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What Is Sukkot?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Sukkah 🍋


Question:

What is the mitzvah of sukkah?


Answer:

The verse states, “You shall dwell in booths for a seven-day period; every native in Israel shall dwell in booths, so that your generations will know that I caused the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt; I am Hashem, your G-d.” [1]

The commentators explain that the booths mentioned in the pasuk are referring to the Clouds of Glory that Hashem surrounded Bnei Yisrael with when they were taken out of Mitzrayim. We therefore build actual booths, or sukkot, on the holiday of Sukkot to commemorate this miracle. [2]


A person should begin to build his sukkah on motzaei Yom Kippur since one should begin another mitzvah when finishing a mitzvah. Furthermore, one should not delay performing a mitzvah when there is an opportunity to perform it then. [3]

When building a sukkah, one should be careful not to build late at night and risk waking up one’s neighbors. By disturbing other people’s sleep, one would be performing a mitzvah habaah baaverah, performing a mitzvah through an averah.

[4]


Sources:

[1]. Vayikra 23:42–43

[2]. Sukkah 11b. See also Shulchan Aruch 625:1; Kaf HaChaim 625:2; Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot, p. 96; and Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 53 for other explanations for why we build sukkot.

[3]. Rama 625:1 & O.C. 624:5; Moed LeChol Chai 19:110. See also Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot, p. 99 and Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 66.

[4]. See Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 71, which discusses the averah of gezel sheinah, stealing other people’s sleep.

See Laws Of Holidays - Nacson.


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