Does the Mitzvah of sleeping in the Sukkah supersede the mitzvah of Onah? (one would think not, as it is a chov to someone else.) If not, is one supposed to fulfill mitzvas Onah and then retire to the sukkah? If this is not what he does all year, would he be absolved from going to the sukkah because of "Teishvy k'ein taduru"?

  • What would you do the rest of the year if you were forced to fulfill mitzvas Onah not in your regular bedroom: would you stay in the different bed or move to your regular bed?
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 30, 2012 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


Shulchan Aruch Harav Siman 639:

(See especially the last sentence of 9, and note that 10 doesn't really apply today since we no longer celebrate this way. But I included it since it's instructive.)

9) At present, people at large have adopted the practice of following a lenient approach when it comes to sleeping [in the sukkah). Only those who are punctilious in their observance of mitzvos sleep in the sukkah.

There are those who have offered rationalizations for married men, (explaining) that they are obligated to bring happiness to their wives during the festival and women are not obligated [to observe the mitzva of] sukkah. Hence the fact that a person does not desire to separate from his wife is considered a matter associated with a mitzvah, and whoever is occupied with the performance of a mitzvah is exempt from performing a different mitzvah, as explained in sec. 640[:18]. Thus [a married man] is not obligated to sleep in the sukkalt at night. [The above line of thought applies] even if one's wife is not ritually pure, for she is happy when her husband shares the privacy of their room with her, as will be explained. Nevertheless, it is desirable that one follow the stringent approach and have a private sukkah where he can sleep together with his wife, and thus perform both mitzvos.

10) [The following laws apply when a man) marries a virgin bride two or three days before the festival and thus the seven days of the [wedding] celebrations extend into the festival. (Weddings are not held on Sukkos itself, as stated in sec. 546.) In earlier generations, it was customary for the bride and groom to spend all seven days of the [marriage] celebrations secluded in a private room called a chuppah. Other people would join them only at times when they wanted to celebrate with them and eat and drink with them.

The groom, his attendants, and all the bridal company - i.e., the men who eat with the groom- are exempt from [the mitzvah of] the sukkah for all seven days of the [wedding] celebrations. They are permitted to eat, drink, and celebrate outside the sukkah, i.e., in the room called the chuppah. One cannot celebrate properly in a sukkah, because one can truly rejoice only in the chupppah, which is essentially where the bride and groom dwell; it is here that are alone. The essential dwelling place of the bride and the groom cannot be in a sukkah, for a [typical] sukkah has only three walls and is open on the fourth side. A groom would be embarrassed to rejoice with his bride in such a place.

Today, therefore, when a sukkah is customarily built with four walls, even a groom is obligated [to observe the mitzvah of] sukkah.

  • Typing out the quotation instead of including it as a picture allows those with screen readers to take advantage (and is good for those using search engines to find this page).
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 7:13
  • @msh210 I know, but it was just too much text. Do you have an OCR program handy?
    – Ariel
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 7:14
  • 'Fraid not. Is the English SAH not available in HTML format on chabad.org?
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 7:24
  • 2
    OCR compliments of Adobe Acrobat
    – Michoel
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 11:50
  • 2
    "the fact that a person does not desire to separate from his wife is considered a matter associated with a mitzvah" People keep pretending it's the husband who's leaving the wife, when really it's the other way around. If the husband lives somewhere and the wife refuses to show up, who's fault is that?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 19:58

See Mishna Berura siman 639 se'if katan 18, where he says it's apparent from many Achronim that sleeping in the sukkah does not override mitzvas onah (for one who doesn't have the ability to sleep with his wife in the sukkah, for example if he doesn't have a private sukkah available), and afterwards he does not have to leave and sleep the rest of the night in the sukkah.

  • If his absence in the sukkah will be noted then indeed he may have to get up and go midin hilchot tzniut. Back then they were probably talking about large communal sukkot (say at the town shul) where an absence wouldn't be noticed in the crowd; nowadays where even personal sukkot are often still shared by various family members or close friends an absence is sure to be noticed.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 15:06

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