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Which foods must be eaten in the Sukkah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Sukkot » The Sukkah | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Throughout the holiday of Sukkot, every man is required to “dwell” in the Sukkah. Practically speaking, this means that all one’s meals must be consumed in the sukkah. According to Halachah, a meal consists of at least two ounces of grains – i.e. bread, cake, pasta, etc. When eating this amount of grains in the sukkah one recites the following blessing:

Baruch atta Ado-noy Elo-hai-nu Melech ha'olam asher kid-sha-nu b'mitz-vo-sav v'tzi-vanu lay-shave ba-sukkah.
[Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah.]

This blessing is recited after the regular food blessing is recited, before partaking of the food.

All other foods – meat, fruit, vegetables, beverages, etc. – do not constitute a “meal” and may be consumed outside the sukkah. However, anytime one eats in the sukkah he is fulfilling a Mitzvah, and therefore many are careful to eat and drink everything, even a cup of water, in the holy shade of the sukkah.1

Throughout the week of Sukkot one has the option of eating “non-meal foods,” and thus technically avoiding the obligation of Sukkah. On the first night of the holiday, however, there is a Torah obligation to eat at least one ounce of bread in the sukkah.

Footnotes

  • 1. When eating "non-meal" foods in the Sukkah we are doing a Mitzvah, but we do not recite the aforementioned blessing.

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Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Halachah
Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.
Sukkot
A seven day autumn festival commemorating the miracle of the Heavenly Clouds which enveloped the Jews while traveling in the desert for forty years. On this holiday we dwell in makeshift booths and shake the Four Species.
Sukkah
The temporary structure in which we are required to dwell for the duration of the holiday of Sukkot. The Sukkah must have at least three walls and its roof consists of unsecured branches, twigs or wooden slats.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.