If it is raining on Succos is there any benefit in eating in a Succah covered with a (Schlack) tarp over eating in the house? (sources please)

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    I always wondered why it's not a problem of ta'aseh v'lo min ha'asui to pull the tarp off the sukkah. Pulling it off creates the kosher sukkah, not the laying down of the sechach. Why isn't this a problem? – user962 Oct 17 '11 at 0:41
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    @jon, welcome to Judaism.SE! I made your answer into a comment because it's not an answer, but I recommend that you ask it as an actual question, since it'd be a good one. – Isaac Moses Oct 17 '11 at 2:00


Per the Machtzis HaShekel Siman 640:9 it is preferable to eat in a Sukkah with a Schlack, over eating in the house when it is raining since there are Poskim that consider it a Kosher Succah.

The Bikurrei Yaakov Siman 626:12 says also that it is preferable to eat in a Sukkah with a Schlack, over eating in the house when it is raining.

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    This is an excellent example of a valid self-answered question. When I first read the question, I saw why you might want to ask it (especially given today's forecast in much of the US <grumble>) and had no inkling that you might already know an answer. Even now, there's no way to know whether you had the answer already when you asked or whether you did the research after you asked and dug up this answer. Yeyasher kochacha sheshaalta veyeyasher kochacha sheheishavta. – Isaac Moses Oct 12 '11 at 15:27
  • This is very interesting - how would a sukkah with something between the sky and the sechach be a kosher sukkah? Which poskim hold that way and why? – yoel Oct 12 '11 at 16:46
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    The link above explains that although we do not Pasken that such a Sukkah is Kosher, since there is a Hagaos Maimonis that holds that it is acceptable, it is preferable to eat in a Sukkah with a Schlack closed, over eating in the house. – Gershon Gold Oct 12 '11 at 17:06
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    The matirim are brought as a yesh omrim in the S.A. O.C. 629:19. Although the structure of the mechaber is to pasken like the stam over the yesh omrim, here he supports the matirim. Perhaps that is why he qualifies the halacha by requiring the protector to be within 4 tefachim (batel) to equate it with sukkah decorations, since that is esentially what you are doing- making the sukkah nicer. The one disqualifier is if the protector makes the difference of having a kosher sukkah (eg, it will stop the leaves from falling off): hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14327&st=&pgnum=355 – YDK Oct 12 '11 at 18:04
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    The Mishna Berurah says to only rely on the yesh omrim b'shaas hadechak, and not to make a bracha. – YDK Oct 12 '11 at 18:05

Nope. If the s'chach isn't valid, it's not a sukkah.

The practical advantage is, you can have all sorts of nice stuff in the sukkah; if it starts to rain, just put up the tarp; as soon as it stops raining you can pull off the tarp and get right back to your mitzva. Whereas if you didn't have the tarp, you have to rush everything out of your sukkah when it starts to rain; then when the rain stops, you have to wait another hour+ for everything to dry out, then drag everything back into the sukkah. (Practically, people are likely to not bring out their best dishes, chairs etc. anyhow because of this.)


There is a ma'ala in sitting outside, even if the succah is covered. This is in accordance with the shita of the Rabbeinu Tam on maseches succah 10a SV 'piress'. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 629:19) only brings this down as a yesh omrim, but the MB says to be machmir to sit in the succah (without a brocha), b'shaas ha'd'chak, in other words, if you live in the UK like I do where it's almost always raining, if we were to say ha'mitztaer min ha'succah potur - we'd never be mekayem the mitzvah!

  • If you are patur, then what exactly are you not being mekayem? I'm patur from sitting in a sukkah today, but I'm not worried about it. – Double AA Aug 20 '13 at 13:54
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    Reb Binyomin, what I think @DoubleAA means is, please clarify what you are fulfilling, since the implication of Patur is that there is nothing to fulfill. And welcome to Mi Yodeya! – Seth J Aug 20 '13 at 15:54

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