A GUIDE TO THE LAWS OF SUCCOS

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Chapter Fourteen

The Halachos of the succah and its decorations being prohibited the entire seven days

1. Is it permitted to make personal use of the s'chach or succah wood during Succos?

The wood of the succah is prohibited all eight days of the Holiday. and one can have no use from them. We derive this from the verse (Vayikrah 23:34) "The Holiday of Succos is seven days for the Lord" That just like the name of Hashem sanctifies the holiday, likewise the name of Hashem sanctifies the succah. Even if another succah is made during Chol Hamoed and he has no use for the original one it is nevertheless prohibited to derive any benefit from it (Shulchan Aruch section 1, M.B. section 1).

2. What would the halachah be if the succah collapses during the week of Succos?

If a succah collapses during Succos, its wood is still prohibited. He would also be unable to make any conditions concerning the succah before the Yom Tov. For example if he says he will keep his mind on the succah the entire twilight period preceding the Yom Tov it still will not help to permit usage of the succah materials. (Even though by other types of Muktzah [items that are prohibited to handle on Shabbos and Yom Tov.] such a thought sometimes help.) The reason why making a condition (tínai)does not help here is because during the twilight period he can not use any of the succah materials anyway, for if he does he will be destroying the succah enclosure which is then forbidden. Since the succah at twilight is already prohibited to use, therefore we say it remains prohibited the entire Holiday (M.B. section 6). (This is unlike the succah decorations where a condition (tínai) sometimes help (see further question 9).

The Biur Halachah adds that someone who puts so much s'chach upon the succah that the rains can not penetrate, thus according to some, disqualifying the succah (see before chapter 7 question 6). Nevertheless if someone wants to tell a non-Jew to remove some of the s'chach in order to permit the succah it would be permitted )Ł(. However the wood that supports the succah is permitted (Ramoh section 1).

3. What is referred to by the term "wood that supports the succah"?

Wood that supports the succah refers to the poles that are placed as support around the walls, since they are not attached to the walls they are not nullified by them and there is no prohibition of destroying the succah in reference to these poles. Also as far as the prohibition of Muktzah, it would not apply to these pieces of wood. The reason being because since he had in mind to use them if needed the entire twilight period, no prohibition has ever come upon them.

It is also important to know that we are referring to where he did not use the poles to thicken and strengthen the succah walls. For if this was his intention, even if they were not attached to the walls and they are separate items they would still be considered as nullified to the walls, and could not be used. This would apply even if they were placed there after the walls were already standing (see Shulchan Aruch chapter 518 M.B. section 39.)

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