Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dismantling a succah during Succot


[Note: Other laws of Succot may be found by clicking the relevant topics in the righthand sidebar.]

I am leaving town for the last days of Succot; may I dismantle my succah during chol hamoed?

There are three concerns involved in dismantling a succah on chol hamoed:
  1. Performing labour during chol hamoed for a non-Yom Tov purpose;
  2. Degrading the sanctity of the succah materials;
  3. The possibility that one might need the succah again.

Because of these concerns, we do not dismantle a succah on chol hamoed. However, one may dismantle a succah if its materials are needed for another succah at one's destination. Also, one may remove succah decorations if he is concerned that they might be damaged before his return.

What if one needs to build a succah during chol hamoed for temporary use, e.g. camping? One should declare before building the succah that he intends to dismantle it during chol hamoed. However, even in such a case one may dismantle it only in an amateur way, lest he violate the prohibition against performing labour during chol hamoed, and one may dismantle only after it is clear that he will not need it again.

(Shoel uMeishiv IV 3:28; Shemirat Shabbat k'Hilchatah 67:footnote 177; Piskei Teshuvot 637:1, 638:3; Chevel Nachalato 4:16)

חג סוכות שמח,

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