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Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet

As long as one is not blocking any public pathways – thus no chillul Hashem – why not? Invite some strangers in while you’re at it and encourage them to do a Mitzvah.

I don’t see this to be any different to those wonderful sukkah mobiles which I used to love riding in as a child. It enables the joy of Sukkos to permeate throughout.


And there’s certainly no need to be embarrassed from mockers. The only response to that is wearing ones Judaism loud and proud.

– Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet is a popular Lubavitch lecturer and rabbi of London’s Mill Hill Synagogue

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While the primary source for the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah during the seven days of the holiday of Sukkos is presented in Parshas Emor (Vayikra 23:42), later on, in Parshas Re’eh (Devarim 16:13), the Torah uses the word “lecha” – “for yourself” – in connection with this holiday, Based on this word, the Gemara in Sukkah (27b) notes that a stolen sukkah is invalid, as it is not “yours.” If, therefore, one would steal a truck or a wagon which has a sukkah on it, he would be unable to fulfill his obligation in that sukkah. Due, however, to a Talmudic ruling that land, which is obviously immovable, cannot be considered stolen (see Sukkah 31a), if one were to build a sukkah for himself on somebody else’s property (without permission), or even forcibly remove a property owner from his own sukkah and thereby take possession of it, he would fulfill his obligation in that sukkah despite this act of theft (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 637:3). Nonetheless, the Rema there rules that it is improper to use such a sukkah, and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav there (No. 11) explains that such a sukkah is not considered fully “yours,” adding that one may not make the berachah on sitting in the sukkah under such circumstances, though not everyone agrees to this point (see Mishnah Berurah there, No. 10).

As for building one’s sukkah on public property, such as a sidewalk or a street, it is proper to do so only if one first obtains a permit from the municipal authorities. If one does not have this permission, the Magen Avraham there (No. 3) considers this sukkah to be in the category of a stolen sukkah, and the aforementioned Shulchan Aruch HaRav concurs. The Mishnah Berurah, however, in his Biur Halachah there (d”h ve-chein be-karka), quotes many who disagree and maintain that one may in fact build a sukkah on public property even without a permit, and that one may make the appropriate berachah upon eating in it. It would seem, however, that one should at least be able to ascertain that the authorities would not in principle object to the presence of this sukkah and that it should not completely block off some thoroughfare or passageway, as noted by Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, among others (see Halichos Shlomo on Moadim: Tishrei-Adar 7:11).

One certainly may, of course, build one’s sukkah anywhere on one’s own private property. One must, however, be cognizant of the impact which the location of his sukkah may have on his neighbors. Rav Chaim Falagi, in his Moed Le-Chol Chai (21:25), writes that one should not build one’s sukkah in such a way that it will block his neighbor’s windows and prevent natural light from getting through, unless the neighbor indicates that he doesn’t mind. A potential problem with building a sukkah, even on one’s own property, right near a public sidewalk is the possibility of there being an unpleasant odor in such a place, either from sewage pipes and the like or from waste. The Mishnah Berurah in the Biur Halachah cited above mentions that it is improper to have one’s sukkah in a place near where people relieve themselves, and the Shulchan Aruch (ibid. 640:4) indicates that one should not have his sukkah in a place which has a bad smell. One may add that the possibility of loud noise in a public area should also be taken into consideration, as that too can disturb one’s experience in the sukkah, and that it might thus be best to avoid building one’s sukkah very near to a public sidewalk, if possible.

– Rabbi Michael Taubes has been involved in Jewish education, formal as well as informal, for over 40 years, serving both in the classroom and in various administrative posts. He is presently a Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS and Yeshiva University High School for Boys. In addition, he is the spiritual leader of Congregation Zichron Mordechai in Teaneck, N.J.

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In the city of Efrat and all over Israel one can see sukkot everywhere during the holiday of Sukkot. They can be seen on porches, or on the street, near restaurants and on front lawns some even on public areas.

In answer to the question posed, I don’t think that the issue here is halachic in nature. Anyone has the right to place his/her sukkah anywhere on their property. In the United States the issue might be that such action might provoke people to acts of anti-Semitism which has spiraled in the States. If that is the issue, it would be advised not to build it there because you are bringing a danger on to yourself.

One might also check if it might be a zoning issue.

– Rabbi Mordechai Weiss lives in Efrat, Israel, and previously served as an elementary and high school principal in New Jersey and Connecticut. He was also the founder and rav of Young Israel of Margate, N.J. His email is [email protected].

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Not permitted if permission is not obtained.

– Rabbi Jachter is a prominent rabbi who serves as the rabbi at Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, and is a popular Torah teacher at the Torah Academy of Bergen County. He also serves as a Dayan on the Beth Din of Elizabeth and has acquired an international reputation of excellence in the area of Get administration. He has authored sixteen books on issues ranging from contemporary Halacha, Tanach, Aggada, and Jewish Thought all available on Amazon.


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