If one goes to work on the days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, is he deemed to be travelling and exempt from the sukkah? If there is no sukkah that he can reach from work on his lunch break, may he eat bread or mezonot for lunch, or should he bring salads during those days?

On a related note, if one is actually exempt, is there still merit in avoiding mezonot and eating foods which do not require a sukkah?

I wouldn't have thought he was considered to be travelling, but in "Shacharis Tips of the Unemployed", Gil Student indicates that commuting to work counts as travelling for purposes of praying shacharit before netz hachama. Just because one is deemed to be travelling for shacharit doesn't mean he is deemed to be travelling for sukkah, but it did raise the question.

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    I don't see why he would be chayav. When you live at your home regularly you don't eat lunch at home on workdays.
    – Double AA
    Sep 25, 2013 at 4:48

2 Answers 2


One one is not exempt from eating in a Sukkah when going to work Holchei derachim in ones own town or staying in the same town for 3-4 days to work Mishna brura 640,8 45

וכ"ז בהולך מכפר לכפר מדינא א"צ להמתין מלאכול רק המחמיר אבל בשוהא בכפר א' שלשה או ארבעה ימים חייב מדינא לעשות שם סוכה [אחרונים]:
Only someone that travels from town to town for work is exempt from eating in a sukka but ifhe works in his own town or staying in the same town for 3-4 days to work he has to make a Sukka.

Going to work is not a sheliach Mitzva Biur halacha Orach Chaim 640,7:
שלוחי מצוה וכו': עיין בתשובת ח"ס סקי"ט דדוקא כשהיא כולה לד' ואין בה הנאה לעצמה אבל בהולך בשכר ועיקרו של השליח להנאתו מתכוין לא נפטר עי"ז ממצות סוכה
A sheliach Mitzva - the Chasam Sofer 119 says - has to be entirely for the sake of Hashem with no personal benefit, someone working earning money is intending for his own benefit andnot exempt fromeating inthe Sukkah.

If a sukka is unavailable when he works in his own town then ideally one should eat Fruit,veg, meat, fish, cheese, wine or any non 5 grain foodstuffs as a snack throughout the day without sitting down to make a fixed meal, as The Mishna Brura OC 639,2 15 says:

ותבשיל העשוי מחמשת מינים: ודע עוד דהסכימו כמה אחרונים דנכון להחמיר מלאכול בשר ודגים וגבינה חוץ לסוכה ודוקא בקביעות שלא בקביעות אין להחמיר כלל - The Acharonim agree regarding meat, cheese, fish etc.(i.e not made of wheat barley oats spelt rye), Without fixing a meal one does not have to be strict at all to eat in a Succah.

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    How does one determine town for this purpose? (As an example to help understand the ambiguity currently inherent in this answer: Brooklyn and Manhattan are on different islands. San Diego and LA may be in the same Techum. Is a commuter from one to the other exempt?)
    – Double AA
    Oct 25, 2019 at 15:31

I think I answered your first question here already - that a Sukka is still required for meals, but not snacks.

As to your second question if one is actually exempt, is there still merit in avoiding mezonot and eating foods which do not require a sukkah?:

The Shulchan Aruch (639:2) brings the Psak that:

.וּמִי שֶׁיַּחְמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ וְלֹא יִשְׁתֶּה חוּץ לַסֻכָּה אֲפִלּוּ מַיִם, הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח

One who is stringent not to eat or drink anything outside of the Sukka is praiseworthy.
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    This does not answer the question, including the one quoted. The questions are 1. does work have the same halakha as traveling, where one would be exempt, even for meals, 2. if one is exempt from eating mezonos/bread inside a sukka, is it better to eat snacks. Jul 6, 2014 at 6:17

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