4), it does not appear that he is referring to it here. Rather, it seems that he means a minor ailment comparable to a headache. See also Tosafot (Sukkah, ibid.).

A person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah] is freed from the obligation [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah. - based on the principle of תשבו כעין תדורו, as explained above. Just as a person would seek out a comfortable permanent dwelling, he is obligated to dwell only in a sukkah which does not cause him unpleasantness.

Rabbenu Manoach states that this leniency does not apply on the first night of Sukkot, on which there is a binding obligation to eat in the sukkah. (See Halachah 6.) The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 640:4) quotes this statement as halachah.

This applies to the person himself, but not to his attendants. - Some earlier texts of the Mishneh Torah stated that leniency was also granted to such a person's attendants, but that is surely a printing error (Rabbenu Manoach).

Who is "a person who is uncomfortable [when dwelling in the sukkah]"? A person who cannot sleep in the sukkah because of the wind or because of the flies, mites, or the like, or because of the smell. - The Tur, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 640:4), and the Ramah emphasize that this law applies only when the discomfort is an unexpected occurrence. However, a sukkah which is constructed in a place where the discomfort will surely come is considered to be unfit to dwell in and is unacceptable for the performance of the mitzvah.

3

A mourner is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah.

A groom, his attendants, and all the members of the wedding party are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah throughout the seven days of [the wedding] festivities.

ג

האבל חייב בסוכה. וחתן וכל השושבינין וכל בני חופה פטורים מן הסוכה כל שבעת ימי המשתה:

A mourner - The term אבל refers to a person in the seven days of mourning which follow the burial of a father, mother, wife, brother, sister, son, or daughter. An אונן (a person in mourning for these relatives before their burial) is freed from the obligation of sukkah, because he is absolved of the duty to perform all mitzvot (Hilchot Eivel 4:6).

It must be noted that none of the mourning rites should be followed during a festival. If a close relative dies before the festival, the shiv'ah (seven days of mourning) is completed at the festival's commencement, even though all seven days have not passed (Hilchot Eivel 10:3, 8).

is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah. - Sukkah 25b explains that a mourner (אבל) is obligated to fulfill all the mitzvot. Nevertheless, one might suppose that just as a person who is uncomfortable is freed from the obligation of sukkah, a mourner would also be absolved. Therefore, the Talmud includes a special teaching to emphasize the mourner's obligation, explaining that one is absolved only for discomfort which comes from external factors. In this case, the mourner brings discomfort upon himself. He should compose himself and concentrate his attention on the mitzvah.

Nevertheless, Shulchan Aruch HaRav (640:13) writes that if dwelling in a sukkah will cause a mourner more discomfort than dwelling in his home, he is allowed to choose the latter alternative.

A groom - because he is involved in the mitzvah of marriage. Sukkah 25b adds that generally, a sukkah is to small to carry out the wedding celebrations in the proper manner. Furthermore, the groom is obligated to rejoice together with his wife, and the sukkah is not an appropriate setting.

his attendants - In Hilchot Zechiyah Umatanah, Chapter 7, the Rambam describes the custom of שושבינות (attending a groom).

and all the members of the wedding party - They are absolved of the mitzvah only while they are involved in the mitzvah of celebrating together with the bride and groom, however, when they leave, they are obligated. Furthermore, there are many authorities who require that the meals served the groom and his attendants be served in a sukkah. (See Mishnah Berurah 640:33.)

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah throughout the seven days of [the wedding] festivities. - It must be emphasized that the wedding must have taken place during the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Weddings are not held during the Ten Days of Repentance, nor on Chol Hamo'ed.

4

Emissaries charged with a mission involving a mitzvah are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah both during the day and at night. People who journey during the day are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day and are obligated at night. People who journey during the night are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night and are obligated during the day.

A city's day watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day and are obligated at night. Its night watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night and are obligated during the day. The watchmen of gardens and orchards are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] during the day and the night, because if the watchman constructs a sukkah, a thief will realize that the watchman has a fixed place and will go to steal from another place.

ד

שלוחי מצוה פטורים מן הסוכה בין ביום ובין בלילה. הולכי דרכים ביום פטורים מן הסוכה ביום וחייבין בלילה. הולכי דרכים בלילה פטורים מן הסוכה בלילה וחייבים ביום. שומרי העיר ביום פטורים מן הסוכה ביום וחייבים בלילה. שומרי העיר בלילה פטורים מן הסוכה בלילה וחייבים ביום. שומרי גגות ופרדסין פטורין בין ביום ובין בלילה שאם יעשה השומר סוכה ידע הגנב שיש לשומר מקום קבוע ויבא ויגנוב מן מקום אחר:

Emissaries charged with a mission involving a mitzvah - e.g., to study Torah, to greet a Sage under whom one studied Torah, or to redeem captives (Rashi, Sukkah 25a).

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah - i.e., they are not required to eat, sleep, or perform any of the activities in a sukkah described in Halachot 5-9.

both during the day and at night. - Rashi (Sukkah 25a, 26a) states that this applies even when they are lodging overnight. Since, at night they are also involved with thinking about how to fulfill the mitzvah, they are still considered as occupied with the performance of a mitzvah and are not required to seek out a sukkah. An example of this principle quoted by the Talmud supports this interpretation:

When Rav Chisda and Rabbah bar Rav Huna would attend [the lecture delivered] at the home of the exilarch on the Sabbath of the festival, they would sleep along the river banks of Sura.

They explained: "We are emissaries involved in a mitzvah" (Sukkah 26a).

Though these Sages were visiting a city which served as a center of Jewish life and surely could have found a sukkah to lodge in, they did not see the necessity for doing so. (See also Sukkah 10b.)

Nevertheless, Tosafot, Sukkah 10b, interprets the passage differently and explains that leniency is granted these emissaries only when dwelling in the sukkah would in some way prevent them from carrying out the mitzvah which they set out to perform. If it is possible to do both - perform the mitzvah they set out to do and fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah - one must endeavor to do so.

The Maggid Mishneh explains that the Rambam shares Rashi's view. However, the final halachic position followed by most Ashkenazic authorities is closer to Tosafot's position: i.e., these emissaries are not obligated to trouble themselves to find a sukkah. However, if there is a sukkah available, they should make use of it. Nevertheless, if sleeping in the sukkah would prevent them from getting proper rest, and thus hold them back from fulfilling their mitzvah in a proper manner, they are not required to sleep in a sukkah (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 640:18; Mishnah Berurah 640:38).

(Abstractly, it is possible to differentiate between the two positions as follows. According to Rashi, there is no obligation of sukkah incumbent on this person whatsoever. In contrast, Tosafot would maintain that the person is obligated to perform the mitzvah. However, at all times he is bound by another commitment which takes precedence.)

People who journey during the day are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day - i.e., while they are traveling. Tosafot, Sukkah 26a explains that this concept is derived from the principle: תשבו כעין תדורו - i.e., dwelling in the sukkah is comparable to living in one's own home. Since a person will occasionally leave his home on a journey, he is also entitled to leave his sukkah.

and are obligated at night - if they lodge in a settled place (Tosafot, ibid.).

People who journey during the night are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night - i.e., while traveling

and are obligated during the day. - if they lodge in a settled area.

A city's day watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah during the day - when they are on duty.

and are obligated at night - when they are replaced by their colleagues. Conversely,...

Its night watchmen are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] of sukkah at night and are obligated during the day.

The watchmen of gardens and orchards - who spend their entire day guarding the produce (Rashi, Sukkah 26a)

are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah] during the day and the night, because if the watchman constructs a sukkah, a thief will realize that the watchman has a fixed place and will go to steal from another place. - Sukkah, ibid., explains that based on this principle, the leniency is granted only to watchmen charged with guarding an entire orchard or farm. However, if a watchman is charged with guarding produce which is collected in one place, he is capable of fulfilling the mitzvah and discharging his duty. Hence, he is obligated to construct a sukkah there.

5

How must the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah be fulfilled? A person must eat, drink, and live in the sukkah throughout all seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night, in the same manner as he dwells in his home throughout the year.

During these seven days, he must consider his house as a temporary dwelling and the sukkah as his permanent home, as [Leviticus 23:42] states: "You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days."

What does this imply? His attractive utensils and attractive bedding [should be brought] to the sukkah. His drinking utensils - i.e., his cups and crystal pitchers - [should be brought] to the sukkah. However, utensils used for food - i.e., pans and plates - [may be left] outside the sukkah. A candelabra [should be brought] to the sukkah. However, if the sukkah is small, it should be left outside the sukkah.

ה

כיצד היא מצות הישיבה בסוכה. שיהיה אוכל ושותה ודר בסוכה כל שבעת הימים בין ביום ובין בלילה כדרך שהוא דר בביתו בשאר ימות השנה. וכל שבעת הימים עושה אדם את ביתו עראי ואת סוכתו קבע שנאמר בסוכות תשבו שבעת ימים. כיצד כלים הנאים ומצעות הנאות בסוכה. וכלי שתייה כגון אשישות וכוסות בסוכה. אבל כלי אכילה כגון קדרות וקערות חוץ לסוכה. המנורה בסוכה. ואם היתה סוכה קטנה מניחה חוץ לסוכה:

How must the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah be fulfilled? A person must eat, drink, and live - performing all the activities mentioned in this halachah and Halachot 6-9.

in the sukkah throughout all seven days [of the festival] - These statements and the Rambam's introduction to these halachot imply that each moment a person dwells in the sukkah throughout the seven days of the festival, he fulfills a mitzvah. (Accordingly, a blessing is recited whenever one makes use of the sukkah [Halachah 12]. See Halachah 7.)

both during the day and at night - Sukkah 43a derives this concept by drawing an analogy (גזרה שוה) to the seven days of preparation for the dedication of the Sanctuary. Thus, just as the priests were required to stay in the Sanctuary for seven days - day and night - similarly, the mitzvah of sukkah must be observed in the same manner.

in the same manner as he dwells in his home throughout the year - following the principle of תשבו כעין תדורו mentioned above.

During these seven days, he must consider his house as a temporary dwelling and the sukkah as his permanent home - This statement is a quote from the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:8. In his commentary on that Mishnah, the Rambam defines קבע as "of primary importance and a constant practice."

as [Leviticus 23:42] states: "You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days."

What does this imply? His attractive utensils and attractive bedding - [should be brought] to the sukkah. His drinking utensils - i.e., his cups and crystal pitchers - [should be brought] to the sukkah. - Doing so is a sign of honor and respect for the mitzvah.

However, utensils used for food - i.e., pans and plates - [may be left] outside the sukkah. - Obviously, during the meal one's plates must be in the sukkah. The Rambam's intent is that after the meal there is no necessity to keep one's plates in the sukkah, because they are not attractive and are generally stored in pantries outside the home. In contrast, it is customary in many communities not to bring pots into the sukkah, even while eating (Mishnah Berurah 639:5). [Needless to say, plates that must be washed must be removed from the sukkah.]

The printed (as opposed to certain manuscripts) text of Rashi (Sukkah 29a) also shares the Rambam's interpretation. Tosafot explains the passage slightly differently, rendering "utensils used for food" as "utensils used in the preparation of food" - i.e., pots and pans.

A candelabra - i.e., the source of light

[should be brought] to the sukkah - even when it is not burning, since it is attractive.

However, if the sukkah is small, it should be left outside the sukkah. - lest it cause a fire (Tosafot, Sukkah, ibid.). This differs from Rashi's interpretation of Sukkah, ibid., which explains that the Talmud is referring to an earthenware lamp. Thus, we may assume that it should not be brought into the sukkah because it is unattractive. This, appears to justify the statements of the Maggid Mishneh, who writes that the lamp should not be brought into the sukkah when it is not burning. Both opinions are quoted by the later halachic authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 639:3; Mishnah Berurah 639:7-8).

6

We should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah through the entire seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night. It is forbidden to eat a meal outside the sukkah for the entire seven [day period]. However, [there is no prohibition] if one eats a snack the measure of a k'beitzah or less, or even slightly more.

One may not sleep outside the sukkah at all, even a brief nap. It is permissible to drink water and eat fruit outside the sukkah. However, a person who follows the stringency of not drinking even water outside the sukkah is worthy of praise.

ו

אוכלין ושותין וישנים בסוכה כל שבעה בין ביום ובין בלילה. ואסור לאכול סעודה חוץ לסוכה כל שבעה אלא אם אכל אכילת עראי כביצה או פחות או יתר מעט. ואין ישנים חוץ לסוכה אפילו שינת עראי. ומותר לשתות מים ולאכול פירות חוץ לסוכה. ומי שיחמיר על עצמו ולא ישתה חוץ לסוכה אפילו מים הרי זה משובח:

We should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah through the entire seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night. It is forbidden to eat a meal - i.e., a meal of bread or food prepared from the five species of grain

outside the sukkah for the entire seven [day period]. - The B'nei Binyamin explains that this expression includes the Sabbath and festivals, thus excluding the opinions which maintain that any meal of bread eaten on the Sabbath or festivals is significant and cannot be considered as a snack. See the commentary of Rabbi Akiva Eiger.

However, [there is no prohibition] if one eats a snack - even of bread, outside the sukkah.

Sukkah 26a defines "a snack" as "what the students will eat before they enter the study sessions." In his commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:4, the Rambam explains it as "a small amount, [eaten] without considering it as a meal, in order to satisfy one's hunger [temporarily], until one can complete eating afterwards."

Rabbenu Manoach explains that though there is no prohibition involved, it is not desirable to eat even a snack of bread outside the sukkah.

the measure of a k'beitzah or less, - The Mishnah (ibid.) relates that less than a k'beitzah of bread was brought once to Rabbi Tzadok and he ate it outside the sukkah.

or even slightly more. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 639:2) restricts the leniency to a k'beitzah (approximately 56 cubic centimeters according to Shiurei Torah and, in this instance, 41 cubic centimeters according to the Chazon Ish) alone (See Tosafot, Yoma 79a.) The same principles are also applied to cooked foods made from the five species of grain.

One may not sleep outside the sukkah at all, even a brief nap. - In contrast to eating, where there is a difference between a fixed meal and a snack, no such difference exists regarding sleep. At times, even a rest of a few moments can have a major effect on a person. (See Sukkah 26a; Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 2:5.)

At present, there are many communities where leniency is taken in this regard. In some climates, the cold will cause everyone to consider sleeping in the sukkah as uncomfortable and, hence, they are freed of that obligation. Furthermore, in many communities, there is also a danger involved. In addition, if a husband would sleep in a sukkah, he would deprive his wife of some of the happiness and satisfaction that should accompany a festival. (See Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:2.)

Nevertheless, many authorities explain that these leniencies apply only at night, but during the day one is obligated to sleep in the sukkah.

It is permissible to drink water - or any other beverage, including wine (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:2), outside the sukkah. There is a difference of opinion among the later halachic authorities if this decision also applies when one sits down to a party centering on drinking wine (קובע עצמו לשתות). Some (the Bach and Shulchan Aruch HaRav 639:12) require that such drinking be carried out in a sukkah. However, others (the Vilna Gaon and the Mishnah Berurah 639:13) are more lenient.

and eat fruit outside the sukkah. - for these do not constitute a significant meal.

Sukkah 27a relates that Rabbi Elazar ben Shamu'a ate dates and grapes outside the sukkah, because "fruit does not require a sukkah."

Rabbenu Manoach and some other commentaries maintain that this leniency applies only to fruit. In contrast, meat, fish, cheese, and other substantial foods which form the basis of a meal must be eaten in a sukkah. While many later halachic authorities do not accept this view, some maintain that one should not sit down with company to a meal of such foods outside a sukkah. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 639:11; Mishnah Berurah 639:15.)

However, a person who follows the stringency of not drinking even water outside the sukkah is worthy of praise. - To exemplify this principle, the Mishnah (ibid.) quotes the following:

Once they brought a cooked dish for Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai to taste, and two dates and a pitcher of water for Rabban Gamliel. They said: "Take them up to the sukkah."

Sukkah 26b explains that often our Sages counselled against accepting extra stringencies upon oneself, lest one take pride in one's piety. However, in this instance they make no such reservations.

7

Eating in the sukkah on the first night of the festival is an obligation. If a person eats merely a k'zayit of bread, he fulfills his obligation. Afterwards, [the matter is left to one's] volition. If one desires to eat a meal, one must eat it in the sukkah. If one desires, throughout the seven [days of the festival], one may eat only fruit or roasted grain outside of the sukkah. The same laws apply as those regarding the eating of matzah on Pesach.

ז

אכילה בלילי יום טוב הראשון בסוכה חובה. אפילו אכל כזית פת יצא ידי חובתו. מכאן ואילך רשות. רצה לאכול סעודה סועד בסוכה. רצה אינו אוכל כל שבעה אלא פירות או קליות חוץ לסוכה אוכל כדין אכילת מצה בפסח:

Eating in the sukkah on the first night of the festival is an obligation. - Sukkah 27a draws an analogy between the first night of Sukkot and the first night of Pesach. Just as eating a k'zayit of matzah on the fifteenth of Nisan is a mitzvah, so too, each Jewish male is required to eat in the sukkah on the fifteenth of Tishre.

If a person eats merely a k'zayit of bread - This is the minimum amount required by the Torah in all mitzvot that involve eating. In modern measurements, the figure corresponds to 28 cubic centimeters according to Shiurei Torah, and 48 cubic centimeters according to the Chazon Ish.

he fulfills his obligation. Afterwards, [the matter is left to one's] volition. - The difference in the requirement between the first night and the remaining days has other ramifications. As mentioned in Halachah 2, a person who is uncomfortable in the sukkah is freed from his obligation. However, this leniency applies only on the first night after the mitzvah of eating a k'zayit has been fulfilled (Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:3).

If one desires to eat a meal - including bread, or according to some authorities, other hearty foods, as mentioned above

one must eat it in the sukkah. If one desires, throughout the seven [days of the festival], one may eat only fruit or roasted grain - which may be eaten...

outside of the sukkah. - The Lechem Yehudah explains that the Rambam is speaking only from the perspective of the mitzvah of sukkah. However, one is obligated to eat three meals on the Sabbath as an expression of the mitzvah of honoring the Sabbath and taking pleasure in its celebration. (See Hilchot Shabbat 30:9.) Similarly, one is required to eat festive meals on the first day of Sukkot in honor of the holiday. These meals must be eaten in the sukkah.

The same laws apply as regards the eating of matzah on Pesach. - The Rambam's intent is that, as explained in Hilchot Chametz U'matzah 6:1, after the first night of the festival a person is not obligated to eat matzah and may subsist on other foods. Similarly, on Sukkot one may eat foods that do not require consumption within a sukkah.

However, according to most authorities, his choice of words is not exact. The mitzvah of sukkah differs from that of matzah. In the latter instance, there is no mitzvah involved in eating matzah after the first night of the holiday. In contrast, every activity performed in the sukkah constitutes a further fulfillment of the mitzvah.

Accordingly, after the first night of the festival no special blessing is recited before partaking of matzah. In contrast, as stated in Halachah 12, a blessing is recited every time we make use of the sukkah. See also the Moznaim publication of Hilchot Chametz U'Matzah 6:1.

8

It is forbidden for a person to sit and eat with his head and the majority of his body inside a sukkah while his table is in his home or outside the sukkah. It is considered as if he did not eat inside the sukkah. [Rather,] the table must also be inside the sukkah. This was decreed lest one be drawn after one's table. This law applies even in a large sukkah.

ח

מי שהיה ראשו ורובו בסוכה ושולחנו בתוך ביתו או חוץ לסוכה ואוכל הרי זה אסור וכאילו לא אכל בסוכה עד שיהיה שולחנו בתוך הסוכה. גזרה שמא ימשך אחר שולחנו. ואפילו בסוכה גדולה:

It is forbidden for a person to sit and eat with his head and the majority of his body inside a sukkah while his table is in his home or outside the sukkah. - The Mishnah (Sukkah 2:6) records a difference of opinion on this matter between the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel. In this instance, the halachah follows the School of Shammai.

It is considered as if he did not eat inside the sukkah. - The Mishnah (ibid.) continues:

An incident occurred when the elders of the School of Shammai and the elders of the School of Hillel went to visit Rabbi Yochanan ben Hachoroni and found him sitting with his head and the majority of his body in the sukkah while his table was in his house...

The elders of the School of Shammai told him: "If this has been your practice, you have never fulfilled the mitzvah of sukkah."

Rabbenu Nissim questions how the Sages' decree can negate the fulfillment of a mitzvah, and thus explains the last phrase to mean: "You have never fulfilled the mitzvah as desired by our Sages." However, Tosafot, Sukkah 3a explains that the Sages' decree is powerful enough to nullify the person's actions entirely, and it is considered as if he never fulfilled the mitzvah at all.

9

Throughout the seven days [of the festival], a person should read in the sukkah. However, when he attempts to comprehend what he reads in depth and appreciate its details, he should do so outside the sukkah, so that his mind will be settled.

When a person prays, he may pray inside the sukkah or outside the sukkah, as he desires.

ט

כל שבעת הימים קורא בתוך הסוכה. וכשמבין ומדקדק במה שיקרא יבין חוץ לסוכה כדי שתהיה דעתו מיושבת עליו. המתפלל רצה מתפלל בסוכה או חוץ לסוכה:

Throughout the seven days [of the festival], a person should read in the sukkah. - Since the person must regard his sukkah as his home throughout the festival, in addition to eating and sleeping, he must perform all his other day-to-day functions inside of it. Hence, he should also read in the sukkah.

However, when he attempts to comprehend what he reads in depth and appreciate its details, he should do so outside the sukkah - Sukkah explains that any time it is necessary to study a concept in depth, one should do so outside the sukkah...

so that his mind will be settled - while he studies. The Magen Avraham 639:13 adds a further reason to study at home: the difficulty in bringing one's texts back and forth from the sukkah. The Magen Avraham explains that this matter also depends on the individual person. If he is as comfortable studying in the sukkah as studying at home, he is obligated to do so.

When a person prays - at a time when he is unable to pray in the synagogue (Magen Avraham 639:14)

he may pray inside the sukkah or outside the sukkah, as he desires - depending on where he will be able to concentrate more.

10

If rain descends, a person may enter his home. When is one permitted to leave [the sukkah]? When enough raindrops descend into the sukkah so that they would spoil a cooked dish - even a dish of beans - were they to fall into it.

If a person was eating in the sukkah and rain descended, and hence, he entered his home, if the rains stop we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah {that entire night} until he is finished eating.

If he was sleeping and rain descended, and hence, he entered his home, we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah that entire night should the rains cease. Rather, he may remain sleeping in his house that entire night until dawn.

י

ירדו גשמים הרי זה נכנס לתוך הבית. מאימתי מותר לפנות משירדו לתוך הסוכה טפות שאם יפלו לתוך התבשיל יפסל אפילו תבשיל של פול. היה אוכל בסוכה וירדו גשמים ונכנס לביתו ופסקו הגשמים אין מחייבים אותו לחזור לסוכה (כל אותו הלילה) עד שיגמור סעודתו. היה ישן וירדו גשמים בלילה ונכנס לתוך הבית ופסקו הגשמים אין מטריחין אותו לחזור לסוכה כל אותו הלילה אלא ישן בביתו עד שיעלה עמוד השחר:

If rain descends, a person may enter his home. - The descent of rain on Sukkot implies that our actions are not desired by God. The Mishnah (Sukkah 2:8) compares the matter to a servant who came to serve his master drink and the latter poured the pitcher in his face.

Tzafenat Paneach explains that there is a fundamental difference between this law and the case of a person who is uncomfortable while in the sukkah. In the latter instance, in essence, the person is obligated to fulfill the mitzvah. However, because of his discomfort, his obligation is temporarily waived. In contrast, when rain descends it is impossible to fulfill the mitzvah at all, because the sukkah is not fit to dwell in. Hence, there is no obligation whatsoever.

There is a practical difference between these two abstract positions regarding the question whether a person is obligated to eat in the sukkah on the first night of the holiday even when it rains. (See the commentary on Halachah 7.) According to the Tzafenat Paneach, under these circumstances there is no mitzvah which one is required to fulfill. Thus, one may eat at home. In contrast, most authorities do not differentiate between rain and other uncomfortable situations. Thus, since eating in the sukkah on that night is a binding obligation, they require a person to fulfill the mitzvah.

There is a further aspect to this concept. The Maharil explains that a person who eats in a sukkah when he is not obligated to do so is a simple person and receives no reward for his "piety." On this basis, in many communities, people make no effort to stay in the sukkah when it rains. In contrast, there are some communities where people will continue to eat in the sukkah despite pouring rain.

What is the difference between these two approaches? The first approach follows the perspective that, during the rain, there is no mitzvah to dwell in the sukkah whatsoever. Hence, there is no need to strain oneself to remain there. In contrast, the second perspective does not differentiate between rain and any other uncomfortable circumstances, but maintains that, in essence, dwelling in the sukkah is a mitzvah even under such circumstances. Accordingly, they remain in the sukkah, because while they are involved in fulfilling God's will they do not feel even the slightest trace of discomfort.

When is one permitted to leave [the sukkah]? - The Maharil writes that when a person is forced to leave the sukkah because of rain, he should depart with humility rather than with anger.

when enough raindrops descend into the sukkah so that they would spoil a cooked dish - We need not wait until the food actually spoils. As soon as enough rain descends to spoil the food, one is free to enter one's home (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:5).

even a dish of beans - i.e., a dish made from bean meal, which spoils quickly (Rambam, Commentary on the Mishnah, Sukkah 2:8).

were they to fall into it.

If a person was eating in the sukkah and rain descended, and hence, he entered his home, if the rains stop, we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah - to finish his meal...

{that entire night} - This phrase is set off by brackets because it is most likely a printing error. It is not easily understood, nor is it found in the manuscript copies of the Mishneh Torah or in the quotation of this halachah in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 639:6).

until he is finished eating. - However, after he concludes eating he must return to the sukkah.

If he was sleeping and rain descended - The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:7) emphasizes that even the slightest amount of rain is sufficient to free one from the obligation of sleeping in the sukkah.

and hence, he entered his home, we do not obligate him to return to his sukkah that entire night should the rains cease. - The same law applies if it was raining when he desired to go to sleep, and hence, he never slept in the sukkah at all (Mishnah Berurah 639:39).

Rather, he may remain sleeping that entire night in his house - even if he wakes up in the middle of the night and it is no longer raining, he is not required to move to the sukkah.

until dawn. - The Maggid Mishneh and Rabbenu Manoach note that the Rambam's choice of phraseology implies that the person cannot sleep his normal measure, but must rise at dawn to return to the sukkah. They are not stringent and allow the person to remain sleeping at home until he wakes up. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 639:7) quotes the Rambam's statements verbatim. However, the Ramah includes this leniency.

11

A person should not take apart his sukkah after he finishes eating on the seventh day [of Sukkot]. However, from the afternoon on, he may take down his utensils and remove them.

If he has no place to put the utensils, he should reduce its space by at least four handbreadths by four handbreadths.

If he has to eat later that day, he must eat in the sukkah, because the mitzvah extends throughout the seven days.

יא

גמר מלאכול ביום השביעי בשחרית לא יתיר סוכתו. אבל מוריד הוא את כליו ומפנה אותן מן המנחה ולמעלה אין לו מקום לפנות פוחת בה ארבעה על ארבעה. ואם הוצרך לסעוד בשאר היום צריך לאכול בסוכה שמצותה כל שבעה:

This halachah applies only in places where Sukkot is celebrated for seven days, as required by the Torah. The laws pertaining to the Diaspora, where the festival is celebrated for eight days, are described in Halachah 13.

A person should not take apart his sukkah after he finishes eating on the seventh day [of Sukkot]. - lest he require it later during the day.

However, from the afternoon on, he may take down his utensils and remove them - Keeping one's utensils in the sukkah is included in the mitzvah of dwelling within it, as mentioned in Halachah 5. Nevertheless, one is allowed to take them home to prepare them for use on Shemini Atzeret as a sign of deference to that holiday. (See Sukkah 4:7.)

If he has no place to put the utensils - i.e., if he used his home as a sukkah, and thus must continue to remain there on Shemini Atzeret (see Sukkah 48a)...

he should reduce its space - by opening up [a portion of s'chach]

at least four handbreadths by four handbreadths - to make the sukkah, or at least a significant portion of it, unfit for use. This safeguards against the violation of the command of בל תוסיף (Deuteronomy 13:1), which forbids adding to the mitzvot of the Torah. These acts will differentiate between his eating in the sukkah during the festival, when he is required to do so in fulfillment of the mitzvah, and eating there afterwards, once the mitzvah has been completed (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 666).

The Ramah adds that this requirement applies only when one desires to eat in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeret. Once that holiday passes, one may eat in a sukkah without making any changes.

If he has to eat later that day - even if he has removed his utensils or taken away part of the s'chach...

he must eat in the sukkah, because the mitzvah extends throughout the seven days.

12

Whenever a person enters a sukkah with the intention of sitting down throughout the seven [days of Sukkot], he should recite the following blessing before sitting:

[Blessed are You...] who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah.

On the first night of the festival, one should first recite the blessing on the sukkah, and then the blessing for the occasion.

One should recite all the blessings over a cup of wine. Thus, one should recite kiddush while standing, recite the blessing leishev basukkah, sit, and then recite the blessing shehecheyanu.

This was the custom of my teachers and the Rabbis of Spain: to recite kiddush while standing on the first night of the Sukkot festival, as explained.

יב

כל זמן שיכנס לישב בסוכה כל שבעה מברך קודם שישב אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לישב בסוכה. ובלילי יום טוב הראשון מברך על הסוכה ואחר כך על הזמן ומסדר כל הברכות על הכוס. נמצא מקדש מעומד ומברך לישב בסוכה ויושב ואחר כך מברך על הזמן. וכזה היה מנהג רבותי ורבני ספרד לקדש מעומד בלילי ראשון של חג הסוכות כמו שביארנו:

Whenever a person enters a sukkah with the intention of sitting down throughout the seven [days of Sukkot], he should recite the following blessing - Note the commentary on Halachah 7, which explains the difference between this law and the rules governing the blessing recited before eating matzah.

before sitting - The Rambam maintains that by sitting or doing any other activity which one would perform in one's home in the sukkah, one fulfills the mitzvah. Hence, the blessing is recited before one performs the mitzvah, as required by Hilchot Berachot 11:2.

The Maggid Mishneh questions why the blessing is not recited before one enters the sukkah, noting that the interpretation of the command לישב בסוכה is "to dwell in the sukkah," not "to sit in the sukkah." However, the Taz 643:2 explains that merely passing through the sukkah is not part of the mitzvah. Rather, one must perform an activity that reflects "dwelling." Hence, the blessing is not recited until one sits down, because previously it is not obvious that one wants to perform a significant activity in the sukkah.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's decision, maintaining that one should recite the blessing only before partaking of a meal in the sukkah. This reflects the decision of the Ashkenazic authorities, who maintain that though the performance of all one's activities in the sukkah is a mitzvah, it is not customary to recite the blessing except when eating. When reciting the blessing on that occasion, one should intend to include all other activities. (See Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 639:8.)

[Blessed are You...] who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah. - The Maggid Mishneh states that there is no limit to the number of times one recites the blessing each day. Nevertheless, if one left the sukkah for a brief interval or left with the intent of performing an activity which would improve the sukkah, that departure is not considered an interruption and no blessing is required upon one's return.

On the first night of the festival, one should first recite the blessing on the sukkah, and then the blessing for the occasion - i.e., the blessing shehecheyanu, which thanks God for enabling us to reach this occasion. This blessing is recited whenever one performs a mitzvah that can be fulfilled only from time to time (Hilchot Berachot 11:9).

That halachah and, similarly, Sukkah 46a, imply that, at the outset, one should recite the blessing shehecheyanu upon construction of the sukkah. Though the Rambam makes no mention of that concept here, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 641:1) states that one should have the construction of the sukkah in mind when reciting shehecheyanu at night.

One should recite all the blessings over a cup of wine - as did Rav Kahana (Sukkah 46a).

Thus, one should recite kiddush - for the festival

while standing - The Ramah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 643:2) states that kiddush may be recited while sitting.

recite the blessing leishev basukkah - Though one might presume that shehecheyanu would be recited first, since it is more frequent, precedence is given to leishev basukkah, because it is "the mitzvah of the day" (Rabbenu Manoach).

sit, and then recite the blessing shehecheyanu. - On the second night, it is Ashkenazic custom to recite to the blessing shehecheyanu before the blessing leishev basukkah, since on that occasion the blessing is associated with the celebration of the festival and not the mitzvah of sukkah. (See Bnei Binyamin.)

This was the custom of my teachers and the Rabbis - Rav Kapach notes that most of the manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah state רבי "the great men of" and not רבני, "the Rabbis of."

of Spain - The Ra'avad objects and comments that even in Spain such a custom was not followed.

to recite kiddush while standing on the first night of the Sukkot festival, as explained.

13

At present, when we celebrate holidays for two days, we dwell in the sukkah for eight days. On the eighth day, which is the first day of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, we dwell in the sukkah, but do not recite the blessing leishev basukkah.

Similarly, a tumtum and an androgynous never recite the blessing leishev basukkah, because their obligation [to perform the mitzvah is based] on doubt, and a blessing is never recited when one is doubtful [of one's obligation].

יג

בזמן הזה שאנו עושין שני ימים יושבין בסוכה שמונה ימים. וביום השמיני שהוא יום טוב ראשון של שמיני עצרת יושבים בה ואין מברכים לישב בסוכה. וכן טומטום ואנדרוגינוס לעולם אין מברכין לישב בסוכה מפני שהן חייבים מספק ואין מברכין מספק:

At present - in the Diaspora and in certain places in Eretz Yisrael (Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh, Chapter 9)

when we celebrate holidays for two days - because originally, the messengers sent by the Sanhedrin could not reach there in time to notify them when the holiday should be celebrated. Hence, even now, when we follow the fixed calendar, we continue to follow this custom. (See Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh, Chapters 3 and 5.)

we dwell in the sukkah for eight days. - In deference to the possibility that the festival could have begun on the second day and the seven days should be counted from then.

The commandment בל תוסיף (Deuteronomy 13:1) forbids adding to the mitzvot of the Torah. Indeed, in Halachot 11 and 14, we find certain safeguards instituted because of this commandment. Nevertheless, dwelling in the sukkah on the eighth day does not constitute a violation of this commandment, because the time when the mitzvah is to be performed has already passed. Placing a fifth passage in one's tefillin during the day violates this commandment, because we are obligated to perform the mitzvah at this time. However, once the seven days of Sukkot pass, there is no mitzvah associated with the sukkah whatsoever (Rosh Hashanah 28b).

Nevertheless, many Ashkenazic authorities would carry out additional safeguards regarding this matter. For example, the Tur relates (though he opposes this practice himself) that some follow the custom of eating in the Sukkah only on the day of Shemini Atzeret, but not the night. Many of the Rabbis who would sleep in the Sukkah throughout the festival refrain from doing so on Shemini Atzeret. (See K'tav Sofer, Responsum 120.)

On the eighth day, which is the first day of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret - As its name implies, Shemini Atzeret is the eighth day of Sukkot. However, it also has certain aspects in which it is considered a holiday in its own right (Sukkah 48a).

we dwell in the sukkah, but do not recite the blessing leishev basukkah. - because as the Rambam explains, a blessing is not recited when a mitzvah is performed only because of a doubt.

Sukkah 47a relates that "Rav Huna bar Bizna and all the great Sages of the generation dwelled in a sukkah on the eighth day - which might have been the seventh day - [of the festival], but did not recite a blessing."

Similarly, a tumtum and an androgynous - See Chapter 2, Halachah 1 for a definition of these terms and these individuals' status.

never recite the blessing leishev basukkah, because their obligation [to perform the mitzvah is based] on doubt - i.e., they are required to perform the mitzvah because of the doubt concerning their status: maybe they are to be considered men.

and a blessing is never recited when one is doubtful [of one's obligation]. - This follows the rationale that when there is a doubt concerning one's obligation in matters required by the Torah itself, one must follow the more stringent view. However, regarding obligations of a Rabbinic nature, one may opt towards leniency. Since the mitzvah is required by the Torah, even a person in doubt must perform it. However, the blessing is a Rabbinic requirement; hence, there is no necessity in reciting it. Furthermore, by reciting the blessing when one is not required, one uses God's name in vain.

This perspective is not accepted by all authorities. As explained in the commentary on Chapter 2, Halachah 1, the Ashkenazic practice is to allow women and others who are not obligated in the performance of a mitzvah to recite a blessing when fulfilling it.

The above applies only regarding the doubts concerning the obligations of a tumtum and an androgynous. However, on Shemini Atzeret, when there is a doubt concerning the obligation of the entire Jewish people even the Ashkenazic authorities would agree that a blessing should not be recited.

14

After a person finishes eating on the eighth day [of Sukkot], he should take down his utensils and remove them.

When a person has no place to put the utensils, [the following rules apply]: If it is a small [sukkah], he should bring his candelabra into it; if it is a large sukkah, he should bring in his pots, plates, and the like, to bring to mind that it is no longer acceptable and that its mitzvah is completed. Since the day is a holiday, one may not reduce its space and nullify it.

יד

גמר מלאכול ביום השמיני מוריד כליו ומפנה אותה. אין לו מקום להוריד את כליו אם היתה קטנה מכניס בה מנורה. ואם היתה גדולה מכניס בה קדרות וקערות וכיוצא בהן כדי להזכיר שהיא פסולה ושכבר נגמרה מצותה ומפני שהוא יום טוב אינו יכול לפחות בה ולפסלה:

This halachah, like the previous one, describes the law in the Diaspora, where the holidays are celebrated for two days.

After a person finishes eating on the eighth day [of Sukkot], he should take down his utensils and remove them - from the sukkah and bring them home, where he will eat on Simchat Torah.

When a person has no place to put the utensils - and desires to continue eating in the sukkah on Simchat Torah,

[the following rules - safeguards adopted to differentiate between eating in the sukkah as required, and eating there afterwards

apply]: If it is a small [sukkah], he should bring his candelabra into it - As mentioned in Halachah 5, a candelabra should not be brought into a small sukkah for Sukkot.

It must be noted that the Rambam changes the text of Sukkah 48a, which states: "light his lamp there." (See Kessef Mishneh, Halachah 5.)

if it is a large sukkah, he should bring in his pots, plates, and the like - which are generally kept outside the sukkah, as explained in Halachah 5.

to bring to mind that it - the sukkah

is no longer acceptable and that its mitzvah is completed.

Since the day is a holiday, one may not reduce its space and nullify it. - as suggested in Halachah 11.

15

A person who did not construct a sukkah [before the holiday] - whether intentionally or unintentionally - should construct a sukkah on Chol Hamo'ed. One should even construct a sukkah on the final moments of the seventh day, because its mitzvah lasts throughout the seventh day.

The wood with which the sukkah was constructed is forbidden [to be used for other purposes] on all eight days of the festival. This applies to both the wood used for the walls and the wood used for the s'chach. Throughout [these] eight days, no benefit may be derived from it for other purposes.

[They are prohibited on the eighth day] because the sukkah is muktzeh the entire seventh day, including the period beyn hash'mashot. Since it was muktzeh during the period beyn hash'mashot, it is muktzeh on the entire day [that follows].

טו

מי שלא עשה סוכה בין בשוגג בין במזיד עושה סוכה בחולו של מועד. אפילו בסוף יום שביעי עושה סוכה שמצותה כל שבעה. עצי סוכה אסורין כל שמנת ימי החג בין עצי דפנות בין עצי סכך אין ניאותין מהן לדבר אחר כל שמנת הימים מפני שיום השביעי כולו הסוכה מוקצה עד בין השמשות והואיל והוקצת לבין השמשות של שמיני הוקצת לכל היום:

.

A person who did not construct a sukkah [before the holiday] - whether intentionally or unintentionally - Sukkah 27b explains that not only a person whose sukkah fell down in the middle of the festival should reconstruct it, but even one who never built a sukkah at all is entitled to do so.

should construct a sukkah on Chol Hamo'ed. - The literal translation of Deuteronomy 16:13 is: "Make the Sukkot festival for seven days." Sukkah 27b interprets this verse to mean that a sukkah may be built during the seven days of the festival.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 2:7) explains that Rabbi Eleazar wanted to forbid a person who purposely did not build a sukkah from doing so during the festival, as a punishment for his failure to prepare for the festival. However, the Sages did not accept that premise.

A sukkah may not be constructed on the first day of the festival, even if the walls are already built and all that is necessary is to spread s'chach over it. However, even though certain types of work are forbidden on Chol Hamo'ed, there is no prohibition in this instance (Bi'ur Halachah 637).

One should even construct a sukkah in the final moments of the seventh day, because its mitzvah lasts throughout the seventh day. - See Halachah 11.

The wood with which the sukkah was constructed is forbidden [to be used for other purposes] - e.g., for use as a toothpick. This prohibition applies even in the event the sukkah falls. Also, in contrast to the decorations, as mentioned in the following halachah, this prohibition cannot be nullified by making a condition that one desires to use them for one's own purposes (Ramah, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 638:1).

on all eight days of the festival. - Sukkah 9a derives the prohibition against using the wood of the sukkah for other purposes throughout Sukkot from Leviticus 23:34: "The Sukkot festival shall be seven days unto God." The latter term is used also regarding the Chaggigah offering sacrificed on the festival. Thus, its use in this context implies that the entities which enable us to celebrate the Sukkot festival must be consecrated "unto God" like those sacrifices.

The reason why the wood of the sukkah may not be used on the eighth day is explained below.

This applies to both the wood used for the walls and the wood used for the s'chach. - Rabbenu Asher differs and explains that the essential element of the sukkah is its s'chach. Hence, the prohibition applies only to the s'chach and not to the sukkah walls. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 638:1) quotes the Rambam's opinion. However, the Taz (638:1) explains that the prohibition against using the walls is only Rabbinic in nature.

Rav Chayim Soloveitchik explains that though the word sukkah as used by the Torah refers to the s'chach and not to the walls, a different principle is involved in this instance. The Torah teaches us that all the entities which enable us to fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah may not be used for other purposes. Since the sukkah walls also serve that purpose, because a sukkah is not kosher without walls, they are also included in that prohibition.

Throughout [these] eight days - Note the contrast to the etrog in Chapter 7, Halachah 27.

no benefit may be derived from it for other purposes. - However, if the sukkah falls, it may be rebuilt using the same wood. Furthermore, the wood used for s'chach may be used for the walls and vice versa.

[They are prohibited on the eighth day] because the sukkah is muktzeh - Muktzeh literally means "set aside." In this context, it refers to objects which may not be used for mundane purposes.

the entire seventh day, including the period beyn hash'mashot. - Beyn hash'mashot is the period between sunset and the emergence of three stars.

Since it was muktzeh during the period beyn hash'mashot, it is muktzeh on the entire day [that follows]. - Hilchot Shabbat 25:10 states: "Any utensil which is forbidden to be moved during beyn hash'mashot is forbidden to be moved throughout the entire Sabbath, even after the factor that caused its prohibition has passed."

16

Similarly, it is forbidden to take from the food and beverages that were hung in the sukkah as decorations for all eight days [of the festival]. However, if at the time one hung [the decorations], he made the condition: "I will not refrain from using them during the entire period of beyn hash'mashot," he is entitled to use them whenever he desires, because he did not set them aside, nor did the sanctity of the sukkah encompass them, nor are they considered part of it.

טז

וכן אוכלין ומשקין שתולין בסוכה כדי לנאותה אסור להסתפק מהן כל שמונה. ואם התנה עליהן בשעה שתלאן ואמר איני בודל מהן כל בין השמשות הרי זה מסתפק מהן בכל עת שירצה. שהרי לא הקצה אותם ולא חלה עליהן קדושת הסוכה ולא נחשבו כמותה:

Similarly, it is forbidden to take from the food and beverages that were hung in the sukkah as decorations - even if they fall (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 638:2). As mentioned in the commentary on Halachot 17 and 18, the sukkah decorations are not considered an independent entity, but rather as part of the sukkah itself. Furthermore, employing articles used to decorate a mitzvah for other purposes demonstrates lack of respect for the mitzvah (Rabbenu Nissim, Beitzah). Hence, the same restrictions that apply to the sukkah apply to it.

for all eight days [of the festival] - as is the sukkah itself.

However, if at the time one hung [the decorations] - Rabbenu Manoach questions what the law would be if the condition were made after the decorations were hung but before the holiday commences.

he made the condition: "I will not refrain from using them during the entire period of beyn hash'mashot" - Everything depends on the status of the decorations at the time the festival begins. If they are not considered part of the sukkah at that time, the "sanctity of the sukkah" does not affect them throughout the festival (Sukkah 10b).

The Ramban and the Ramah differ, and require that the person stipulate that he will not refrain from using the decorations during the entire period of beyn hash'mashot of each of the eight days of the festival. If he makes the condition regarding the first day alone, the decorations become forbidden on the subsequent days of the festival.

he is entitled to use them whenever he desires - In contrast to the walls or s'chach, in this instance the condition has an effect. It is possible for a sukkah to exist without decorations, but not without walls (Rabbenu Manoach).

for he did not set them aside, nor did the sanctity of the sukkah encompass them, nor are they considered part of it.

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