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No sukkah at home

Rabbi David SperlingTishrei 7, 5775
909
Question
I rent an apartment and cannot build my own sukkah this year, Can I use a communal sukkah to make kiddish, hamotzi and have a meal at home? Communal sukkah is 15 min walk from my home.
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The mitzvah for (men) to "dwell" in the succah is a great one, and certainly includes eating one's meals in a succah. Unfortunately you won't be able to build your own succah this year, which will mean using the communal one. Of course, the better option would be to get invited out to a succah for all the Yom Tov and Shabbat meals, so that you can enjoy them in a kosher succah. If this is not possible, then it is wonderful that the community allows the use of it's succah for those who need it (- of course you will organize that your use of the community succah is with permission, and doesn’t interfere with anyone else). You can make Kiddush and then wash and eat bread in the succah. You should eat a good measure of bread (a k'betzah – say a normal slice of bread). After that, if you are unable to have your whole meal in the succah, you should say grace after meals, and then walk home. You should not leave the succah without saying grace, as once you have started a meal of bread in a succah, it is forbidden to eat any of that meal outside the succah (even foods and drinks that one may normally eat outside the succah). At home you can have more food, but should be careful to only eat foods that do not require a succah. That is, all bread and mezzonot products (cake, pasta etc) require a succah, and you should avoid eating them in your house (technically small amounts of bread and mezzonot products are allowed outside the succah, but it is simpler just to avoid them entirely). So that leaves you with meat, tofu, vegetables, fruit, ice-cream etc. You may eat all those foods at home in order to enjoy the Yom Tov. May you be blessed with a great festival!
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