The laws & Customs of Sukkos and Daled Minim-Checklist and Summary

The Laws & Customs of Sukkos

Summary Edition

Checklist

The laws of a Kosher Sukkah:

  • Begin building on Motzei Yom Kippur. Complete the entire Sukkah the day after Yom Kippur after Shul
  • Verify the area you desire to build the Sukkah does not contain any obstructions which will hover over the Sechach of the Sukkah. This includes trees, laundry lines, another neighbors Sechach etc.
  • First build at least three complete walls that are ten Tefach high and within three Tefach from the ground and are seven Tefach wide. If using tarp for the walls, make sure to use “Lavud” or to at least tie it very strongly.
  • Place Kosher Sechach on the walls only after the walls are built.
  • Don’t use Sechach that has bad odor or with leaves that will full
  • Make sure the supports of the Sechach are also Kosher to be used as Sechach. Thus don’t use nails or non-Kosher rope to attach the Sechach.
  • Make sure to fasten down the Sechach with Kosher material so it does not fly with the wind. One can place a wood board on top of the Sechach and then tie the wood board down with any material.
  • Verify the Sechach gives majority shade, allows rain and star light to penetrate.
  • Everyone should try to have their own Sukkah
  • Don’t build the Sukkah in public property
  • Try to personally build the Sukkah versus having someone else do so for you
  • Do not have gentiles, women or children place the Sechach on the Sukkah. They may however build the walls
  • Verify that all pictures and decorations are placed within 4 Tefachim from the Sechach. It is not the Chabad custom to place decorations.
  • The table must be within the Sukkah

 

Leisheiv Basukkah-The Mitzvah of dwelling in a Sukkah:

  • Each time upon dwelling in the Sukkah have intention to dwell in the Sukkah for the sake of remembering the Exodus and the clouds of glory. The main idea is for one to contemplate this matter.
  • Male children above the age of 6 are to be educated to dwell in the Sukkah
  • Make the Sukkah your permanent residence. This means one must eat, drink, read, learn, socialize, and simply spend time of relaxation [i.e. “Yitayel”] within the Sukkah throughout all seven days, both by night and day.
  • Eating and drinking in a Sukkah: According to the letter of the law one is only required to eat in the Sukkah if he is eating more than a Kibeitza of bread or Mezonos [within Kdei Achilas Pras]. All foods which do not carry the blessing of Mezonos or Hamotzi may be eaten outside the Sukkah without limitation, even if one sets a meal over those foods. However, one who is stringent to eat even these foods in the Sukkah is praised. The Chabad Minhag is not to eat or drink anything outside the Sukkah, including even water.
  • Kiddush: Kiddush is to be made inside the Sukkah. The blessing of Leishiev Basukkah is said prior to drinking the wine. However on the 1st night of Sukkos it is said before the blessing of Shehechiyanu, while on the 2nd night [in the Diaspora] it is said after the blessing of Shehechiyanu. [During the Kiddush of day meal, the blessing of Leisheiv is said after the blessing of Hagafen, prior to drinking the wine.]
  • Havdala: One is obligated to say Havdala inside the Sukkah. One says the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah after Havadala, prior to drinking from the wine.
  • Learning in a Sukkah: One must learn Torah inside the Sukkah unless he desires to learn in the Beis Midrash, or to learn outside under fresh air for greater understanding, or he does not have room to store his Sefarim in the Sukkah
  • Davening in a Sukkah: One may Daven outside his Sukkah if he desires to Daven in Shul or if he cannot concentrate in the Sukkah
  • Sleeping in Sukkah: It is forbidden to sleep outside of a Sukkah even a mere nap. The Chabad practice is not to sleep in the Sukkah due to an age old custom of the Alter Rebbe, and due to the exemption of Mitztaer.
  • Items to enter into the Sukkah: One should enter his most beautiful vessels, tapestries, and drinking utensils into the Sukkah.
  • Pots, pans and plates are to be removed from the Sukkah after they are used being that they are repulsive and it is belittling to the Sukkah. [The custom is not to enter pots into the Sukkah at all and rather the food is to be placed in a serving tray.]
  • Belittling acts in the Sukkah: One may not do any belittling acts inside the Sukkah.
  • The blessing of Leisheiv Basukah: The blessing of ‘Leisheiv Basukkah’ is only said when eating a Kebeitza [55 grams] of Mezonos or Hamotzi [within Achilas Peras – 4 minutes]. It is not said prior to other actions of dwelling, such as a set drinking session, or spending time of leisure or sleeping in the Sukkah.
  • Every time one eats a Kebeitza of Mezonos or Hamotzi in the Sukkah he is to say a blessing of Leisheiv BaSukah, if there was an interval of two hours between the previous time he ate and the current eating.
  • The blessing of Leisheiv is recited after saying the blessing of the food, but prior to eating it.
  • The Rebbe’s custom is to look at Sechach upon saying Leisheiv.
  • If one forgot to recite Leisheiv Basukkah prior to eating he is to say it upon remembering even if he has already finished eating.
  • One must say the blessing of Leisheiv in every Sukkah that he eats a Kibeitza of Mezonos.
  • If one enters into someone else’s Sukkah in order to spend time of leisure, or in order to sleep in it, and he does not plan to eat a Kibeitza worth of Mezonos in that Sukkah, then he must say the blessing of Leishiev Basukkah prior to relaxing or sleeping in it.

 

The Laws of Daled Minim

  • Buy a set of Lulav and Esrog during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah. Some however write it is to be bought after Yom Kippur.
  • Every person is to have his own set of Daled Minim
  • One is required to buy a set of Kosher Daled Minim on behalf of his [male] children.
  • Owning on first day: On the 1st day of Sukkos [in Eretz Yisrael and the first two days of Sukkos in the Diaspora as will be explained next] one must use a set of Daled Minim which he personally owns. Therefore, when using someone else’s Daled Minim one must receive it as a present on condition to return.
  • Children: On the first day of Sukkos in Eretz Yisrael, and the first two days of Sukkos in the Diaspora, one is not to give his personal Daled Minim as a present on condition to return to any child below the age of 13 for a boy and 12 for a girl, to fulfill the Mitzvah.
  • One may not buy any of the Daled Minim from a child under Bar Mitzvah, unless the child does not own the Daled Minim and is selling them on behalf of another person. If one already shook Daled Minim that was purchased from a Katan, then on the first day(s) one is to shake again without a blessing.
  • Shaking in Jerusalem: Some Poskim rule that according to some Rishonim the shaking of Daled Minim in the old city of Jerusalem is a Biblical obligation for all seven days of the festival. Hence, when in the old city one is to use a set of Daled Minim that he owns or receive it as a “Matana Al Menas Lehachzir”. Likewise, the Daled Minim are to fulfill all the validation criteria required for the first day, such as Chasar and the like.
  • Paying for the species after the holiday: One does not need to pay for the four species before Sukkos.
  • How many of each species is one to take: One may not use for the Mitzvah more than 1 Esrog, 1 Lulav, and 2 Aravos. However one may add onto the 3 Hadassim. One should try to add at least 3 more Hadassim to the minimal three required [for a total of six Hadassim].
  • Water the Lulav, Hadassim and Aravos throughout the days of Sukkos,
  • Replace the Hadassim and Aravos as the days go on, in accordance to need. One is not to stick the new Hadassim and Aravos into the knot which binds the Minim to the Lulav, as this causes leaves to shear and can invalidate the branch.
  • On Yom Tov, don’t carry Daled Minim in area without Eiruv if it does not serve a need.
  • Throughout Sukkos one may not smell the Hadassim. One is to avoid smelling an Esrog even on Shabbos.

 

Binding the Lulav:

  • Bind the Lulav on Erev Sukkos inside the Sukkah. [The Rebbe would do so after midday.]
  • One is to personally bind the Lulav. Women and children are not to do so for a man’s Lulav.
  • The Chabad custom is not to use the Lulav pockets.
  • One makes two knots on the Lulav itself using Lulav leaves. One then places a Hadas on the right, left and center of the Lulav, placing the Aravos in between in an inconspicuous fashion. The Hadassim should cover over the 2 knots on the Lulav. One then binds three knots onto the Hadassim and Aravos, all three should be within the space 1 handbreadth (8 centimeters). It is proper to bind the Hadassim and Aravos towards the bottom of the Lulav in order to also hold on to them when doing the mitzvah. If one did not do so, he has nevertheless fulfilled the mitzvah.
  • The spine of the Lulav must reach at least one Tefach above the Hadassim/Aravos of the Lulav. The top of the spine is defined as the area where it begins to split into other leaves.

 

How to Bentch Lulav:

  • Awaken early in the morning to perform the Mitzvah of Daled Minim.
  • Do not eat before shaking the Lulav. If however one will not be able to shake until after midday he should eat beforehand.
  • Shake the Lulav inside the Sukkah.
  • All the 4 minim must be held top side up [the Esrog with its Pitam facing up].
  • A right handed person holds the Lulav in his right hand and the Esrog in his left hand, while a left handed person holds the Lulav in his left hand and the Esrog in his right hand. The exact order of when the Lulav and Esrog are lifted will be explained next.
  • The blessing process:
  1. One faces east [not specifically towards Jerusalem] throughout the blessing and shaking process.
  2. One takes hold of the Lulav in his right hand [if he’s right handed, as explained above].
  3. The spine of the Lulav faces the person.
  4. The Esrog remains on the table and is not lifted until after the blessing. One then says the Bracha of Al Netilas Lulav and lifts the Esrog in his left hand [if he is right handed as explained above. A lefty lifts the Esrog in his right hand]. On the first day of Sukkos one now says [after lifting the Esrog] the blessing of Shehechiyanu.
  5. One then adjoins the top third of the Esrog [thus having the Esrog in a slightly slanted position] with the Lulav/Hadassim and Aravos. Throughout the shaking, one remains holding the Lulav in his right hand and the Esrog in his left hand [for one who is right handed].
  6. One then shakes the Lulav with the adjoined Esrog three times in six different directions. One first shakes three times southeast [towards one’s right], then three times northeast [towards one’s left], then three times east [frontwards], three times up, three times down, and three times west.
  7. When shaking towards west, the first two times one shakes to southwest [towards one’s back on his right side] and then shakes it completely towards west.
  8. Throughout the shaking, the Esrog remains covered by ones hand, until the last shake where one reveals the Esrog slightly.
  9. The Lulav remains facing upwards throughout all of the shakings. It is not to be turned upside down when one shakes it downwards.
  10. The Lulav is to be shaken after each Holacha [stretching away from the chest] prior to the Hovah [brining back to the chest].

 

Kashrus of Lulav:

  • Its spine is at least 32cm. and will extend a Tefach past Hadassim
  • Its Tiyomes is completely closed on its top.
  • The Tiyomes is double leafed from top to bottom.
  • Majority of the other leaves are also majority closed.
  • Tiyomes is not cut on its top
  • The Lulav is not bent to any side. The Lulav is straight.
  • The leaves are not bent
  • The Tiyomes is not dry
  • Has a Kara

 

Kashrus of Esrog:

  1. It is a Calabria Esrog from Italy [not Kfar Chabad].
  2. Verify there are no missing pieces anywhere from the Esrog.
  3. Verify it does not have a broken Pitam.
  4. Verify it does not have a broken Oketz.
  5. Verify the Chotem is clean of a Chazazis or color change.
  6. Bletlach are Kosher.
  7. Verify that below the Chotem there is not two Chazazis or two color changes.
  8. Verify if it came from Israel that it has a Hashgacha.
  9. The color is to be completely yellow.

Kashrus of Hadassim:

  1. Is at least 24 cm.
  2. The first 24 cm from the top is completely Meshulash or at the very least majority Meshulash.
  3. Top is not cut off
  4. Remove random leaves

                                                  

Kashrus of Aravos:

  1. Is at least 24 cm.
  2. The first 24 cm from the top has all of its leaves or at the very least majority.
  3. Top is not cut off

Erev Sukkos

  • Increase in Tzedakah on Erev Sukkos.
  • Bake Challahs for Yom Tov in the honor of Yom Tov.
  • Cut the nails on Erev Sukkos in honor of Yom Tov,
  • Get a haircut on Erev Sukkos.
  • Prepare sweets for children in fulfilling Mitzvah of Simcha.
  • Buy wife jewelry or clothing for Simcha.
  • Do not eat a meal from the 10th hour of the day until the Yom Tov starts. This is approximately three hours before sunset. The above is only with regards to a set meal [i.e. 55 grams of bread] however it is permitted to eat a mere snack up until sunset and there is no need to refrain from doing so. If one transgressed or forgot and did not eat prior to the 10th hour, then on Erev Sukkos he may not eat a meal past the 10th
  • Bathe one’s body in hot wateron Erev Sukkos in honor of Yom Tov.
  • Whenever Sukkos falls on Thursday one performs an Eiruv Tavshilin on Erev Sukkos [Wednesday] in the Diaspora.
  • Bind the Lulav in the Sukkah. One should be meticulous to bind the Lulav himself as opposed to having someone else do it for him.
  • Verifying the validity of the Sukkah: Before leaving to Shul for Mincha on Erev Sukkos, one is to verify the validity of the Sukkah and confirm that everything is in order.
  • Candle lighting: One first lights the candles and then says the blessing of “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Kidishanu Bimitzvosav Vetzivanu Lehadlik Neir Shel Yom Tov”. This blessing is then followed by the blessing of Shehechiyanu.
  • Light the candles prior to sunset at the same time that they are lit on Erev Shabbos.
  • The candles are to be lit within the Sukkah. If this is not possible [such as due to safety reasons] then one is to light inside.

The First day[s] of Yom Tov

  • The Seder of Kiddush: Askinu, Hagafen, Asher Bachar Banu, Leisheiv, Shehechiyanu. The Rebbe’s custom is to look at Sechach upon saying Leisheiv.
  • Having in mind by Shehechiyanu: The Shehechiyanu is going on both the holiday and the Sukkah.
  • Dip Challah in honey: It is customary of some to dip the Challah in honey throughout all the Yom Tov [and Shabbos] meals through Simchas Torah.
  • Leisheiv Basukkah for the household: The household members who heard Kiddush are to say the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah after saying the blessing of Hamotzi.
  • How much to eat: One must eat over a Kebeitza of bread in the Sukkah on 1st and 2nd night [in the Diaspora]. One should try to eat before midnight.
  • Ushpizin: In addition to the company of Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov…. each night in ones Sukkah there is a tradition that the Chassidic Rabbeim also come to visit, starting with the Baal Shem Tov until the Rebbe Rashab. It is not our custom to say anything for the Ushpizin, however one should mention a Dvar Torah involving the guest of that night.
  • Yaleh Veyavo in Bentching: If one forgot Yaleh Veyavo in Birchas Hamazon then by the first two meals of Yom Tov one is to repeat Birchas Hamazon.
  • Waking early for shaking Lulav: One is to awake early to fulfill the Mitzvah of Daled Minim especially on the first day of Sukkos.
  • Simchas Beis Hashoeiva: Simchas Beis Hashoeiva begins on the 1st night of Sukkos.
  • Halel: The complete Halel is recited throughout all 7 days of Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres. One holds on to Lulav during Halel, and picks up also the Esrog only when it is needed to be shaken. We shake the Lulav total of 4 times in Halel. One who said a blessing on the Lulav before Halel is only to shake the Lulav three times in Halel, omitting the shaking in Ana Hashem.
  • Hoshanos: Immediately after Halel, prior to Kaddish, it is customary to circle the Bimah one time holding on to the Lulav and Esrog. One is to hold the Lulav and Esrog in two separate hands, the Lulav in his right hand and the Esrog in his left.
  • One says the word Hoshanah prior to each one of the words said for that day. Upon reaching the words upon which one begins to encircle, one is to say Hoshanah prior and after each word. One places the Sefer Torah on the Bimah. One without a Lulav does not go around and rather holds on to the Sefer Torah.
  • Day Kiddush: Say Leisheiv Basukkah after Hagafen.
  • Havdala: One says Havdala in the Sukkah saying Leisheiv basukkah. No candle or Besamim is used.

Chol Hamoed:

  • Drink Revius of wine
  • Eat meal with bread by both night and day
  • 6 Zechiros
  • Eat and drink delicacies and do other forms of Simcha.
  • Many are accustomed to gather and visit Jerusalem like Aliyah Leregel by the Holidays.
  • Read Haftorah of Shabbos Chol Hamoed on Erev Shabbos

 

Hoshana Raba:

  • No Tashmish Hamita
  • Give extra Tzedaka
  • Buy Aravos set for each family member
  • Kreplach
  • Have special meal before 10th hour
  • Shnayim Mikra
  • Last time for Ledavid

Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah

  • Time is very precious-Dance!
  • Seder at night: Regular Yom Tov Maariv followed by Kaddish Shaleim and then Frabrengen. Then Ata Hareisa three times, then Hakafos, then Aleinu.
  • Does one still eat in the Sukkah? On Shemini Atzeres outside Eretz Yisrael one eats and drinks in the Sukkah but without a brocha. In Eretz Yisrael: One does not eat in the Sukkah.
  • Kiddush: On the night of Simchas Torah it is customary for all men to say Kiddush on their own.
  • Drink wine by meal
  • Hakafos: One dances Hakafos on both nights with extreme joy. The Rebbe Rashab said that one draws down abundance of physical and spiritual blessing through the joy of dancing by hakafos.
  • During the recital of Kerias Shema Al Hamita on the night of Simchas Torah, one is to make a resolution to spread Torah with Mesirus Nefesh.
  • No Tashmish on both nights
  • The Simchas Torah day Davening: Kaddish Shaleim after Halel, followed by Frabe, followed by Ata Hareisa. Ata Hareisa for Kerias Hatorah, Vayehi Binsoa and thirteen Midos etc. Nesias Kapyim only by Shachris and is done with niggun like musaf
  • The day Hakafos: During the day of Simchas Torah, the custom is to only perform 3.5 circles around the Bima as opposed to seven. Nevertheless, all seven liturgy of Hakafos is read. Thus, one reads a single Hakafa for every half circle of the Bimah, for a total of seven half circles corresponding to the reading of the seven Hakafos. All 3.5 circles of Hakafos are performed consecutively without dancing in between or placing Sefer Torah back in Aron or even announcing “Ad Kan Hakafa…”. After the conclusion of the 3.5 circles the congregation dances. At the conclusion, the Sefer Torah is returned to the Aron without saying anything.
  • For Kol Hanearim one says blessing for all. We do not spread a Tallis over the children.
  • Announce Mashiv Haruach before Musaf of Shemini Atzeres. Morid Hatal is only said from the 7th of Cheshvan in Israel, and from the 6th December in Diaspora.
  • Yizkor

 

Chapter 1: The Sukkah

 

  1. Building the Sukkah
  • The reason behind dwelling in a Sukkah: The reason G-d commanded us to sit in a Sukkah for shade is so we recall the miracles and wonders done for us in the desert, in which the clouds of glory surrounded us for shade, as protection from the sun. When dwelling in a Sukkah one must have intent to do so in order to fulfill G-d’s command to sit in a Sukkah in commemoration of the Exodus. This obligation to have intent during the dwelling is learned from the verse “So you shall know”.
  • When to build the Sukkah: On Motzei Yom Kippur one begins building the Sukkah, [or at least talking about building it], in order to leave one Mitzvah and enter to another Mitzvah. It is a Mitzvah to build the entire Sukkah immediately the day after Yom Kippur, after one leaves Shul. One who did not build a Sukkah before the Holiday is to build his Sukkah on Chol Hamoed and dwell in it. This applies whether one did not build his Sukkah due to negligence or due to no fault of his own. This applies even at the end of the seventh day of Sukkos, nevertheless he is obligated to build a Sukkah in order to dwell in the Sukkah for the remaining moments.
  • Should one personally build the Sukkah versus having someone else do so for him? It is proper for one to personally place the Sechach onto the Sukkah [and help build the walls] rather than have another person do so for him. [The Rabbeim were not particular to personally build their Sukkah, although it is recalled that the Rebbe was particular to always place some Sechach onto his Sukkah. It is told that Reb Hillel Paritcher was particular to help build the walls of the Sukkah. The Noam Elimelech explains that one is to personally toil to build the Sukkah in order to sanctify his limbs.]
  • May women or children build the Sukkah? Walls: According to all, women and children may help build the walls of the Sukkah. Sechach: Some Poskim rule that women and children are not initially to place the Sechach on the Sukkah, and so seems to be the opinion of Admur. If they already did so the Sukkah is Kosher.
  • May a gentile build the Sukkah? Walls: A gentile may help build the walls of the Sukkah. However some write a gentile should not build even the walls of the Sukkah. Sechach: A gentile is not initially to place the Sechach on the Sukkah. If he already did so the Sukkah is Kosher.
  • Is everyone to have their own Sukkah? It is proper for each family to build their own Sukkah just like each person has his own house.
  • Is a Shul required to build a Sukkah? It is accustomed to build a Sukkah in Shul for the sake of guests.
  • How tall is a Sukkah to be? The Sukkah must be more than 10 Tefachim tall and may not be more than 20 Amos [10 meters] high. This means that the Sechach may not be a height of 20 Amos from the floor of the Sukkah. The reason for this is because it is considered unable to give shade when it is such a great height from the floor.
  • How large must a Sukkah be? 7×7 Tefachim by ten Tefach. [7 by 7 by 10]
  • The order-May one place the Sechach before the walls? One must build the walls of the Sukkah prior to building the Sechach. If one first builds the Sechach and then the walls, the Sukkah is invalid according to many Poskim.
  • If the walls blew off on Sukkos it is not necessary to replace the Sechach after fixing the walls, being the Sukkah was originally made in a Kosher way. However, some Poskim rule that if this occurred before Sukkos one is required to replace the Sechach.
  • May one eat in a Sukkah with the table outside? No. One who does so does not fulfill his obligation. Some Poskim require at least a Tefach of the table to be inside the Sukkah in which case it is valid. Others require that majority of the Sukkah be inside the house.
  • The Sukkah must be made only in order to give shade: Just as the clouds of glory were there to give us shade from the sun, similarly the Sukkah is only valid when made in order to only give shade. If it was made to serve for also other purposes, such as storage and the like then it is not considered a Sukkah but rather a house and is inherently invalid.
  • Retractable roof: If the Sukkah is used as a dwelling place it is invalid and the Sechach must be lifted and placed back on each year before Sukkos. [Thus, a Sukkah that is built in ones house under a retractable roof and left intact the entire year, since one lives in this Sukkah throughout the year he is required to renew the Sechach each year before Sukkos.] It suffices to simply lift up the Sechach and place it back down.
  • An old Sukkah: A Sukkah which was built for the purpose of fulfilling the Mitzvah is valid even if it was built towards the beginning of the year. [Thus if one never took down the previous year’s Sukkah, it may be used for the current Sukkos holiday without needing any modification.] If the Sukkah was built for the sake of shade, then if this was done within thirty days before Sukkos, it is valid. If it was made prior to 30 days before Sukkos, one must renew something in the Sukkah for the sake of the Mitzvah. The definition of a renewed action is to place new Sechach at least the size of 1×1 Tefach for the sake of the Mitzvah, or to place Sechach from one end of the Sukkah to another even if it is less than one Tefach. Regarding the walls, even if they were made from the beginning of the year for shade, one does not need to renew anything for it to be valid and renewing the Sechach suffices.
  • Must one dwell in the same Sukkah throughout Sukkos? One is not required to dwell within the same Sukkah throughout the seven days of Sukkos and he can thus leave his Sukkah and dwell in another person’s Sukkah.
  • A borrowed Sukkah: One fulfills his obligation with a borrowed Sukkah.
  • A Sukkah with joint ownership: One fulfills his obligation with a jointly owned Sukkah and he is not required to request permission from the other owner to dwell in it.
  • A stolen Sukkah: If one forcibly removed the owner from his Sukkah and stole it and dwelled in it he fulfills his obligation nevertheless he may not say a blessing ‘Leisheiv basukkah’.
  • May one enter someone else’s Sukkah without permission? If the owner is currently in his Sukkah, one may not initially enter into another person’s Sukkah without permission even if he does not intend to steal it from him. However, it is permitted even initially to enter the Sukkah while the owner is not there.
  • May one build a Sukkah in someone else’s property without permission? One may not build a Sukkah in someone else’s property.
  • May one build a Sukkah in a public property? Initially one may not build a Sukkah in a public area such as on a city street or sidewalk and the like of places that people pass by. This applies even if the entire city is of Jewish population and certainly the Jews do not mind one building his Sukkah there. One is to protest against anyone who makes a Sukkah in a public area. Nevertheless, Bedieved if one built a Sukkah in a public property he fulfills his obligation. If one transgressed and built a Sukkah in a public property although he fulfills his obligation, nevertheless he may not say a blessing of ‘Leisheiv basukkah’. [However many Poskim rule one may even initially build a Sukkah in a public property and say a blessing, and so is the custom. This especially applies if one has received permission from the city municipality.]
  • Is a mobile Sukkah valid? A Sukkah that is attached to the back of a pick-up truck is valid so long as a normal wind cannot blow off the walls or the Sechach. Such a Sukkah is valid even when the car is moving and even if it does not have a floor attached to it.
  • May one make a Sukkah on a tree?
  • What is one to do with the Sukkah after Sukkos? After Sukkos one is not required to bury the wood used for Sechach and it may be used and benefited from as one sees fit. Nevertheless it is proper to beware not to use it for a belittling use, as this is disrespectful to the Mitzvah. It goes without saying that one may not trample on the Sechach in order not to do a belittling act with it.

 

  1. The law if Non-Kosher Sechach [Tree or ledge] is hovering over ones Sukkah:
  • The shade must come as a result of Kosher Sechach: Just like by the clouds of glory it was the actual clouds which gave us shade from the sun, similarly a Sukkah is only valid when the Kosher Sechach gives the shade. For this reason one is to verify and remove any interference that rest between the Sechach and the sky, such as a tree which hovers over the Sukkah.
  • The law if non-Kosher Sechach hovers over the Sukkah, such as a tree hovering over a Sukkah: The hovered area is considered as if it is not covered by any Sechach, and if due to this the Sukkah would have more sunlight then shade, then the Sukkah is invalid. Although in a case of need, it is better to eat in such a Sukkah than to nullify the Mitzvah.
  • Does Non-Kosher Sechach, such as a hovering tree, which is over 20 Amos high, invalidate the Sukkah if the above conditions are not met? Some Poskim rule that it invalidates the Sukkah. Other Poskim rule that when the tree is above 20 Amos it no longer invalidates the Sechach that is under it.
  • If a tree or wall is standing next to ones Sukkah and gives it shade to the point that even if the Sechach were to be gone there would still be shade in the Sukkah, is the Sukkah valid? So long as the Sechach is directly under the skies, it is valid, irrelevant to whether or not there are other reasons for why there would anyways be shade.
  • If a tree near the Sukkah blows with the wind and causes it to hover over the Sukkah, does it invalidate the Sechach under it?
  • If a hot air balloon or plain, or helicopter hovers over one’s Sukkah, does it invalidate the Sechach under it? Yes, it invalidates it according to those Poskim that invalidate the Kosher Sechach even if the hovering is 20 above. However according to those Poskim which are lenient, as explained above, then in this case as well it would be permitted.
  • If laundry lines or electric wires hover over ones Sukkah, do they invalidate the Sechach? If the individual lines/wires are not within three Tefachim [24 cm] of each other, then they do not invalidate the Sechach. If they are within 3 Tefach of each other then: Some Poskim rule that one is to suspect for the Bach who holds Levud Lehachmir and thus the Sukkah is considered to be under a non-kosher roofing for the entire circumference of the hovering lines. [See footnote for opinion of Admur] Others however limit this stringency of the Bach to a case when all the hovering items if were to be placed adjacent to each other they would take up 4 tefach [32 cm], which is not the case by lines, and thus in the above scenario it would be permitted according to all. If there is laundry over the lines: This does not invalidate the Sukkah so long as the laundry is hanging down vertically, as opposed to spread horizontally over the lines. When hanging vertically it is allowed even if the clothing blow with wind and thus at times spread horizontally over the Sukkah. If however the cloths were spread horizontally or due to wind got stuck on another line and are now spread vertically, then that area invalidates the Sechach under it.
  • If there is snow over ones Sechach, does it invalidate the Sechach under it? Some Poskim rule that it is a kosher roofing and thus the Sukkah remains valid. Others rule that the Sechach under it is invalidated [and thus if due to this there is not more shade over sunlight within the Sukkah, then the entire Sukkah is invalid]. The Chabad custom follows this stringent opinion even on Shemini Atzeres. One is to thus remove the snow before eating in the Sukkah. On Shabbos one would hint to a gentile to do so for him.
  • Building a Sukkah on/under roof frames and pergolas: If the ceiling supports are made of material kosher for Sechach, then one may make the Sukkah under this frame, or place the Sechach over the frame. Furthermore this frame material itself joins the Kosher Sechach to give majority shade and one may eat directly under it. If the ceiling frame is material not kosher for Sechach then the frames invalidate all the Sechach directly under it. Even if the supports are within three handbreadths within each other, nevertheless we do not say the concept of Lavud, and therefore one may eat under the Kosher Sechach. However with regards to whether one may eat under the actual ceiling supports this is dependent on whether they are 3×3 Tefach large.
  • Placing Kosher Sechach over non-Kosher Sechach and then removing the non-Kosher Sechach: Even if one were to remove the non-Kosher Sechach from under the Kosher Sechach the Sukkah is invalid as we learn from the verse of “the festival of Sukkahs make for you” that one must make the Sukkah directly and not have it be made consequently through doing another action.
  • Retractable roof: It is a Mitzvah to have a retractable Sukkah awning over ones Sukkah in order to prevent the Sechach from getting wet in times of rain, as well as so he be able to stay in the Sukkah even when raining outside. If one built a Sukkah under a removable roof while the roof was closed, then one must completely detach the retractable roof from the ceiling in order for the Sukkah to be valid. If however the roof was opened when one placed the Sechach on the Sukkah then even if one later closes the roof, he does not need to completely detach the retractable roof from the ceiling in order to validate it once again, and rather simply opening the awning validates it.
  • Some Poskim suggest that it is proper to leave the retractable roof open upon the entrance of Sukkos in order for the Sukkah be valid when the holiness of the holiday penetrates.

 

  1. Items hovering between ones head and the Sechach
  • A flat hovering which is a handbreadth wide [8 cm.] or contains one Tefach of width within three Tefach of height and has a height of 10 handbreadths [80 cm.] from the ground, has the legal status of a tent and is thus forbidden for one to eat or sleep under it.
  • Having a decorations and decorative sheet under one’s Sechach: If a decorative sheet is spread under one’s Sechach for purposes of beautification of the Sukkah then it is nullified to the Sukkah and one may eat under it if it is within 4 Tefach [32 cm.] from the Sechach. This applies even if the sheet is 4 Tefach wide [32 cm.] and is a height of 10 Tefach from above ground. However, if the sheet reaches below 4 Tefach [32 cm.] from the Sechach then it is defined as invalid Sechach. Even if the sheet is less than 4 Tefach wide, it may not be placed below 4 Tefach from the Sechach due to a decree that one may come to do so with a sheet that is 4 Tefach wide.
  • Having a sheet placed in order to catch leaves, bugs or rain is disputed as to whether or not the sheet is nullified to the Sechach. At times of rain it is better to place a sheet over or under the Sechach and prevent the rain from penetrating, then to go inside
  • May one eat under a protruding decoration which was placed on ones wall? If the decoration is within 4 Tefach from the Sechach then it is nullified to the Sechach and one may thus eat under it. If however it is below 4 Tefach from the Sechach then it is forbidden to eat under it. If the decoration is within 4 Tefach from the Sechach but rolls down past the 4 Tefach, then it is questionable whether it is considered an interval or not, and practically it should be avoided.
  • May one place decorations within four Tefach from the Sechach if they reach below 4 Tefach from ones Sechach? This is to be avoided due to it being questionable whether or not this decoration is nullified to the Sechach and hence perhaps it is an interval between the person and the Sechach. However there are Poskim which are lenient in this matter so long as the top of the decoration is within four Tefach from the Sechach.
  • A two story Sukkah: If one built a Sukkah on top of another Sukkah then if the floor of the top Sukkah, which serves also as the Sechach for the top Sukkah, is able to support pillows and blankets [and a person eating and sleeping], then although the top Sukkah is valid, the bottom Sukkah is invalid.
  • May one have a Sukkah made with two layers of Sechach one over the other? If the two layers of Sechach are ten or more Tefach [80cm.] apart, and the lower Sechach is sturdy enough to support pillows and blankets, then it is viewed as a two story Sukkah and the Sukkah is thus invalid.
  • May one eat in a Sukkah which has the Sechach of an upper Sukkah protruding over it? If the bottom Sechach is firm enough to hold a person lying on pillows and blankets: This matter is disputed by Poskim. Some Poskim hold that it does not invalidate the Sechach directly under it being that this protruding Sechach has no walls. Others however rule that despite the above it does invalidate the Sechach under it. Practically one is to be stringent and avoid this situation. If the bottom Sechach cannot hold a person lying on a pillow: The lower Sukkah is completely valid.

 

  1. Laws relating to Kosher Sechach
  • The general ruling: The following criteria is required for a material to be valid Sechach: a) The material grows from the ground. B) The material is currently detached from the ground. C) The material has not been formed into an item which can receive impurity.
  • The definition of earth products which are able to contract impurity: Any item that is potentially able to contract impurity is invalid. All fruits and vegetables are invalid being that they potentially can contract impurity after having been prepared [by coming in contact with liquids].
  • Any earth produce which was once able to contract impurity due to it being transformed into a vessel, remains Rabbinically invalid even if it has broken and is no longer fit for use as a vessel. If one used this material as Sechach the Sukkah is invalid even Bedieved just like material that is Biblically invalid.
  • Any produce which had a hole made into them, in a way that they can hold items in that hole, is able to contract impurity and is thus invalid. If the produce grew with this hole, such as a bamboo stick which contains an inner hollowness, then it still remains valid.
  • Any earth produce which changed form, as is the case with cotton and cannabis which have been spun, are Rabbinically invalid. [Regarding using carton boxes and the like-see list]
  • Based on the above, ropes which are made of materials which were spun in order to firm them, are invalid. However if they were not spun and the rope is rather made of strings of that material which have retained their original form of growth, then they are valid, as ropes do not have a hole within them to hold items and thus do not contract impurity.
  • May mats be used for Sechach: Mats which are formed from produce that grows from the ground such as bamboo or canes or twigs, may be used for Sechach so long as the following conditions are fulfilled: a) Are not made for any use which would deem it able to contract impurity, such as for sleeping on, spreading fruits on, and the like. b) Not used by majority of the inhabitants of the area as a vessel. c) They are not used in ones area as the roofing for the houses.
  • Must the commonly sold bamboo Sechach mats contain a reliable Rabbinical supervision? Yes. This is due to the fact that in some countries the mats are actually used for roofing or other vessel purpose in which the ruling in Shulchan Aruch dictates that it may then not be used as Sechach. Thus supervision is required to verify that the mats are not being made for an invalidating purpose. As well, supervision is required to verify that the sticks of the mat are woven using material valid for Sechach, such as the more expensive cotton string, in contrast to the cheaper synthetic strings which are invalid for Sechach.
  • May one use pieces of Sechach which have been painted over? Yes.
  • May one cut Sechach during Shemitah to use for his Sukkah? However it is best to do so in an irregular method than that used for trimming trees.
  • Does Sechach have Kedushas Sheviis?
  • May one’s Pergola contain sockets which serve as slots to slide the Sechach into?
  • May one use branches that contain fruit as Sechach? If the branches were cut with intent to use as Sechach they are valid. If however they were cut with intent to eat the fruit then one must have majority of the Sechach be from the part of the branches which is past the area of the stem of the fruit which is able to contract impurity. If the majority is from the area of the stem which can contract impurity then it is invalid.
  • If the branch of a tree is resting over one’s Sukkah roofing may one simply cut it and have it used as Sechach? The Sechach must be originally placed on the roofing at a time that it is currently valid to be used and here since when the branch was placed on the roofing it was still attached to the ground, it is thus invalid. One may however lift up the branch after it is cut and then replace it as valid Sechach.
  • Materials which give off bad odors: The Sages initially forbade using Sechach which gives off foul odors due that this may cause one to leave the Sukkah [due to annoyance]. Nevertheless if one went ahead and used branches which give bad odor as Sechach, the Sukkah is nevertheless valid and it is even initially permitted to eat in this Sukkah.
  • May branches with leaves be used for Sechach? The Sages initially forbade using Sechach which contain leaves that commonly fall off on their own, even without wind, due to suspicion that this may cause one to leave the Sukkah [due to annoyance]. Nevertheless if one went ahead and used branches which contain leaves as Sechach, the Sukkah is nevertheless valid and it is even initially permitted to eat in this Sukkah.
  • May bundles of wood be used as Sechach? Bundles of wood which are commonly placed on rooftops for drying purposes [such as those which contain 25 pieces] are Rabbinically invalid for Sechach. However if the bundle is opened and spread across the Sechach roofing then it is valid.
  • May one use wood boards as Sechach? All wooden planks which are slightly wide, similar to a table, and is thus fit to support things, is Rabbinically invalid for Sechach. These planks may not even be used to support the Sechach, Boards which are 4 Tefach wide [32 cm.] are Rabbinically invalid to be used as Sechach. Furthermore, today in which even boards of less than 3 Tefach [24 cm] wide are used for roofs of houses, even boards of less than 3 Tefach wide are invalid to be used for Sechach due to the above decree. However boards which are so narrow that they are not at all used for a roofing are permitted to be used for Sechach, even if they are wide enough to hold fruits and bread. Nevertheless when such boards are used one must verify that rain is still able to penetrate the Sukkah. For this reason the custom became to completely avoid using even the valid boards for Sechach due to worry that one may come to set it there in a way that the rain will not be able to penetrate. Even if one places a wide board with its width facing upwards, and thus its width over the Sukkah is less than an amount which invalidates, it is nevertheless invalid.
  • Must the items which support the Sechach [The “Mamad”] be themselves kosher for Sechach? From the letter of the law the Sechach may be placed over a wall made of any material, even a material which can contract impurity. However the Sages decreed that initially the Sechach should only be placed on something which is not able to contract impurity, or on something which one would never come to use as Sechach such as stone wall and the like.
  • The Sages never decreed that the support of the supports be made of materials valid for Sechach and thus any material may be used even initially. One may thus make the walls of the Sukkah from materials invalid for Sechach and place over them material which is valid for Sechach. [See footnote for other opinions]
  • Nailing in the supports of the Sechach: Based on the above that no decree was made against using invalid Sechach to support the support of the Sechach, it is thereby allowed to nail in the supports of the Sechach or tie them down, as the nail and rope are merely a support of the support.
  • If the supports were mistakenly made of material which are invalid for Sechach does the Sukkah remain valid? The Sukkah remains valid, and it is permitted to even initially dwell in such a Sukkah in order to fulfill the Mitzvah.
  • May one place items which are invalid for Sechach, over the Sechach to support if from flying away? The decree of the Sages applies as well to items placed on the Sechach for purposes of weighing it down. [Thus initially one may not use nails, or rope which is invalid for Sechach, to nail or tie down the Sechach to the Sukkah.]
  • List of items which may not be used to support the Sechach: Metal poles; Plastic rope
  • If there are no valid supports available may an invalid support be used? Yes
  • The law if non-Kosher Sechach is mixed together with the Kosher Sechach, or is sitting on top of it: We consider the non-Kosher Sechach as nullified when all the following conditions are fulfilled: a) There is enough Kosher Sechach to give majority of shade on its own. B) There is a lot more Kosher Sechach then non-Kosher Sechach. C) The non-Kosher Sechach cannot give majority of shade on its own, or can give majority of shade on its own but there is so much Kosher Sechach that even if one were to remove all the non-Kosher Sechach and an equal amount of Kosher Sechach then the Kosher Sechach would still give majority shade, then it is valid. If any of the above conditions are lacking, such as if the Kosher Sechach cannot give majority shade on its own, or can but there is more non-Kosher Sechach then kosher, or not but there is enough non-Kosher Sechach to give majority of shade on its own, and if one were to remove all the non-Kosher Sechach and an equal amount of Kosher Sechach then the Kosher Sechach would not give majority shade, then it is invalid.
  • If on Shabbos or Yom Tov the Sechach blew off due to wind may it be replaced? It is forbidden for a Jew to replace the Sechach. This applies even if only part of the Sechach blew off or folded over one may nevertheless not spread it back onto the Sukkah. If however there is no other Sukkah available, one may ask a gentile to replace the Sechach for him.
  • How much shade is the Sechach required to provide: The Sechach must provide enough shade for there to be more shade than sunlight in the Sukkah. Thus even if the Sechach is very thin and thus allows sunlight to enter, so long as it provides majority shade to the Sukkah, and there is not one area of three Tefachim [24 cm.] without Sechach, then the entire Sukkah is valid. The definition of majority shade is that there is more area covered by Sechach than there is empty space.
  • A Sukkah that contains areas with more shade than sunlight and areas with more sunlight than shade: If in total there is more shade than sunlight the entire Sukkah is Kosher, including the area that has minority shade, if the area with minority shade is not a size of 7 by 7 Tefachim [48×48 cm]. If the majority sunlight area is 7 by 7 Tefachim [48×48 cm] then although the majority shaded area is valid, one may not sit under the area with majority sunlight.
  • Is there a maximum amount of Sechach that may be placed on the Sukkah? Initially the Sechach must be thin and light enough for the large stars to be visible through the Sechach at night. Bedieved even if the Sechach is as thick as the roof of a house to the point that no rays of sun penetrate the Sechach, the Sukkah is valid so long as rain is able to penetrate through the Sechach as will be explained next. [The Chabad custom is to make a hole in the Sechach to allow one to see the stars.] If the Sechach is thick to the point that even rain is unable to penetrate, it is invalid.
  • How much of the Sechach must be able to be penetrated by rain and allow star viewing? Some Poskim rule that so long as the stars are visible from one area within the Sukkah it is initially valid. [Practically this is the Chabad custom.] However if rain cannot penetrate in an area of four Tefachim then that area is considered invalid Sechach for all purposes. Others however rule that so long as there is a 7×7 area that allows penetration of rain, the entire Sukkah is Kosher.
  • Sechach that extends past the walls of a Sukkah: If a Sukkah contains Sechach that extends past the back wall of the Sukkah, and the two horizontal walls likewise extend past the back wall, then if that area is at least 7x 7 Tefachim, it is Kosher so long as it provides majority shade. If a Sukkah contains three walls and there is Sechach extending past the open side and one of the walls of the Sukkah extends together with the Sechach, then if that area is 7×7, that area is considered part of the Sukkah and it is permitted to eat under it even though it contains only one extending wall.
  • May one eat under an area in the Sukkah that is not covered [is open to the sky]? If the area is less than 3×3 Tefach it is permitted to eat under the area. If the uncovered area stretches from wall to wall, then if it is three Tefach wide, the Sukkah is considered split in half and is possibly invalid if it will lack three walls due to this. If the uncovered area is adjacent to the walls then if it is three Tefach wide, the adjacent wall is invalidated. This can possibly invalidate the entire Sukkah if the Kosher Sechach will not remain with 3 Kosher walls.
  • May one eat under an area in the Sukkah that contains invalid Sechach over it? If the invalid Sechach is 4 Tefach [32 cm] wide, and passes from one end of the Sukkah to another, it is considered as if the Sukkah is split in half. Thus if the Sukkah has three walls it is possible for the entire Sukkah to be invalid. If the Sechach is less than 4 Tefach wide, the entire Sukkah is Kosher and one may even eat under the non-Kosher Sechach. However some rule that if the non-Kosher is 3 Tefach wide one may not eat under it. Practically one is to initially be stringent and not eat under that area. If the Sechach is less than 3 Tefach wide one may eat under the non-Kosher Sechach according to all opinions. If the invalid Sechach is 4 x4 Tefach [32×32 cm] wide then according to all one may not eat under that area. If the area is less than 4×4 it is valid to eat and sleep under it.
  • Dofen Akum: If the invalid Sechach is adjacent to the walls of the Sukkah then if the invalid Sechach is less than 4 Tefach wide one may even eat under it although practically one is to be stringent if it is 3 Tefach wide. If the invalid Sechach is more than 4 Tefach wide but less than 4 Amos the Sukkah remains Kosher, as we apply the rule of Dofen Akuma. Nevertheless one may not eat under the non-Kosher Sechach. If it is more than 4 Amos wide the wall that is adjacent to the invalid Sechach is considered non-existent and can possibly invalidate the entire Sukkah if the Kosher Sechach will not remain with 3 Kosher walls. [Some Poskim rule that in order to apply the rule of Dofen Akum the wall must reach the invalid Sechach. If the wall is distanced from the invalid Sechach then it is disputed if we apply the rule of Dofen Akuma.]

 

  1. The laws of the walls
  • How many walls does a Sukkah require? It is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to have a four walled Sukkah and so is the custom. Likewise it is customary to make complete walls rather than walls that contain breaches. If one is unable to make four complete walls then it is better to make three complete walls and have one side be open without a wall than to make four walls with breaches. Nevertheless, from the letter of the law it suffices to have two full walls with a third wall using the rule of Lavud. This means that one is not required to have a full third wall but rather can have a partial full wall, and following the rules of lavud, it is considered a full third wall. The exact details of how this is accomplished will be explained below.
  • According to the custom one is to make four complete walls without resorting to the rule of Lavud. However from the letter of the law it suffices even if all four walls are Lavud.
  • What is the definition of a wall? A wall is only considered a valid wall if the following four conditions are fulfilled: a) Does not move with wind: A wall is only defined as a wall if it is unable to move with a common wind. If a common wind can blow the wall, as is the case with sheet walls, then it is invalid. [Some Poskim limit this only to a case that a common wind can move the wall a three Tefach distance forward or upward.]
  1. b) Is height of 10 Tefach: A wall is only defined as a wall if its height reaches ten Tefach [80 cm] from the ground. If the wall’s height reaches below ten Tefach from the ground it is invalid. If the wall reaches ten Tefach from the ground but is elevated from the ground, then if it is within three Tefach from the ground and reaches to ten Tefach from the ground, it is valid. Thus ideally one can have a wall which is 7.1 Tefach tall and place it 2.9 Tefach from the ground and it is valid. C) Is within three Tefach from ground: The wall must be within three Tefach from the ground. Even if the wall is very high, if it is not placed within three Tefach from the ground, it is invalid. D) Is within three Tefach from Sechach: The wall must be within three [horizontal] Tefach of the Sechach for it to be validated as a wall for that Sechach. [This however only applies if there is empty space between the wall and the Sechach. If however there is invalid Sechach in the area then it is valid within 4 amos [196 cm]
  • How many walls must fulfill these conditions: At least two of the Sukkah walls must meet the above requirements while a third wall is to meet the requirements of Lavud. Any wall that does not meet the above requirements, are invalid.

Within 3 Tefach from Sechach-Kosher                                 Wall is past 3 Tefach from Sechach- is invalid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • How large must a Sukkah be? The minimum size of a Sukkah is seven by seven Tefachim [48 x 48 cm].
  • How long must each wall be? In essence one is required to have three walls with a total of seven Tefach. Nevertheless it suffices to have one wall of 7 Tefach with another wall be 4 Tefach, although within 3 Tefach from the end of the 7 Tefach wall. The third wall is then made with Lavud and Tzuras Hapesach. Thus it is possible to make a Sukkah with only one wall of seven Tefach. Nevertheless, as stated above the custom is to make complete walls without resorting to the rules of Lavud.
  • How does one make a third wall using Lavud? If one has two walls which are parallel to each other than one is to place a Mechitza which is 4 Tefach wide [32cm.] within three Tefach [24cm.] from the end of one of the walls. Hence using Lavud one has a total of a 7 Tefach.

2.9 T

  • The material of the walls: The walls may be made using any material [that does not move with a common wind], even if the material does not lend shade to the Sukkah [such as glass or transparent plastic]. Nevertheless, one is not to use materials that give off a foul odor or which dry out within 7 days. The walls may be made even initially from material that is Halachicly unfit for use as Sechach.
  • Using sheets as a wall: One is not to use sheets whether of material or plastic as a wall being that it is difficult to ascertain that the sheets will not move with the wind. However it is permitted to use sheets if one places poles within three Tefach using Lavud to make the wall, as in such a case even if the sheets move with the wind the wall remains Kosher due to the poles which are Lavud. [According to all Bedieved if one used sheet walls that do not move with the wind the Sukkah is Kosher even if Lavud was not used.]
  • Practically are Sukkos with plastic walls initially valid? If the walls allow the placing of string or poles to perform Lavud to make three walls then it is valid according to all even initially. However if Lavud is not being used one should not use such a Sukkah being it is possible that the walls will become loose and move with the wind. However from the letter of the law if the plastic does not move with the wind it is valid. Other Poskim rule that it is even initially permitted to use plastic sheets if they are tightly attached as it is not possible to be with the wind.
  • Writing verses on the wall of one’s Sukkah: One may not write or engrave versus on items or walls of the Sukkah as it is forbidden to write versus of the Torah unless one is writing them in a complete Sefer, and engraving is just like writing regarding this matter. [Practically many are lenient in this matter especially if one is skipping a few letters from the verse.]

 

  1. Benefiting from the Sukkah
  • Using the Sechach of the Sukkah for other purposes: The Sechach of the Sukkah is considered like Hekdesh. Hence it is Biblically forbidden to use it throughout the seven days of Sukkos. This applies to all the Sechach in the Sukkah, even if the Sukkah is much larger than its minimum requirement of 7×7. This applies even if the Sechach fell off the Sukkah or the Sukkah became destroyed and hence its Mitzvah became nullified nevertheless it is Biblically forbidden to use the Sechach throughout the days of Sukkos.
  • May one make a stipulation on the Sechach? No.
  • May one get benefit from the walls of the Sukkah? Rabbinically it is forbidden to use the walls throughout the seven days of Sukkos. This applies even if the Sukkah fell. This applies to all four walls of the Sukkah. If however one designated which wall is the fourth wall that is only being erected as a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar then that wall may be benefited from. Likewise if one first built three walls and then built a fourth wall, that fourth wall is valid.
  • What form of benefit is permitted: It is only forbidden to remove the Sechach or walls and then use it, however one may use it in its current state such as to place items on it or smell it if it contains Besamim.
  • May one make a stipulation on the walls? No. It does not help to make a stipulation before Sukkos to be able to use the walls during Sukkos.
  • May one lean on the walls? Yes.
  • May one use a fridge or closet that is used as a wall for the Sukkah? Yes.
  • May one benefit and use the floor of the Sukkah? Some Poskim rule that one may not benefit from the floor of the Sukkah if the floor was built for the Sukkah. Thus if one placed rugs in his Sukkah he may not use them during Sukkos. However the ground may be benefited from.
  • The decorations of a Sukkah: All decorations of a Sukkah are forbidden in benefit just like the Sukkah itself, throughout the entire holiday of Sukkos. This applies even if the decoration fell on Sukkos. Thus if one placed grapes or other fruits as a decoration he may not eat them during Sukkos. However if one stipulates before Sukkos, before Bein Hashmashos, that he reserves the right to use them during Bein Hashmashos of all the days it is not forbidden in benefit. Practically today the custom is to allow removing the ornaments on Shabbos and Yom Tov and one is allowed to use them even if one did not stipulate beforehand being that the custom has become to allow doing so and it is hence considered as if one stipulated. Nevertheless initially it is proper to stipulate on this matter from before Yom Tov.
  • The Chabad Custom is not to decorate the Sukkah.
  • Are these decorations Muktzah on Shabbos?
  • From when does the benefit prohibition take effect? The prohibition takes affect from the first time one dwells in the Sukkah, beginning from the night of the 15th. However prior to dwelling in it for the first time it does not become holy. This applies whether or not the Sukkah was built for the sake of the Mitzvah or for the sake of shade nevertheless it does not receive holiness until he dwells in it. Thus one may use and benefit from this Sechach and walls and decorations.

                  

 

                         

Chapter 2: The Mitzvah of dwelling in a Sukkah

 

  1. The need to have intention of this reasoning when dwelling in the Sukkah:
  • The reason G-d commanded us to sit in a Sukkah for shade is so we recall the miracles and wonders done for us in the desert, in which the clouds of glory surrounded us for shade, as protection from the sun. When dwelling in a Sukkah one must have intent to do so in order to fulfill G-d’s command to sit in a Sukkah in commemoration of the Exodus. This obligation to have intent during the dwelling is learned from the verse “So you shall know”. It does not suffice to merely think about the reasoning mentioned, but rather the main point is for one to contemplate it. One who does not have this intent upon sitting in the Sukkah has not fulfilled the command properly, although he does fulfill his obligation.

 

  1. Who is obligated:
  • Women: Women are exempt from dwelling in the Sukkah as it is a time bound Mitzvah. However if they desire to dwell in the Sukkah they may do so even with a blessing. However a man may not repeat the blessing of Leisheiv for the sake of women, being that they are not obligated in the Mitzvah and is thus considered like a blessing in vain.
  • Children: Children who have reached the age of Chinuch are Rabbinically obligated to be educated to eat in the Sukkah. This is defined as when the child no longer needs his mother which is generally from six years old. If the child is sharp and advanced to the point that he does not need his mother even before six years old, then he is obligated to be educated in the Mitzvah of Sukkah. It is the fathers obligation to educate this child to dwell in the Sukkah and if he sees him not doing so he must protest his actions and enter him into the Sukkah. However the mother, and others, are not obligated to educate the child to dwell in the Sukkah and she may even present him a meal outside of the Sukkah so long as she does not tell him to eat outside the Sukkah.
  • One who is traveling: One who is traveling during the holiday of Sukkos through in an uninhabited area and is sleeping and eating in the fields is exempt from building a Sukkah. However when he arrives to a town, even a town of gentiles, and he desires to eat or sleep there, he must build a Sukkah if he has time to build it prior to the normal time one eats and sleeps.
  • One who is traveling for a Mitzvah: If one is traveling for a Mitzvah purpose, such as to redeem a captive or to greet his Rebbe, then he is not required to dwell in the Sukkah during his travels even if he is in a inhabited area that contains a Sukkah. However if the Sukkah is near him, and he is able to dwell in the Sukkah without any impediments being caused to the fulfillment of the Mitzvah, then he is to dwell in the Sukkah.
  • May one travel for leisure purposes, like going on a overnight hike, if there will not be a Sukkah available during their stay? One may not do so. One may only travel through areas without a Sukkah for business purposes or other necessary purposes.
  • City guards: Guards of a city, which surveillance the city for enemy attacks, are exempt from dwelling or eating in a Sukkah during their time of surveillance. However after their duty is over they are obligated to eat in a Sukkah.
  • Does a soldier on guard in the IDF need to wait to eat until he is off duty and can do so in the Sukkah? No. He can eat on guard out of the Sukkah.
  • Store owners: People that work in stores remain obligated to eat and dwell in a Sukkah, and hence are to build a Sukkah near their store and it is forbidden to eat in the store. If they are unable to build a Sukkah near the store they must return to the Sukkah near their home to eat there.

 

  1. The Mitzvah of dwelling:
  • The definition of dwelling: The Sages stated that the mitzvah of Sukkah is to make one’s Sukkah his permanent residence and his house temporary for the duration of the festival. This means one must eat, drink, read, learn, socialize, and simply spend time of relaxation [i.e. “Yitayel”] within the Sukkah throughout all seven days both by night and day. If one needs to have a conversation with a friend he is to do so in the Sukkah. The general rule is a person should act as if his Sukkah is his house, and anything that one would not do outside his house he should not do outside the Sukkah.
  • Eating and drinking in a Sukkah: One is only required to eat a set meal inside a Sukkah. However it is permitted to eat a snack outside the Sukkah. The definition of a snack is a Kibeitza or less of bread or Mezonos and any amount of any other food. This applies even if one makes a set meal on other foods nevertheless he is not required to eat them in a Sukkah. Thus one is only required to eat in the Sukkah if he is eating more than a Kibeitza of bread or Mezonos [within Kdei Achilas Pras]. However it is praiseworthy for one to be stringent upon himself to not drink even water outside the Sukkah.
  • Must one eat a meal of Hamotzi or Mezonos in the Sukkah every day? There is no maximum or minimum amount of meals that one must eat in the Sukkah. Thus if one desires to eat only foods that are not obligated to be eaten in a Sukkah throughout Sukkahs, he may do so. However this only applies on Chol Hamoed, however on Shabbos and Yom Tov, since according to some opinions one is obligated to eat a Kibeitza of bread for the Shabbos and Yom Tov meal, therefore he must eat these meals in the Sukkah. Furthermore, on the first night of Sukkos, according to all opinions, one must eat at least a Kezayis of bread in the Sukkah. This applies even if it is raining on the first night, although in such a case he is not to say a blessing of Leisheiv Basukah. [However the custom of Chassidim is to always recite the blessing.] 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 he may do so.
  • Drinking inside the Sukkah: One may drink all beverages outside the Sukkah including wine. One may drink even more than a Revius. However it is praiseworthy for one to be stringent upon himself to not drink even water outside the Sukkah. This allowance however only applies by a regular drink however to settle oneself down on a beverage such as wine or beer or mead, this must be done in the Sukkah. 
  • Settling oneself over the beverage: One who settles himself down to drink wine, or other beverage of significance of which is it is common to settle oneself upon, is obligated to drink it in the Sukkah. However the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah is not said upon drinking it, [with exception to Kiddush and Havdala in which it is said]. Due to this, that no blessing is said, it is proper not to drink wine, or other significant beverages, in a settling manner in a Sukkah which one has not, and does not plan to, say in it Leishiev Basukkah that day. [Hence when invited to someone else’s Sukkah to settle with him and drink wine, one is to eat a Kebeitza of Mezonos in order so the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah cover the wine.] However when eating in a Sukkah that one has said Leisheiv that day, or plans on doing so, then there is no need to refrain from drinking the wine, as it is already included in the blessing of Leisheiv which was or will be said that day.
  • Drinking the beverage casually: It is permitted from the letter of the law to drink wine or other significant beverages in an unsettling manner outside of the Sukkah. This applies even if one drinks a lot more than a Revius of the beverage. However one is stringent to not even drink water outside the Sukkah is blessed.
  • Kiddush: Kiddush is to be made inside the Sukkah. The blessing of Leishiev Basukkah is said prior to drinking the wine. However on the 1st night of Sukkos it is said before the blessing of Shehechiyanu, while on the 2nd night it is said after the blessing of Shehechiyanu. [During the Kiddush of day the blessing of Leisheiv is said after the blessing of Hagafen, prior to drinking from the wine.]
  • Havdala: One is obligated to say Havdala inside the Sukkah. One says the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah after Havadala prior to drinking from the wine.
  • Learning in a Sukkah: One must learn Torah inside the Sukkah. (However if he is learning inside the Beis Midrash he is not required to enter the Sukkah). Likewise if by learning outside one is able to delve into the subject and understand it in greater depth then he may learn outside the Sukkah in order so he have a more serene mind, as the air of the outside is good for a person to refresh his mind. Nevertheless it all depends on the situation, as if he is able to learn comfortably in his Sukkah then he must do so.
  • If he requires many Sefarim for his learning, then if he is able to make space in his Sukkah in a way that he is not required to remove the Sefarim from the Sukkah during the meals and upon sleeping, then he must set up the Sefarim in his Sukkah and learn in the Sukkah. However if he is unable to easily prepare an area for the Sefarim and it takes a lot of trouble to remove the Sefarim during the meal times and then return them afterwards then he may learn outside the Sukkah.
  • Davening in a Sukkah: If one is unable to Daven in Shul, then if he is able to Daven in his Sukkah without disturbances and with a clear mind and proper concentration, he must do so. This however only applies if he is unable to go to Shul, however if he is able to go to Shul then he must do so and is not required to Daven in his Sukkah. If he is unable to Daven with concentration in his Sukkah then he may Daven inside his house.
  • Sleeping in Sukkah: It is forbidden to sleep outside of a Sukkah even a mere nap. If one feels cold in the Sukkah, due to the cold weather and lack of blankets, then he is not obligated to sleep in the Sukkah. Furthermore if one is unable to set up his sleeping quarters in the Sukkah without needing to remove the furniture from the Sukkah during meal times, in a way that he would not trouble to do so in his house, then he is exempt from sleeping in his Sukkah. Today the custom of the world is not to sleep in the Sukkah with exception to those which are very particular in Mitzvos. Some have defended their practice based on the fact that one is obligated to rejoice his wife during the festival and since the wife does not sleep in the Sukkah they sleep with the wife in the house, and hence since one is involved in one Mitzvah he is exempt from another Mitzvah. Nevertheless it is proper to be stringent to build a Sukkah in a way that one can sleep there together with his wife and hence fulfill both Mitzvahs. [The Chabad practice is not to sleep in the Sukkah due to that one is unable to be conscious of the holiness of the Sukkah during sleep, and this causes one pain, and anyone who is in pain upon dwelling in the Sukkah is exempt from the Mitzvah.]
  • Items to enter into the Sukkah: One should enter his most beautiful vessels, tapestries, and drinking utensils into the Sukkah. However one is not to enter flour vessels and other vessels that are normally not left out within the house. Pots, pans and plates are to be removed from the Sukkah after they are used being that they are repulsive and it is belittling to the Sukkah. [The custom is not to enter pots into the Sukkah at all and rather the food is to be placed in a serving tray.]
  • Belittling acts in the Sukkah: One may not do any belittling acts inside the Sukkah. Thus one may not clean the dishes inside the Sukkah, although drinking cups may be washed down.
  • Candles: One must have light in his Sukkah and thus he is to enter candles in the Sukkah. If there a fire hazard one may not bring it into the Sukkah even if it is made of gold. One may not enter earthenware candles into his Sukkah [due to it being repulsive].
  • May one use a Sukkah as a short cut? One is not to make his Sukkah into a shortcut to reach another area.
  • May one hang laundry in the Sukkah? No.
  • May one allow a gentile to enter one’s Sukkah? One should not invite a gentile into the Sukkah as this causes the holiness to leave. Therefore one should not have a gentile maid clean the Sukkah inside.
  • May one have marital relations in a Sukkah? Some Poskim rule it is permitted. Other Poskim however rule it is forbidden have marital relations in the Sukkah.
  • May one wash Neigal Vasser inside the Sukkah? Yes.

 

  1. The blessing of Leisheiv Basukah
  • When is the blessing of Leisheiv said? The blessing of ‘Leisheiv Basukkah’ is only said when eating a Kebeitza [55 grams] of Mezonos or Hamotzi [within Achilas Peras]. It is not said prior to other actions of dwelling such as a set drinking session, or spending time of leisure or sleeping in the Sukkah.
  • Is the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah said before or after the blessing over food? The blessing of Leisheiv is recited after saying the blessing of the food, but prior to eating it. Thus if one eats bread he first says Hamotzi and then say Leisheiv and then eat. If he is eating a Kibeitza of Mezonos he first says Mezonos, then Leisheiv and then eats the Mezonos. [The Rebbe’s custom is to look at Sechach upon saying Leisheiv.]
  • How often does one say the blessing of Leisheiv over eating in a Sukkah: Every time one eats a Kebeitza of Mezonos or Hamotzi in the Sukkah he is to say a blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah, if there was an interval between the previous time he ate and the current eating. If however no interval was made then he does not repeat the blessing, as the previous blessing still covers his current eating. This applies even if one remained in the Sukkah throughout all seven days of Sukkos without an interval, in which case he would only say the blessing on the first meal he eats in the Sukkah. The definition of an interval is either intent or time. This means as follows: If one left the Sukkah after eating and had intent to not return within one to two hours then even if he returns immediately he must repeat the blessing prior to eating a Kibeitza of Mezonos. Likewise even if one intended to return within one to two hours, but in actuality returned after one to two hours, then it is considered an interval and he must repeat the blessing prior to eating a Kibeitza of Mezonos.
  • Must one repeat the blessing of Leisheiv Basukah when eating in a second Sukkah? One must say the blessing of Leisheiv in every Sukkah that he eats a Kibeitza of Mezonos. This applies even if he had in mind to eat in the second Sukkah at the time he began eating in the first Sukkah, and applies even if both Sukkahs are next to each and a new first blessing is not required to be repeated, nevertheless a new blessing must be said.
  • Saying the blessing of Leisheiv on simply relaxing or sleeping in someone else’s Sukkah: If one enters into someone else’s Sukkah in order to spend time of leisure, or in order to sleep in it, and he does not plan to eat a Kibeitza worth of Mezonos in that Sukkah then he must say the blessing of Leishiev Basukkah prior to relaxing or sleeping in it. However, if one plans on eating a Kibeitza of Mezonos in that Sukkah, or if he already ate a Kibeitza there, then these acts are exempt with the blessing made on the food.
  • If one forgot to say Leisheiv before eating: If one forgot to recite Leisheiv Basukkah prior to eating he is to say it upon remembering. If he has already finished eating and then remembered to say the blessing, then if he is still in the Sukkah he is to say the blessing upon remembering [even if he has already Bentched].
  1. The laws of Mitztaer:
  • General Rule: 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. 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.
  • Matters which cause pain and discomfort: Wind; Flies; Gnats; Foul odor
  • Initially building a Sukkah in an area with discomfort: 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. 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.
  • Matters which only cause discomfort to a minority of individuals: 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.
  • Dwelling in a Sukkah during rain: 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 Leisheiv Basukkah. 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. [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. It is disputed whether one is to say the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah when eating there during rain. Practically the Chabad custom is to say a blessing even in the rain.]
  • Sleeping: 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. 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.
  • Dwelling in a Sukkah heat wave: 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: 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: 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: 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.
  • 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]. 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. [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. It is disputed whether one is to say the blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah when eating there during rain. Practically the Chabad custom is to say a blessing even in the rain.]

 

Chapter 3: The Laws of Daled Minim

  1. The general laws:
  • Women: Women are exempt from the Mitzvah of shaking Lulav. Nevertheless they are accustomed to be stringent upon themselves to perform the Mitzvah. It is thus considered an obligation due to custom.
  • Children: Children which have reached the age of Chinuch are obligated to be educated in the Mitzvah of Lulav. The age of Chinuch is from when the child knows how to shake the Lulav properly [in all its directions]. The father is obligated to purchase a Lulav set for a child of this age. [Alternatively, on the first day of Sukkos, the father is to give his son the Lulav after the adults have fulfilled their obligation. Nevertheless it is best to purchase the child his own personal set in order so he can use the Lulav during Halel.]
  • When to buy a set of Lulav and Esrog: Some write that one is to try to purchase a set of Daled Minim during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah in order to add in merits for the day of Yom Kippur and have these merits overturn the judgment. Others however write that one is specifically to buy the Esrog after Yom Kippur as the tears of Yom Kippur clean the blemishes of the Esrog.
  • Paying for the species after the holiday: One does not need to pay for the four species before Sukkos.
  • Every person is to have his own set of Daled Minim: Every person is to have his own set of Daled Minim. Charity organizations are to insure that every person can have his own set of Daled Minim and be able to build their own Sukkah.
  • Buying Daled Minim for one’s children: One is required to buy a set of Kosher Daled Minim on behalf of his children.
  • How many of each species is one to take: One may not use for the mitzvah more than 1 Esrog, 1 Lulav, and 2 Aravos. However one may add on to the 3 Hadassim. Various people have been instructed to take 4, 12, 13, or 26 Hadassim, but not 9, 68, 69. One should try to add at least 3 more Hadassim to the minimal three required.  
  • Using another person’s Daled Minim: On the 1st day of Sukkos [in Eretz Yisrael and the first two days of Sukkos in the Diaspora as will be explained next] one only fulfills his obligation with a set of Daled Minim which he personally owns. Therefore when using someone else’s Lulav one must receive it as a present on condition to return. Thus the giver should explicitly say to the recipient “It is a present on condition you return it”. If this was not explicitly said and rather the Daled Minim were simply given to the person without mentioning anything, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. If however the receiver did not know the law that he must own the Daled Minim then he has not fulfilled his obligation and is to be given it again as a present on condition to return.
  • Second day of Sukkos in Diaspora: On the second day of Sukkos in the Diaspora one may not say a blessing over a Lulav that he does not own. Hence he is to be given the Lulav as a present on condition to return.
  • Chol Hamoed: During Chol Hamoed one does not need to use a Lulav which he owns. One may use another person’s Lulav without permission, assuming he doesn’t mind. However it is forbidden to remove the Lulav from its place unless the owner was asked. [Nevertheless it is proper to give another person one’s Lulav as a Matana Al Menas Lehachzir also during Chol Hamoed, and this is beneficial for both the giver and the receiver. So was the custom of the Rebbe.]
  • Giving it to a Katan: On the first day of Sukkos in Eretz Yisrael, and the first two days of Sukkos in the Diaspora, one is not to give his personal Daled Minim to any child below the age of 13 for a boy and 12 for a girl, to fulfill the Mitzvah. Thus one must purchase a separate set of Daled Minim for the children to shake. Alternatively, on the first day in Eretz Yisrael, and on the second day in the Diaspora, one may give the child his personal Daled Minim if all the adults have already fulfilled the Mitzvah. However on the first day in the Diaspora one is not to give children his personal Daled Minim even after all the adults have already fulfilled the Mitzvah, as one must use his own set of Lulav also the next day.
  • If the child does not have his own set: If one does not have another Lulav available to give the children then he may give the children his personal Lulav as a borrowed item, and not as a present. Thus he is not to say “a present on condition to return”, as he does when giving it to adults. Nevertheless some Poskim rule that the child may not say a blessing on this shaking.
  • If one gave the child the set as a present: If one did give the child the Daled Minim as a present then no other adults may fulfill their obligation with this Lulav until the start of Chol Hamoed. If one gave the child his Daled Minim without mentioning anything at all, and he also did not have anything in mind, then it is considered lent to the child and other adults may still fulfill their obligation with it even on the first days of Sukkos by having it given to them as a present.
  • Returning the Daled Minim: If the receiver did not return the Daled Minim he has not fulfilled his obligation. This applies even if he was given the Daled Minim without having it said explicitly that it was a present on condition to return. The receiver is to return the Daled Minim to the owner as a present with intent that the owner acquires it [as opposed to lending the Daled Minim to the original owner]. The receiver may give the Lulav and Esrog to another person as a present on condition to fulfill his obligation and this person himself may also give it to another, as long as the original owner receives it in return, as originally stipulated.
  • A stolen Lulav set: One who buys a stolen species only fulfills his obligation if the owner has given up hope in retrieving it.
  • Must one give his wife the Lulav and Esrog on condition of returning? Some Poskim require one to give his wife the set of Daled Minim as a present on condition to return. Others however rule there is no need to be particular in this.
  • May a child give another child his Lulav and Esrog to shake? Yes, if the child is above age 6.
  • Is the shaking of Daled Minim in Jerusalem during exile a Biblical or Rabbinical obligation throughout all seven days? Some Poskim rule that according to some Rishonim the shaking of Daled Minim in the old city of Jerusalem is a Biblical obligation for all seven days of the festival. Due to this he concludes that one who shakes in the old city of Jerusalem should have intent to fulfill a command which is questionable whether it is Biblical or Rabbinical. Likewise one should be particular to comply to all restrictions that apply to the Daled Minim on the first day of Sukkos when the shaking is Biblical. Hence one is to use a set of Daled Minim that he owns or receive it as a “Matana Al Menas Lehachzir”. Likewise the Daled Minim are to fulfill the validation criteria required for the first day, such as Chasar and the like. Other Poskim argue that there is no difference between the old city of Jerusalem and other areas.
  • Must one shake his own personal set of Daled Minim if he is shaking in the old city of Jerusalem? According to some Poskim one is to use Daled Minim that he owns or receive it as a “Matana Al Menas Lehachzir” throughout all seven days of Sukkos.
  • May one buy Daled Minim from a child? One may not buy any of the Daled Minim from a child under Bar Mitzvah unless the child does not own the Daled Minim and is selling them on behalf of another person. If one already shook Daled Minim that was purchased from a Katan then on the first day(s) one is to shake again without a blessing.
  • May one give married women Daled Minim to shake on the first day(s) of Sukkos? Some Poskim rule that one may not give a married woman Daled Minim to shake on the first day(s) of Sukkos unless he explicitly states that it is a Matana Al Menas Lehachzir, and the husband has no portion in it, and he is giving it to her specifically to fulfill the Mitzvah.
  • Watering the Lulav, Hadassim and Aravos: It is a Mitzvah to keep the Lulav, Hadasim and Aravos fresh and good looking. One is to do so by placing them in a vase of water. It is a Mitzvah to change the waters during Chol Hamoed in order to ensure their freshness.
  • Watering the Lulav, Hadassim, Aravos on Yom Tov: The Lulav and Hadasim/Aravos may be entered into a bucket or vase of water on Yom Tov, if the water was placed into the vase or bucket from before Yom Tov. It is however forbidden to place water in a vase or bucket on Yom Tov for the purpose of placing the Lulav, Hadassim or Aravos in it. It is permitted to add water to the vase on Yom Tov [if the amount will not exceed the original amount of water in the vase]. It is forbidden to switch the waters of the vase/bucket in all cases, even on Yom Tov.   
  • Replacing the Hadasim and Aravos on Chol Hamoed: One should replace the Hadassim and Aravos as the days go on in accordance to need. [We are however not particular to switch the Aravos daily, as is the custom of others.]
  • How to replace the Hadasim and Aravos: One is not to stick the new Hadasim and Aravos into the knot that is over the Lulav. This causes leaves to shear and can invalidate the branch, as well as invalidate the status of the knot. Rather one is to undo the knots and then place the new Hadassim/Aravos, and then retie them together.
  • On Yom Tov may one carry his Daled Minim back home after having used it for the Mitzvah? [It is forbidden for one to carry on Yom Tov in an area without an Eiruv for a non-Yom Tov need.] it is forbidden to carry the Daled Minim in a Reshus Harabim [i.e. public domain] for no Halachic need of that day. [This prohibition includes even carrying the Daled Minim through a Karmalis that does not contain an Eiruv. It is however permitted to carry it in any city that contains an Eiruv that permits carrying on Shabbos, even if one is carrying it for no need at all. Likewise one may carry it in a courtyard from one house to another, or from one courtyard to another even if Eiruv Chatzeiros was not performed.]
  • May one carry a set of Daled Minim on behalf of women? It is permitted to carry the Daled Minim through a public domain for the sake of women shaking Lulav.
  • May one carry the Daled Minim back home after concluding the Mitzvah? If one originally carried the Daled Minim to Shul on Yom Tov, then if he suspects the Shofar may get lost or stolen if he leaves it in Shul, he may return it home on Yom Tov even if he has no more need to shake it that day. If however one brought the Daled Minim to Shul from before Yom Tov then he may not carry it back home on Yom Tov unless he needs to use it there for the Mitzvah. [This applies even if one suspects the Daled Minim may get stolen if one leaves it in Shul. If however one has a safe area to leave the Daled Minim in Shul, such as a locker, then he may not carry it back home even if he brought it there on Yom Tov, unless he plans to use it at home. If one carried the Daled Minim from Shul for the sake of Mivtzaim he may return it back home even if it was brought to Shul before Yom Tov.]
  • Smelling the Esrog and Haddasim during Sukkos: One may not smell the Hadassim throughout Sukkos. One is to avoid smelling the Esrogim even on Shabbos.
  • Is an Esrog Muktzah on Shabbos? Esrogim designated as merchandise: If the owner is particular to not use it for any purpose [such as not even to smell] then they are MMC”K. Esrogim of personal use: Esrogim which one has bought for personal use are not Muktza on Shabbos, as they are fit to be smelled. This applies likewise on Shabbos Chol Hamoed, as although they may not be smelled during Sukkos, including Shabbos Chol Hamoed, nevertheless they are not Muktza.
  • Hadassim: Hadassim of personal use are not Muktzah on the Shabbosim prior to Sukkos, although they are Muktzah on Shabbos Chol Hamoed.
  • Lulav/Aravos: Is always Muktzah on Shabbos, whether of merchandise or personal use, whether Shabbos Chol Hamoed or other Shabbosim.
  1. Binding the Lulav:
  • When: The custom is to bind the Lulav on Erev Sukkos inside the Sukkah. [The Rebbe would do so after midday.]
  • Who: Those who are meticulous bind the Lulav themselves. Women and children are not to do so for a man’s Lulav.
  • How: The Chabad custom is not to use the Lulav pockets. One makes two knots on the Lulav itself using Lulav leaves. One then places a Hadas on the right, left and center of the Lulav, placing the Aravos in between in an inconspicuous fashion. The Hadassim should cover over the 2 knots on the Lulav. One then binds three knots onto the Hadassim and Aravos, all three should be within the space 1 handbreadth (8 centimeters). It is proper to bind the Hadassim and Aravos towards the bottom of the Lulav in order to also hold on to them when doing the mitzvah. If one did not do so, he has nevertheless fulfilled the mitzvah.
  • Having the spine of the Lulav extend above the Hadasim and Aravos: The spine of the Lulav must reach at least one Tefach above the Hadassim/Aravos of the Lulav. The top of the spine is defined as the area it begins to split into other leaves. One must be very careful in this matter.

 

  1. How to Bentch Lulav:
  • When: One is to awaken early in the morning to perform the Mitzvah of Daled Minim. One may begin shaking Lulav from sunrise. If one is traveling he may shake Lulav starting from after Alos.
  • Eating prior to shaking: It is forbidden to eat before shaking the Lulav. If however one will not be able to shake until after midday he should eat beforehand.
  • Where: One is to shake the Lulav inside the Sukkah.
  • How to hold it: All the 4 minim must be held top side up [the Esrog with its Pitam facing up]. A right handed person holds the Lulav in his right hand and the Esrog in his left hand, while a left handed person holds the Lulav in his left hand and the Esrog in his right hand. The exact order of when the Lulav and Esrog are lifted will be explained next.
  • The blessing process:
  1. One faces east [not specifically towards Jerusalem] throughout the blessing and shaking process.
  2. One takes hold of the Lulav in his right hand [if he’s right handed, as explained above].
  3. The spine of the Lulav faces the person.
  4. The Esrog remains on the table and is not lifted until after the blessing. One then says the Bracha of Al Netilas Lulav and lifts the Esrog in his left hand [if he is right handed as explained above. A lefty lifts the Esrog in his right hand]. On the first day of Sukkos one now says [after lifting the Esrog] the blessing of Shehechiyanu.
  5. One then adjoins the top third of the Esrog [thus having the Esrog in a slightly slanted position] with the Lulav/Hadassim and Aravos. Throughout the shaking one remains holding the Lulav in his right hand and the Esrog in his left hand [for one who is right handed].
  6. One then shakes the Lulav with the adjoined Esrog three times in six different directions. One first shakes three times southeast [towards one’s right], then three times northeast [towards one’s left], then three times east [frontwards], three times up, three times down, and three times west.
  7. When shaking towards west, the first two times one shakes to southwest [towards one’s back on his right side] and then shakes it completely towards west.
  8. Throughout the shaking, the Esrog remains covered by ones hand, until the last shake where one reveals the Esrog slightly.
  9. The Lulav remains facing upwards throughout all of the shakings. It is not to be turned upside down when one shakes its downwards.
  10. The Lulav is to be shaken after each Holacha prior to the Hovah.

 

  1. The Lulav
  • The unity within the Lulav: Each of the four species including the Lulav contain a certain aspect of unity which differs from all other branches in the world. All trees have their branches grow in various directions from their stem and do not follow any pattern of growth, thus a regular tree whose leaves have fallen off appears like a stem with many different arms, each one going in its own direction, thus leaving areas on the stem’s branch empty being they have no branches growing. The palm tree however, from which the date derives, has its branches grow in a set pattern of growth, as each branch grows from directly on top of the branch below it, and thus all together forms a united pattern of branches which cover all of the palm’s area of branch growth. Thus we see that the palm tree differs in unity from all the other trees. It is a branch from this tree that G-D commanded us to take to use for the Mitzvah of the four species- the mitzvah of Unity.
  • The representation of the Lulav within Jewry: The Midrash explains that the Lulav represents the Torah scholars which spend the majority of their time learning Torah. The connection between the two is that Torah is referred to as something of good taste. This corresponds to the taste of the dates which derive from the palm tree of which the Lulav is taken from.
  • The identity of the Lulav: The Torah states that one is to take a Kapos Temarim. This refers to a branch that grows on a date palm.
  • Are branches from the male palm trees that do not grow dates valid? Yes. It is not necessary for the palm tree to grow dates.
  • The canary palm: Some Poskim rule that the canary Lulav is invalid and it is a Bracha Levatala to say a blessing over it. Other Poskim rule it is valid even initially. How to identify a canary: 1. The spine of the canary palm bends when held. 2. Its leaves grow closer together. 3. It has a very short spine.
  • Length: The length of the spine of the Lulav is 32cm. and is to be at least one Tefach higher than the Hadassim and Aravos. It is measured from the bottom of the spine [in the area that a pair of leaves begin to grow on each side] until the top of the spine. The top area of the spine where the spine splits into two leaves is not considered part of the spine and thus one must have 32cm of spine from below this area.
  • Is there a maximum length for the Lulav? No.
  • How many leaves must cover the spine of the Lulav? The Lulav contains a spine which is covered with leaves that grow at a distance of every four centimeters. Thus after the first leaf grows on the spine another leaf grows 4 centimeter above it and so on and so forth until the entire spine is covered with leaves. The leaves are on both sides of the spine, across from each other. If only one side of the spine has leaves the Lulav is invalid. If the Lulav has only one leaf growing on each side the Lulav is invalid. [This implies that if there are two leaves on each side it is valid.] The Lulav is only valid if the leaves cover each other as opposed to growing one under the other. This means if the bottom leaf does not reach the leaf above it, it is invalid. If however it reaches and slightly cover the leaf that is growing above it then it is valid.
  • Must the leaves be bound together: It is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to purchase a Lulav which its leaves have not separated at all from the spine and are thus completely bound. If the leaves began hardening and separating from the spine, it is valid so long as the leaves are still potentially able to be bound to the spine. If majority of the leaves have separated to the point that they have hardened and can no longer be joined to the spine of the Lulav, it is invalid.
  • Leaves that bend downwards: If the majority of the leaves of the Lulav do not rise together with the spine of the Lulav and rather bend downwards below the spine, then the Lulav is Biblically invalid. This applies even if one binds the leaves onto the spine using string and the like. This applies even if the leaves have not completely separated from the spine.
  • A split leaf: The leaves of the Lulav grow in a pair of two leaves which are parallel to each other. The two leaves are attached to each other by their back and open in their front. If majority of the leaves of the Lulav have separated in the majority of their length, the Lulav is invalid. If the majority of the leaves grew without being double paired on majority of their length the Lulav is invalid. The same applies if majority of the leaves grew with separated pairs it is invalid. [If however the leaves were double sided in majority of their length the Lulav is valid.]
  • The law of the Tiyomes: Special attention must be given to the middle upper leaf of the Lulav called the Tiyomes. The Tiyomes is the middle upper most leaf which extends from the spine. It grows in the center of the Lulav and is considered the head of the Lulav. [If a Lulav has two middle leaves of equal height some Poskim rule that both leaves have the status of a Tiyomes.] If the Tiyomes grew without a double sided leaf the Lulav is invalid even if all the other leaves are double sided. Likewise if the Tiyomes grew double sided and afterwards split entirely from the top until the spine, it is invalid. Lechatchilah it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to buy a Lulav whose double leafed Tiyomes is completely attached to each other (at their back) from its top to the point the other leaves begin shooting out from the spine. If this is not available, or it split after buying it, then the Lulav remains valid so long as the leaf is not completely separated from top to bottom [where the other leaves begin growing from it]. Furthermore even if one has a friend which owns a Lulav with a complete Tiyomes one is not required to use it on the first day of Sukkos and rather may use his Lulav that has a partially split Tiyomes.
  • Must the Tiyomes be double leafed throughout its entire length? It is implied from Admur that it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar for the Tiyomes to be entirely double leafed from the top of the Tiyomes until the area of the spine, and so rule some Rabbanim. However others learn that it is not necessary for the Tiyomes to be entirely double leafed and so is the ruling of many great Rabbanim.
  • What if the Tiyomes is split only at its tip as is common to occur? It is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to purchase a Tiyomes that is completely closed including its tip.
  • If the split of the Tiyomes is only noticeable after close examination is it initially invalid? Some Poskim rule that initially one is to purchase a Lulav that its Tiyomes is fully closed even after proper contemplation. [It is not necessary to use a magnifying glass.]
  • Does it help to glue a split Tiyomes leaf back together? Some Poskim rule it is valid to glue the Tiyomes together.
  • Hemnick split: If there is a split in the spine and the two sides of the split have separated from each other to the point they appear like two Lulavim, then the Lulav is invalid.
  • On Chol Hamoed: Has the following leniencies. A Hemnick split is kosher. The Tiyomes is kosher even if completely split.
  • On the second day of Sukkos in Chutz Laaretz: If no other Lulav is available he may use it, but without a blessing.
  • A cut leaf: Lechatchilah, if the Tiyomes leaf was even partially cut at its top it should not be used. If however no other Lulav is available, then if its majority length is still intact, it may be used with a blessing. If majority of it has been cut, it is invalid according to all opinions. [Thus one is to avoid buying a Lulav with a very pointy top as it is easily possible for this point to break and invalidate the Lulav for initial use.] If the remaining leaves of a Lulav, other than the Tiyomes have been cut at their top, it remains Kosher.
  • What is the law if the cut of the Tiyomes is only noticeable after close examination? It is valid, as the invalidation of Hadar is only applicable if viewable at first sight.
  • Many Lulavim grow a needle like wooden point at the top of the Tiyomes. If this area is cut off is the Lulav Kosher? The Lulav remains Kosher as this area is not considered part of the actual Lulav.
  • A dry Lulav: A Lulav which majority of its leaves have withered, or majority of its spine has withered, to the point it has turned whitish should not be used unless absolutely no other Lulav is available. If it has dried to the point it can be broken by touching it with ones nail it is Pasul according to all opinions.
  • What is the law if the Tiyomes has dried? Seemingly according to Admur the Lulav remains Kosher and Mehudar, however other Poskim rule hat one should not use a Lulav with dry Tiyomes. Practically a sunburned Tiyomes is not considered dry even according to those which are stringent.
  • What is the law if the dryness of the Lulav is only noticeable after close examination? It is valid, as the invalidation of Hadar is only applicable if viewable at first sight.
  • A Lulav with wrinkles: If the spine contains needles or if the Lulav is wrinkled it is invalid.
  • A bent Lulav spine: If the spine of the Lulav is bent towards its front making it appear like a hunchback, it is not kosher. Similarly if it is bent to its side it is invalid. If the middle of the spine is bent towards its back, meaning towards the side of the spine, it is kosher. If the middle of the spine itself is straight while the top of the spine is bent like a Hegmon, the Lulav is invalid. This applies whether the Lulav is bent backwards or forwards.
  • Leaves are bent: If majority of the leaves of a Lulav are slightly bent or curved at their top it may not be used unless there is no other Lulav available, in which case it may be used with a blessing. If only a minority of its leaves are curved it may be used even Lechatchilah. If [majority] of the actual leaves [not just the top] are very bent in a way that each leaf appears like two leaves, the Lulav is invalid according to all.
  • On Chol Hamoed: Even if majority of the leaves are bent or curved it is kosher even Lechatchilah.
  • Second day of Yom Tov in Diaspora: If majority of the leaves are bent or curved one may use the Lulav if no other Lulav is easily available.
  • What is the law if only the Tiyomes is bent? From Admur it is implied that the Lulav remains Kosher according to all opinions if majority of the leaves are not bent, even if the Tiyomes is bent. However see M”B 645/33; Kashrus Daled Minim p. 105.
  • Kneplach-Rounded tips: Based on the above the top leaves of the Lulav should not have rounded tips known as kneplach.
  • Kura: Some are particular to purchase a Lulav with the brownish leaf covering called the Kara. Others are particular not to purchase such a Lulav. [The Rebbe was particular to purchase a Lulav which its top leaves are attached with a brownish leaf called a Kara. ]

 

  1. The Esrog:
  • The source for an Esrog: The verse states one is to take a “Peri Eitz Hadar”. The Sages deduced from the superfluous word “tree” that the fruit referred to in the verse contain a tree bark that has the same taste as its fruit, and this is an Esrog, as its tree and fruit have the same taste. [This means that the peel of the Esrog which makes up majority of the Esrog tastes similar to the bark of the tree, however the juice that it contains is not similar in taste to the bark.]
  • Dryness: An Esrog which dried to the point it has lost all of its inside moisture is invalid. This means that the Esrog does not release moisture when cut. There is no obligation to check an Esrog which appears fresh. If however the Esrog appears withered it must be checked.
  • Is an Esrog from the previous year valid? An Esrog from the previous year is certain to have dried to this point and therefore may not be used.
  • An Esrog with a missing piece: An Esrog which is missing any part from its body, even the smallest amount, is Pasul. This applies even if the hole does not reach from one to the other and is not the size of an Issur. However there are opinions which rule that even a hole with a missing piece is valid if it is not larger than an Issur and does not go from side to side. Practically one may rely on this opinion if there is no other Esrog available and one may use it with a blessing.
  • If one is in doubt whether a piece is missing from the Esrog or if it is just an indentation the Esrog is permitted [so long as the hole is not the size of an Issur and is not Mefulash].
  • If the missing piece is as large as the circumference of an Issur coin it is Pasul according to all opinions.
  • A piece is missing from the outer membrane: The above is only with regards to if there is a piece missing from the actual body [white thick peel] of the Esrog. If however the Esrog is only missing part of its thin outer membrane [i.e. skin/rind] and its inner white thick peel remains complete, the Esrog is kosher. If however the entire outer peel is missing the Esrog is invalid. If the missing outer membrane has caused a change in color which differs from the color of the rest of the Esrog it receives the same Halachic status as a blister, and hence the Esrog is invalid unless the color change is not within the Chotem of the Esrog and is not majority of the Esrog and it is not within 2-3 areas of the Esrog.
  • Scars: A hole which was caused by a thorn while the Esrog was still on the tree is kosher even if a piece is missing, if the entire area of the hole is covered by scar tissue. This applies even if there is still a piece visibly missing from the Esrog being that the missing area is fully covered by the scab. If however the scab is not fully covering over the hole, or there is no scab at all, and one can tell that there is a piece missing, the Esrog is invalid.
  • Yom Tov Sheiyni Shel Galuyos: On the second day of Sukkos in the Diaspora if an Esrog is missing a piece the size of an Issur coin one may use it if no other esrog is available, but without a Bracha.
  • On Chol Hamoed: On Chol Hamoed an Esrog is Kosher even if it is missing a piece, and even if the missing piece is much larger than an Issur coin so long as the Esrog retains its minimum size.
  • An Esrog with a hole without a missing piece: If there is a hole in the Esrog without any piece of the Esrog missing, such as a hole that was created by sticking a large needle into the Esrog, then if the hole of the Esrog is less than the size of an Issur it is valid. If the hole is an Issur or larger then it is invalid. However there are opinions which rule that even a hole that is larger than an Issur is valid so long as no piece of the Esrog is missing. Practically one may rely on this opinion if there is no other Esrog available and one may use it with a blessing. If the hole penetrates from one area to another area, the Esrog is invalid even if the hole is a very small amount and does not go from end to end. However there are opinions which rule that even a hole that goes from one end to the other is valid so long as no piece of the Esrog is missing. Practically one may rely on this opinion if there is no other Esrog available and one may use it with a Some opinions rule that so long as the hole does not go from one end to another it is valid even if it reaches the seed box. Others rule that if the hole reaches the seed box the Esrog is invalid even if the seed box itself and the other side of the Esrog remain untouched by the hole. Practically we rule like the latter stringent opinion and the Esrog is invalid however if no other Esrog is available one may rely on the first opinion and use it with a blessing.
  • A cracked Esrog: A cracked Esrog is only invalid if all the following apply: a) The crack reaches from to top to bottom b) The depth of the crack is at least majority of the thick white flesh. If the crack is not this deep throughout the entire length, but rather only in the middle, and the top and bottom of the crack is not this deep, the Esrog is Kosher. [Vetzaruch Iyun if only the top or bottom side is this deep and not the other.]
  • If there is a crack along the circumference of the Esrog then if there are two cracks, one on each side of the Esrog parallel to each other, than if there remains an un-cracked area between the two cracks the Esrog is valid. This applies even if the depth of the crack is majority of the width of the white thick peel. [If however a single crack carries through majority of the circumference it is implied from Admur that the Esrog is invalid.]
  • Blisters and color change: A Chazazis and a color change in the Esrog receive the following laws: If there is a Chazazis or color change on the top part of the Esrog, called the Chotem, it is Pasul. The Chotem is defined as the area towards the upper half of the Esrog [towards the Pitam] that begins to slope inwards.
  • If there is a Chazazis or color change below the Chotem, then if there is only one Chazazis, or color change, it is kosher as long as it does not cover majority of the Esrog. If there are two or more Chazazis, or color changes, then initially it should not be used. If the two Chazazis are so close to each other that there is no room for another Chazazis to grow between them it is considered like one Chazazis. Likewise if between the two Chazazisim there isn’t the natural color of the Esrog it is all considered one Chazazis. Bedieved or in case no other esrog can be found one may use an Esrog that contains two Chazazis or two color changes below the Chotem if from the beginning of the first Chazazis until the end of the second Chazazis it only covers minority of the circumference of the Esrog’s width or length (i.e. they are on the same side of the Esrog). If however it covers majority of the circumference of the Esrog’s width or length (i.e. they are on different sides of the Esrog) it is Pasul according to all opinions.
  • Second day in Diaspora: On the second day of Sukkos in the Diaspora an Esrog with an invalid color change or Chazazis remains invalid just like on the first day. If however no other esrog is available one is to use it without a Bracha.
  • On Chol Hamoed: One may not use an Esrog with an invalid Chazazis or color change even during Chol Hamoed. If however absolutely no other Esrog is available one may use such an Esrog with a Bracha.
  • What is defined as a color change? Admur brings different types of color changes: A change of color that occurred after part of the rind of the Esrog peeled off; A natural born color change in one area; Menumar: A natural born color change of two different colors in two areas; Keminumar: A natural born color change of the same color in two areas; A black Esrog.
  • Apparent at first sight: A color change is only able to invalidate if it is noticeable to majority of people at first site.
  • The law of color changes caused by thorns: The color change is only problematic if it occurred on its own with the growth of the Esrog. If however thorns punctured the Esrog and caused brown juice to come out and create red areas and indented areas within the Esrog, nevertheless it remains valid.
  • Bletlach-Leaf marks: A Bletlach [leaf marks] is valid  even if it protrudes above the skin of the Esrog. The reason for this is because these marks are considered as part of the color of the Esrog as it is common for many Esrogim to carry these marks and it is hence not a great diversion.
  • What is a Chazazis? A Chazizis is a scab like protuberance made up of two small blisters. If it only has one blister it is not called a Chazazis and is valid even if it is on the Chotem.
  • Apparent at first sight: A Chazazis is only problematic if it is casually noticeable when held in one’s hand without deep concentration. One is not required to contemplate and search for blisters [and if he does not see it with a regular look then the Chazazis is valid even if it is on the Chotem]. Similarly a color change is only able to invalidate if it is noticeable to majority of people at first site.
  • Peeling off the color change or Chazazis: One may Kasher an Esrog through peeling off an invalidating Chazazis or color change from the esrog in the following method: He is to peel off only the thin green skin of the esrog, as opposed to its white body, thus assuring that nothing is missing from the body of the Esrog. Likewise after it is peeled off its color may not change from the normal Esrog color. If these two conditions are fulfilled the Esrog is now kosher. This may be done even initially to validate an Esrog that has invalidating color changes or Chazazis.
  • Fowl odor: An esrog with a bad stench is invalid.
  • Cooked or soaked in water: A cooked Esrog is Pasul. Therefore an esrog which stayed submerged in water, or other liquids for over 24 hours is considered cooked and is Pasul.
  • Shape: An esrog which does not have the general esrog shape, (i.e. round esrog), is Pasul.
  • Size: An esrog’s minimum size is a kebeytza, which is approximately 56 grams.
  • Green: An Esrog which has not yet ripened to the point that part of it has begun to turn yellow is Pasul unless one is sure that the Esrog will reach this stage. The custom however is not to take such an esrog even if certain, unless it has begun to turn yellow. [Ideally however the entire esrog should look yellow. It is better to take a yellow Esrog with Bletlach then a green one which does not have Bletlach.]
  • Black: A black colored Esrog is invalid. In those countries which generally grow green Esrogim this invalidation applies even if it has a slight black tint. However in those countries that grow black Esrogim, a light black Esrog is valid being that this is the normal way of growth in these areas and it is not considered an abnormality. However a very black Esrog which is similar in color to black colored people is invalid even if it grows in Africa.
  • Pitam: Many Esrogim grow a wood stem protruding on their top called the pitam or the dad. In many the Pitam begins to grow from within the inside of the esrog. In others it grows from its very top on its outside. On the dad/pitam grows the stigma called the shoshanta. Many Esrogim grow without either a Pitam or Shoshanta and are nevertheless valid being that this is their normal way of growth as they are formed this way from the beginning of their creation. One can identify an Esrog that grew without a Pitam through witnessing a groove or indentation on the top area where the Pitam usually grows.
  • An esrog which grew a Pitam and the Pitam fell off [such due to a blow and the like as opposed to naturally while on the tree] then if any area of the esrog’s top is now revealed due to this area falling off it is Pasul. This applies even if only part of the width of the Pitam fell off and revealed the area of the Esrog under that part while the other part remained on the Esrog. If however only the top part of the Pitam became removed while the bottom part of the Pitam remains and completely covers the area of the esrog that the Pitam grew on, the Esrog is valid. However there are opinions which invalidate an Esrog with a missing Shoshanta as it is not Hadar. Practically although we do not rule like this stringent opinion nevertheless it is proper to suspect for their words and hence an esrog with a missing Shoshanta should not be purchased if an esrog of similar quality and beauty can be found. If however the Esrog with the missing Shoshanta is more beautiful than the other Esrogim one should purchase this Esrog as the main opinion follows the first opinion.
  • On Chol Hamoed: During Chol Hamoed an esrog which was invalidated due to a fallen Pitam may be used [with a blessing] if absolutely no other esrog is available.
  • Second day in Diaspora: On the second day of Sukkos in the Diaspora an Esrog which was invalidated due to a fallen Pitam may be used if there is no other esrog available. It is to be used without a Bracha.
  • Oketz/Stem: The Oketz is the stem from which the Esrog grows from on the tree. If the Oketz was removed from the Esrog in a way that none of it remained on the Esrog, hence creating a grooved area, the Esrog is invalid. [Furthermore even if only part of the Oketz fell off and revealed part of the groove it is invalid.] However if the stem has been cut in such a way that an entire sliver of it remains and the groove of the Esrog is completely covered by this sliver then the Esrog is valid. However there are opinions which rule the Esrog is valid even if the entire Oketz was removed, as the Oketz is not part of the Esrog and hence cannot invalidate it due to a missing piece. Practically although we do not rule like this lenient opinion nevertheless if no other Esrog is available one may rely on this opinion and use it. In such a case one is allowed to use it with a blessing.
  • On Chol Hamoed: On Chol Hamoed one may use an esrog even if its stem has completely fallen off.
  • Second day in Diaspora: On the second day of Sukkos in the Diaspora, an Esrog which was invalidated due to a fallen Oketz may be used if there is no other Esrog available. In such a case it may used with a Bracha.
  • Murkav/Grafted: A grafted Esrog, or a later generation of a grafted Esrog, is Pasul. There are four general signs in a kosher esrog which are different in an esrog grafted with lemon. 1) A grafted esrog is smooth like a lemon while a kosher one is bumpy. 2) A grafted esrog has its stem grown outside the esrog’s body while a kosher one has it indented into the esrog. 3) A grafted esrog has less peel and more juice while a kosher one has more peel and less juice. 4) A grafted esrog has its seeds sitting horizontally while a kosher one has its seeds vertically.
  • Buying an Esrog that has tradition: Despite the above one should be careful to only buy an esrog that has a tradition that it is not grafted. An example of such an esrog is the Yanovar which grows in southern Italy.
  • Calabria: There is a tradition handed from the Alter Rebbe to use specifically the Yanover esrog for the Daled Minim for reasons known to him. It is called Yanover in reference to the region of growth in Italy. A possible reason for this tradition may be since Italy is referred to as the fat of the earth thus making its fruits have the most beauty.
  • Tithes-Using an Esrog from Eretz Yisrael: An esrog which is forbidden to be eaten is not kosher. Therefore one must be certain that an esrog from Israel has had all its tithes removed and is not orlah (fruits grown within first three years of the tree). Esrogim from outside of Israel may be used even if they are from orlah.

 

Summary of conditions needed to be met for a Kosher Esrog:

  • No missing piece.
  • No Chazazis or color change by Chotem
  • No two Chazazis or two color changes below Chotem.
  • Was not cooked
  • Was not soaked in liquid for 24 hours.
  • Had its tithes removed.

 

  1. The Hadassim
  • The identity of the Hadas: The Torah states that one is to take a Anaf Eitz Avos. This refers to a branch that grows leaves in a chain like braid form which covers most of the branch. This is unlike other branches in which the leaves do not braid or cover majority of the branch. This branch is referred to as the Hadas, myrtle.
  • Is there a more preferable species of Hadasim? There are many species of Hadasim. Some have large leaves and others have short leaves. Some are particular to take only Tzefati Hadassim as they have many small leaves which fully cover the bark. Some Poskim rule that Hadassim with very wide and long leaves is a Hadas Shoteh.
  • Length: The length of the Hadassim must be at least three Tefachim [24cm.]
  • Is there a maximum length for the Hadas? No. The Hadassim may be as long as desired, although one must be careful that the Lulav spine always extends one Tefach above the Hadasim.
  • Meshulash/Three Leaved: The Torah states that the Hadas must be braided. This means that there are three leaves that extend from each area of the branch and that these three leaves are symmetric to each other that they extend from the same horizontal line. If two leaves are symmetric but third leaf grows higher or lower than the other two, it is not considered braided. This form of Hadas is called a Hadas Shoteh and is invalid for use throughout all seven days of Sukkos. It may not be used even in a time of need that no other Hadas is available, even if one desires to take it without blessing.
  • How many leaves on the Hadas must be Meshulash? Initially it is a Mitzvah to buy a fully Meshulash Hadas. This means that the Hadas should be Meshulash with three symmetric leaves for its entire Shiur of three Tefachim. Nevertheless if the Hadassim are majority Meshulash they may be used even initially with a blessing. This means that if majority of the sets of three leaves coming out of the branch have their stems coming out from the same horizontal line throughout majority of the Shiur of three Tefachim, then the Hadas is valid. [If majority of the Hadas is not Meshulash throughout its Shiur of three Tefach the Hadas is invalid.]
  • Must majority of the Shiur be Meshulash or majority of the entire branch? Some Poskim rule we follow majority of the length [Shiur] and so is clearly implied from Admur. Some Poskim leave this matter in question.
  • Leaves missing: If leaves fell off a Kosher Hadas, then as long as two leaves remain in majority of its sets within the Shiur of three Tefachim, it is Kosher. This applies even if the leaves of some of the sets have completely fallen off, [and even if the top leaves have fallen off], as long as there is still a majority of leaves in the majority of sets. If it does not contain two leaves in majority of its sets it is invalid.
  • Top cut off: If the top of the Hadas [its branch and its leaves] has been cut off, some opinions rule the Hadas nevertheless remains valid. Others rule it is invalid. Practically one should be stringent to use another Hadas, if it is available. If another Hadas is not available then one may use it with a blessing. If the top leaves alone have been cut (or fell) off but its stem is still intact, it may be used even initially.
  • Dryness: If the leaves of a Hadas have dried, the Hadas is invalid. If however it is not Halachicly considered dry, even though the leaves have withered, it still remains valid.
  • What is the definition of dry? If the leaves have dried to the point that they can be broken with ones nail and they have lost all their greenness, becoming white, it is Pasul. If the leaves have not lost their greenness, even if they look very dry and can be broken with a nail, they are still Kosher. [If they are dry and white but cannot be broken with a finger nail they are still valid.]
  • How many leaves must be dry to invalidate the Hadas? If the top leaves have remained completely fresh, then even if majority of the leaves have dried, they are still Kosher. However, if the top leaves have begun to whither and dry, even if they have not yet dried to the extent that invalidates them, some say it does not have the power to validate a Hadas whose majority of leaves are dry and hence the Hadas is invalid. Other opinions rule that even a withered top leaf validates a dry Hadas. Practically one should only rely on such a Hadas from the second day of Sukkos and onwards. If majority of the leaves [including the top] have dried to the point they can be broken with ones nail and have lost all their greenness, turning white, it is Pasul.
  • If only the top leaves are dry: If the top leaves of the Hadas have dried to the extent to make them Pasul, some opinions rule the Hadas nevertheless remains valid. Others rule it is invalid, even if the rest of the leaves have remained fresh. Practically one should be stringent to use another Hadas if it is available. If another Hadas is not available then one may use it with a blessing.
  • On Chol Hamoed: Even if the top leaves have begun to dry, as long as they are not completely dry, the Hadas is Kosher even if majority of its other leaves have dried.
  • Second day of Diaspora: On the second day of Sukkos in the Diaspora if no other Hadas is available one may use a Hadas whose leaves have dried so long as its top is not completely dry. One is to use it without a Bracha.
  • Random leaves which grow wild on the Hadas: Small random leaves which grow on the Hadas (not part of a set) are to be cut off.

 

  1. The Aravos
  • The identity of the Aravos: The Torah states that one is to take a Arvei Nachal. This refers to the willow branch.
  • Its Signs: The following are the signs of a Kosher Arava: 1) A red stem: This means that the Arava comes from a tree that grows red stems. Thus even if the branch is currently still green due to lack of sunlight, nevertheless it is valid, as it will eventually become red due to the sun. 2) The leaves are shaped like a brook; narrow and long. 3) Leaves that have smooth edges, not serrated like a saw. If the leaves have tiny serrations they are still considered smooth edged. If however the serrations are large they are invalid. The Arava must have all three signs to be Kosher. An Arava that has red stems and long narrow leaves, but has large serrations, is invalid.
  • Do Aravos have to grow by the water to be valid? Although majority of Aravos grow near banks of water they are valid from all areas, even if they grow in a desert or mountain, being that they have all the signs.
  • Length: The length of the Aravos must be at least three Tefachim.
  • Is there a maximum length for the Arava? No. The Aravos may be as long as desired, although one must be careful that the Lulav spine always extends one Tefach above the Aravos.
  • Top Cut: If the top of the Arava was cut off it is Pasul. This means that the actual wood branch of the Arava became cut and not just the top leaf. Therefore if the Aravos are very long one must beware to cut it specifically on the bottom of the Arava and not the top.
  • What is the law if the Lavluv was cut off? It is Kosher, as the Lavluv is a mere leaf and only when the actual branch is cut is the Arava invalidated.
  • Must one buy Aravos with a Lavluv? Some people say it is best to buy Aravos with a Lavluv as this proves that the top of the Arava is still intact and has not been cut.
  • If the top of the Arava is folded over is it Kosher? Yes.
  • Leaves fell off: If majority of the Arava leaves fell off the Arava, it is Pasul. One must be very careful regarding this matter, especially when inserting it into the binding of the Lulav, that this not cause the leaves to come off. [Thus it is advisable to check the Aravos daily to verify they still contain majority leaves. Likewise it is advised to purchase a number of sets of Aravos on Erev Sukkos, which can be used in a case of need throughout Sukkos.] If only minority of the leaves fell off it is valid. Lechatchilah it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to use an Arava which still has all its leaves attached, if this is easily attainable.
  • Dry Leaves: If majority of the leaves have dried it is invalid. The definition of dry is if the leaves have dried to the extent they lost their coloring and have turned white. If they have not yet turned white they are valid even if they are dried to the point they are withered [and can be broken with one’s finger nail].
  • If the leaves droop downwards: If majority of the leaves have become detached from their original place of growth and hence droop down, they are invalid, even though they still remain slightly attached to the actual stem.
  • Leaves have split: If majority of the leaves have split in two, in majority of their length, the Arava is Pasul.

 

 

Chapter 4: The Laws and customs of the Holiday

 

  1. Erev Sukkos
  • Increasing in charity: One should increase in Tzedakah on Erev Sukkos. This includes inviting over the poor for meals.
  • Baking Challahs: One is to bake Challahs for Yom Tov which will be used for Lechem Mishneh and is not to buy them at the bakery as is done during the week. This matter of baking one’s own Challah is included in the honoring of Yom Tov. One is not to divert from this custom.
  • How much is one to bake? One is to bake at least the amount that requires one to remove Challah from the dough.
  • Cutting the nails: It is a Mitzvah to cut one’s nails on Erev Sukkos in honor of Yom Tov, just as is the law on Erev Shabbos. [One is to cut his nails prior to immersing.]
  • is to get a haircut on Erev Sukkos.
  • Getting a haircut on Erev Sukkos: It is a Mitzvah upon each person [who did not get a haircut on Erev Rosh Hashanah] to get a haircut on Erev Sukkos in honor of Yom Tov, in order so one does not enter into the holiday looking not representable. It is permitted to get a haircut throughout the entire Erev Sukkos, even past the time of Mincha. This applies even to a professional haircut that is being done by a Jew in exchange for payment.
  • Eating past the 10th hour of the day: It is forbidden to eat [a meal] from Mincha and onwards [the 10th hour of the day] until the Yom Tov starts. [This is approximately three hours before sunset]. The above is only with regards to a set meal [i.e. 55 grams of bread] however it is permitted to eat a mere snack up until sunset and there is no need to refrain from doing so. If one transgressed or forgot and did not eat prior to the 10th hour, then on Erev Sukkos he may not eat a meal past the 10th
  • Bathing on Erev Sukkos: It is a Mitzvah to bathe one’s body in hot wateron Erev Sukkos in honor of Yom Tov.
  • Eiruv Tavshilin: Whenever Sukkos falls on Thursday one performs an Eiruv Tavshilin on Erev Sukkos [Wednesday] in the Diaspora. The owner of the house takes a whole loaf/role of bread/Matzah the size of a Kibeitza [which is to later be used on Shabbos] and a Kezayis of a cooked piece of meat or other food which one eats together with bread. If one has another person to use to acquire the food to him on behalf of the city then the owner is to say:

“אני מזכה לכל־מי שרוצה לזכות ולסמוך על ערוב זה”

The person who is acquiring the food for the townspeople then lifts the food up one Tefach. The owner then takes back the food and recites the following blessing: [If one does not have another person to use to acquire the food to the townspeople then he is to simply hold the food and begin from here with the following blessing:]

ברוך אתה ה’ אלוקינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על מצות  עירוב.

After the blessing one says in a language that he understands “With this eiruv it will be permitted for us to bake and cook and insulate foods, and light candles and to do all our needs on Yom Tov for Shabbos”.

בדין יהא שרא לנא לאפויי ולבשולי ולאטמוני ולאדלוקי שרגא ולתקנא ולמעבד כל צרכנא מיומא טבא

לשבתא לנא ולכל ישראל הדרים בעיר הזאת

  • Binding the Lulav: One should bind the Lulav in the Sukkah. One should be meticulous to bind the Lulav himself as opposed to having someone else do it for him.
  • Verifying the validity of the Sukkah: Before leaving to Shul for Mincha on Erev Sukkos one is to verify the validity of the Sukkah and confirm that everything is in order.
  • Candle lighting: One first lights the candles and then says the blessing of “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Kidishanu Bimitzvosav Vetzivanu Lehadlik Neir Shel Yom Tov”. This blessing is then followed by the blessing of Shehechiyanu.
  • When are the candles lit?The custom is to light the candles prior to sunset at the same time that they are lit on Erev Shabbos. [One who did not light the candles prior to sunset is to light the candles at night, on Yom Tov, from a preexisting flame. It is to be lit at the very least prior to the return of the men from Shul.]
  • Where are the candles to be lit: The candles are to be lit within the Sukkah. If this is not possible [such as due to safety reasons] then one is to light inside.
  • If a man is lighting candles when is he to say the blessing of Shehechiyanu, by lighting or by Kiddush? A man always says the blessing of Shehechiyanu by Kiddush, even in the event that he is lighting candles. However in such a case he is to light candles directly before Kiddush, hence having the blessing of Shehechiyanu also go on the candle lighting. If however he said the blessing by candle lighting he does not repeat the blessing by Kiddush. [However on the first night of Sukkos this only applies if he lit the candles in the Sukkah. Otherwise he must repeat Shehechiyanu for the sake of the Mitzvah of Sukkah that he is now fulfilling by Kiddush.]

 

2. The First day[s] of Yom Tov:

A. The Yom Tov night meal:

  • The Seder of Kiddush on the first night: Men are to make Kiddush inside the Sukkah even if it is raining. The order of Kiddush on the first night of Sukkos is Askinu, Hagafen, Asher Bachar Banu, Leisheiv, and then Shehechiyanu. The Rebbes custom is to look at Sechach upon saying the blessing of Leisheiv.
  • Having the Sukkah in mind by Shehechiyanu of first night: The blessing of Shehechiyanu said during Kiddush on the first night of Sukkos includes both the holiday and the Mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah. [Thus, upon saying Shehechiyanu during Kiddush one is to intend to include also the Holiday and also the Sukkah.] It is for this reason that on the first night, the blessing of Shehechiyanu is said before the blessing of Leisheiv, as it also includes the Mitzvah of Sukkah.
  • The Seder of Kiddush on the second night in Diaspora: The order of Kiddush on the second night of Sukkos is Askinu, Hagafen, Asher Bachar Banu, Shehechiyanu and then Leisheiv.
  • Dip Chalah in honey: It is customary of some to dip it in honey throughout all the Yom Tov [and Shabbos] meals until Simchas Torah.
  • Leisheiv Basukkah for the household: It is customary for the household members which heard Kiddush to say the blessing of Leisheiv Basuka after saying the blessing of Hamotzi.
  • How much to eat: A man must eat over a Kebeitza of bread in the Sukkah on 1st [and 2nd night in the Diaspora].
  • When to eat: One is to beware to eat the meal before midnight.
  • What is the law if in Kiddush one accidently recited Mikadeish Hashabbos instead of Mikadeish Yisrael Vehazmanim? If one remembered prior to the amount of time of saying the words “Shalom Aleichem Rebbe” from passing, and he has not yet begun saying the next blessing, he is to correct himself and say “Mikadeish Yisrael Vehazmanim”. If the above amount of time has already passed, or one already said the first word of the next blessing, he is to repeat from the start of the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu. If, however, he has already said the blessing of Shehechiyanu or Leisheiv Basukkah he is not to repeat this blessing of Shehechiyanu or Leisheiv.

B. Detailed laws of the blessing of Shehechiyanu:

  • The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited after the completion of Kiddush, prior to drinking the wine, as explained above. In the Diaspora, it is recited in Kiddush of both the first and second night of Sukkos. [One who recited the blessing of Shehechiyanu during candle lighting may not repeat the blessing during Kiddush. Thus, women who are saying Kiddush do not say the blessing of Shehechiyanu if they recited it by candle lighting. If a man is lighting the candles, then he should say the Shehechiyanu by Kiddush. If he said it by candle lighting then he does not repeat the blessing by Kiddush, as explained next.]
  • What is the law if a man said Shehechiyanu upon lighting candles? If one said the blessing by candle lighting he does not repeat the blessing by Kiddush. However, on the first night of Sukkos, this only applies if he lit the candles in the Sukkah. Otherwise he must repeat Shehechiyanu for the sake of the Mitzvah of Sukkah that he is now fulfilling by Kiddush.
  • Forgot Shehechiyanu: One who forgot to recite the blessing of Shehechiyanu [during Kiddush, prior to drinking the wine, is to recite it afterwards, immediately upon remembering.] Even if he only remembered the next day, he is to recite Shehechiyanu. It may be recited even without a cup of wine. [Ideally, it may be recited anywhere upon remembering, even if he is in middle of the marketplace.] however on Sukkos, when he says Shehechiyanu, he needs to say it inside the Sukkah, in order to exempt also the Sukkah with the blessing.  [If in the Diaspora one did not remember to recite Shehechiyanu until the second night of Yom Tov began, then he fulfills his blessing of Shehechiyanu of the first night through the Shehechiyanu recited after Kiddush of the second night.] If he forgot to say the blessing of Shehechiyanu on the first day, and [in the Diaspora] also forgot to say it during Kiddush of the second night, then he is obligated to recite the blessing whenever he remembers throughout the seven days of Sukkos. [This applies until the end of Hosahnana Raba. Once Shemini Atzeres begins, Shehechiyanu can no longer be recited.]
  • Said Shehechiyanu outside of the Sukkah: In any case that the blessing of Shehechiyanu was said outside the Sukkah, such as if one said Kiddush in his house, then the blessing of Shehechiyanu must be repeated upon the next time he eats a meal in the Sukkah. It is said after the blessing of Leishev is recited.

C. Guests:

  • The Mitzvah: It is a Mitzvah and obligation to host paupers, orphans, widows and other unfortunate individual’s as guests for one’s Yom Tov meals. One who refuses to do so, is not considered to be having a meal of a Mitzvah, but rather a one of abomination.
  • Gentile guests: It is forbidden to invite gentile guests on Yom Tov, for the Yom Tov meal.  If, however, the gentile arrived on his own, one may offer him and give him to eat, although it is forbidden to press on the gentile to eat if he does not accept the initial offer.  [See Q&A regarding allowing the gentile to enter the Sukkah!]
  • Housemaid: It is permitted to have a gentile housemaid eat the Yom Tov meals with one’s family.
  • May one allow a gentile to enter one’s Sukkah? One should not invite a gentile into the Sukkah as this causes the holiness to leave. Therefore one should have a gentile maid clean the Sukkah inside.

D. Ushpizin:

  • The Zohar states that during Sukkos we merit to have the seven shepherds of Israel as guests in our Sukkah, upon dwelling within it. One is required to rejoice each day with the Ushpizin of that day.
  • The order: The seven Ushpizin are: Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aaron, Yosef, David. Some, however, place Yosef before Moshe.  All seven guests come each of the seven days of Sukkos to visit each Jew in his Sukkah, however, each day there is a different leader who sits at the head. 
  • The Yehi Ratzon prayer: Some write that one must verbally invite the Ushpizin in order to bring them into one’s Sukkah. Some are accustomed to reciting a special prayer of Yehi Ratzon for the Ushpizin of that day. Practically, it is not the Chabad custom to say the Yehi Ratzon for the Ushpizin, however one should mention a Devar Torah involving the guest of that night.
  • The Chassidic Ushpizin: There is a tradition amongst the Chabad Rabbeim that in addition to the classical seven Ushpizin of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov etc, one each night the Chassidic Rabbeim also come to visit, starting with the Baal Shem Tov until the Rebbe Rashab.

E. Birchas Hamazon:

  • Yaleh Veyavo: One recites Yaleh Veyavo within Birchas Hamazon on Yom Tov.
  • Forgot to recite: If one forgot to say Yaleh Veyavo in the Birchas Hamazon of the Yom Tov night meal or the first Yom Tov day meal, and only remembered after he already began the first word “Baruch” of the blessing of Hatov Vehameitiv [and certainly if he already finished Birchas Hamazon], then he is required to repeat from the beginning of Birchas Hamazon. [This applies for both men and women. If one is in doubt if he said it, we assume he did not say it and he must repeat Birchas Hamazon.]
  • Remembered after the blessing of Uvinei Yerushalyim, but prior to beginning Hatov Vehameitiv: All the above refers to a case that one already began the first word “Baruch” of the next blessing. If, however, one remembered to recite Yaleh Veyavo after completing “Uvinei Yerushalyim” but prior to beginning the first word of the next blessing, then in all cases [i.e. whether night or day meal, and whether the first, second or third meal] he is to say the following blessing:

ברוך אתת ה’ אלקינו מלך העולם אשר נתן ימים טובים לעמו ישראל לששון ולשמחה את יום חג הסוכות הזה.  ברוך אתה  ה’ מקדש ישראל והזמנים:

  • If he does not know how the blessing begins and concludes then in such a case, he must repeat from the beginning of Birchas Hamazon [by the night and first day meal].
  • Yom Tov that coincides with Shabbos: In the event that Sukkos falls on Shabbos, one is to say both Ritzei and Yaleh Veyavo. If one forgot to say both Ritzei and Yaleh Veyavo and remembered prior to beginning the word Baruch, then he is to say:

ברוך אתת ה’ אלקינו מלך העולם שנתן שבתות למנוחה לעמו לשראל באהבה לאות ולברית וימים לששון ולשמחה את יום חג הסוכות הזה. ברוך אתת ה’ מקדש השבת וישראל והזמנים.

  • If one forgot to say only Ritzei or only Yaleh Veyavo then he only mentions the additional blessing of the skipped part. If one already said the word “Baruch” or already finished Birchas Hamazon, then he must repeat from the beginning and say both Ritzei and Yaaleh Veyavo even though he already said one of them the first time. [If he forgot to say Ritzei this second time it is questionable whether he fulfills his obligation and it is thus best to wash again on a Kezayis of bread and recite Birchas Hamazon.]
  • What is he to do if he remembers to say Yaleh Veyavo in the midst of the Bracha of “Boneh Berachamav Yerushalayim”? If he remembered prior to saying the words “Boneh Berachamav Yerushalyim” some Poskim  rule he should end the blessing with Lamdeini Chukecha and then repeat from Yaleh Veyavo.
  • Harachaman: By the Harachaman’s one recites the Harachaman for Yom Tov “Harachaman Hu Yanchileinu Leyom Shekulo Tov”. Afterwards one recites the Harachaman for Sukkos “Harachaman Hu Yakim Lanu Es Sukkas Dovid Hanofeles”. On Shabbos Sukkos one recites first the Harachaman for Shabbos and then the Harachaman for Yom Tov and then the Harachaman for Sukkos.
  • Meiyn Shalosh-Al Hamichya: One adds the following words when reciting the after blessing of Meiyn Shalosh on Yom Tov: “Vezachreinu Letovah Beyom Chag Hassukos Hazeh”
  • What is the law if one forgot to say “Vezachreinu Letova” in Meiyn Shalosh [Al Hamichya; Al Hapeiros; Al Hagafen]? One does not have to repeat the after blessing. This applies even when reciting an Al Hagafen after Kiddush. If one remembered prior to reciting the concluding blessing of “Baruch Ata Hashem” some Poskim rule one is to retract and recite the addition.

F. Simchas Beis Hashoeiva:

  • Simchas Beis Hashoeiva begins on the 1st night of Sukkos. See Halacha 3F!

G. Shaking Lulav:

  • When: One is to awake early to fulfill the Mitzvah of Daled Minim especially on the first day of Sukkos. From the letter of the law, one is to fulfill the Mitzvah of shaking Lulav before Hallel. However, since it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to shake the Lulav in the Sukkah, and one cannot leave the Shul in the interim, therefore in the morning prior to prayer one is to say the blessing over the Lulav in the Sukkah
  • Where: One is to shake the Lulav inside the Sukkah, as stated above.
  • Eating: It is forbidden to eat before shaking the Lulav. If, however, one will not be able to shake until after midday he should eat beforehand. It is customary even for women not to eat at all until they shake Lulav. From the letter of the law, however, women are allowed to eat up to 55 grams of Mezonos, unlimited amount of fruit and vegetables, and unlimited amount of beverages. This certainly applies to a woman who is pregnant, nursing or feels weak. However, she should not eat a full meal or over 55 grams of Mezonos until she shakes Lulav.  If, however, they feel that they require this amount of food to eat then it is completely allowed. 
  • How: See Chapter 2 Halacha ??!

H. Halel-General Laws:

  • The complete Halel is recited throughout all 8/9 days of Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres with a blessing. This applies whether one is with a Minyan or Davening in private. If a Minyan is present, there is no Halachic precedence, and one can to choose to say the blessing himself, or be Yotzei with the Chazan, as each option contains an advantageous aspect. Nonetheless, the widespread custom today is for every individual to recite the blessing himself, even if a Minyan is present, and so is the proper directive. Some recite it prior to the Chazan and hence complete it prior to the Chazan completing his blessing. Others recite it together with the Chazan and some recite it after the Chazan. Those who recite it after the Chazan, must intend to not be Yotzei the blessing with his recital.
  • Women: Women are exempt from reciting Hallel. Nevertheless, they are permitted to recite it even with a blessing.
  • When: Hallel may be recited throughout the entire day, from dawn [Alos Hashachar] until nightfall [Tzeis Hakochavim]. Thus, if one did not recite Hallel immediately after Davening [Shemoneh Esrei of] Shacharis, he may recite it throughout the day, until Tzeis Hakochavim.
  • Reading Hallel with the congregation prior to Shacharis? One is to be particular to read Hallel together with the congregation immediately after Shemoneh Esrei. If one is holding prior to Davening, some Poskim rule he is to stop and recite Hallel together with the congregation. This applies for Hallel of all days. Nevertheless, the Arizal was not comfortable with such an arrangement of reciting Hallel out of its proper order, and hence according to the Arizal one is never to read Hallel prior to Davening. [No clear directive has been given with regards to the Chabad custom in whether one should say Hallel with the congregation prior to his Davening, if the circumstance occurs. Nevertheless, it is known that the Chabad Rebbeim would be careful to always pray with the same pace as the Minyan on Yom Tov in order to say Hallel with the congregation. This is despite the Rebbeim’s usual practice of praying at greater length than the Minyan. Practically, the widespread custom amongst Chabad Chassidim is not to recite it before Davening.] If one is holding within Pesukei Dezimra, he is not to stop and recite Hallel together with the congregation on days that the complete Hallel is recited.
  • Hefsek-Making an interval to answer Amen and the like: When the complete Hallel is recited, the laws of making a Hefsek [speech interval] during Hallel has the same laws as a Hefsek during the reading of the morning Shema. This applies for both the laws of Hefsek within individual paragraphs and between paragraphs. 
  • Standing for Hallel: Hallel is to be recited in a standing position. It is forbidden for one to lean on any item during Hallel [in a way that it supports him from falling]. If one transgressed and recited Hallel in a sitting position, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation and is not required to repeat the recital of Hallel.

I. The Lulav during Halel:

  • From the letter of the law, one is to fulfill the Mitzvah of shaking Lulav before Hallel. However, since it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to shake the Lulav in the Sukkah, and one cannot leave the Shul in the interim, therefore in the morning prior to prayer one is to say the blessing over the Lulav while still in the Sukkah. 
  • One holds on to Lulav during Halel, and picks up also the Esrog only when it is needed to be shaken. We shake the Lulav total of 4 times in Halel. One who said a blessing on the Lulav before Halel is only to shake the Lulav three times in Halel, omitting the shaking in Ana Hashem.

                  

                Hodu LaHashem                                 Ana Hashem

Word Direction
 

Hodu

 

South [right]

LaHashem nothing
 

Ki

 

North [left]

 

Tov

 

East [front]

Ki Up
Leolam Down
 

Chasdo

 

West [back]

Word Direction
Ana South [right] North [Left]
Hashem nothing
 

Hoshia

East [front]

Up

 

Naah

Down

West [back]

D. Hoshanos:

  • Immediately after Halel, prior to Kaddish, it is customary to circle the Bimah one time holding on to the Lulav and Esrog. One is to hold the Lulav and Esrog in two separate hands, the Lulav in his right hand and the Esrog in his left.
  • How is it done: One says the word Hoshana prior to each one of the words said for that day. Upon reaching the words upon which one begins to encircle, one is to say Hoshana prior and after each word. One places the Sefer Torah on the Bimah. One without a Lulav does not go around and rather holds on to the Sefer Torah.
  • Avel/Mourner: A mourner does not encircle the Bimah by Hoshanos.
  • Davening Beyichidus: It is accustomed to perform Hoshanos in Shul around the Bima even if one is Davening without a Minyan.
  • Day Kiddush:

Say Leisheiv Basukah after Hagafen.

  • Havdala: One says Havdala in the Sukkah saying Leisheiv basukkah. No candle or Besamim is used.

3. Chol Hamoed:

A. Shemoneh Esrei-Yaaleh Veyavo:

  • One Davens a regular weekday Shemoneh Esrei for Maariv, Shacharis and Mincha, although adding Yaaleh Veyavo to the prayer. If one forgot to recite Yaaleh Veyavo in Shemoneh Esrei he must repeat the prayer. This applies even by Maariv.
  • Forgot Yaaleh Veyavo but remembered prior to finishing Shemoneh Esrei: If prior to finishing Shemoneh Esrei one remembered that he did not say Ya’aleh Veyavo, [then if he is holding prior to saying the name of Hashem in the concluding blessing of Visechezena then he should say it as soon as he remembers and continue afterwards from Visechezena.  If, however, he remembered only after he already said Hashem’s name in the concluding blessing of Visechezenu then some Poskim rule he is to conclude the blessing with Lamdeini Chukecha and then go back and recite Ya’aleh Veyavo and then repeat from Visechezena.] If he remembered after concluding the blessing of Visechezena, but prior to Modim, then he is to say it there [and continue afterwards with Modim]. If, however, he only remembered after he already began saying Modim then he must return to Ritzei and recite from there with Ya’aleh Veyavo.  If he only remembered after he already finished Shemoneh Esrei then he must return to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei. [This applies even if he remembered after reciting the second Yehi Ratzon, prior to taking three steps.] If, however, he remembered prior to reading the second Yehi Ratzon then he is to return to Ritzei.  [If he is accustomed to adding prayers after the second Yehi Ratzon, then if he remembers prior to concluding these prayers he is to return to Ritzei.]
  • In doubt if said Ya’aleh Veyavo: If one is in doubt as to whether he recited Ya’aleh Veyavo then some Poskim rule he fulfills his obligation and is not required to return to Ritzei or repeat Shemoneh Esrei. Others  however rule that it has the same law as one who did not say Ya’aleh Veyavo and he must hence return to Ritzei or repeat Shemoneh Esrei.  Practically, one is to complete the Shemoneh Esrei and repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Nidavah. 
  • If one remembered only after he already Davened Musaf: If one had already Davened Musaf and only then realized he had forgotten to say Ya’aleh Viyavo in Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis, he does not need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei. 

B. Hallel/Musaf:

  • Throughout the eight/nine days of Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres, one is required to recite the complete Hallel with a blessing. See 2 Halacha C for the full details of this matter!
  • The reason we say the complete Hallel on each day of Sukkos in contrast to Pesach: On Sukkos, the G-dly revelation is able to be internally felt on each day of the holiday, and thus there is an abundance of joy on each day which is expressed in the daily completion of Hallel. This ability to internalize and feel the revelation is only available after the giving of the Torah. However, on Pesach which took place before the giving of the Torah, we were unable to internalize the revelation, and thus the joy is not exorbitant enough to justify the completion of Hallel. However, on the first day of Pesach the complete Hallel is recited as we were removed from the 49 gates of impurity and there is no greater joy than this.
  • The order of the Davening after Hallel: After Hallel, Hoshanos is performed as explained in Chapter 2 Halacha 6. After Hoshanos, the Chazan recites Kaddish Shaleim which is then followed by Shir Shel Yom, Kerias Hatorah, Ashreiy, Uva Letziyon, and Musaf.
  • Musaf: The Musaf of Chol Hamoed follows the same dialect as Musaf of Yom Tov of the 1st day of Sukkos, with exception that when the Musaf sacrifice is mentioned in the prayer, one recites the particular sacrifice of that day. The reason for this is because the Musaf sacrifices of each day of Sukkos were different than the previous day, decreasing the number of bull offerings by one each day.
  • If the wrong Karban was read: If one read the wrong portion of the Karban during Musaf, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation.
  • The six Zechiros: One is to recite the six Zechiros after the prayers.

C. Kerias Hatorah

  • On each day of Chol Hamoed the Torah is read. One scroll is removed from the ark and the portion of the Sukkos Karbanos found in Parshas Pinchas is read from it. In Eretz Yisrael, all four Aliyos are read from that days Karban, hence repeating the same reading four times. In the Diaspora, the four Aliyos read different days of Karbanos as printed in the SAiddur.
  • The number of Aliyos? On Chol Hamoed, four people are called up to the Torah. One may not call up more than four people for the Torah reading.
  • Kaddish: The half Kaddish is recited after all four Aliyos are complete. 

D.    Rejoicing: 

  • It is a Biblical command for one to rejoice, himself, his wife, his children and his entire household, throughout all days of Yom Tov, including Chol Hamoed. Men are obligated to drink wine [every day of Yom Tov and Chol Hamoed] in order to fulfill their Mitzvah of Simcha. One who does not drink wine does not fulfill the command. In addition to drinking wine, there is also a [Biblical] Mitzvah, to eat meat and other delicacies, although this is not an actual obligation. [One who increases in eating other delicacies and doing other matters of joy is also considered to be fulfilling the Biblical command, although he is not obligated to do so.] One is to give his children and other young members of his household [treats such as] nuts. [Today this can be fulfilled through giving children chocolate and other candies.]
  • Drinking wine: A man is to drink a Revius of wine every day of Yom Tov, including Chol Hamoed. One does not fulfill his obligation with grape juice. One can drink any alcoholic beverage. Women are not obligated to drink wine for Simchas Yom Tov.
  • The meals: One is not obligated to eat any specific amount of meals on Chol Hamoed, so long as he does not fast. [Nevertheless, initially it is a Mitzvah for one to have a meal with bread.  One is to eat bread twice on Chol Hamoed, once by day and once by night.] One may not fast past midday on Chol Hamoed. One must thus eat or drink something prior to midday. One is not obligated to eat specifically bread on Chol Hamoed, and it suffices even if he eats mere fruits. Nevertheless, initially it is a Mitzvah for one to have a meal with bread on Chol Hamoed, [once by day and once by night, as stated above].

E. Birchas Hamazon:

  • Yaaleh Veyavo: During Chol Hamoed, one recites Yaaleh Veyavo in Birchas Hamazon. If one forgot to recite it, he does not repeat Birchas Hamazon. If he remembered prior to beginning even the first word of the blessing of “Hatov Vehameitiv” then he is to recite the blessing of Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Nasan Moadim Liamo Yisrael Lisason Ulisimcha Es Yom Chag Hasukkos Hazeh”. If one forgot to say Ya’aleh Veyavo in its set area, and he remembered only after he already began the first word “Baruch” of the blessing of Hatov Vehameitiv, then he has fulfilled his obligation, and Birchas Hamazon is not to be repeated. [He is not to recite any extra blessing on behalf of Yom Tov and is rather to continue as usual.] In such a case, it is not customary to recite Ya’aleh Veyavo in the Harachamans.
  • Harachaman: Harachaman of Yom Tov is not recited on Chol Hamoed. However, Harachaman of Sukkos is recited.
  • Migdol: When reciting Birchas Hamazon on Chol Hamoed, one recites “Migdol” as opposed to “Magdil”.
  • Meiyn Shalosh: Some Poskim rule one is to mention Yom Tov within the after blessing of Meiyn Shalosh, and so is the Chabad custom.

F. Simchas Beis Hashoeiva:

  • The Simchas Beis Hashieiva of Temple times: Chazal state that “One who did not witness the joy of the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva [in Temple times] has not seen joy in all his days.” There were so many flames lit in the Temple during the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva that there was not one courtyard in Jerusalem that was not alit due to its light. Chassidim and Anshei Maaseh [Jews of high stature of fear of Heaven] would dance with torches of light, and sing various melodies. The Chassidim and Anshei Maaseh would say “Praised be our parents who did not shame our granparents.” The Baalei Teshuvah would sing “Praised be our granparents who atoned for our parents.” Both groups would say “Praised be one who did not sin, and one who sinned should repent and he will be forgiven.” Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel would juggle eight torces of fire during the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva.
  • The custom today: It is customary amongst Jewry to perform a joyous gathering of song and dance throughout the nights of the festival of Sukkos, in commemoration of the Simchas Beis Hashoeiuva which was experienced in Temple times on this Holiday.
  • The Rebbe directed that the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva should begin already on the 1st night of Sukkos and take place in the open streets.
  • May an Avel participate in Simchas Beis Hashoeiva? Some Poskim rule he may only join as a spectator and may not join the dancing. Others rule he may even join the dancing however on condition that musical instruments are not being played. Others rule he may even join if there is live music playing.

G. Aliya Laregel-Visiting the Temple on a festival:

  • The Mitzvah in Temple times: In Temple times, it was a Biblical command for every man to visit the Temple on Yom Tov of the Shalosh Regalim, and bring with them a Karban Olah. This Mitzvah was formally known as the Mitzvah of Reiyah, and its Karban was known as the Karban Reiyah.
  • The law during exile: The bringing of the Karban is an integral part of the Mitzvah of visitation, of which without it the Mitzvah cannot be fulfilled. Accordingly, during times of exile that we cannot bring a Karban, the Mitzvah is no longer applicable. Some Poskim however rule the Mitzvah is not dependent on the Karban, and hence the Biblical Mitzvah is simply to visit Hashem by the Temple mount area. Nonetheless, since the Mitzvah of visitation is to enter the area of the Azarah, which we cannot enter today due to ritual impurity, therefore it is not possible to fulfill the Mitzvah, even according in their opinion. Some Poskim however rule the Mitzvah  is applicable even today. [Some Poskim novelize the Mitzvah can be fulfilled through seeing the floor of the Azara, even if he is not physically there. Accordingly, some meticulous Jews of Jerusalem Jewry are accustomed during the festival to visit a high enough area to be able to see the floor of the Temple mount.  Others suggest that even seeing the Kosel suffices for this regard. Other Poskim rule that although the positive command of Aliyah Laregel is not obligatory today, one who does so fulfills a Biblical obligation.] Practically, the Poskim conclude that the Mitzvah of Aliya Liregel is not applicable during exile neither from a Biblical or Rabbinical level, although remains a custom as explained next. 
  • The custom during exile: Even after the destruction of the Temple, the custom was to gather from all the surrounding cities of Jerusalem and visit the Temple for the festival. This is done even today. [Practically, it is Mitzvah for every person to strive to fulfill this custom.]
  • For how many days does the Mitzvah apply: The Biblical Mitzvah of Aliyah Laregel mainly applied on the first day of the festival. Nevertheless, one who did not do so was able to fulfill the Mitzvah for a remaining six days, for a total of seven days. [Accordingly, one who was unable to visit the Western Wall on the first day of Yom Tov, is to do so during one of the next six days.]
  • What area of Jerusalem is one to visit? The Biblical Mitzvah was to visit the area of the Azara on the Temple mount, which cannot be done today due to impurity. The custom today is to visit the Kosel, the Western wall. Some however are accustomed to visit an area from which they can see the floor of the Temple mount, as explained above.

H. Shabbos Chol Hamoed:

  • Read Haftorah of Shabbos Chol Hamoed on Erev Shabbos: On Shabbos Chol Hamoed Sukkos and Pesach one is to read to himself both the Haftorah of the Parsha of the coming week and the Haftorah which is read that Shabbos.
  • Hodu before Mincha of Erev Shabbos: Hodu is omitted prior to Mincha Erev Shabbos which is also Yom Tov or Chol Hamoed. Patach Eliyahu is recited even when Hodu is omitted such as Erev Shabbos Chol Hamoed.
  • Kabalas Shabbos: On Shabbos Chol Hamoed one begins the Maariv prayer from Mizmor Ledavid [psalm 29], [omitting all the Psalms from Lechu Neranina until Mizmor Ledavid].  [One recites the entire dialect from Mizmor Ledavid and onwards, including Ana Bekoach; all the stanzas of Lecha Dodi; Mizmor Shir, Kegavna.  In Lecha Dodi, the wording of Besimcha instead of Berina is recited. 
  • Shemoneh Esrei: The Shabbos Chol Hamoed Shemoneh Esrei for Maariv, Shaacharis and Mincha follows the same dialect of prayer as a regular Shabbos, with exception to that Ya’aleh Veyavo is added in the Shemoneh Esrei.
  • Kiddush: On Shabbos Chol Hamoed the following passages prior to Kiddush are read in an undertone: shalom aleichim, eishes chayil, mizmor ledavid Hashem ro’i, da hi se’udasa.
  • Hoshanos: Hoshanos is not recited on Shabbos Chol Hamoed.
  • Musaf: For Musaf one prays the same dialect prayed by Musaf of Yom Tov, although reciting the Shabbos additions. If one forgot to mention the Shabbos sacrifices in Musaf then if one said “Kimo Shekasuv Besorasecha” he has fulfilled his obligation. The same applies whenever one forgets to mention a particular Karban.
  • Kerias Hatorah: Two Sifrei Torah are removed from the Ark. In the first Sefer Torah one reads the Parsha of “Rei Ata Omer Eilay.” In the second Sefer Torah one reads the Maftir from Pinchas, discussing that days sacrifice.
  • Haftorah: Both the Haftorah of Shabbos Chol Hamoed Pesach and Sukkos discuss the times of the redemption. On Pesach the Haftorah discusses the resurrection, being that the resurrection will take place in Nissan. On Sukkos the Haftorah discusses the battle of Gog and Magog, being that in Tishrei there will be the war of Gog and Magog. Thus, the Haftorah is read from the portion of “Vehaya Bayom Bo Gog” found in Yechezkal.  The last blessing said after the Haftorah on Pesach concludes with only “Mikadesh Hashabbos” being that Chol Hamoed Pesach is not considered a separate Yom Tov. On Sukkos, however, it ends with “Mikadesh Hashabbos Yisrael Vehazmanim” being that each day is a separate Yom Tov.
  • Reading Koheles: The custom is to read Koheles on Shabbos Chol Hamoed Sukkos [without a blessing]. [This is not the Chabad custom.]
  • Havdala: One recites Havdalah as usual for Motzei Shabbos, on Motzei Shabbos Chol Hamoed.
  • Is Vayiten Lecha recited on Motzei Shabbos Chol Hamoed? Some Poskim rule it is to be recited. Others rule it is to be omitted. The Chabad custom is to recite it quietly.

4. Hoshanah Raba

A. The meaning of Hoshana Raba:

  • During Sukkos we are judged regarding water [i.e. rain]. On Hoshana Raba, the judgment of the water is sealed. This is of significant importance to human life as human life is dependent on water.

B. Aravos for Hoshanos:

  • The Mitzvah: On Hoshana Rabah, an Arava is taken in addition to the Aravos that are bound with the Lulav. It is taken in commemoration of the Hakafos that were performed with the Aravos in the Temple, in which the Mizbeiach was encircled with the Arava branch.  These Aravos are also referred to as Hoshanos.
  • A blessing is not recited upon fulfilling the Mitzvah of Aravos for Hoshanos.
  • Who sells the aravos for Hoshanos? The custom is for the Shamash of the Shul to sell the Aravos, just as was the custom during Temple times.
  • How many Aravos are taken: From the letter of the law it suffices to take a single willow branch for the Aravos of Hoshanos. Some were accustomed to take two Aravos. Others would take 17 Aravos attached to one branch. Nonetheless, according to Kabalah one is to take five Aravos and so is the widespread custom of all Jewry. [The Chabad custom is to purchase a set of Hashanos for each family member, including one’s wife and children.]
  • Binding the Aravos: It is disputed amongst the Poskim as to whether one is to bind the Aravos together or if they are to remain loose. Practically, the Chabad custom is to bind the Aravos. However, they are not to be bound together with another spieces. Accordingly, some are particular to not bind them together using Lulav leaves [and rather they use another Arava for the binding]. Practically, it is permitted to bind them together using Lulav leaves, [and so is the Chabad custom].
  • How many leaves must the Arava have? From the letter of the law, it suffices for the Aravah used for Hoshanos to contain even a single leaf throughout its entire branch. [Meaning, that even if all the leaves fell off, aside for a single leaf, it remains Kosher.] Nevertheless, it is degrading to use an Arava with one leaf on one branch, and therefore the custom is to make beautiful Hoshanos, as the verse states “Zeh Keili Veanveihu.”
  • Its length: The Arava for Hoshanos must contain the same minimum length as the Aravos used for the Lulav [i.e. 24 cm].
  • Other invalidations: The Kashrus status of the Arava for Hoshanos follows the same laws as the Aravos used for the Lulav [with exception to if majority of its leaves have fallen off ]. [Thus, it may not be stolen, must contain at least one leaf that is not dry, cannot be cut on its top. see Chapter ??]
  • Using the Aravos from the Lulav for Hoshanas? It is disputed if one fulfills his obligation with using the Aravos from his Lulav. This dispute only applies if the Aravos are still bound to the Lulav. If, however, one removes the Aravos from the Lulav then it is valid according to all to use them for the Arava of Hoshanas.
  • Aravos of gentiles: Some Poskim rule that a Jew may not cut Aravos from the field of a gentile even if he received permission from the gentile. If, however, one plans to sell it or give it to another, then he may pick it. Likewise, a gentile may pick it on behalf of the Jew.
  • Aravos picked on Shabbos by gentiles: If gentiles [or non religious Jews] cut the Aravos on Shabbos, as may occur when Hoshana Raba falls on Sunday, it is nevertheless permitted to be used. Nevertheless, a Jew may not instruct a gentile to cut them on Shabbos, or instruct him to have it ready by Motzei Shabbos. If one did so, then the Aravos should not be used if the matter is public knowledge and another Arava is available.
  • May one reuse someone’s Hoshanos? If there are no other Hoshanos available, one may use another persons Hoshanos.
  • May one use Aravos from a used Hoshana for his Lulav? Yes.
  • The Aravos ceremonony: See Halacha F!

C. The night of Hoshana Raba:

  • The omen of the moon on the night of Hoshanah Raba: The Rishonim record that on the night of Hoshanah Raba there is an omen in the shadow of the moon regarding all that will occur to oneself, or to one’s relatives, during that year. Some write that one is not to pay any attention to this matter in order not to worsen one’s Mazal. Likewise, many do not understand the matter properly and it is hence better to act with simple faith and not look into the future.
  • Candles: One is to slightly increase in candles on Hoshana Raba just as is done on Yom Kippur.
  • Remaining awake throughout the night: It is a custom of Jewry to remain awake throughout the entire night of Hoshanah Raba.
  • The Tikkun: One is to read the Tikun Leil Hoshana Raba during the night of Hoshanah Raba. The Tikun of Hoshanah Raba consists of reading the entire Sefer Devarim [prior to midnight], followed by reading the entire Sefer Tehilim [after midnight], and passages from the Zohar selected in the Tikun. When reading Sefer Devarim before midnight one is to read Parshas Vizos Habracha as usual. It is only to be read Shnayim Mikra Echad Targum on the day prior to Simchas Torah.
  • Tehillim: After midnight the entire Tehillim is read with a Minyan while wearing a gartel. The reading is customarily not lengthy. The Yehi Ratzon for Hoshanah Raba, and for the rising of the moon is said after the reading of each of the five Sefarim. [Some also read the Yehi Ratzon for Yom Tov.]
  • Apple dipped in honey: After the conclusion of Tehilim it is customary for the Gabai to distribute apples which are to be dipped in honey and subsequently eaten in the Sukkah. This custom is applicable as well for Shuls which don’t have a Sukkah as each one can eat the apple in his Sukkah at home. Before eating the apple one should wash his hands in the same ay one washes for bread. This applies to any food dipped in one of the 7 liquids.
  • Immersing in a Mikveh: Those who are meticulous immerse in a mikvah before dawn. This was the custom of the Rebbe Rashab and was also followed by the chasidim. However many are not careful in this.
  • Marital relations: Some Poskim rule that marital relations is to be avoided on the night of Hoshana Raba [just as it is avoided on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah] unless it is the night of Mikveh, or one has a very strong urge.

D.    The day of Hoshanah Raba:

  • Abstaining from mundane activity: It is customary on Hoshana Raba toabstain from performing mundane activities until after leaving Shul [after Shacharis]. Some are accustomed to not even carry a wallet with them [until after leaving Shul]. Now, however, the custom in some communities is to even collect money in Shul [during Shacharis] and doing so is improper.
  • The dress code-Wearing a kittle: Some are accustomed to wear a kittle on Hoshanah Raba just like is done on Yom Kippur. [It is not the Chabad custom to wear a kittle on Hoshanah Raba.] 
  • Tzedaka: It is proper to add in charity on Hoshana Raba in order to sweeten the Gevuros.
  • Shaking the Lulav: It is customary to remove the knots of the Lulav on Hoshanah Raba. The knots are removed only from the top part of the Lulav [by the spine]. [The Chabad custom is prior to Hallel, to remove the two upper rings which are bound on the lulav. On Hoshana Raba one is to increase in the shaking of the Lulav and do so with great joy.]
  • Shnayim Mikra: In Eretz Yisrael, one reads Shnayim Mikra Viechad Targum on Hoshanah Raba.

E.     The morning prayers of Hoshanah Raba:

  • Adding parts to Davening: On the seventh day which is Hoshanah Raba, it is customary [of many communities] to increase in Psalms as is done on Yom Tov. [The Chabad custom on Hoshana Raba is not to change from the regular order of a weekday Davening.] It is customary to increase in prayer and supplication on behalf of water. [These supplications are recited in the lengthy Hoshana prayers said on Hoshana Raba.]
  • Halel-Removing the knots of the Lulav: Prior to Hallel, one removes the two upper rings which are bound on the Lulav.
  • Hoshanas: By Hoshanos, all the Sifrei Torah are removed and placed by the Bimah. One circles the Bimah 7 times with the 4 minim each time saying the appropriate paragraph as printed in the Siddur. One does not circle the Bima holding the Aravos for Hoshanos.
  • Hitting the Aravos: After finishing all the Hakafos and reciting the additional prayer of Hoshanos over water, one hits the Aravos five times on the ground. See Halacha F!
  • Kaddish: It is customary to recite the Kaddish that follows Musaf in a Yom Tov tune. [This is not the witnessed Chabad practice.]

F.     The Aravos ceremonony:

  • Holding the Lulav with the Aravos: It is disputed amongst the Poskim as to whether it is permitted to join the Aravos of Hoshanos to the Daled Minim at the time that he is fulfilling the Mitzvah of Daled Minim. Practically, it is proper to be stringent and not do so. Once the Mitzvah of Daled Minim is fulfilled by saying the blessing and shaking the Lulav and Esrog even one time, it may be joined. It may certainly be joined during the Hakafos, [as explained next regarding the widespread custom]. However, upon performing the hitting ritual of the Aravos of Hoshanos, one is to only have the Aravos in his hands [and not the Lulav]. There is, however no invalidation to be holding onto other items during this time. [The above is according to Halacha, however, according to Kabalah, one must be very careful to never join the Aravos to the Lulav anytime, and so is the practical directive.  So is the widespread custom today in all places.]
  • Hakafos: Some Poskim rule that one is not to perform the Hakafos around the Bima using the Aravos and is rather to circle it with only the Lulav just as was performed on the previous days. Practically, so is the proper directive and so is the ruling according to Kabalah and so is the widespread custom today in all places.
  • Some are accustomed to put down the Lulav and lift the Aravos for the recital of Hoshanos over water. According to the Arzial, however, it is only to be lifted after the entire Hoshanos is complete and Kaddish is recited. Practically, the Chabad custom is to do the entire Hakafos and recital of Hoshanos only with the Lulav, and to pick up the Aravos only after it is completed, when it is time for them to be hit.
  • Hitting the Aravos: After finishing all the Hakafos and reciting the additional prayer of Hoshanos over water, then according to Halacha one hits the Aravos on the floor or on a vessel two or three times. However, according to Kabala, one is to hit it specifically on the floor and is to hit it five times to sweeten the five Gevuros. Some Poskim rule the Aravos must be hit hard enough for leaves to fall off. Many are thus accustomed to hit it on a chair and the like, in addition to hitting it on the ground, in order to make the leaves fall off. Others, however, negate this stating there is no need to remove any of the leaves, and on the contrary, the leaves are to remain intact throughout the five hits on the ground. Practically, the Chabad custom is to hit the Aravos five times only on the ground.
  • Shaking the Aravos: Some Poskim rule one is also required to shake the Aravos. Practically, the Ashkenazi custom is to do both, to shake it and then to hit it. [The Chabad custom is not to do so, and it is hit without being shaken beforehand.]
  • What to do with the Aravos after hitting them: Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden to benefit from the Aravos after it is used for the Mitzvah [for that entire day] unless one made a stipulation beforehand. It is, however, permitted to discard the Hoshanos of the Lulav [to the garbage] although some Poskim rule that the Hoshanos may not be stepped on. Some have the custom to save the Aravos which were hit on Hoshanah Raba and use them as fuel to burn the Chameitz on Erev Pesach. Others are accustomed to save them for use of fuel to bake the Matzos. [Others are accustomed to throw the Aravos on top of the Aron. Others negate this custom. The Rebbe was not accustomed to throw the Aravos on top of the Aron.  Others are particular to save the Aravos as a good omen and Segula as explained next.  Based on this it is proper not to burn all the Aravos on Erev Pesach in order so some are saved for the Segula.] See Halacha 7F!
  • Hitting the children with the aravos: The custom of the Chabad Rabbeim was to gently “wip” their sons with the Hoshanah branches. This included even their adult children. Children above age 18 received three light hits. Those below 18 received one more than their age. This custom is a directive to the public. One blesses the children upoin doing so that they should know of no more pain throughout the year and they should have both physical and spiritual joy. 

G.    The Hoshana Raba meal:

  • It is customary to hold a festive meal [abiding by the limitations to be explained] on Hoshanah Rabaah, after the conclusion of the prayers.
  • Customarily one dips ones bread in honey for the meal. As well the custom is to eat kreplach during the meal.
  • Meal limitations: On Erev Yom Tov one is to refrain from beginning a meal [of bread] past the 10th hour of the day, which is three Zmaniyos/fluctuating hours before sunset. Snacks may be eaten throughout the day, even past the 10th hour. If one transgressed or forgot and did not eat prior to the 10th hour, then then he may eat a meal past the 10th hour.
  • A large feast-Seudas Mitzvah: It is forbidden to eat a large meal any time on Yom Tov unless it is a Seudas Mitzvah which its date has fallen on Erev Yom Tov. In such a case, one is to initially begin the meal prior to the 10th hour of the day and should only invite ten people besides for close relatives and the Baalei Hasimcha.

H.    The Sukkah:

  • Diaspora: In the Diaspora, it is an obligation to eat in the Sukkah even on Shemini Atzeres, as explained next, and hence the Sukkah must remain in its erect state.
  • Eretz Yisrael: Even in Eretz Yisrael that the Mitzvah of Sukkah culminates with the start of the Holiday, one is not to take down the Sukkah until after Shemini Atzeres. There is also no need to make any changes to its structure before Shemini Atzeres, unless one plans to eat in it on Yom Tov as explained in Halacha 6B. Nevertheless, one may remove the furniture from the Sukkah starting from midday of Erev Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah in order to set up his home for the holiday. [Furthermore, it is implied that one is to specifically remove the furniture from his Sukah before Simchas Torah, even if he does not need to use it at home, and so was the custom of some Gedolei Yisrael to remove the chairs and tables from the Sukkah to show that its Mitzvah has culminated. ]
  • Entering Sukkah for last time: In Eretz Yisrael, with the approach of sunset on the afternoon of Hoshana Raba one enters the Sukkah (and eats or drinks something there) to bid it farewell, but one does not recite the prayer of Yehi Ratzon.

5. Shemini Atzeres:

*Note for those in Eretz Yisrael: Those who keep only one day of Yom Tov [i.e. residents of Eretz Yisrael] fulfil the customs of Simchas Torah on Shemini Atzeres. See the next Halacha for the full details of the laws and customs of Simchas Torah.

A. Its spiritual meaning:

  • Receive Divine service for entire year: On the day of Shemini Atzeres the entire Jewish people receive the Divine blessing and assistance for their learning of Torah and service of Hashem of the entire coming year. Just as we begin mentioning rain on Shemini Atzeres, so too we receive the spiritual rain, which is the blessing in our Divine service.
  • Draws down the light of the High Holidays: During the High Holidays, we draw down revelations of G-dliness for the coming year. This is likewise drawn down during the festival of Shemini Atzeres. The only difference is in regarding the method. That which was drawn down during the High Holidays in a mode of awe and reverence is drawn down again on Sukkos, with joy and exuberance. This particularly applies during Shemini Atzeres.
  • Rejoicing: It is a Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah, in all ways possible. It is the custom of the Jewish people – and hence it is Torah – to rejoice on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah even more than at Simchas Beis HaShoevah, and more than on a usual Yom-Tov.
  • Time is precious: The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of his father, the Rebbe Rashab, that the forty-eight hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah should be dearly cherished, for at each moment one can draw bucketsful and barrelsful of treasures both material and spiritual, and this is accomplished through dancing.

B. Erev Shemini Atzeres:

  • Eating a meal: See Halacha 4G!
  • Taking down and removing furniture from the Sukkah: See Halacha 4H!
  • Shehechiyanu by candle lighting: The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited during candle lighting of Shemini Atzeres.

C. Eating in the Sukkah:

  • Diaspora: In the Diaspora, one must eat in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres, by both night and day.
  • The blessing of Leisheiv Bassukah is not recited when eating in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres.
  • One is obligated to eat the bread meals and 55 grams of Mezonos within the Sukkah on Shmini Atzeres, just as is required on Sukkos itself. Regarding other foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beverages, and the like, from the letter of the law one is not required to eat them in the Sukkah, just as is the law on Sukkos itself. Furthermore, some Poskim rule that one is to specifically not eat these foods in the Sukkah in order to emphasize its lack of Biblical status. Other Poskim, however, rule that those are meticulous throughout Sukkos to eat even fruits and drink water in the Sukkah may continue to do so as well on Shemini Atzeres. Practically, the final ruling follows the latter opinion. The Chabad custom follows the latter opinion to be meticulous even on Shemini Atzeres to recite Kiddush and eat and drink everything in the sukkah, both by night and by day.
  • Some Poskim rule that one is not to sleep in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres. Other Poskim, however, rule that one is obligated to sleep in it on Shemini Atzeres, just as one is obligated to eat in it. Practically, some have the custom to sleep in the Sukkah even on Shemini Atzeres, while others do not. The Chabad custom is not to do so.
  • Eretz Yisrael: One does not eat or sleep in the Sukkah in Eretz Yisrael on Shemini Atzeres. Furthermore, it is even forbidden to eat/sleep in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres unless one makes some form of recognition that shows that the Sukkah no longer maintains its holiness and Mitzvah. For example, in Eretz Yisrael where Erev Shemini Atzeres is Hoshana Raba, one is to remove a 4×4 Tefach area of Sechach from the roofing to show that he is not intending to stay in it for the sake of the Mitzvah.  See Chapter 6B!

D. The prayers:

  • Is Shemini Atzeres called a Chag within the prayer liturgy? Some Poskim rule that Shemini Atzeres is not defined as a Chag/festival in the prayer liturgy. Other Poskim  rule it is defined as a Chag. Practically, the final ruling follows the latter opinion to call it a Chag in the prayer liturgy.
  • Hakafos: It is an ancient custom to perform Hakafos also on Shemini Atzeres just as on Simchas Torah, and to circle the Bima on the night of Shemini Atzeres seven Hakafos with the Sifrei Torah in great joy and dancing. Even after completing the Hakafos in one Shul, if one arrives to another Shul who has yet to complete the dancing, he is to join them in the dancing and rejoicing. [Practically, the Chabad custom is to perform seven Hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres, just as is performed on the night of Simchas Torah. See Halacha 6E for all the details regarding Hakafos! Other communities do not perform Hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres.]
  • In Eretz Yisrael, where Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, the Simchas Torah Hakafos takes place during Maariv prayers.

 

E. The meal:

  • Kiddush: The blessing of Shehechiyanu is to be recited said by Kiddush. In Eretz Yisrael that Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, it is customary for all to say Kiddush.
  • Not to dip the bread in honey: On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah one does not dip the bread of Hamotzi in honey.
  • Marital relations: Marital relations is initially avoided on Simchas Torah unless it is the night of Mikveh or one has a strong desire.

F. Shacharis:

  • There were times [in the minyan of the Previous Rebbe] when a point was made of completing Shacharis on Shemini Atzeres before midday.
  • Hakafos: Hakafos is not done on Shemini Atzeres day. This applies even accoridng to those accustomed to performing Hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres. In Israel, where Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, the Simchas Torah Hakafos takes place during Shacharis prayers. See Halacha 6!
  • Torah Reading: Two scrolls are removed from the ark. The portion of “Kol Bechor” from Parshas Re’ah is read from the first Torah scroll. Five Aliyos are called up to read from the first Torah scroll and if Shemini Atzeres falls on Shabbos, then seven Aliyos are called up. Maftir is read from the second Torah scroll, from the portion of “Bayom Hashmini Atzeres.” The Haftorah is read from Melachim I 8:54-66, from Vayehi Kechalos Shlomo until uleYisrael amo.
  • In Israel, where Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, three Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. From the first Torah scroll one reads from Vezos Habrach until the end of the Torah. From the second Torah scroll one reads from Bereishis until the words “Asher Bara Elokim Lasos.” From the third Torah scroll Maftir is read from “Ubayom Hashemini Atzeres.” See Halacha 6G!

G. Yizkor: 

  • Yizkor is said on Shemini Atzeres. In Eretz Yisrael, Yizkor takes place after the recital of Sisu Vesimcha, prior to the recital of Ashreiy.
  • No Minyan: Yizkor may be recited even if a Minyan is not present.
  • Who remains in Shul? All those who have a parent which have passed away remain in the Shul. Those which both of their parents are alive are to leave the Shul.
  • Candle: It is not the Chabad custom to light a candle for Yizkor. The Rebbe and Rebbe Rayatz did not light Yizkor candles.
  • Aliyah: It is not the custom to be particular to receive an Aliyah on the day of Yizkor.
  • How to mention the name: One is to mention the name of the Niftar together with the name of his mother during Yizkor, such as Eliezer Ben Bashe Leah. One does not mention his father’s name.
  • Mentioning the Rabbeim: It is customary amongst Chassidim to mention the name of the Rabbeim that they were Chassidim of in Yizkor. This has an effect on the Chassid saying it.
  • Mentioning men and women separately: Men and women are to be mentioned separately in Yizkor.
  • Holding on to the Eitz Chaim: The Chabad custom is to take hold of the Eitz Chaim while reciting Yizkor.  This was the custom of the Rebbe Rayatz.  
  • Charity: One is to pledge charity during Yizkor on behalf of the soul of the deceased.
  • Yizkor during the first year of Aveilus: When Yizkor is taking place during the first year of Aveilus, the mourner remains in Shul for Yizkor, although he does not recite anything while there. He is not to recite the Yizkor even quietly. One who is still prior to the first Yartzite, but is past 12 months of mourning, is to remain in Shul and recite Yizkor regularly. If one is within the year of one parent and past the year for another parent, then only the parent’s name that is past the year is to be mentioned in Yizkor.

H. Mashiv Haruach uMorid Hageshem:

  • Mashiv Haruach Umorfid Hageshem is recited beginning from Musaf of Shemini Atzeres. On Shemini Atzeres prior to the silent Musaf the Chazan announces Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem and it is then recited in the Musaf prayer and every prayer thereafter. See Chapter 7 Halacha 3 for the full details of this matter!
  • If a person who is not praying with a different minyan heard the announcement of Mashiv Haruch U’morid Hageshem before praying Shacharis, then he should say this phrase in Shacharis as well [as in Mussaf].

I. Shnayim Mikra:

On the eve of Simchas Torah [i.e. Shemini Atzeres in the Diaspora; Hoshana Raba in Eretz Yisrael] one is to read the Parsha of Vezos Habracha, Shnayim Mikra Vechad Targum.

J. Entering the Sukkah towards the conclusion of Shemini Atzeres:

With the approach of sunset on the afternoon of Shemini Atzeres one enters the Sukkah (and eats or drinks something there) to bid it farewell. It is not the Chabad custom to recite the prayer that begins yehi ratzon upon taking leave of the Sukkah.

K. Preparing on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day of Yom Tov or Shabbos:

See Halacha ??

6. Simchas Torah:

A. Mitzvah to rejoice:

  • It is customary to refer to the last day of Yom Tov as Simchas Torah. This is due to the rejoicing and festive alcoholic meals that is made in honor of the completion of the Torah.
  • Rejoicing: It is a Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah, in all ways possible. It is the custom of the Jewish people – and hence it is Torah – to rejoice on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah even more than at Simchas Beis HaShoevah, and more than on a usual Yom-Tov. One is not to nullify any custom which has traditionally been done for the sake of expressing joy on Simchas Torah.
  • Joy of a Mitzvah and not of frivolity and aggression: The Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah is to have a true joy of a Mitzvah and not the frivolous joy that some express. Those who use aggression to express their “joy” and hence push and hit people, are not fulfilling this Mitzvah of rejoicing and cause others to distance themselves from the true rejoicing of the Mitzvah.
  • Time is precious-Dance! The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of his father, the Rebbe Rashab, that the forty-eight hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah should be dearly cherished, for at each moment one can draw bucketsful and barrelsful of treasures both material and spiritual, and this is accomplished through dancing.
  • The joy of the Simchas Torah is a celebration of the G-dly revelation caused through the fulfillment of a custom of Jewry. The entire concept of Hakafos is a custom of the prophets, and is not written of in the written Torah and was not received through oral tradition, but was rather accustomed by the prophets. This is the celebration of the connection of the Jewish people and the Torah. It is the celebration of the Torah itself, above the oral and written aspects of the Torah. Therefore, the joy of Simchas Torah far surpasses that of the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, and all Jews are able to participate in this joy.

B. Eating and sleeping in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah:

  • On Simchas Torah, one does not eat or sleep in the Sukkah. Furthermore, it is even forbidden to eat/sleep in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah unless one makes some form of recognition that shows that the Sukkah no longer maintains its holiness and Mitzvah. For example, in Eretz Yisrael where Erev Simchas Torah is Hoshana Raba, one is to remove a 4×4 Tefach area of Sechach from the roofing to show that he is not intending to saty in it for the sake of the Mitzvah. In the Diapsora where Erev Simchas Torah is Shemini Atzeres, and one is thus unable to remove the Sechach due to Muktzah, one is required to enter into it pots and pans and the like to show that the Sukkah is invalid and its Mitzvah has completed. The above is only required on Simchas Torah, however, after Simchas Torah there is no need to make any recognition of the Sukka’s invalidation and one may continue to eat and sleep in it if he chooses, [so long as he does not intend to do so for the Mitzvah ]. [The above is only required if one plans to eat or sleep in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah, otherwise there is no need for any of these recognitions to be done.]
  • Removing furniture from the Sukkah: See previous Halacha regarding Shemini Atzeres!

C. The Maariv Davening:

  • The Maariv prayer includes the regular Yom Tov Maariv and Shemoneh Esrei which is then followed by Kaddish Shaleim. In Chabad Shul’s the custom is to now hold a Farbrengen. This is then followed by Ata Hareisa three times, Hakafos, and Aleinu.
  • Increasing lights in Shul: One should increase the amount of lights in the Shul in honor of the Sifrei Torah that are removed. [In previous times this was accomplished by lighting more candles. Nowadays, one is to arrange before Yom Tov for there to be more lights than usual in the Shul.]

D. The Simchas Torah meal:

  • It is customary to hold festive meals [at night and by day] with alcohol [i.e. Seudas Mishteh] in honor of the completion of the Torah. [The holding of these festivities and festive meals is very important, as it shows our joy of the Torah and elevates its honor. Those who have nullified the accustomed tradition of holding these feasts are doing a grave sin, as they have festive meals for other occasions, but for the Torah they feel no need. This is a great belittlement of the Torah.]
  • Kiddush: On the night of Simchas Torah it is customary for all [men] to say Kiddush themselves. The blessing of Shehechiyanu is said by Kiddush. On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah one does not dip the slice of bread in honey. On Simchas Torah one does not dip the bread of Hamotzi in honey. One is to drink wine by the meal in fulfillment of Simchas Yom Tov. It is customary amongst Chassidim to drink alcohol in order to enter one into the joyous spirit.

E. Hakafos-Dancing:

  • Dancing: Although generally it is forbidden to dance on Shabbos and Yom Tov, on Simchas Torah it is permitted to dance while singing praise for the Torah, as this is in honor of the Torah.
  • Hakafos: It is customary to remove all the Sifrei Torah in the Heichal by both night, by Maariv, and day, by Shacharis, and sing song and praise. Each place is to do like their custom. The custom is to encircle the Bima in the Shul, just as is done with the Lulav [during Hoshanos]. All this is done as a sign of joy. [One dances Hakofos on both days and nights with extreme joy. The Rebbe Rashab said that one draws down abundance of physical and spiritual blessing through the joy of dancing by Hakafos.]
  • Hakafos may be performed even without a Minyan.
  • Many are accustomed to allowing the women to come into the men’s Shul to watch the Hakafos.
  • Placing a candle in the Aron: Some are accustomed to place a candle in the Aron after removing the Sifrei Torah for Hakafos. Some Poskim, however, negate this custom, as it is forbidden to enter anything into an Aron other than Sifrei Torah.
  • How many Hakafos to perform: Some communities are accustomed to performing three Hakafos. Other perform seven Hakafos like on Hoshana Raba. Practically, each place is to do in accordance to their custom. The Chabad custom is to do seven full Hakafos during the night dancing while at the daytime of Simchas Torah three-and-a-half circuits are made, though the text for the Hakkafos is read in its entirety.
  • How many Torah scrolls are removed from the Ark? The custom is to remove all the scrolls from the Ark both by night and day as stated above. [The custom is to dance also with the Pasul Sifreiy Torah, and they are not considered Muktzah in this regard. Nevertheless one may not deliberately leave a Pasul Sefer Torah in the Aron for this purpose, and hence a Sefer Torah which cannot be fixed is to be placed in Geniza. This is opposed to the general custom which allows leaving Pasul Sifrei Torah to use for Hakafos.]
  • May one bring Torah scrolls from other Shuls? One may not do so as it is forbidden to bring a Torah scroll for temporary residence, although there are those who permit doing so on Simchas Torah.
  • May one sit during Hakafos? In general, it is forbidden to sit when the Sefer Torah is taken out of the Aron until it is settled on the Bima. However, many are accustomed to being lenient and sit. Practically, those who sit have upon whom to rely especially if they feel weak, however those who are meticulous remain standing throughout the time, unless they are holding a Sefer Torah. 
  • May an Avel dance during Hakafos? some Poskim  rule it is forbidden for an Avel [within Shloshim, or within the first 12 months of mourning for a parent] to participate in the Hakafos on Simchas Torah. Other Poskim  rule it is permitted for him to participate, Practically, the Chabad custom is that a mourner is not to participate in the Hakafos alone, but rather with an escort. [He is to take hold of the Sefer Torah and have another person hold his arm while encircling the Bima. Alternatively, another person takes hold of the Sefer Torah, and the Avel holds onto the Eitz Chaim while encircling.] According to all, he may watch the Hakafos from the side. If he was offered to join the Hakafos, some  write that he may not refuse due to the prohibition of showing public Aveilus. A mourner may not participate in Hakafos Sheniyos in the event that music is playing. If no music is playing, he may participate with an escort, as stated above.
  • Reading the Torah at night: On the night of Simchas Torah, it is customary to read the portion of Nedarim from the Torah Scroll. Each community is to follow their custom in this matter. [Practically, it is not the Chabad custom to read the Torah publicly on the night of Simchas Torah. ]
  • Joining the Hakafos of other Shuls: Even after completing the Hakafos in one Shul, if one arrives to another Shul who has yet to complete the dancing, he is to join them in the dancing and rejoicing.
  • Resolve to spread Torah during Kerias Shema Al Hamita: It is known to all that during the reading of Shema Yisrael said in Kerias Shema Sheal Hamita of Simchas Torah, one needs to accept upon himself the resolution of dedication towards spreading Torah knowledge in a way of Mesirus Nefesh of the body, soul, and spirit. This is to be his entire essence.
  • Marital relations is initially avoided on Simchas Torah unless it is the night of Mikveh or one has a strong desire.

F. Shacharis:

  • The order of Shacharis follows a regular Yom Tov Davening until after Halel. Kaddish Shaleim is recited after Halel. This is then followed by a Kiddush Farbrengen, which is then followed by Ata Hareisa.
  • Birchas Kohanim: On Simchas Torah it is customary for the Kohanim to recite Birchas Kohanim by Shacharis in place of Musaf. [The Birchas Kohanim by Shachris is done with the accustomed niggun sang by the Birchas Koahnim of Musaf of all Holidays.]
  • The day Hakafos: During the day of Simchas Torah the custom is to only perform 3.5 circles around the Bima as opposed to seven. Nevertheless all seven liturgy of Hakafos is read. Thus one reads a single Hakafa for every half circle of the Bimah, for a total of seven half circles corresponding to the reading of the seven Hakafos. All 3.5 circles of Hakafos are performed consecutively without dancing in between or placing Sefer Torah back in Aron or even announcing “Ad Kan Hakafa…”. After the conclusion of the 3.5 circles the congregation dances. At the conclusion the Sefer Torah is returned to the Aron without saying anything.
  • Chitas: On Simchas Torah one is to read the Chumash and Rashi of Vezos Habracha from that days Aliyah until the conclusion of the Parsha. One is likewise to read the Chumash and Rashi of Bireishis, from Rishon until that days Aliyah. Nevertheless, one is not heaven forbid to diminish from the rejoicing of Simchas Torah in order to read the section of Bireishis and one is rather only to do so on his free time when he is in any event not involved in the rejoicing of Simchas Torah. [Thus, one who is unable to complete the learning of Bireishis on Simchas Torah due to the rejoicing is to complete it then next day on Issru Chag. ]

G. The Torah reading:

  • Ata Hareisa, Vayehi Binsoa and the thirteen Midos are recited prior to Kerias Hatorah, as is done on all Holidays.
  • The reading and Torah scrolls: Three Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. From the first Torah scroll one reads from Vezos Habrach until the end of the Torah. From the second Torah scroll one reads from Bereishis until the words “Asher Bara Elokim Lasos.” From the third Torah scroll, the same Maftir as yesterday is read, from “Ubayom Hashemini Atzeres.” For the Haftorah one reads from Yehoshua “Vayhei Acharei Mos Moshe.” If the congregation only has two Torah scrolls then Vezos Habracha is read from the first scroll, Bereishis is read from the second scroll, and the first Sefer Torah is returned and used for the reading of Maftir. [This however only applies if the first scroll is rolled to the third Parsha prior to its Hagba. If however the first scroll was not rolled to the third Parsha prior to its Hagba, then it is better to read the third Parsha from the second scroll.]
  • Each man gets an Aliyah: It is customary to increase in calling up people for Aliyos on Simchas Torah. Practically, the custom is for every male to receive an Aliyah. To facilitate this, the Parsha is repeated many times [until Meona Elokim Kedem]. Alternatively, many people may be called up for the same Aliyah, such as many Kohanim for the Aliya of Kohen, and many Levi’im for the Aliyah of Levi. Nonetheless, there are Poskim who question this custom. In any event, it is best when doing so that only one person say the blessing and all the others be Yotzei with him.
  • On Simchas Torah relatives may be called up one after the other.
  • If there are many Kohanim and Levi’im present, they may be given the 4th or 5th Aliyah after the regular order of Kohen, Lervi and Yisrael. In such a case it is proper to repeat the order of Kohen Levi Yisrael.
  • A Kohen or Levi may receive Chasan Torah or Chasan Bereishis.
  • An Avel prior to Shiva may receive an Aliyah during Simchas Torah. However some write he is not to be called up as one of the 5 required Aliyos.
  • Kol Hanearim: It is a worldly custom that on Simchas Torah all the male children receive an Aliyah to the Torah.  This Aliyah is customarily known as Kol Hanearim.  [It is customary for many children to go up together.  It is customary to spread a Tallis over the heads of the children during this Aliyah.] It is likewise customary to recite the Parsha of Hamalach Hagoel [after the conclusion of the reading].  [Practically, the Chabad custom is not to spread a Tallis over the heads of the children during the Aliyah of Kol Hanearim. Likewise, it is not customary to read the verses of Hamalach Hagoel. One is to have at least one adult above Bar Mitzvah called up together with the children for this Aliyah. The adult is to say the blessings out load and have all the children listen and be Yotzei rather than have all the children say the blessing themselves. Nonetheless, some are accustomed to have all the children recite the blessings themselves. The Chabad custom is to have the adult Olah recite the blessing on behalf of all the children who cannot say it themselves. Some are accustomed to bring their son with them for their personal Aliya rather than have the child go up for Kol Hanearim.]
  • Chasan Torah/Bereishis: It is customary for the Chasan Torah and Chasan Bereishis to donate towards the Shul and arrange for a communal feast to be held.  It is customary to call up even a child for Chasan Torah, and it is not necessary to give the Aliyah specially to a Torah scholar, even though there are opinions  who require this to be done. [It is not the Chabad custom to spread a Tallis as a canopy over the heads of the Chasan Torah or Chasan Bereishis when they are called to the public reading of the Torah].  
  • Reciting Chazak Chazak Venischazek: The person who is called to the reading of the concluding passage of the Torah is to say the words chazak chazak venischazeik together with the rest of the congregation.
  • Sisu Vesimcha: The prayer of Sisu Vesimcha is recited after the Maftir and Haftorah, prior to Yizkor.
  • Yizkor: In the Diaspora, Yizkor is recited on Shemini Atzres and not on Simchas Torah. See Halacha ??!

 

 

 

 

7. After Sukkos:

A. Isru Chag:

  • The name Isru Chag derives from the verse “Isru Chag Baavosim Ad Karnei Hamizbeiach”. This means to say that this day is to be attached [i.e. Isru] to the Holiday itself, and by doing so the verse considers him to have built an Altar and sacrificed on it an offering. The Arizal taught that on the day after Yom Tov, Isru Chag, a ray of the Holiday still shines. For this reason, the following customs are relevant on Isru Chag: One is to increase a little in eating and drinking on Isru Chag. Even a Chasan and Kallah on the day of their wedding may not fast on this day. Similarly, a child may not fast on his parent‘s Yartzite.
  • Some Poskim write that the customs of Isru Chag [increasing in food and drink] apply also to the night after, which is Motzei Isru Chag.
  • Some Poskim rule that one is to wear Shabbos clothing on Isru Chag.

B. Tachanun:

  • Tachanun is omitted from Davening from Erev Yom Kippur until the beginning of the month of Cheshvon. The prayer of Tzidkascha is not recited on the Shabbos between Erev Yom Kippur and the month of Cheshvon.

C. Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem:

  • When does one begin to say it? Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem is recited beginning from Musaf of Shemini Atzeres. On Shemini Atzeres prior to the silent Musaf prayer, the Chazan announces Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem. It is then recited in the Musaf prayer and every prayer thereafter.
  • Until when is it to be said? Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem is recited until, but not including, Musaf of the 1st day of Pesach. Those who Daven the Nusach of Arizal/Sefarad, omit Mashiv Haruach and begin reciting Morid Hatal from the silent prayer of Musaf of the 1st day of Pesach. The Chazan thus announces prior to the silent prayer of Musaf “Morid Hatal.” Those however who follow Nusach Ashkenaz still say Mashiv Haruch Umorid Hageshem by the silent Musaf of Pesach and only begin to omit it with the repetition of the Chazan of Musaf and all prayers thereafter.
  • If one forgot to say Mashiv Haruach-Nussach Sefarad/Arizal: Those who Daven Nusach Arizal or Nussach Sefarad and recite Morid Hatal in the summer months, fulfill their obligation if they accidently said Morid Hatal instead of Mashiv Haruach. Even if one remembered prior to finishing the blessing of Mechayeh Meisim, he is not required to go back and recite Mashiv Haruach.
  • If one forgot to say Mashiv Haruach-Nussach Ashkenaz: Those who Daven Nusach Ashkenaz and do not recite Morid Hatal in the summer months, do not fulfill their obligation if they omitted Mashiv Haruach. If they already concluded the blessing and began saying the next blessing [even the first word of “Ata”] they must return to the beginning of the prayer, irrelevant to where in the prayer they remembered of their omission. Similarly if they remembered only after concluding the entire prayer, they must repeat the Davening. If one remembers prior to saying Hashem’s name in the blessing of Mechayeh Meisim, then he is to say it in the place that he remembers and continue from where he left off. [If he already said Hashem’s name then he is to finish the blessing and say it prior to beginning the words of the blessing of Ata Kadosh. The same applies] if he only remembered after concluding the blessing of Mechayeh Meisim but before beginning the next blessing [even the first word of Ata], then he is to say it there. If, however, he already began even the first word of the next blessing he must return to the beginning of the prayer, as explained above.
  • If one is in doubt if he said Mashiv Haruach-Nussach Ashkenaz: Those who Daven Nusach Arizal or Sefarad and recite Morid Hatal during the summer, are never required to go back even if they certainly did not say Mashiv Haruach, and certainly if it is a mere doubt. However those who Daven Nusach Ashkenaz and are in doubt if they mentioned Mashiv Haruach are to consider it as if they omitted it for the first 30 days after Shemini Atzeres [until 22/23 Kisleiv], and hence follow the same ruling as one who omitted it. 

D. Saying Vesein Tal Umatar Levaracha:

  • When does one begin saying Vesein Tal Umatar? Those who live in Eretz Yisrael begin saying Vesein Tal Umatar Levracha starting from Maariv of the 7th of MarCheshvon. Those living in the Diaspora begin saying Vesein Tal Umatar on the 60th day past the beginning of Tekufas Tishreiy. [Practically, it is to be said from the night before the 5th of December, and in years with 29 days in February, then the year before, it is said from the night before the 6th of December.]
  • Until when is it said? Visein Tal Umatar is recited until the start of Pesach.
  • Traveling to and from Israel before 5th of December: If an Israeli traveled to the diaspora before the 7th of Cheshvan it is disputed if he to begin reciting Vesein Tal Umatar on the 7th of Cheshvan in the as is done in Eretz Yosrael, or if he is to follow the area that he is currently in, and hence he does not begin to recite Vesein Tal Umatar until the 5th of December [or until he returns to Eretz Yisrael]. Practically, he is not to recite Vesein Tal Umatar in the blessing of Bareich Aleinu, but is to recite it in Shomeia Tefila.
  • One who traveled from Eretz Yisrael to the Diaspora between 7th Cheshvon and 5th December, continues to say Vesein Tal Umatar in the Diapsora. Nevertheless, if he is the Chazan, then in his repetition of Shemoneh Esrei, he is to recite Vesein Bracha as is said in the Diaspora.
  • One who traveled from the Diaspora to Eretz Yisrael between 7th Cheshvon and 5th December is to recite Veisen Tal Umatar just like Bnei Eretz Yisrael. However if he plans to return to the Diapsora before the 5th of December, some Poskim side that he is to recite it within Shemoeia Tefilah.
  • Forgot to say Vesein Tal Umatar: One who forgot to say Vesein Tal Umatar during the period that it is to be said, which is in Eretz Yisrael between the 7th of Marcheshven and Pesach, and in the Diaspora between the 5th/6th of December and Pesach, the following is the ruling: [If one remembered prior to saying Hashem’s name in Bareich Aleinu, then he is to say it in the place of remembrance]. If one remembered after completing the blessing of Bareich Aleinu, but prior to beginning [the first word of] Teka Beshofar, he is to say it there.  If one already began saying Teka Beshofar, he is not required to return to Barecih Aleinu and rather is to say it in the blessing of Shomeia Tefila [prior to “Ki Ata Shomeia”]. The same applies if he remembered anywhere between Teka Beshofar and Shema Koleinu.  If one remembered after concluding the blessing of Shema Koleinu but prior to Ritzei, he is to say Vesien Tal Umatar and then begin Ritzie. If one remembered after beginning Ritzei but prior to taking steps back at the conclusion of Shemoneh Esrei, he is to return to Bareich Aleinu. If he already [completed Shemoneh Esrei and] took three steps back, he must return to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei. Furthermore, even if he did not yet take three steps back but has already recited the verse of Yihyu Leratzon at the end of Shemoneh Esrei, he must return to the beginning.
  • If one is in doubt as to if he said Vesein Tal Umatar: If one is in doubt as to whether he recited Veisein Tal Umatar, then if he is within the 30 days from when it was begun to be said [within 30 days after the 7th of Cheshvan in Israel, and within thirty days after the 5th of December in the Diaspora] we assume that he did not say it, and it is to thus follows the same law as one who omitted it. After the passing of thirty days, we assume that he said it, and hence he is not to go back and repeat it.
  • If one said it prior/post its allowed time-Eretz Yisrael: If one said Vesein Tal Umatar Levracha during the summer, outside of its allowed time, which is between Pesach and 7th Cheshvan [in Eretz Yisrael] or 5th December [in the Diaspora], there is a difference in law between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora. In Eretz Yisrael, if one said Vesein Tal Umatar after Pesach, [during the summer, which is any time between Chol Hamoed Pesach and the 7th of MarCheshvan], one is required to go back and repeat from the beginning of Bareich Aleinu. If one already concluded Shemoneh Esrei, then he must repeat it from the beginning.
  • If one said it prior/post its allowed time-Diaspora: In the Diaspora, if one said Vesein Tal Umatar after Pesach, [during the summer, which is any time between Chol Hamoed Pesach and Shemini Atzeres], then if one is in a country that as a whole does not need rain during the summer, it follows the same ruling as Eretz Yisrael, and one must go back to Bareich Aleinu or repeat Shemoneh Esrei. If, however, one’s country as a whole requires rain even during the summer months, then one who said Vesein Tal Umatar during those months is not required to go back and repeat from the beginning of Bareich Aleinu. Nevertheless, if one wills, he may repeat the Shemoneh Esrei as a Tefilas Nedava.
  • If one asked for rain after Sukkos, prior to the 7th of MarCheshvan, according to Admur and other Poskim, Shemoneh Esrei is to be repeated.
  • In those countries [that in general need rain after Sukkos and that’s when their rain season begins], if one said Vesein Tal Umatar after the 7th of Cheshvan, prior to the 5th of December, he is not required to go back, or repeat Shemoneh Esrei. [This applies even if his country is not currently in need of rain, such as it already rained plenty, so long as it is a general time that the country needs rain.  If, however, the country is not yet in need of rain, then Shemoneh Esrei is to be repeated if rain was mentioned prior to the 5th of December. ] Nevertheless, if one wills he may repeat the Shemoneh Esrei as a Tefilas Nedava

 

Chart for one who remembered that he did not say Vesein Tal Umatar:

Area of Shemoneh Esrei The Law
 

Prior to Hashem’s name in Bareich Aleinu

 

 

Say it there

 

Prior to Teka Beshofar

 

 

Say it there

 

Prior to Hashem’s name in Shema Koleinu

 

 

Say it there

 

After saying Ritzei

 

 

Go back to back to Bareich Aleinu

 

After saying 2nd Yehi Ratzon

 

 

Repeat Shemoneh Esrei.

 

E. What is one to do with the Sechach after Sukkos?

  • One is to take down the Sukkah [immediately ] after Sukkos in order to show that the Sukkas construction was purely for the sake of the Mitzvah. One is not required to bury the wood used for Sechach and it may be used and benefited from for any purpose that one desires. Nevertheless, it is proper to beware not to use it for a belittling matter, as this is disrespectful to the Mitzvah that was performed with it. It goes without saying that one may not trample on the Sechach in order not to do a belittling act with it. It is proper to save the Sechach to reuse the same Sechach for the following year’s Sukkah in order to reuse it for a Mitzvah purpose. If one does not desire to save the Sechach he may throw it in the garbage. However it is proper not to place it together with all the other garbage and it is rather to be placed in a separate pile. Likewise, it is not to be discarded in an area that people walk and will trample over it. [Some have the custom to burn the Sechach used for the Sukkah in order not to use it for any other matter. This is a mere stringency.]
  • It is proper not to perform a belittling matter even with the walls of the Sukkah. They are hence not to be thrown directly into the garbage. It is permitted to use them for a non-belittling use.
  • It is debated amongst the Poskim as to whether the floor of the Sukkah may be used for a belittling matter during the year.

F. What is one to do with the Daled Minim after Sukkos?

  • On Motzei Yom Tov, one is to take the Lulav together with the other species and place it in a special area for safekeeping. One is to place it within view as through seeing it and remembering the Mitzvah one will merit to be saved from any suffering or stress. One should not take the Daled Minim and throw them in the garbage being that they hint to a very holy and sublime matter. [Many are accustomed to save the Daled Minim until Pesach in which they are then burned together with the Chameitz.]
  • If one does not desire to save the Daled Minim he may throw it in the garbage. However they are to be placed in a separate bag and only then to be placed in the garbage.
  • Hadassim for Havdala: It is proper to use the Hadassim used during Sukkos for the Mitzvah of Besamim by Havdalah, in order to add another mitzvah to its use. One is to use it together and in addition to a spice which its blessing is Borei Minei Besamim, such as clove and cinnamon. [The above, however, is not the widespread custom and many save or simply discard the Hadassim.]
  • Aravos to bake the Matzos: Some have the custom to save the Aravos of the Lulav to use as fuel for baking the Matzos.
  • Esrog jelly: Some are accustomed to make Esrog jelly from the Esrog of the Daled Minim. The jelly is consumed on the night of the 15th of Shevat which is the Rosh Hashanah for trees. The consumption of this Esrog jelly is a Segula for women to have an easy birth. [Some are accustomed to also save the Esrog jelly to be eaten on Shavuos.]
  • The Aravos for Hoshanos: Some have the custom to save the Aravos which were hit on Hoshanah Raba and use them as fuel to burn the Chameitz on Erev Pesach. [Others are accustomed to throw the Aravos on top of the Aron.  Others negate this custom.  The Rebbe was not accustomed to throw the Aravos on top of the Aron.  Others are particular to save the Aravos as a good omen and Segula as explained next.  Based on this it is proper not to burn all the Aravos on Erev Pesach in order so some are saved for the Segula.] The Aravos are a Segula for safety during travel, for being saved in a time of danger, and for being saved from fear and frightening dreams. Some  write that cooking the Aravos and drinking the water is a Segula for having children.

G. Shabbos Bireishis:

  • The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of the Alter Rebbe and in name of the Baal Shem Tov that Shabbos Bereishis, which is the first Shabbos of the year which follows the holiday season, has ability to effect one’s entire year. In his words “The way one stands on Shabbos Bereishis, so is drawn onto the entire year.” On this Shabbos there is a light of Chochmah which shines and this light extends to every day of the year, and all its important events, general and personal, including: Shabbos, Yomim Tovim, Hachnasa’s Lecheder, Bar Mitzvah’s, etc. All these events receive from the light of Shabbos Bereishis. The decrees that were written on Rosh Hashanah, sealed on Yom Kippur, and packaged on Hoshanah Raba, do not leave for shipment until Shabbos Bereishis.
  • On Motzei Shabbos Bereishis we pronounce “Yaakov Halacha Ledarko,” that Yaakov Avinu has begun his journey.
  • Some Chassidic communities are accustomed to leave the white Paroches on the Aron and Bima until after Simchas Torah, and some leave it until after Shabbos Bereishis.

H. Kiddush between 6-7:

  • Some are careful to avoid saying Kiddush during the 7th sixty-minute hour past the average midday and so is the Chabad custom. In New York this is between 6:00-7:00 pm throughout the year, except for when DST is active in which case it is between 7:00-8:00. In Eretz Yisrael, this is between 5:40-6:40 pm throughout the year except for when DST is active in which case it is between 6:40-7:40. Some Rabbanim however rule one is to always avoid Kiddush from 6:00-7:00 in all places. One is to recite Kiddush either prior to this time, or afterwards. Initially one is to recite Kiddush immediately upon returning from Shul and hence if he arrives home before the start of this time he should hurry and make Kiddush beforehand.
  • Those who are careful to avoid Kiddush during the 7th hour avoid it with all forms of wine, irrelevant of color.

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