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Can paper be used for schach?

Paper comes from wood, which grows from the ground. Also, paper seems like peshutei kli etz - a wooden vessel without a receptacle, which does not accept tum'ah. So it seems like paper should be valid.

On the other hand, I've never seen it actually used in a sukkah. Is it just a practicality issue (it's hard to avoid the wind blowing the paper away), or is it actually invalid?

(Question originally by my brother.)

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According to this Star-K article written by Rabbi Moshe Heineman, paper cannot be used for Schach:

Stems that are used for schach must be in their original state and cannot be subject to further processing. For example, wood is kosher while paper is not. Flax stems are kosher but flax rope is not. Cotton wool, which has been combed out and no longer resembles the natural cotton plant, would no longer qualify as schach.

Flax rope is problematic for another reason. According to Rashi, if the linen fibers were twisted into threads and braided into rope, they are posul min HaTorah. The Torah disqualifies them as it does any other woven material.

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 629:4-5 and the Magein Avraham there say that something Kosher for Schach that has its appearance changed via processing is no longer Kosher for Schach.

  • I would say that paper is only possul mi'dirabanan and if there were no other succah it should be used but not blessed upon. – user6591 Oct 27 '14 at 22:25
  • @user6591 Do you have a source? – Ypnypn Oct 27 '14 at 22:29
  • It is a svara. Someone misinformed the Pri Megadim that glass is made from gidulei karka, the Pri Megadim therefore ruled that it is passul midirabanan and therefore should be used if no other schach is available. With no blessing. The fact of the matter is that glass is made from karka itself and therefore is passul on a biblical level and can never be used at all. Back to your case, paper its what the Pri Migadim thought glass was, so take his psak and go with it. – user6591 Oct 27 '14 at 22:37
  • I checked the article (briefly) and it appears that they do not source that. Is there a better source? – Shokhet Oct 28 '14 at 4:13
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    @Shokhet, note the author of the article. Many would regard that as a source on its own. But either way, processed materials being Posul is pretty basic. S.A. O.C. 629:4-5 and the Magein Avraham there. – Yishai Oct 29 '14 at 19:46

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