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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - Sukkah Roof
Submitted by Alex Rose  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Dear Rav Moncharsh, Thank you for your scholarly response. Apparently, I was not clear in the information I provided. In the first instance, you should know that we specifically purchased our apartment having in mind a sukkah. Such facilities in Ashkelon high rise buildings are rather limited. The wooden slats are intended to be the schach and there is no ready means to roll conventional schach onto the slats. The sukkah is a fair size and completely surrounded by walls, two of which border on the edge of the sukkah facing the outside space. The slats do not have screws into the wall supports, but are notched. The wooden beams are at right angles to the schach [slats]. We are able to be seated so as not to be under the screws. We could possibly loosen a few slats at the edge prior to the commencement of the festival in order to satisfy temporary dwelling. Looking forward to your valued suggestions, Alex Rose

I commend you for your foresight in searching for an apartment compatible with building a sukka. I'm still not sure if I understand the situation precisely, and it may be helpful if you could email a photo of the porch.

Let me give a little background and see if that helps clarify the issues. There are 3 qualifications for sechach to be Kosher. It must grow from the ground, as opposed to metal, glass or plastic. It must not be an object capable of becoming tamei such as food or a vessel with a receptacle. It must not be attached to the ground, as opposed to a tree branch that has not been severed. Furthermore, a roof that is used the entire year is not valid for a sukka, even if it meets all 3 criteria. If you would screw down the slats, they would become comparable to the tree branch and would be lacking in the third condition. It would not help to loosen just a few slats, because the remaining ones would be invalid as if they were made from metal. It also does not help to avoid sitting under the screws, because the problem is not the screws themselves but the slats which they would render pasul. That is why I recommended placing a couple of 2x4s on top of the slats to hold them down. Their weight should make the sukka safe but not create an issue of being attached.

posted:2009-02-16 07:26:15

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