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Is there any inyan for a woman to eat in the sukkah. I know they're not required (after all, it's a mitzvas asei shehazeman grama [מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא]), but I still know many women who do.

Is this due to any specific reasons, or is it simply to be able to eat with their husbands/family (and/or for convenience)?

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I don't know if this has any validity, but perhaps they are partners in their husband fulfillment of teishvu k'ein taduru, which is done with one's spouse. – YDK Oct 12 '11 at 6:29
@YDK: A reason/excuse given for not sleeping in the suka is that women don't and men are mitztaarim without them. (Wouldn't seem to apply to single men AFAICT.) – msh210 Oct 17 '11 at 16:17
@YDK Sounds like some rishonim's (ran?) understanding of a woman's role in pru urvu. – Double AA Oct 23 '12 at 17:16

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Like any time-bound, yes-do mitzva; women aren't obligated, but they receive merit if they choose to do it.

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+1. But caveant lectores: not every such mitzva has the same rule. Some are strict requirements, like kidush on Shabas, and others are also required, like shofar on Rosh Hashana (at least for Ashk'nazios). – msh210 Oct 7 '11 at 7:00
@msh210, why is Shofar required? There are certain ones that have become standard custom for women, but still aren't required; shofar and lulav come to mind, IIRC. Yes there are exceptions -- megillah reading ("they too were in the miracle"); kiddush on shabbos, eating matza on Passover (tied to the "don't-do" commandments of don't-work-on-shabbos and don't-eat-chametz-on-Pesach, respectively). – Shalom Oct 7 '11 at 9:37
I thought MB said that they've so accepted 30 kolos upon themselves over the years that they're now required. However, I'm not seeing it in 589 or 596, and am not sure where else to look. Maybe my memory is incorrect. – msh210 Oct 7 '11 at 13:32

Should women eat in the Sukkah? Yes they should. Are they required to? No they are not. They should also sleep in the Sukkah, as should men.

Halacha 1 Women, slaves, and minors are freed from [fulfilling the mitzvah of] sukkah. A tumtum and an androgynous are obligated because of the doubt [concerning their status]. Similarly, a person who is half slave and half free is obligated.

A minor who does not require his mother's [presence] - i.e., a child of five or six - is obligated [to fulfill the mitzvah] of sukkah according to Rabbinic decree, to train him in [the performance of] mitzvot.


Halacha 6 We should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah through the entire seven days [of the festival], both during the day and at night. It is forbidden to eat a meal outside the sukkah for the entire seven [day period]. However, [there is no prohibition] if one eats a snack the measure of a k'beitzah or less, or even slightly more.

One may not sleep outside the sukkah at all, even a brief nap. It is permissible to drink water and eat fruit outside the sukkah. However, a person who follows the stringency of not drinking even water outside the sukkah is worthy of praise.

Source: Rambam Laws of Shofar, Sukkah, and Lulav

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How do you see from the sources that you quoted that: "Should women eat in the Sukkah? Yes they should" ? – yydl Oct 7 at 2:38
"WE should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah through the entire seven days..." We is inclusive of everyone. And WE SHOULD means that we should eat, drink, and sleep in the sukkah. Though some are exempt, it is still to their merit if they do it despite the exemption. – Aaron Oct 7 at 4:16
I'm not sure why the person who translated the Rambam chose the word "we" but the original Hebrew version does not say "we". Either way, "we" can just as well mean the people referred to above, i.e. the men who are required to be in the Sukkah. – yydl Oct 7 at 5:39

Similar to what Shalom said, but I found it in a Halacha for Today email:

Even though women and children are not obligated to sit in a Sukkah, it is still a Mitzvah for each Jew to have his wife and children sit in the Sukkah as by sitting in a Sukkah they earn eternal heavenly reward. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 640:1 and Ran to Rosh Hashana 33a)

Women and children who sit in a Sukkah merit having their souls cleansed and merit receiving heavenly goodwill. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 640:5)

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