Tuesday, October 01, 2013

when leishev ba'sukkah is a hefsek

I know – yesterday’s post was about Simchas Torah and today I’m writing about Sukkos; it seems I’m going backwards.  I want to jot this down because it may help me remember it for next year.  R’ Shlomo Zalman (quoted in the Shemiras Shabbos vol 2 in a footnote in ch 48) has an interesting chiddush that we need two points to introduction to understand:

1) The M.B. (643) quotes a machlokes haposkim whether one should say leishev ba’sukkah after the borei pri hageffen of kiddush on Shabbos or Yom Tov morning.  Since just drinking a cup of wine does not ordinarily constitute a keviyus seudah that would require sukkah, there are those who argue that introducing a leishev ba’sukkah between borei pri hagefen and drinking constitutes a hefsek.  Better to say the leishev ba’sukkah after the motzi, which does make for real keviyus. 

2) B’pashtus, a piece of cake is just a snack and not something eaten with any sense of kviyus; therefore, it would not require a sukkah.  If you do eat it in the sukkah, making a bracha of leishev b’sukkah would be problematic.  The M.B. (639:16) suggests that you can avoid the problem with a tziruf: eat the cake and linger in the sukkah afterwards for some time.  Since there are poskim who hold you can say a leishev ba’sukkah just for remaining in the sukkah (even without eating), and there are poskim who have a minimalist view of what eating constitutes keviyus, you can put 2 and 2 together and have enough to rely on to make a bracha.

R’ Shlomo Zalman comes up with the following: just like the leishev ba’sukkah, if not necessary, may be a hefsek between kiddush and drinking, so too, the leishev ba'sukkah, if not necessary, may be a hefsek between the bracha of mezonos and the cake.  True, you will linger in the sukkah afterwards, but at the moment you are eating the cake that is not going to help.  Therefore, suggests R’ Shlomo Zalman, the best course of action would be to say the mezonos and eat some cake and only afterwards, once you have taken a bite and avoided any hefsek, say the leishev ba'sukkah.  

By the same token, when a women sits down to eat in the sukkah, since she has no chiyuv, she has no real reason to recite a leishev ba’sukkah.  True, minhag Ashkenaz is to do so, but it comes at the expense of creating a hefsek between the birchas ha'ne’henin (the mezonos or hamotzi or whatever) and her eating.  Therefore, just like in the above case, it may be best for a woman to take a bite of her food first after the birchas ha'ne’henin and only then recite the leishev ba’sukkah.


  1. Perhaps a better alternative [from not just a halachic standpoint] would be to use a good wine for kiddush, with the intention of being kovai'a on it - the old barbarian [you know, those Jews at the time of chazal] minhag of a mishteh. Now that wine is relatively good, and relatively inexpensive [as opposed to in Europe], perhaps we should learn once again the inyan of simcha associated with wine.

    [In Ish al Ha'eidah [Succos], R. Eliyashiv ZT"L is quoted as saying that one is not yotzai simcha if he made kiddush on grape juice]

  2. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Yeah that story is in Meged Givos Olam -
    Rav Elyashiv visited Rav Shlomo Zalman in his sukkah and there was a bottle of grape juice on the table. They started talking about how to be yotze Simchas yom Tov and Rav Elyashiv said "Nisht mit dos..."

  3. Rambam Shabbos 30:9
    ט חייב אדם לאכול שלוש סעודות בשבת--אחת ערבית, ואחת שחרית, ואחת במנחה. וצריך להיזהר בשלוש סעודות אלו, שלא יפחות מהן כלל; ואפילו עני המתפרנס מן הצדקה, סועד שלוש סעודות. ואם היה חולה מרוב האכילה, או שהיה מתענה--פטור משלוש סעודות. וצריך לקבוע כל סעודה משלושתן על היין, ולבצוע על שתי כיכרות. וכן, בימים טובים.

    kevodam bimkomam munachim, but because Kiddush is the kevias seudah of Yom Tov, there is no problem of making the leishev basukah because the leishev is on the kevias seuda, and the hagafen is the kevias seuda.