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I know in theory, people on the road don't need to eat in a sukkah; at the same time, you're not supposed to go put yourself in that situation on purpose. ("Let's go take a chol hamoed trip -- oops we're travelling, no need for sukkah.")

I heard in yeshiva that if you keep schach in your car (let's assume a mat), you could open the front and rear doors on one side (leaving the other doors closed), put schach up between the open doors, and sit (low to the ground, I assume) in that small space. (See awful ASCII art, if that helps.) The doors are two walls (assuming they're lavud to the ground and tall enough), the third wall is the other side of the car (dofen akuma.)

Has anyone ever heard of this or tried it? Which dimensions on a car are needed? (Where can I see those dimensions listed?) Any other thoughts?

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If you're particular about using sechach-eligible materials for direct sechach support, you'll also need some (e.g.) plain wooden beams to put across the doors and hold up the sechach. –  Isaac Moses Sep 17 '10 at 17:56
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Another issue is place. It is not clear that a suucah would be kosher if in a place where one would be too fearful to sleep in it. –  Yahu Sep 17 '10 at 18:23
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I recall that R' Moshe held that the p'tur applies to someone travelling on business. Traveling for pleasure would be chayav (not just don't put yourself in that situation). I don't remember if it's in print, but I'll look. –  YDK Sep 17 '10 at 20:13
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My recollection as I've heard the Igros Moshe was that once you're a "traveller", you're technically exempt; however, no good Jew should put himself in an oops-no-mitzva situation just for a pleasure trip. –  Shalom Sep 19 '10 at 1:54
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Iggros Moshe O.C. III 93 hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=919&st=&pgnum=400 –  YDK Sep 21 '10 at 4:19

1 Answer 1

In theory it should work with the following qualifications:

1- Your car roof width from the far inner door to the schach area is 4 amos or less (for dofen akuma)

2- Your car doors are less than 3 tefachim off the ground (for mechitza- gediim bok'im)

Like you mentioned, you need the second door for the third wall, just resting it on the roof won't help.

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The 4 amos could be tricky. If we take the minimal shiur of 18 inches=1cubit, that gives us 6 ft; I think only smaller cars have a width less than six feet. (I'm assuming car width = roof width.) If we go up to 22.5 inches/cubit, then you're fine with any car or minivan I can think of -- width less than 7.5 ft. –  Shalom Sep 19 '10 at 2:03
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Regular sukkah rules apply: The eating area need to be 7x7 tefachim, so the walls, measured from the inside, are 7t. The height is 10t, but you can use the <3t space between the bottom of the door and the ground. Your food needs to be inside the sukkah area (gezeira shema yimshach). –  YDK Sep 19 '10 at 2:53
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Minivans will be a problem anyway, since they don't have a rear door that opens 7t. They probably also have more than 3t between the ground and the front door. This trick seems to be limited to sedans. –  YDK Sep 19 '10 at 2:55
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Oh right forgot about the sliding door. (Well on most minivans.) If the ground-to-door height (what's that called?) is too great, you could bring a couple of bricks or something to put on the ground. –  Shalom Sep 19 '10 at 8:01
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But we're getting complicated enough ("yeshivish"!) as is. Yeah, maybe stick with sedans. –  Shalom Sep 19 '10 at 8:02

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