Question: May one support kosher sechach in a sukkah by placing it on a davar she’mekabel tumah, an item that can receive impurity (i.e., metal)?
Answer: The Mishnah Berurah rules that doing so is only prohibited l’chatchilah (Orach Chayim 629:22).
What about sitting in (as opposed to building) a sukkah with sechach supported by a davar she’mekabel tumah? Can one sit in such a sukkah l’chatchilah or not? It is not clear what the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah is on this issue.
The Ba’al HaTanya, however, rules unequivocally that the prohibition of using a davar she’mekabel tumah to support kosher sechach is merely an issur l’chatchilah for the builder of the sukkah. On the other hand, people who wish to eat or sleep in a sukkah with sechach supported by a davar she’mekabel tumah may do so l’chatchilah (Shulchan Aruch Harav, Orach Chayim 629:13).
Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, has authored eight books on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and Judaica stores.