Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Why is bamboo kosher for schach? I know everyone uses them, but one should not use anything like planed wood which is used for building or straw for thatching roofs. I understand that certain bamboo canes are used for building (even lion cages!) in the countries where they grow, but they are not used in developed countries.

Source: Aruch hashulchan 629:32

share|improve this question
Hello 5780, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thank you for this question! I've edited your question a bit to improve and clarify it. I would suggest that you further improve it by adding a source for your assertion that building materials can't be used for schach. I hope to see you around the site! – HodofHod Sep 12 '13 at 9:04
I saw this in the Aroch HaShulchan a while back actually and asked around about it; the halakha might depend on what people use for roofs bemkomo veshaato (in that time and place) so in places where they aren't used it would be ok, but I've never seen it discussed – Matt Mar 14 '14 at 19:35


the criteria for schach is three fold: 1) items that grow from the ground, 2) items that are no longer attached to the ground, and 3) items that cannot become tamei.

Bamboo meets these requirements and is therefore Kosher for S'chach

See also: http://www.moreshet.co.il/web/shut/shut2.asp?id=78220 which quotes the Teshuvas HaRashba (Part One, Chapter 58) as permitting bamboo mats used to make walls for use as Schach.

share|improve this answer
This answer would be stronger if you would expand on point (3), specifically as it applies to bamboo, as that is what the question is, by implication, about. – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '13 at 14:09
@GershonGold You dont seem to have looked up the aruch hashulchan I quoted. Your criteria which I am well aware of is min hatorah. I am referring to today. To be kosher even midrabbonon. – 5780 Sep 12 '13 at 19:09
@Gershon Gold I wrote aruch hashulchan but it is also in shulchan aruch. I have carefully explained what I am TALKING about what difficulties are you having. – 5780 Sep 12 '13 at 19:16
@GershonGold Can you use one big wooden board as the schach? It matches all your criteria. – Double AA Sep 13 '13 at 5:46
I would say no as you need to be able to "see the stars" through the roof. One big wooden board would be a complete roof and I would think disqualified. – Dennis May 13 '14 at 19:41

One of the requirements for schach is that it be something which cannot become tamei (impure), and therefore it cannot be a kli. In other words, it can't have been fashioned by a human with the intention of being used for something else. Therefore bamboo poles which were previously used for building a lion cage could not be used for schach. Every so often I hear rabbis reminding people that bamboo mats from the local big box store are not kosher for schach because they were manufactured for a non-schach purpose. (at least around here those are more common than bamboo lion cages). Most of the bamboo mats you see people using are (hopefully) ones that were made for schach and nothing else. Many also come with a certification from a rabbinic organization stating that clearly.

Basically, just because some bamboo is mekable tumah (susceptible to impurity), doesn't mean all the bamboo in the world is.

share|improve this answer
"it can't have been fashioned by a human with the intention of being used for something else" is not a very precise definition. – Double AA Oct 14 '14 at 1:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.