Contact Us

Is it acceptable to use corn stalks to cover a Sukkah?

Is it acceptable to use corn stalks to cover a Sukkah?

 Email

Question:

Is it acceptable to use fresh corn stalks to cover a sukkah in lieu of cedar, spruce or pine boughs?

Answer:

It's nice to hear that you're being creative about your sukkah building!

The sukkah can be covered with anything provided that:

a. it grew from the ground and has been detached, and

b. it is not edible, and

c. it was not manufactured to be a utensil (such as a wooden ladder or shovel handle).

[Thick, roof-like slats, and tied bundles of foliage are also invalid for use as a sukkah covering.]

The sukkah covering must provide enough cover so that when the sun is shining overhead there is more shade than sun in the sukkah. Many types of leaves dry out and shrivel after sitting for a few days, thus making the sukkah invalid.1 For this reason pine boughs (or evergreens or bamboo poles) became popular, as they do not shrivel.

Corn stalks meet all these requirements, so, by all means, make a corn stalk-covered sukkah! (Just make sure that the corn ears are empty—as we mentioned, food is invalid for sukkah covering.)

Click here for more information on sukkah-building.

With wishes for a sweet, new year,

Rabbi Eliezer Posner

Footnotes
1.

This is true even before the leaves shrivel. Those leaves that will shrivel before the holiday of Sukkot finishes are considered as if they're not there even before they wither and die.

Eliezer Posner is a former member of the Chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
2 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Shimon Garfunkel Montreal, PQ October 15, 2011

The Talmud My wise brother just mentioned to me that the Talmud says that the example of s'chach is "pesoles goren v'yakev" ("shells/peels/left overs from one's granary and wine press") so there is obviously no problem to use food-related stuff for s'chach. Reply

Moshe Kfar Habad via chabadnc.com October 11, 2011

Tum'ah Isn't there an issue with corn stalks from the point of view of a gzera that they are mekabel tum'ah? See Alter Rebbe, siman Taf-Resh-Chof-Tes, #15-17. Reply

Related Topics
Kids Zone
Find Services
Videos
Audio Classes
Recipes