Tuesday, September 25, 2007

sleep and sukkah

I can’t think of any mitzvah other than sukkah (maybe yishuv eretz yisrael?) that one can do while one is asleep. As mentioned yesterday, the Rosh and other Rishonim even ask why no bracha is recited over sleeping in sukkah. The Shem m’Shmuel explains that when one is asleep the neshoma has departed from the guf (for the most part) and all that remains is the physical body. Mitzvos usually require an investment of the neshoma and lev to uplift, yet sukkah apparently has the special power to envelop and uplift even if all a Jew puts into the mitzvah or is capable of putting into the mitzvah is a sleeping body and no more. I would add that perhaps in addition to the power of mitzvas sukkah we see something about the character of Am Yisrael; even stripped of neshoma elyona and left only with an empty guf, that guf still is something that merits the enveloping protection of the walls of sukkah.


  1. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Not to move too quickly from the hashkafa to the halacha, but doesn't RSZA hold that you can move a sleeping person out of a sukkah because he is not chayav in mitzvos while sleeping? Does that impact how we view the kiyum hamitzvah while asleep?

  2. what about the shittos that hold ksus laylah is michuyiv in tzizis. acc to them wouldnt u get a mitzvah while sleeping
    or for that matter what if u went to sleep during the day wearing tztzis. dont u get a mitzvah while sleeping

  3. I am not familiar with this RSZA - where is it?

    By tzitzis there is no problem taking off your 4 cornered garment and going to sleep, but there is a problem going to sleep outside the sukkah, so they are not exactly parallel, but I hear your point.

  4. in regard to fulfilling a mitzvah with only the guf stripped of the nishama they are equivalent(if you would say that sukkah is the only mitzvah one is required to do with only a guf and if one doesnt do it they get an averah then you are right they are not exactly parallel.)

  5. Anonymous2:54 PM

    I didn't have the source but I remember hearing it. Anyway, the great Google yielding the following as the mareh makom:

    Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach quoted in Sefer HaSukkah P’sakim and Ha’aros 27 and Halichos Shlomo Vol. 1 pg. 337, M’rafsin Igri

    Again I didn't check it but for what it's worth, here it is.

  6. also u have bris milah
    but that would depend on how u understand david hamelech saying that the isnt arum min hamitzvos bec of bris

  7. and i agree that bris wouldnt be comparable to sukkah

  8. Anonymous11:56 PM

    I would have thought that sleeping in the sukkah is subsumed under "leysheyv basukkah", as would be other activities in which one engages while in the sukkah and which wouldn't normally (when performed in one's regular residence) require their own brachot.