Eating in a sukkah

10. Those who are on a trip do not have to eat in a sukkah while they are actually traveling. That means that if they are traveling during the day hours, but stop for the night, they are not required to eat in a sukkah during the day. At night, however, if they are in a settled place, they need to search for a sukkah to eat in. The reverse is true if they are traveling at night but stop during the day.

It make no difference if the trip is for a mitzvah or for personal and business reasons1.

11. One who is traveling during the day and night is completely exempt from eating in a sukkah2.

12. One who is traveling and not eating in a sukkah does not have to eat the food under the open sky, but may eat it in the car, bus, train, etc. Opinions vary whether one is permitted to go inside a house for one may be required to search for a sukkah once he decided to seek a more suitable place to eat3.

13. However, one is not permitted to go on a trip just for pleasure, sightseeing, and the like unless he will have a sukkah available for eating. If one does go on such a trip, he must look for a sukkah in which to eat his meals4.

There are other opinions that do not differentiate between business, personal and pleasure trips and in all cases exempt travelers from eating in a sukkah (as explained above in #10)5.

14. Although when there is water available to wash the hands for bread within a traveling time of 72 minutes ahead or 18 minutes behind he must wait before eating, the same does not apply to eating in a sukkah. Even if he knows that there is a sukkah available within the aforementioned distances, he is permitted to eat his food immediately outside a sukkah6.

15. Even though one is exempt under these circumstances from eating in a sukkah, one who is strict concerning these matters is deserving of a blessing7.

[Nowadays, those who want to be strict can purchase portable sukkos which are easy to assemble and disassemble and which fit in the trunk of a car. There are also ways that a temporary sukkah can be made by using the doors of a car as walls, depending on the door height and width and the empty space from the floor to the doors. One should consult a halachic authority for details.]

16. One may enter and use another person’s sukkah without asking permission provided that the owner is not using it at the moment or will not need it while the former is using it. [He must also leave it in the same condition as he found it.] Permission is not needed because people are generally happy when mitzvos are done with their property8.

However, a sukkah which is exquisitely decorated would not come under this allowance, since the owner would object to anyone’s entering without his permission. The same applies to entering a sukkah which requires trespassing through the owner’s private home (e.g. sukkah is on the owner’s back porch or balcony)9.

Lulav and Esrog

17. One who is traveling during Chol Hamo’eid should make sure to take along his lulav and esrog.

18. When shaking the lulav and esrog some people start towards the south, then north, etc. Other people start in the forward position and then continuing in a clockwise manner, i.e. right (3.00 position), back (6.00 position), etc. If one who has the custom of shaking the lulav south, north, etc. is on a trip and can not identify the proper directions, he should shake the lulav in a clockwise manner10.