Mitztaer-One who is pain

The laws of Mitztaer:

A. General Rule:[1]

One is only obligated to dwell in his Sukkah in the same matter that he would dwell in his home. Thus one who is pained to dwell in his Sukkah and through leaving the Sukkah he will be saved from this pain, then he is exempt from dwelling.[2] This however is with exception to the first night of Sukkos in which case one is obligated to eat at least a Kezayis in the Sukkah.

 

B. Matters which cause pain and discomfort:[3]

  1. Wind
  2. Flies
  3. Gnats
  4. Foul odor

 

C. Initially building a Sukkah in an area with discomfort:[4]

It is forbidden to initially build a Sukkah in an area that one knows contains discomfort that will exempt him from dwelling there. This applies whether the discomfort exempts him from eating there, or sleeping there, or spending time there. If one built a Sukkah in such an area it is invalid.[5] For example if one built a Sukkah in an area that wind blows in a way that causes one discomfort to eat there, the Sukkah is invalid. Similarly if one built a Sukkah in the middle of the street and he fears sleeping there due to robbers, the Sukkah is invalid. If however he does not fear from robbers even though he fears his items will be stolen, the Sukkah remains valid, as he is able to enter these items into his house and then sleep in the Sukkah.

 

Q&A

If one forces himself to dwell in the Sukkah despite it having been built in an area of discomfort, is it valid?

Seemingly it is invalid, as one must be able to dwell there pleasantly just like a house.

 

D. Matters which only cause discomfort to a minority of individuals:[6]

A person that receives discomfort from a matter that most people are not commonly discomforted from, then he must dwell in the Sukkah despite the discomfort, as we follow the common way of living. However if one knows himself to be a very sensitive and pampered individual in a way that all sensitive and pampered individuals are likewise discomforted by it, then he is exempt from dwelling in the Sukkah.

 

E. Dwelling in a Sukkah during rain:

Eating:[7] If it rains in one’s Sukkah to the point that one’s food would become ruined, he is exempt from eating in the Sukkah. This applies even if he currently does not have any food in the Sukkah. This applies even if only a very delicate food [such as Pol-fava bean] would be ruined by the rain. If one is unsure of whether the rain would ruin this food then if it is raining to the point that one would leave his house if this occurred in his house, then he is exempt from Sukkah. On the first night one is to eat a Kezayis of bread in the Sukkah even if it is raining although he is not to say a blessing of Leishev Bassukah.[8] On the second night of Sukkos in the Diaspora one is not required to eat a Kezayis in the Sukkah if it is raining although one who desires to be stringent may do so.[9] [The above is the letter of the law however it is the custom Chassidim, based on the Baal Shem Tov, is to always eat in the Sukkah even during rain.[10] It is disputed whether one is to say the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah when eating there during rain.[11] Practically the Chabad custom is to say a blessing even in the rain.[12]]

Sleeping:[13] If it is raining in the Sukkah even slightly one is exempt from sleeping there and may sleep outside the Sukkah.

If one left the Sukkah due to rain and it then stopped raining: If one left the Sukkah in midst of a meal due to the rain and it then stopped raining, he is not required to return to the Sukkah and may rather finish the meal in his house.[14] If one was sleeping in the Sukkah and he left due to rain and it stopped raining before he had a chance to lie down in his bed in his house, then he must return to his Sukkah. If however one already lied down to go to sleep then he is not required to return to his house. This applies even if one woke up in middle of the night and realized the rain stopped, nevertheless one is not required to return to the Sukkah to sleep. However once it is past Alos then if one wakes up and notices the rain has ended he must return to the Sukkah if he desires to continue sleeping. However others are not obligated to wake him up past Alos.[15]

 

Dwelling in a Sukkah heat wave:[16]

If one is experiencing very hot weather in the Sukkah and one is in pain he is exempt from dwelling in the Sukkah.  This applies even if one’s food would not become spoiled due to the heat.

 

Dwelling in a Sukkah that contains many insects:[17]

If one is experiencing an insect infestation in the Sukkah and one is in pain, he is exempt from dwelling in the Sukkah.  This applies even if one’s food would not become spoiled due to the insects.

 

Dwelling in a Sukkah during very cold weather:[18]

If one is experiencing very cold weather in the Sukkah to the point that his fatty foods congeal, he is exempt from dwelling in the Sukkah.

 

Eating in a Sukkah that does not have light:[19]

If the lights extinguished within the Sukkah during Shabbos of the festival, and he contains light within his house, then he is permitted to leave his Sukkah and eat in his house near the light. One is not obligated to enter into another person’s Sukkah which contains light in order to eat there, as this is also painful for a person to require him to eat his meal in another person’s home. Nevertheless if one is able to enter another person’s Sukkah without great difficulty then he is to do so and is not to be lenient in this matter.[20]

 

May one dwell in the Sukkah when he is experiencing pain and is exempt?

Anyone who is experiencing pain in dwelling in a Sukkah and does not leave the Sukkah does not receive any reward and is considered a Hedyot [a fool].[21] One who leaves his Sukkah due to rain is not to leave angrily but is rather to leave with humility, viewing himself like a slave which served a cup of wine to his master and the master pours it on his face, meaning to say I am not interested in your service.[22] [The above is the letter of the law.  However the custom Chassidim, based on the Baal Shem Tov, is to always eat in the Sukkah even during rain.[23] It is disputed whether one is to say the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah when eating there during rain.[24] Practically the Chabad custom is to say a blessing even in the rain.[25]]


[1] 640/5

[2] The reason: As even during the year one does not dwell in a house that he has pain living inside of. [ibid]

[3] 640/6

[4] 640/6

[5] The reason: The reason for this is because every Sukkah which is not fit for one to eat, drink, or sleep pleasantly, is not considered a dwelling at all as it is not similar to a house in which he is able to do all these matters in pleasantly. [ibid]

[6] 640/9

[7] 639/21

[8] This matter is disputed between the two opinions mentioned earlier. The first opinion learns the verse from Pesach to teach us that one must eat a Kezayis of bread in the Sukkah on the first night even in the rain. [639/17] However according to the second opinion the verse only teaches us that one must eat a Kezayis in the Sukkah on the first night when it is not raining. Practically we rule like the first opinion, although a blessing is not recited. [639/19] 

[9] 639/19

[10] Mishmeres Shalom 43/1; Minchas Elazar 4/31; Maharshag 1/35; Eretz Tzevi 1/98; See Bircheiy Yosef 639/8

[11] Piskeiy Teshuvos 639/17 writes not to say a blessing.

[12] Shevach Hamoadim p. 78; Koveitz Divrei Torah 5; Avraham Azulaiy brought in Bircheiy Yosef 639/8; Taamei Haminhagi

[13] 639/22

[14] 639/25

[15] 639/26

[16] 639/23

[17] 639/23

[18] 639/23

[19] 640/9

[20] The reason: As this discomfort of eating in another person’s Sukkah is not a true pain to exempt oneself from Sukkah due to it. [ibid]

[21] 639/23

[22] 639/24

[23] Mishmeres Shalom 43/1; Minchas Elazar 4/31; Mahrshag 1/35; Eretz Tzevi 1/98; See Bircheiy Yosef 639/8

[24] Piskeiy Teshuvos 639/17 writes not to say a blessing.

[25] Shevach Hamoadim p. 78; Koveitz Divrei Torah 5; Avraham Azulaiy brought in Bircheiy Yosef 639/8; Taamei Haminhagi

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