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Preface - While this question may appear humorous, it is not "Purim Torah".

On Shmini Atzeret, there is a short "good-bye" to the Succah prayer which includes the wish that we should merit, next year, to sit in a succah composed of Leviathan skin.

I know very little about this Midrash, other than my understanding that the Leviathan is a gigantic sea monster and during the time of the Mashiach (?) all the righteous people will have a big feast in a succah composed of Leviathan skin.

I assume that if this were to be a "valid" succah, it needs schach, unless the term "succah" in this sense, is metaphoric. If it is a real succah, about how much shcach might be needed, and what would the schach be composed of? Is there any discussion about this?

(I was tempted to put a request for Leviathan skin on my neighborhood bulletin board, BTW :-)

  • Why do you think that the requirements would different from those of any other valid succah (assuming, as you do, that the "succah" mentioned is the Succot kind). – Isaac Moses Oct 7 '15 at 16:13
  • @IsaacMoses Perhaps, my question is unclear (let me know). I am not seeking "requirement". I am asking regarding the size of the leviathan, and how large this succha would prob. be, based on the description of the Leviathan. It's an area that I am unfamiliar with. – DanF Oct 7 '15 at 16:16
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  • "Enough Schach to have more shade than sun" would be my guess. :-) But I'm sure it's metaphorical. – Danny Schoemann Oct 8 '15 at 8:39
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/q/55124/5323 – Shokhet Oct 8 '15 at 14:01
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The footprint of a suka need not be convex. In other words, there can be two points inside a suka, equally high off the ground, such that the straight line segment joining those two points includes some points outside the suka. Proof: Mishna B'rura 634:1 forbids such a case where the local convex area is less than seven handbreadths by seven handbreadths — which implies it's okay otherwise.

Therefore, one can have a suka whose walls have area as large as one likes — simply wave them in and out in a high-frequency sinusoidal wave or some approximation to a space-filling curve if you prefer — but which suka fits within a small square footprint (and people don't sit too close to the walls, to avoid the problem mentioned in the Mishna B'rura cited above).

So the answer to your question is: "not very much s'chach, necessarily".


That said, I have no reason to think the suka would need to be valid for Sukos, and, therefore, may not need s'chach at all, as mevaqesh points out in a comment on the question. Moreover, as Monica Cellio points out there, the walls may not use the entirety of the animal's hide.

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