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Is one required to sleep in the Sukkah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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


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Though technically one is also required to sleep in the Sukkah throughout the seven1 days of the holiday, and indeed some follow this practice, the prevailing custom is not to do so.2   Various Halachic authorities suggest several reasons for this leniency.3

"How can one sleep in an area where G-dliness is so revealed?!"
Incidentally, despite the fact that Chabad Chassidim take their sukkah obligation very seriously -- going well beyond the letter of the law by refusing to taste even the slightest morsel of food or drink outside the sukkah, even in the drenching rain -- they, too, do not sleep in the sukkah.

Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch explained: "How can one sleep in an area where G-dliness is so revealed?!"

Footnotes

  • 1. There is a difference of opinion amongs halachic authorities whether one is required to sleep in the sukkah (in the Diaspora) on Shmini Atzeret. See Mishnah Berurah 668 s.k. 6.
  • 2. Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chayim, 639:2, glosses of the Rama.
  • 3. See Taz, Magen Avraham and others commentators on above section of the Code.

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Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
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.
Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Chassidim
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) Following the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
Lubavitch
Also known as “Chabad,” Lubavitch is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. “Lubavitch” is the name of the Belarusian city where four of the Chabad Rebbes (leaders) were based. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York, with branches worldwide. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.