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Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 636 - Laws Relating to an Old Sukkah

Shulchan Aruch: Chapter 636 - Laws Relating to an Old Sukkah

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SECTION 636 Laws Relating to an Old Sukkah. (1–3)

סימן תרלו דִּין סֻכָּה יְשָׁנָה וּבוֹ ג' סְעִיפִים:

1 An old sukkah — i.e., one that was made more than 30 days before Sukkos — is valid, provided1 something new was done to it for the sake of the festival.2 If it was constructed for the sake of the festival,3 even at the beginning of the year,4 nothing new need be done to it.5

א סֻכָּה יְשָׁנָה,א דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהּ קֹדֶם שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַחַגב – כְּשֵׁרָה,1 וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּחַדֵּשׁ בָּהּ לְשֵׁם הַחַג.ג,2 וְאִם עֲשָׂאָהּ לְשֵׁם חַג3 אֲפִלּוּ מִתְּחִלַּת הַשָּׁנָה4 – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְחַדֵּשׁ בָּהּ דָּבָר:ד,5

2 This new activity must involve the s’chach itself, i.e., some new s’chach must be put in place for the purpose of the festival. For this, even a handbreadth by a handbreadth is sufficient.6 Alternatively, if the new s’chach extends along the entire length or across the entire width of the sukkah, even [a strip of] the slightest width is sufficient.

All of the above applies to the s’chach. With regard to the walls, [the sukkah is valid] even if they were made at the beginning of the year explicitly for a purpose other than the festival. Nothing new need be done to them.

ב חִדּוּשׁ זֶה שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ – צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּהֵא בְּגוּף הַסְּכָךְ,ה דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיַּנִּיחַ סְכָךְ חָדָשׁ לְשֵׁם הַחַג, וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵין בַּסְּכָךְ הַמְחֻדָּשׁ אֶלָּא טֶפַחו עַל טֶפַחז מְרֻבָּעח – דַּי בְּכָךְ.6 וְאִם אֹרֶךְ הַחִדּוּשׁ הוּא הוֹלֵךְ עַל פְּנֵי כָּל אֹרֶךְ אוֹ לְרֹחַב הַסֻּכָּה, אֲפִלּוּ אֵין בְּרָחְבּוֹ אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁהוּא – דַּי בְּכָךְ.ט

וְכָל זֶה בַּסְּכָךְ, אֲבָל בַּדְּפָנוֹתי אֲפִלּוּ עֲשָׂאָן מִתְּחִלַּת הַשָּׁנָה בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁלֹּא לְשֵׁם הַחַג – אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְחַדֵּשׁ בָּהֶם דָּבָר:

3 [The following laws apply with regard to] a potter [whose workplace is comprised] of two [adjoining] sukkos, one of which gives access to the other, and both of which were constructed for shade.7 He fashions his pots in the inner [sukkah] and sells them in the outer [sukkah].

Though the inner sukkah was built for shade, he does not fulfill [the obligation to dwell] in the sukkah with it, because it serves as his dwelling throughout the year. Since he eats, sleeps, and performs most of his activities there, it would not be evident [during the festival] that he is now doing these things for the sake of the mitzvah. He may, however, fulfill his obligation using the outer [sukkah], for he does not dwell in it throughout the year.8

Moreover, even the inner [sukkah] is valid if he raises the s’chach and then puts it back for the sake [of the mitzvah] of sukkah,9 for even the roof of a house can be validated for s’chach through such an action, as explained in sec. 631.10

ג יוֹצֵר כְּלִי חֶרֶס שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שְׁתֵּי סֻכּוֹת זוֹ לִפְנִים מִזּוֹיא וּשְׁתֵּיהֶן עֲשׂוּיוֹת לְצֵליב,7 וְעוֹשֶׂה קְדֵרוֹתָיו בַּפְּנִימִית וּמוֹכְרָם בַּחִיצוֹנָהיג – הַפְּנִימִית אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי סֻכָּה,יד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא עֲשׂוּיָה לְצֵל, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִיא דִּירָתוֹ כָּל הַשָּׁנָה שֶׁהוּא אוֹכֶל וְיָשֵׁן בָּהּ וְעוֹשֶׂה בָּהּ רֹב תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ – אֵין נִכָּר שֶׁהוּא דָּר בָּהּ עַתָּה לְשֵׁם מִצְוָה,טו אֲבָל הַחִיצוֹנָה יוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי סֻכָּה,טז שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ דָּר בָּהּ כָּל הַשָּׁנָה,יז,8 וַאֲפִלּוּ הַפְּנִימִית אִם מַגְבִּיהַּ אֶת הַסְּכָךְ וְחוֹזֵר וּמַנִּיחוֹ לְשֵׁם סֻכָּה – כְּשֵׁרָה,יח,9 שֶׁהֲרֵי אֲפִלּוּ תִּקְרַת הַבַּיִת מִתְכַּשֶּׁרֶת לְסִכּוּךְ עַל יְדֵי מַעֲשֶׂה זוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תרל"א:יט,10

Sukkah 9a. According to Magen Avraham 636:1 and Mishnah Berurah 636:4, the directive that follows — that something new be done to the sukkah for the sake of the festival — is not an absolute requirement: it merely upgrades the level at which the mitzvah is fulfilled. These authorities hold that after the fact, even if nothing new was done, the sukkah is still valid, provided its s’chach was put in place for the purpose of shelter.
Talmud Yerushalmi, Sukkah 1:2.
The issue is thus not the date of construction, but the builder’s intent at the time. And since the laws of the festival are commonly studied 30 days beforehand, it may be assumed that people are already aware of its advent, and that whoever constructs a sukkah at that time constructs it with the festival in mind. See parallels in sec. 436:1.
I.e., Rosh Chodesh Nissan, which is considered the beginning of the year in certain contexts. Shaar HaTziyun 336:9, however, states that it refers to Rosh HaShanah a year earlier.

In the context of the search for chametz on the eve of Pesach, “the beginning of the year” means “after last Pesach” (see sec. 436:8 in the present work). Accordingly, that phrase here would mean “after last Sukkos” (as in the commentary of R. Pinchas Kehati on Sukkah 1:1).
Some authorities hold that if the same sukkah is used every year, a small part of it must be covered with new s’chach, as stated in subsection 2 below. (See Mishnah Berurah 636:7, citing Chayei Adam, based on Magen Avraham 638:2, which is restated by the Alter Rebbe, sec. 638:16.) Aruch HaShulchan 636:1 questions this ruling.
Talmud Yerushalmi, loc. cit.
Sukkah 8a.
The Mishnah Berurah 636:10 stipulates that even the outer sukkah requires some new s’chach, as in subsection 2 above.
Since this inner sukkah is used as a dwelling throughout the year, merely covering a small part of it with new s’chach will not suffice. A more significant activity is required to make the necessary distinction (Mishnah Berurah 636:9).
The end of sec. 631 of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch is not extant. See Magen Avraham 631:6 and 8, and sec. 629:20 above.
משנה ט, א וכבית הלל. טור ושו"ע ס"א.
רש"י שם ד"ב בית שמאי. ר"ן (א, א) ד"ה איזו. שו"ע שם.
ירושלמי פ"א ה"ב. תוס' שם ד"ה סוכה. רא"ש פ"א סי' יג. טור ושו"ע שם.
משנה שם. תוס' שם ד"ה ואם (דהיינו אפילו לבית הלל, לענין שאין צריך לחדש בה דבר). הגהות אשרי שם בשם אור זרוע סי' רפו. טור ושו"ע שם.
רא"ש שם בשם בעל העיטור ריש הל' סוכה. טור וב"י ד"ה ומ"ש ובלבד.
ירושלמי שם. תוס' שם ד"ה סוכה. רא"ש שם. טור ושו"ע שם.
טור ושו"ע שם. וראה גם לעיל סי' תרלא ס"ז.
מ"א סק"ב.
ירשולמי שם. תוס' שם. רא"ש שם. טור ושו"ע שם.
ט"ז סק"א.
גמרא ח, ב ורש"י ד"ה שתי. טור ושו"ע ס"ב.
מ"א סי' תרלא סק"א. ואם עשויה גם לדור בה בקביעות, ראה לעיל סי' תרכו ס"א.
טור ושו"ע שם. וראה רש"י שם.
גמרא שם. טור ושו"ע שם.
רש"י שם ד"ה פנימית. טור ושו"ע שם.
גמרא שם. טור ושו"ע שם.
רש"י שם ד"ה החיצונה. טור ושו"ע שם.
מ"א סק"ג.
סעיף יב.
Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger and Sholom B Wineberg.
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