A Sukkah Built by a Non-Jew or a Child

 Courtesy of Ohr Olam Mishnah Berurah

Question: May one have a non-Jew build the sukkah?

Discussion: Everything other than the sechach may be built by a non-Jew, without qualification. With regard to the sechach, a Jew should put up either a tefach-by-tefach area (10 by 10 cm) of sechach, or sechach of any width across the entire length of the sukkah.23 The rest of the sechach may be put up by a non-Jew.24 In the event that none of the sechach was put up by a Jew, the sukkah is valid nevertheless. Note, however, that the non-Jew must put the sechach up to serve as a sukkah, or at least for the purpose of providing shade, not merely for privacy.

Question: May children put up the sechach?

Discussion: One is certainly encouraged to involve his children in the mitzvah. However, as with a non-Jew, an adult25 should ideally put on a tefach-by-tefach area (10 by 10 cm) of sechach, or even less if it covers the entire length of the sukkah.26

23. See Mishnah Berurah 636:4.

24. Shulchan Aruch 635; see Sefer Hasukkah, new edition, II, Bei’urim 55.

25. See Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 14:3; Sefer Hasukkah, new edition I, 21, footnote 26; II, Beirurim 56.

26. See Sefer Hasukkah new edition I: 21: footnote 25, and II: Beirurim 55. See, also, footnote 50 above.