During the holiday of sukkot, whenever you eat, sleep or do other "living" type activities they must be done within the sukkah. The exception to this rule is that if you are caused pain because of bad weather conditions or mosquitoes you might be exempt (consult your kitzur/shulchan aruch for the sources).

The reason I say "assur" and not simply "exempt" is because you are not allowed to cause yourself tzar on yom tov.

How cold does it have to get for it to become assur to sit in the sukkah during the holiday of sukkot? Can't you always add on more sweaters/coats?

  • 2
    I know people who ate in the sukka in Cleveland even though it snowed earlier (while snowing would be like raining). Oct 4, 2015 at 21:09
  • Is this accurate? You say "whenever you eat, sleep or do other 'living' type activities they must be done within the sukkah". According to this question and answers doing some living activities elsewhere than in the sukkah is Bittul 'Aseh (not actively fulfilling a positive commandment), but not forbidden. I think your "must" is mistaken, but I am not the most learned and may be wrong this this case. Anyone want to clarify?
    – Mike
    Oct 4, 2015 at 21:15
  • @Mike "Aseh" is a positive commandment (eg. You must Bentch after eating bread). Must is certainly an appropriate word to describe a legal obligation, I'd think.
    – Double AA
    Oct 7, 2015 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן קלה - דיני ישיבת סכה at the end of סעיף ט says:

וְכֵן כְֹּשֶהָעֵת קַר וְהַמַּאֲכָלִים נִקְרָשִׁים בְּתוֹךְ הַסֻּכָּה, פָּטוּר מִן הַסֻּכָּה וְאוֹכֵל בַּבָּיִת

That if it is so cold in the Sukka that the food congeals, one is exempted from sitting in the Sukka and one eats inside.

As he continues in סעיף יא:

כְּשֶׁהוּא פָּטוּר מִן הַסֻּכָּה, וְאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מִֹשָּם, נִקְרָא הֶדְיוֹט, וְאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל שָׂכָר עָלֶיהָ, וְאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְבָרֵךְ, מִשּׁוּם דַּהֲוֵי בְּרָכָה לְבַטָּלָה

One who sits in a Sukka once he is exempt, is called a הֶדְיוֹט (a simpleton?) and doesn't get rewarded for the self-sacrifice. So much so that he may not make the Bracha on sitting in the Sukka, as it would be a Bracha in vain.

Clearly he would also be transgressing עונג יום טוב by causing himself physical distress unnecessarily.

  • +1 with regards to the first part, but it is missing something - how quickly does it have to congeal? And does he mean freeze? With regards to the second part, Jews in northern Europe often ate in the Sukka when it was that cold.
    – Yishai
    Oct 8, 2015 at 12:14
  • @Yishai - Your first 2 comments would make a great new question. Your last comment depends on the answer to the first 2. (And "every does it" doesn't always make it correct, though we do have the concept of פוק חזי. ) Oct 8, 2015 at 13:25
  • Actually, the second comment is spoken about in Poskim. You are making a leap in the answer which may not be fully justified.
    – Yishai
    Oct 8, 2015 at 13:46
  • @Yishai - I knew it was a matter of time before somebody said that... and I'm not even sure that there's a problem with "transgressing עונג יום טוב" as such. But the OP seems to think so. Oct 8, 2015 at 13:50

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