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QUESTION

Maryland, USA

I’m curious on your thoughts on eating in the sukkah on Simchat Torah. The Shulkhan Aruch OC 666:1 seems to say you need to remove pots and pans or make some kind of hekeir. What will suffice? Can someone just say before the meal “this is not for the sake of a mitzvah” and would that be okay or does it need to be literal hekeir. Thank you!

ANSWER

No, that isn’t enough. It’s true that in terms of ba’al tosif, absence of kavanah lehosif suffices – שלא בזמנו בעי כוונה. But there is the question here of how the act is being interpreted. The language of the Shulkhan Aruch is שלא יהא נראה כמוסיף, the word נראה being key. The Taz, the Magen Avraham and the Mishnah Berurah all say that since no kavanah you are not actually mosif, but that’s how it will look.


FOLLOW-UP QUESTION

Thank you! So what would be a permissible hekeir to make on Yom Tov (assuming you don’t have pots and pans you have been keeping in the sukkah to bring in as the Shulkhan Aruch talks about)? Thinking specifically about people who are inviting guests for Simchat Torah and have a sukkah taking up all of their outdoor space, can’t take down the sukkah on chag but want to eat outdoors for COVID reasons.

ANSWER

Can they put a towel or blanket or sheet on the edge of the sekhakh before Yom Tov, unrolled a tefach, and then roll out the whole way on Simchat Torah? You can be מוסיף על אוהל ארעי.


FOLLOW-UP QUESTION

Would it be permissible to the reverse? i.e. taking off the sekhakh?

ANSWER

And leaving a tefach, you mean? It’s a machloket HaPoskim. Avnei Nezer says mutar, Chazon Ish says assur. I think on second day Yom Tov you can be meikeil if you don’t have another good option.