What Is The Mitzvah Of Sukkah?

The Daily Halacha Moment - The Mitzvah Of Sukkah 🍋 🏡


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


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]

Similarly, It is a mitzvah to decorate the sukkah,[3] and one may even decorate his sukkah with decorations with which one would not decorate his home.[4] Decorations that are normally used for non-Jewish holidays (such as colored lights) may be used as decorations for the sukkah, but only if they have not already been used for a non-Jewish holiday.[5]

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. [6] 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. [7]


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]. This is included in the mitzvah of zeh E-li ve’anvehu, beautifying the mitzvot. See Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 508, which discusses different reasons why one should decorate the sukkah.

[4]. Igrot Moshe, vol. 5, O.C. §39; Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 511.

[5]. Shevet HaLevi 2:57; Shevet HaKehati 2:215; Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot, p. 77; Yalkut Yosef, Sukkah, p. 516.

[6]. 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.

[7]. 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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