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Mom, Dad, Me, And The Tree

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Succah Under a Tree

David Sher wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I've spent a short time (around 11 days) in Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem and a few weeks in Ohr Somayach in Monsey and have enjoyed both. Alas, it is difficult for adults such as myself with professions to be able to take off much more than a week or two every few years for immersion in Torah study.

So anyway, I've just arranged to have my parents have a succah. Since I have an apartment, it was impossible for me to have one. However there are questions that came up, particularly about the schach (roofing). I'll try to ask my rabbi, but it is a very busy time and perhaps you can point me in the right direction in case he is not available.

Here's my question: If a tree above a succah prevents one from seeing the sky because of its leaves, does that invalidate the succah? A tree is above the porch which would be the most convenient place for a succah. However, an alternate location with clear sky is available.


Dear David Sher,

A succah must be directly under the sky; if it's built underneath anything else, it's invalid. Even if the foliage of the tree is very thin, it could still invalidate an otherwise valid succah according to some authorities. Therefore, extreme caution should be taken when building a succah in order to avoid placing it under a tree.

Sources:

  • Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 626:1
  • Aruch Hashulchan Orach Chaim 626


 
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