Shemini Aseret

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Eating in the Sukkah

Outside Israel

  1. Outside Israel, on the eighth day of Sukkot (first day of Shemini Aseret), one should eat in the Sukkah without a Bracha, and there’s a dispute whether one must sleep in the Sukkah the night of the eighth day. [1] There’s an old minhag to be lenient regarding eating in the Sukkah on Shemini Aseret, however, one shouldn’t follow this unless one has accepted this practice from his parents or rabbis. [2]

In Israel

  1. Some say that a Jew from outside Israel who is visiting Israel for Sukkot should not eat in the Sukkah if it’s difficult to sit alone in the Sukkah. [3] However, if he is alone anyway, such as if he’s in a hotel, he should eat in the Sukkah, while still others hold that in Israel (even those keeping two days) don’t sit in the Sukkah on Shemini Aseret. [4] [The Minhag of Yeshivat Shaalvim is to eat in the Chadar Ochel.]

Sleeping in the Sukkah

  1. Regarding sleeping outside the Sukkah on the eighth day of Sukkot, there’s a dispute in the achronim and in conclusion, the minhag is not to sleep in the Sukkah, while for Sephardim, one should be careful to sleep in the Sukkah. [5]

Appearing like Bal Tosif

  1. If one must eat in a Sukkah on Shemini Aseret (or the ninth day of chag for outside Israel) as there’s no room inside, then one should remove 4x4 tefachim of shach to show that one doesn’t intend to add to the mitzvah. [6]
  2. It’s permissible to eat in the Sukkah after Shemini Aseret and it’s not an issue of Bal Tosif. [7]
  3. It’s permissible to eat or sleep in the Sukkah before Sukkot (erev Sukkot) and it’s not an issue of Bal Tosif. [8]


  1. Rambam (Sukkah 6:13), Tur and S”A 668:1 write that one should eat in the Sukkah on the eighth day of Sukkot but not make a Bracha (based on Gemara Sukkot 47a).
  2. There’s an old minhag to be lenient in not eating in the Sukkah from the time of Rashi recorded in Sefer HaPardes, Machzor Vitri (Siman 284), and Maharil (Hilchot lulav) (see Natai Gavreil Arba Minim Sh”t 4). The Piskei Teshuvot 668:1 brings in the name of the achronim that there’s room to be lenient since the Korban Netanel writes that the entire establishment of sitting in the Sukkah on the eighth day is based on the assumption that it’s comfortable and beloved to a person, however, if it’s cold or wind is present then one shouldn’t sit in the Sukkah. However, the Piskei Teshuvot concludes stringently based on the Sh”t Divrei Israel 1:200 that one should follow this minhag unless one has a tradition for it and it’s not comfortable outside. Aruch HaShulchan 668:3 writes that the gedolim have criticized those who just eat Kiddish in the Sukkah and then eat a meal inside. Mishna Brurah 668:5 also seems to hold that regarding eating one shouldn’t change from the ruling of S”A.
  3. Natai Gavriel (Hilchot Arbah Minim Sh”t 8), Sh”t Minchat Yitzchak 9:54, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Sh”t Minchat Shlomo 1:19, Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef in Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 480-1), Ot Hei LeOlam (vol 2 pg 87c; quoted by Sdei Chemed Sukkah 1)
  4. Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 480-1) writes explicitly that if it’s not difficult to eat in the Sukkah such as one is staying by himself then he should sit in the Sukkah. However, from the language of Sh”t Minchat Shlomo 1:19 it seems that one is exempt in all circumstances, so writes the Piskei Teshuvot 668:2 in name of Sh”t Minchat Yitzchak and Sh”t Minchat Shlomo.
  5. Darkei Moshe 668:2 writes that there’s room to be lenient regarding sleeping outside the Sukkah, but doesn’t codify it in S”A. Mishna Brurah 668 brings the opinion of the Gra who was very strict in obligating one to sleep in the Sukkah on the eighth day but concludes that there’s room to be lenient by sleep and so is the minhag of the world. However, the Bet Yosef 668 writes that sleeping is no different than eating in the Sukkah and so Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 479) rules that one must sleep in the Sukkah like any other night.
  6. S”A 666:1, Mishna Brurah 666:5 explains that there’s no real Bal Tosif since not during the time of the mitzvah one doesn’t violate Bal Tosif unless one intends to add to the mitzvah, however there is an issue of appearing like adding to the mitzvah which is only applicable on Shemini Aseret.
  7. Rama 666:1 writes that it’s clear that one isn’t sitting in the Sukkah to fulfill the mitzvah after Sukkot and so there’s no issue of Bal Tosif, however it would be an issue on Shemini Aseret because it’s so close to the holiday.
  8. Chazon Ovadyah pg 481 holds that’s there no issue of Bal Tosif before the mitzvah was done. Interestingly, Piskei Teshuvot 666:1 raises this issue (writes that it’s strange that no one addresses this issue) and concludes leniently and adds that it’s preferable to eat a meal or snack (KeBeytzah of mezonot) outside the Sukkah after eating in the Sukkah to show that one clearly doesn’t want to add to the mitzvah.