The Halacha of Sukkot On The Go

It’s Tuesday night before Sukkos, 2:00 AM and I’m trying to get another post launched. I could delay writing till Chol Hamoed but I’d prefer not to deal with my blog during the festival. And besides, this is post #50 and it feels good to get it done on time…

Sukkos is my favorite festival; more than Pessach or Purim. Even more then SimchasTorah. There’s something really special about living inside a Sukkah for seven days and nights, where I can fulfill a biblical commandment every single moment without lifting a finger. Whether I eat, drink, study, sleep or just shmooz with family and friends, every second chalks up another Mitsvah. Something like passive income on a rising stock portfolio… As far as I’m concerned I can sit inside for seven days straight with occasional exits to attend the dancing of Simchas Beis Hasho’eva at the local Shuls.

Not everyone is like that. For some, Sukkos is a great time to travel. The weather is moderate, they’re on vacation and they love the outdoors. Of course one gets into the challenges of finding a Sukkah away from home or just eating outside a Sukkah a “I don’t have much of a choice, do I?”.

Actually it’s a bit more complicated then that. Sometimes travelers are exempt from eating in a Sukkah and sometimes they aren’t.

Traveling During Sukkot

If I had the energy to write more tonight, I’d put down the exact pertinent details and laws, but since it is now 3:00 AM I hope you’ll forgive me if I just give you the best source I could find – the YU Torah “Sukkot to Go” from 2008. Rabbi Daniel Stein put together an excellent summary of the Halochos of traveling on Sukkot in a pdf file entitled Sukkot on the Go? Traveling During Sukkot (click to download). He gives the Halachic responses to the following questions:

  • Are there any exceptions to the obligation to eat in a Sukkah for the traveler?
  • If yes, why? Under what circumstances may they be utilized?
  • May one embark on a journey knowing that there will be no Sukkah along the way?
  • Is there a difference between snacking versus eating a meal?

Easy Fold N Go Sukkah

Sukkot On The GoFor those who as a matter of principle will not eat out of a Sukkah under any circumstances, here’s a compact and cute portable solution called Easy Fold N Go Sukkah. It even comes with Schach. I have no idea whether the product has a Rabbinic stamp of approval. You’ll need to ask your own Rabbi, but the idea definitely has merit, in my humble opinion.

Chag Sameach !!