Printed from

Succos Halachic Digest 5778

Succos Halachic Digest 5778





סוכות ה'תשע"ח


  PDF Version Click Here

Compiled by Rabbi Yoseph Vigler & Rabbi Mendel Zirkind

Edited by Rabbi Sholom Zirkind

לעלוי נשמת הרב יצחק בן הרב אליעזר צבי זאב ז”ל  צירקינד




  • You should build your Succah yourself, rather than through an agent. At the very least, put up the Schach yourself, (The perspiration from building the Succah is a Tikun for Averos of youth).

  • If using an agent, it is best to verbalize "You’re my agent to build the Succah L’Shem Mitzvah".

  • One should ideally not have his Succah built by a goy, especially not the Schach.

    • If a goy put up the schach, a Jew should remove and replace the Schach or lift it all 3 tefachim, or add schach in an area of the Succah that was not yet covered, (the size of a Tefach squared), or even a thin piece of Schach if it covers the length of the Succah.

  • It is best for each family to have their own Succah, just as everyone has his own home.

  • Begin constructing Motzei Yom Kippur (or at least discuss it) and try complete it the next day after Shacharis. Some construct the walls before Yom Kippur, and the Schach after.

  • The walls are constructed first, then the Schach is put on. Otherwise the Schach may have to be lifted and placed back down. A Rav should be consulted.

  • Some decorate the Succah with vessels, tapestries, and fruits - especially of the Shivas HaMinim variety- walnuts, almonds, olive oil, wine to beautify the mitzvah.

    • Do not carve pessukim on fruit and hang them as decorations.

    • The decorations should hang within 4 Tefachim of the Schach.

    • If the decorations are within 4 tefachim of the Schach, you may sit under them.


Location of the Succah

  • The schach resembles the clouds of the Shchina in the Midbar. Therefore:

    • The Schach must be directly under the sky; not under a roof or tree.

    • The Succah is erected in a pleasant location with no foul odor e.g. not near the garbage (if there is a foul odor there is a problem with saying a Brocho).

    • Use pleasant scented materials, because a Succah is holy. But you may use and make a brocho L’chatchilah if even the scent is not pleasantas long as it is not repulsive.

    • Do not erect a Succah on another’s property nor block a neighbor’s windows without permission. Consult a Rov before building a Succah on the sidewalk (or public property) because it involves Halachic issues (i.e. stealing from pedestrians and making a Succah in a place where one would not feel safe enough to sleep in).


Under a tree

  • Schach must be detached.

  • If a Succah is under a tree, any schach directly under the tree is possul even if the tree is high up.. It is best to cut any hanging branches before Yom Tov to avoid a Shailah.

  • If it is under a tree, the Succah remains kosher as long as there is sufficient Kosher schach without that possul schach so that there’s more “shade than sun”.

    • Note - If the possul schach under the tree is the size of 4 Tefachim across the width or length of the Succah, the entire Succah may be possul. A Rav should inspect the Succah.

  • For a fruit bearing tree there is the issue of בל תשחית and סכנה, so have a goy cut it (and best to tell him specifically that he is not officially your agent).

  • Schach should be placed by hand on the Succah. If a tree hangs over the Succah, one may not cut the branches so they fall onto the Succah as readymade Schach. Bedieved, each of the cut branches would need to be lifted and placed back down.

  • It is best to prune the branches even if they blow over the Succah only when there is wind. Bedieved, according to some Poskim, you may still sit under them.

  • Similarly it is best not to erect a Succah under a laundry line with clothing blowing on it.


Under a preexisting frame (pergola)

  • A Succah under a preexisting frame e.g. a pergola is like under a tree. If any beam is 4 Tefachim wide it may be possul. A few beams together with space in between, may still be a problem

  • If the frame is used to support the Schach on top of it, then (a) there must be more shade than sun from the kosher schach without the beams and (b) no one beam should be 4 Tefachim wide or more, (and one builds proper walls for the Succah).

  • If the above conditions are not met, and one wants to use (part of) the frame of the pergola itself for Schach, a Rav should be consulted.


Under a “shlock”

  • Do not cover the succah with the shlock closed. First put up the schach and later cover it

  • If the Succah was built with the cover closed, the cover should be opened and the schach lifted and placed back down, to be regarded that you built it now. Each piece of schach is fully lifted.

  • On Succos if the cover is closed the Succah is not kosher.

    • However if it's raining to the extent that one would have to go inside, it is better to be in a Succah with a closed covering rather than eating in one’s house.

  • It is proper to open the cover to receive the holiness of the Succah as Yom Tov sets in. It is also proper to open it as much as possible through Succos - not only at mealtime.

  • A (manual) cover/shlack with hinges may be opened and closed on Shabbos and yom tov. When rolling the shlock leave one tefach open and unrolled whenever opening and closing


The Schach

  • Put on enough Schach to have more shade than sunlight, but not dense enough that stars are not seen. Some make a hole in the Schach to be able to see the stars even though it is covered densely.

  • If the Schach is so dense that rain can’t penetrate, the Succah is Possul. Mats with a mechanism to prevent rain penetrating, are Possul according to many opinions.

  • Schach must be put on the Succah with specific intention for shade. Placing the Schach with intention of using it for other reasons (e.g. for privacy, storage) is Possul.

  • Non-kosher schach adjacent to a wall, is considered an extension of the wall, as if the wall “bended”. It can extend up to 4 amos away from the wall. Thus, if you have a room and with a sky window as a Succah, as long as it is less than 4 amos from the wall, that wall is kosher for the Succah. But you can’t sit under that area.

  • If there is non-Kosher Schach the size of 4 Tefachim squared (even 3 Tefachim squared according to some Poskim ), one may not sit under that part of the Succah.

  • An uncovered area the size of 3 tefachim with no Schach at all, going across the entire Succah, even if it's on the side (near the wall), may render the Succah Possul.

  • Do not sit under an uncovered area 3 Tefachim long, and wider than 1 Tefach across the entire Succah.

The Material for the Schach

The materials that could be used for schach need to meet the criteria of:

  1. Something that grows from the ground

  2. It has been disconnected from the ground.

  3. It isn’t a vessel or utensil which can become tamei.

Leather, cement, food, wood products that were cut or shaped or hollowed for the purpose to be used as a vessel or utensil, are unfit to be used as schach.

Bamboos, although hollowed, are kosher, since they grow natural.


Similarly straight wooden pipes, wooden beams (for construction purposes) are kosher (as long as they are very small that they would not be used for roofing).


  • Bamboo mats specifically designed for Succah, are kosher but require a hechsher

  • Strips of lumber (2 x 4) may support the Schach (Ma'amid) but not as Schach itself.

  • Reeds, straw, or wooden slats that are woven into mats for the purpose of sitting or sleeping upon etc are possul because they can become tamei.


Tying down the Schach

The Schach needs to be able to withstand regular winds.

  • If it can withstand regular winds but you wish to tie it down to withstand an unlikely hurricane, you may tie it with any material. This is because it is kosher even without being tied. But schach may not be nailed down as this makes it permanent while Torah requires a temporary dwelling.

  • If the Schach cannot withstand regular winds without being tied down, then use lechatchila only string that is itself kosher for schach (made of natural materials that grow from the earth and did not undergo processing or restructuring). This applies also to the string that binds together bamboo mats that are used for Schach if without them the schach would not stay up


The Walls

  • The minimum height of the walls is 10 tefachim high from the ground even if the schach is higher up leaving a gap, and within 3 tefachim at least, from the ground.

  • Horizontally the walls should be within 3 tefachim of the schach.


Canvas Succahs

The walls must be able to withstand normal winds at this time of year. Canvas walls must be fastened securely so as not to flap in the wind. In addition, tie strings or wires around at least 3 walls of the Succah:-

  • The wires should be within 3 tefachim (9.4 inches) of each other and cover 10 tefachim (2.63 or 3.2 feet) from the ground. So you need least 4 wires.

  • The combination of the wires and the canvas together makes the Succah kosher even though wires or canvas individually would be insufficient. Some Mehadrin canvas Succahs are designed with this.

  • Some opinions disqualify canvas Succahs unless these lavud strings are on all 4 walls, or there are 3 regular strong walls.


The Material for the Walls

  • Any material may be used for the walls.

  • The Schach itself should rest on material that grows from the ground and not mekabeil tum’ah.

  • Bedieved the Succah is kosher even if it rests directly on metal.

  • (According to the Chazon Ish, no part of the walls may be made of material that is

mekabeil Tum’ah, just like the Schach. So in his opinion you cannot have any metal in the walls, not even nails.  According to him, the walls have to be fastened with non-metal too e.g. rope.)


The Structure of the Walls

  • A fence with crisscross wires, both vertical and horizontal within 3 tefachim of each other (i.e. a chain link fence) is a kosher Succah wall.

  • However, if the wires of the fence are one way only - either vertical or horizontal, the Succah would only be kosher if a full four walls were put up; the minimum three would not suffice as they would otherwise. (Note the Chazon Ish is more machmir)


How Many Walls

  • A Succah really only needs three walls - two adjoining complete walls plus a third wall that does not have to be complete. It is mehudar to have a full four walls.

  • It is perfectly okay to use walls of adjacent buildings as part of the Succah.

  • Circular Succos are fine too as long as the walls cover no less than 180 degrees.



If the Succah is not on cement, some make a special floor; others davka don't. If eating on grass, make sure no liquid spills onto the grass on Shabbos or Yom Tov. (Note: you may not sweep a dirt floor, or even a paved floor (not a porch), on Shabbos or Yom Tov).



  1. Decorations that fall off on Shabbos or Yom Tov are muktzah.

  2. During Chol hamo’ed too they may not be used for any purpose other than the Succah.

  3. Should decorations or Schach fall on the table during Shabbos or Yom Tov, they may be removed even though they are muktzah since you need the space for eating in the Succah.


Eruv to carry on Shabbos

Remember to put up an Eruv between the house and the Succah if you are in an area with no Eruv. If the eruv encloses houses or apartments with residents who are not eating together in the same succah, an Eruv Chatzeiros is also required. Ask a Rav for halachic nuances.


If your Succah fell

  1. If your Succah was built but fell on Yom Tov you may ask a goy to put it back up on Yom Tov. To tell a goy to build a Succah on Yom Tov in the first place is forbidden.

  2. If it fell on Shabbos you should go to someone else's Succah.

    • However if there is no other Succah available you can have a goy put it back up

    • It is best to have the goy put up the Succah in a temporary manner, e.g. using boards held in place with a stack of chairs on either side. (A Jew would be prohibited to do this).




  1. Sitting in the Succah


The Mitzvah

Throughout Succos (including Shmini Atzeres unless you have a different minhag) the Succah is our home for meals, learning, entertaining and sleeping – unless one is מצטער. If it rains, one is exempt as below.


If it Rains

On the first two nights of Succos, eating in the Succah is a must. If it rains on either of these nights, delay Kiddush as long as possible considering the needs of the family and the lateness of the hour, in the hope that the rain will stop sufficiently to enter the Succah; the mitzvah of Succah is too important to cancel for inconvenience. Should the rain persist on either of these two nights without any chance of clearing:-


  1. On the first night:

  1. Recite Kiddush, wash and eat a kezayis of challah in the Succah in the rain.

  2. Do not say Layshayv BaSuccah.

  3. Make a mental note when you start that you intend to finish your meal in the house.

  4. Complete the meal in the house.

  5. Note – in order to bentch in the house, you must eat a little challah in the house too.

  6. On Yom Tov the total amount of challah you have to eat (in Succah and house combined) should be more than a כביצה.


  1. On the second night:

  1. Make Kiddush and eat in the house.

  2. At the end of the meal, before bentching, eat a kezayis of challah in the Succah.


  • If on the first two nights you could not start your meal in the Succah under any circumstances, but then, as time passed the weather changed, you must stop and continue your Seudah in the Succah, make the bracha Layshayv BaSuccah and bentch in the Succah.

  • Therefore, when you go eat in the house because of the rain, have in mind that you may end up finishing in the Succah.


  1. The rest of Succos:

    1. If substantial rain streams through the Schach, you need not remain in the Succah.

    2. Try your best to use the Succah, but you are not expected to do the impossible

    3. Still, the Minchas Elazar has a teshuva on why to remain in the Succah even in the rain. If the Master spills water in the servant’s face, the servant should not run away but remain there subdued. Likewise we should remain in the Succah even in the rain.


What Constitutes a Meal that must be eaten in the Succah?

The machmirim do not have anything outside of the Succah except water. The mehadrin do not even drink water outside the Succah.

However, the strict Halacha is as follows:

  • Hamotzi and mezonos, over a כביצה must be eaten in a Succah, with a bracha Layshayv BaSuccah.

  • When drinking wine, or other beverages over which social gatherings take place e.g. tea or coffee

  • If you’re snacking, you don’t need a Succah.

  • If you are sitting down to an official “social gathering” or “coffee break”, you need to be in the Succah, but you do not bentch layshayv BaSuccah.

  • With regard to the wine of Havdala, see below.

  • When eating meat, fish, eggs, or cheese

  • If you’re snacking, you don’t need a Succah.

  • If this is your meal, it should be eaten in a Succah but you do not bentch layshayv BaSuccah.

    • According to Shulchan Aruch HaRav, even if it is your meal, it does not require a Succah.

  • Fruits, vegetables and water

  • Any amount may be eaten outside of the Succah.


Who is Exempt from the Succah?

  1. The sick who feel discomfort in the Succah.

  2. Travelers, if no Succah available. Do not plan a chol hamoed leisure trip where there is no succah.

  3. Women, though not obligated to sit in a Succah, make the bracha Layshayv BaSuccah when sitting in the Succah. (Sfardim should consult a Rav first)

  4. If it is raining according to the details above.

  5. Boys under the age of chinuch (five or six years old) may be fed outside the Succah.

  • Over 5 or 6, the mitzvah of Chinuch mandates that the father make sure that his son does not eat outside the Succah.

  • His mother and anyone else need not stop him if they see him eating outside the Succah. They may even place food him in front of the child. But they should not tell him specifically to eat outside the Succah and obviously not force-feed him outside the Succah.


The Bracha of Layshav BaSuccah


The Bracha is recited throughout Succos (excluding Shmini Atseres), as detailed above.

  1. On the first night, you first bentch Layshayv BaSuccah and then shehecheyanu. On the second night, first shehecheyanu. Others say Layshayv BaSuccah first even on the second night.

  2. One who makes Kiddush says Layshayv BaSuccah after Kiddush - Everyone else, after hamotzi.

  3. You always make hamotzi first. Then Layshayv BaSuccah. Then you eat.

  4. If one started eating but forgot to say the bracha, it may be recited at any time during that meal.



  1. Leaving one's permanent home to dwell in the Succah's less comfortable accommodations is an act of emuna and according to the Zohar, makes us worthy of a visit by the Ushpizin – Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and Dovid.

  2. Each night a different one leads. Some extend an invitation to them as printed in the Siddurim.

  3. The Ushpizin should be the subject of divrei Torah of that day’s ushpiz guest.






The Basics of Purchasing Arba Minim

  • It is best that every family obtain its own set. But one may buy Arba Minim with a partner if necessary. If using a shul's Esrog contribute something to its cost so you’re a partner.

  • Stolen Arba Minim are passul so be careful to purchase from a reliable source.

  • Lechatchila, pay the full amount owed so you have full ownership before Yom Tov.

  • Do not buy any of the Arba Minim from a minor (who is selling his own merchandise).

  • Many people ask a Rov to inspect their 4 Minim.

  • All the Arba Minim should be beautiful in their appearance.



  • An esrog may not have been grafted (murkav) with another tree e.g. a lemon. Buy from a G‑d fearing seller who obtained it from a kosher orchard. Some only buy an esrog from a particular geographical area e.g. Kalabria in Italy (Yanover esrogim), as they have a masores for those orchards. And this area is called משמני הארץ. Nowadays, even these Esrogim need to be bought from G‑d fearing experts who verified they are not grafted. Each should follow his masores.

  • Some esrogim, like Yanover Esrogim do not necessarily grow with pitams in the first place, which is fine. However, if a Pitam was there but fell off, it would often be passul. A Rav should be consulted because it depends when it was broken and other factors.

  • The esrog should be as clean as possible, without spots or discolorations. There are many laws regarding the different spots on the Esrog.  A Rav should be consulted.

  • Ideally the Esrog should already be yellow and not still green.

  • The Esrog should be complete without any holes etc.

  • The Esrog should be at least the size of an egg.



  • Minimum length of the spine (only the actual spine, which is the thick green part, not total length of the leaves that extends) of the Lulav should be 4 tefachim

  • It should be fresh and green, not dry

  • The Lulav should be straight.

  • The tip of the Lulav has to be intact.

  • According to the Shulchan Aruch Harav, the majority of the leaves of the Lulav have to be completely straight, and not at all bent on the top. Others hold that if it the leaves (not the spine) are a little bent it is ok. (Some are even mehader to get a Lulav that the tip of the leaves are a little bent in (called a “keneppel”), ensuring that the tip is not split).

  • Lechatchila the top leaf on the Lulav (tyomes) must be complete with no opening on the top at all.

  • Some are makpid to take a Lulav that has a brown film covering (called “moch”), since this insures that the top of the lulav is not split, and the tip of the Lulav is intact. Others are makpid to take one without the “moch”.

  • Bedieved if it was split, it depends how much it was split and if it was on the first two days of Succos or the rest of the days.

    • On the first 2 days, if the majority of the middle leaf till the spine is not split, you are yotzeh bedieved and may use it lechatchila if you have no other Lulav. (You do not need to take a Lulav from a friend).  If the majority of the leaf were split, you are not yotzeh.

    • The rest of Succos even if it’s split fully till the spine, you are yotzeh (even lechatchila).



  • Minimum three hadassim. (in extenuating circumstances one hadass is enough)

  • One can add extra hadassim as desired in multiples of three, to beautify the mitzvah.

  • Hadasim must be at least three tefachim long

  • They should be meshulashim (all 3 leaves growing at the same height).

  • Look for Hadasim that all 3 Tefachim are Meshulashim. But as long as the majority of the 3 Tefachim are Meshulashim it is kosher.

  • According to the Shulchan Aruch harav, count the overall amount of groups of 3 leaves within the 3 Tefachim, and the majority of that amount has to be meshulashim. According to the mishna berura, you measure the majority of the (3 tefachim on the) twig, and the groups of 3 leaves within that area have to be meshulashim.


  • No more and no less than two aravos.

  • They must be at least 3 tefachim long.

  • They should be fresh

  • Look for Aravos with all leaves intact. However as long as the majority of the leaves within 3 Tefachim are still on it is kosher. If the majority of the leaves dried out or fell off, the Arava is passul. Often they need to be replaced over Succos because they tend to dry out quickly.

  • The top of the twig cannot be cut.


Owning a Lulav and Esrog

  • On the first (and second day), the lulav must be owned by the person bentching it. If you give it to someone else to bentch, it must be a gift on condition that he return it after. It is best to actually verbalize this when giving it.

    • Children - When you give a child under bar mitzvah, you face a problem because halachically a child can acquire a gift but cannot give a gift. So if you give him your lulav he cannot give it back to you as a gift. You will now not be able to bentch lulav on the second day nor would anyone be yotzeh after him.

      • To overcome this, some suggest lending it to him.

      • Others say the mitzvah of chinuch must be done the way the adult would do it, so lending is no good.

There are various minhagim in how to act practically.

  • Reb Moshe Feinstein suggests buying each child his own set, if one can afford it.

  • Others rely on lending theirs to the child.

  • There are other ideas beyond the scope of our discussion. (In Eretz Yisroel, you simply have the child bentch after you are done on the first day. Of course if you have two children, the first child cannot give it to the second one either).


Binding the Arba Minim

  • The spine of the lulav should face you always.

  • One minhag binds the three Hadassim to the right of the Lulav as it faces us and the two Aravos to its left. Another minhag has one arava on either side of the Lulav as it faces us. Outside of that is one hadas on each side and a third hadas in the middle.

  • The spine of the lulav (the actual spine, not the leaves that extend) must always be at least one tefach higher than the hadassim and Aravos, and from the rings which are on the Lulav. The hadassim  should be a little higher than the 2 aravos. You may need to cut the bottom of the hadassim or aravos. Make sure you cut them from the bottom, not from the top, and that you still have the required size (minimum 3 tefachim for hadassim and aravos)

  • According to the Ari Zal you should bind the Arba minim on Erev Yom Tov in the Succah.

  • It is best to bind the Arba minim yourself, or at least by another man over bar mitzvah.


Holding the Arba Minim

  • The Lulav should always be in your right hand and the esrog in the left including during Hoshanos. People don’t know this and hold them both in one hand to be able to hold the Siddur comfortably but this is incorrect.

  • Left-handed people take the lulav in the left and the esrog in the right. (Some recommend following both ways and shaking the lulav the other way afterwards, to follow all opinions).

  • All four of the Arba Minim must be grasped together at once and in the manner in which they grow (derech g'dilasam).


Bentching Lulav

  • There are various minhogim about the most opportune time to bentch lulav.

    • On the one hand you want it to be immediately before hallel, without any hefsek.

    • On the other hand, you want it to be in the Succah.

    • Another factor is “zrizin makdimin”, rushing to do the mitzvah as early as possible.

Therefore, there are different customs as to when to bentch

    • Some bentch right before hallel even if there is no Succah.

    • Others bentch before hallel only if there is a Succah.

    • Others bentch before davening in the Succah even if there is a Succah in the shul.

  • One should not eat and drink before bentching lulav, not even tea or coffee.

    • Women who plan to bentch lulav should not eat a full meal with hamotzi before lulav if they are not weak, but may drink and eat mezonos even lechatchila.


Arba Minim Brachas

There are numerous minhagim.

  • Minhag One - Pick up the Esrog with the Pitam facing downward and the stem (where it was cut from the tree) facing upward. Bentch Al Netilas Lulav. On the first day (or the first time you use the Lulav), add Shehecheyanu. Upon the conclusion of the Bracha, turn the Esrog over with the Pitam now facing upward. Hold the Esrog and Lulav together.

  • Another minhag is to recite the bracha holding only the Lulav but with the Esrog unwrapped ready to be picked up immediately upon completing the bracha. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 651:5).



There are numerous minhagim.

  • Minhag One - You face eastward (Mizrach) and gently shake three times pointing in each of the following directions: Front (Mizrach), Right (Darom), Back (Ma'arav), Left (Tzafon), Above (Ma'alah), Below (Mattah).  Never turn the Lulav over.

  • Another minhag of na’anu’im advanced by the Ari haKadosh and adopted mainly by Chassidim: Right (Darom), Left (Tzafon), Front (Mizrach), Above (Ma'alah), Below (Mattah), Back (Ma'arov) - (Orach Chayim 651:10).

  • Take care not to wave the Lulav too forcefully - the upper leaves could separate widely, splitting the tip of your Lulav and rendering it potentially passul.



  • If you don’t have arba minim, borrow from someone who does and circle after they do.

  • An avel for parents does not circle the bima during the full 12 months. He should let someone who does not have his own set of arba minim circle with his set.


Keeping the Lulav Fresh

  • The Lulav may be placed back into the water if you wish to keep it there, even on Yom Tov. You can even add water on Yom Tov (not on Shabbos), up to 50% of what is there already. But the water may not be changed.

  • Note that usually, the Lulav can be kept fresh if covered, even without water.


Arba minim after Succos

  • The Arba Minim and Schach may not be disposed in the regular garbage but should rather be burned or disposed of in another respectful way. Often, there is a special pick up arranged with the sanitation department for Schach.

  • If you must dispose in regular garbage, bag them separately in a non-see-through bag and dispose.

  • Some gather the Lulavim in shul and burn them when baking Matzos, or with the burning of the chametz while the Esrogim are made into jam after Yom Tov.


Simchas Yom Tov

  • It is a mitzvah d’oraisa to make one’s wife and children joyous on Yom Tov. This is accomplished by buying her an outfit or jewelry; and for the kids something exciting too.

  • It is imperative we ensure that our fellow Yidden have everything they need to celebrate Yom Tov.

  • It is important to have a 24-hour candle (or a gas fire) lit so that you have an existing flame to light candles from on the second night and to cook if needed.

  • Every day of Yom Tov and chol hamoed, one should drink a reviis of wine.

  • Simchas Bais Hashoeva is celebrated with great simcha nightly on Succos.








Erev Yom Tov

Eruv Tavshilin

In order to cook on Friday Yom Tov for Shabbos, you need an eruv tavshilin on Erev Yom Tov.

  1. The eruv consists of two foods: a whole challah, at least the size of a kebeitza (approximately 2 oz) and a cooked food, such as meat or fish, the size of a kezayis (approximately 1 oz).

  2. Wrap it in a distinctive packaging to be distinguishable. (Refrigerate cooked food so it doesn’t spoil.)

  3. A Rov (or anyone else) who wishes to create a backup eruv for any community members who may forget to make an eruv once off, should first give the eruv to someone else to hold. (Preferably a non-dependent ie not your child who is supported by you, even if older than bar or bas mitzvah), and say:  "אני מזכה לכל מי שרוצה לִזְכות ולסמוך על עירוב זה", “I hereby grant a share in this eruv to anyone who wishes to participate in it and to depend on it” The one holding the food raises it a tefach and returns it to the one making the eruv.

  4. Say the bracha: "על מצוַת עירוב" and "בדין...".If you don’t understand Aramaic, say in English: Through this [eruv] it will be permissible for us to bake, cook, put away a dish [to preserve its heat], kindle a light, prepare on Yom Tov all that’s necessary for Shabbos - for us and all the Jews who dwell in this city.

  5. The eruv is put away till Shabbos, when it is eaten. Many use the challah as part of lechem mishneh.

  6. If you forgot to make the eruv before shkia you may do so bedieved after shkia, till tzeis, with a bracha, so long as you didn’t daven Maariv and the majority of the Tzibbur didn’t answer ברכו yet.

  7. For Thursday - Friday Yomim Tovim, if you forgot to do eruv tavshilin you do the eruv on the first day of Yom Tov (specifying that if today is Yom Tov, then tomorrow is not Yom Tov and I may cook for Shabbos without an Eruv. Conversely, if tomorrow is Yom Tov, then today is not and I may make the eruv tavshilin today.) (This does not work for Rosh Hashana when both days are regarded as one long day.)

8.Even if everything is already cooked for Shabbos and you don’t need an eruv tavshilin, there is still a mitzvah to make one. For good measure, prepare something eg heat water on Friday for Shabbos.

9.   A guest at a hotel or a family either makes his own eruv with no bracha, or the host has him in mind.

10.If eating all the meals out but sleeping at home and lighting candles at home, make your own eruv tavshilin albeit without a bracha. If you will cook anything in your own home, even water, on Friday, Erev Yom Tov for Shabbos, you should make a bracha.

11.The eruv tavshilin only allows food preparations on Friday if the food will be ready with ample time remaining before Shabbos to theoretically allow the food to be consumed before sunset (were a troop of guests to trudge into your home). This is an important detail to bear in mind when preparing for example, cholent which cooks slowly until the following day.


First Evening of Succos

  • Before lighting candles, extra Tzedaka is given, for two days of Yom Tov.

  • Candles should be lit before sunset (or 18 minutes before) like on an Erev Shabbos. If for whatever reason, you did not light then, then light before the Seudah at night from a preexisting flame.

  • Two brachos are said when lighting candles: להדליק נר של יום טוב and שהחיינו

  • If eating elsewhere do not forget to light candles in your own home or to arrive at your host before Yom Tov begins, and light candles there.

  • It is best to light candles in the Succah and to leave them there after lighting. If there are safety concerns or there is no space for the candles, you may move them into the house. But first use the light of the candles for something so that there was a purpose to the lighting here.

    • If you can, leave at least some of them there.

    • Either way, it is important if at all possible, that the candles be in a place from which they can be seen whilst making Kiddush.

    • First bentch Layshayv BaSuccah and then shehecheyanu.

  • If it Rains see above

  • We dip the challah in honey. Some dip later in salt as well.


Second night of Succos

  • Only after nightfall (tzeis) may preparations for the second day begin.

  • Candles should be lit after it is dark, and close to the time of the meal, and fire taken from a pre-existing flame. Two brachos are said: להדליק נר של יום טוב and שהחיינו

  • On the second night, first shehecheyanu and then layshayv baSuccah.


Second day Succos

  • From today on, bentch Lulav with one bracha only.

  • No shehecheyanu – unless, for whatever reason this is your first time bentching Lulav.

  • Preparations made be made today for Shabbos thanks to the eruv tavshilin.

  • If you forgot to make an eruv tavshilin, consult a Rov.

  • Even with the eruv tavshilin, food you want to cook for Shabbos must be fully cooked and ready long before Shabbos begins. It must be enough time for the entire dish to theoretically have been eaten were guests to have come today. (On a regular erev Shabbos, you could put the cholent on the blech immediately before Shabbos today it must be fully ready.)


Leil Shabbos Chol hamoed

  • Kabbolas Shabbos begins from Mizmor LeDovid

  • Sholom Aleichem and AIshes Chayil are recited softly.

  • Kiddush begins Yom Hashishi and continues into the Shabbos Kiddush. Bentch layshayv BaSuccah.


Shabbos day

  • Do not bentch Lulav.


Motzei Shabbos Chol hamoed

  • Ata chonantanu, yaale veyavo

  • If you forgot יעלה ויבוא repeat Shmone Esrei.

  • Regular havdala.

  • There are differences of opinion regarding saying the bracha Layshayv BaSuccah on the Havdalah wine alone. After Havdala, some bentch Layshayv BaSuccah and others say not to. The solution is to eat hamotzi or mezonos after havdala since they require Layshayv BaSuccah according to all.


Chol hamo’ed

Simcha on Chol Hamo’ed

The main simcha of yom tov in the times of the beis hamikdash was eating the meat of the korban shlamim. Nowadays as well, there is a mitzvah to eat a כזית of meat each day. Meat is best, but bedieved, chicken is also considered meat.

  1. It is proper to eat hamotzi each day of yom tov although not obligatory.

  2. We drink a רביעית of wine every day.

  3. Some hold that women too should drink wine - or grape juice.

  4. One should preferably wear yom tov clothing on chol hamo’ed.

  5. The table should have a yom tov tablecloth on.


General Principles of מלאכה


The default setting in halacha is that Chol hamoed has the same prohibitions as Yom Tov, for both men and women. E.g.

  1. Laundering (except baby clothes), haircuts and nail cutting are forbidden.

  2. Writing, printing, taking professional pictures

  3. buying things for after yom tov

  4. fixing things around the house e.g. a broken chair etc

  5. going to work

Exceptions permit certain forms of work e.g. -

  1. Work necessary for the sake of Chol hamoed or Yom Tov - צורך המועד eg a trip for family enjoyment of chol hamoed

  2. Financial loss (but not loss of profits) - דבר האבד eg going to work if you will lose your job or your existing clients

  3. In case of tremendous need - צורך גדול - eg for a mitzvah, medical emergency, need for food, for the sake of a deceased person

  • The above forms of work are only permitted if you didn’t knowingly plan to push them off davka to chol hamo’ed.

  • Actions that are Rabbinically forbidden on yom tov eg. Driving a car, are permitted on chol hamo’ed.

  • Asking a non Jew to do melacha which is forbidden to do on chol hamo’ed is forbidden, unless it’s for a mitzvah e.g. a goy may not build your house for you or fix your car if you may not do it yourself.