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

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    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, 2013 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 Mar 14, 2014 at 19:35
  • I believe planed wood that is as narrow as bamboo would be kosher for schach as well.
    – user17319
    Sep 1, 2021 at 19:04

3 Answers 3



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.

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    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, 2013 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, 2013 at 19:09
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    @GershonGold Can you use one big wooden board as the schach? It matches all your criteria.
    – Double AA
    Sep 13, 2013 at 5:46
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    @Dennis There is no requirement to see the stars.
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2014 at 21:27
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    @LiquidMetal Indeed. Which is why this answer is insufficient.
    – Double AA
    Jul 22, 2014 at 1:28

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.

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    "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, 2014 at 1:34
  • "it can't have been fashioned by a human with the intention of being used for something else" Does something else mean a permanent structure
    – user613
    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:08

Mishna Succa1, 4:

זה הכלל, כל שהוא מקבל טמאה ואין גדולו מן הארץ, אין מסככין בו. וכל דבר שאינו מקבל טמאה וגדולו מן הארץ, מסככין בו. ‏

That is the rule, everything which can become uncleaned and didn't growing from earth, we don't cover with him; everything which doesn't can become uncleaned and did growing from earth, we do cover with him.


כל דבר שאינו כו' - לאפוקי כלי עץ ובגדי פשתן ומחצלאות, שאע"פ שגדוליהם מן הארץ אין מסככין בהן הואיל ומקבלין טומאה: ‏

וגידוליו מן הארץ וכו' - דכתיב חג הסוכות [תעשה לך באספך] מגרנך ומיקבך, בפסולת גרן ויקב הכתוב מדבר, כלומר מן הנשאר אחר שאספת הגורן והיקב כגון קשין וזמורות מהם עשה סוכה : ‏

Wood and linen skills despite of their come from earth,are not regular because they can become uncleaned.

We learn the criterion from the verse which says that you need to make a succa at the season of wheat and grape harvest and. This is considered as an allusion that you need to build the succa with the residues of the harvest, as strew and twigs

Practically Bamboo is very strong an will not be deteriorated by sun and rain until the end of the week of Succot.

Genuine Bamboo is not kli because nothing become kli until her owner decided this.

--concerning the core of the question, Gzerat tikra.

Mishna 6:

מסככין בנסרים, דברי רבי יהודה. ורבי מאיר אוסר. ‏


פחות משלשה דברי הכל כשרה דחשיבי כקנים

כי פליגי משלשה ועד ארבעה, רבי יהודה סבר כיון דלית בהו שעור מקום חשוב לא גזרינן שמא ישב תחת תקרת הבית. ורבי מאיר סבר כיון דנפקי מתורת לבוד גזרינן שמא יאמר מה לי לסכך באלו מה לי לישב תחת תקרת ביתי.

The prohibition is with width wood pieces which seems as a a roof of the house.

Wen the width of each bamboo piece is less than 4 tefachim, approximately 36 cm. Nobody enact gzerat tikra.

Difference with a thatching roof: (thanks to @Yishai). we need to ordering problems. Gzerat tikra is for boards (planed wood) which are width more than 3 tfachim for RM, and for RI at least 4 tfachim. Straws have nothing to with this gzera. The problem of a thatching roof is or one of its problem is that rain cannot passing through it

So bamboo is a schach of choice.

  • Inorder to answer the question, you need to elaborate on how bamboo isn't KLI (l,'afukei KLI etz), as that's what the question's about; at least in my understanding
    – user613
    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:15
  • @user613 yet is it good?
    – kouty
    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:32
  • So are you saying that if the owner decides it should be called a kli, that makes it a kli? I think more definition of a kli is required
    – user613
    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:35
  • See 2 topics the Kane with node to monitor flasks content and mashcha for kabalat tum'a with think ing. I.e. destinating
    – kouty
    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:55
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    How is bamboo different than "straw for thatching roofs"?
    – Yishai
    Oct 14, 2016 at 14:23

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