Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sh'mini Atzeret: Sitting in the Succah


There are various customs regarding sitting in the Succah on Shmini Atzeret. On one hand, this day is considered part of the 7th day of Succot due to ancient calendar issues. On the other hand, this day is Shmini Atzeret, no longer part of Succot - and one is not allowed to add to the Mitzvah of sitting in the Succah for seven days.

Because there are conflicting customs, one who does not have an existing custom should follow the Code of Jewish Law and Mishneh Berurah, and sit in the Succah for the meals of Shmini Atzeret, but not recite the blessing associated with sitting in the Succah (Leisheiv baSuccah).

Either way, one must wait until the stars emerge in order to recite Kiddush on the night of Shmini Atzeret: Those who are not in the Succah must do so to avoid eating a meal outside the Succah on Succot. Those who are in the Succah must do so because they will not recite the blessing on sitting in the Succah.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 668:1; Mishneh Berurah 668:5-7)

Have a great Yom Tov,

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