Community Magazine September 2021

24 COMMUNITY MAGAZINE RABBI HAYIM ASHER ARKING AND RABBI EZRA GHODSI Sukkot 5782 Before entering the sukkah, one should have in mind that Hashem commanded us to sit in the sukkah to remember that He surrounded our ancestors with the Clouds of Glory when they left Egypt. Throughout Sukkot, one should view the sukkah as his house. Therefore, eating, drinking, sleeping, relaxing, etc. should all be done in the sukkah . Nevertheless, while one fulfills a mitzvah every time he performs any of these activities in the sukkah , only the activities of eating, drinking, and sleeping strictly require a sukkah . What foods must be eaten in the sukkah? It is an admirable practice to ensure to eat all foods and drink all beverages – even water – in the sukkah . Foods made from any of the five principal grains – wheat, oats, barley, spelt and rye – must be eaten in the sukkah if one eats a quantity of more than a kebetzah , which is approximately 2 oz, or the volume of half an average pita. Other foods (including rice, even though we recite the berachah of “ mezonot ” over rice) may be eaten outside of the sukkah . If one started eating a meal that includes at least a  kebetzah of bread, he may not eat or drink even the slightest amount of food or drink outside of the sukkah during his meal. One should not even leave the sukkah with food in his mouth during the meal; he may leave the sukkah during the meal only after he has swallowed the food or drink in his mouth. Which foods require the recitation of the berachah of “leshev basukkah”? The berachah is recited only when eating at least a  kebeitzah  of bread or three kebetzim  of mezonot  foods, excluding rice. When should one the berachah of “leshev basukkah”? Generally, when one eats a meal with bread, he recites the berachah together with the berachah of hamotzi recited over the bread. On Shabbat and Yom Tov, however, the berachah of “ leshev basukkah ” is recited when reciting kiddush before the Shabbat or Yom Tov meal. If one forgot to recite the berachah before he started eating, does he recite the berachah in the middle of the meal? As long as one is still eating, even if he is eating dessert or just drinking, he may recite “ leshev basukkah .” If, however, one is no longer eating or drinking, or if he already recited  birkat hamazon , he can no longer recite the berachah . May one recite arvit early on the first two nights of Sukkot? On the first two nights of Sukkot, there is a requirement to eat bread in the sukkah . This is derived from the comparison indicated by the Torah between Sukkot and Pesach: just as there is an obligation to eat matzah on the first two nights of Pesach, there is an obligation to eat bread in the sukkah on the first two nights of Sukkot. As this constitutes a Torah obligation, it cannot be fulfilled until after dark, and therefore, one should not begin Yom Tov early. Similar to Erev Pesach , one should not eat bread or mezonot  foods after the 10 th halachic hour of the day (around 4:30 pm) on Erev Sukkot. How much bread must one eat on the first two nights of Sukkot? On the first two nights of Sukkot, one should eat at least one kezayit – approximately one ounce – of bread, within a time frame of four to five minutes. According to some opinions, one should eat a bit more than this amount. Throughout the remainder of the holiday, one is not required to eat bread. Must one repeat Birkat Hamazon if he forgot to add “ya’aleh veyavo” during Sukkot? On the first and second nights of Sukkot, when there is an obligation to eat bread, one who forgot to add ya’aleh veyavo in Birkat Hamazon must repeat it. At all other times during Sukkot, one does not repeat Birkat Hamazon . If one ate inside on the first or second night of Sukkot due to rain, and he forgot to add ya’aleh veyavo in Birkat Hamazon , he does not repeat it. Women never repeat Birkat Hamazon if they forgot ya’aleh veyavo during Sukkot.