Sukkah Furnishings

 Courtesy of Ohr Olam Mishnah Berurah

Question: What should I have inside my sukkah?

Discussion: The sukkah should be treated as one’s main living quarters throughout Sukkos. Therefore, it should be furnished in the way that one would want to keep his living area, with nice utensils, tablecloths, etc. (even on Chol Hamoed).84

Included in this dictum is that one should not leave dirty dishes in the sukkah. Additionally, we customarily refrain from bringing pots to the table to serve from, since one would not usually bring a pot to one’s dining area.85

Question: Should one install a heater or air conditioner in the sukkah?

Discussion: One is certainly encouraged to do so, if possible, for a number of reasons.86 However, it is most often costly and/or highly impractical, and it is not a requirement.87 Yet, if one’s sukkah will be unlivable for the duration of Sukkos without a heater or air conditioner, it may well be truly required. An unlivable sukkah is not valid, and one is required to incur even great expense to ensure that he has a valid sukkah to be in on Sukkos.88

Question: If I make my sukkah on the patio where I keep my gas grill, may I leave the gas grill in the sukkah?

Discussion: The halachah is that pots and pans should not be brought into the sukkah, since one would not usually bring them to his dining area.89 Therefore, since one would not either keep a barbeque grill in his dining area, it should not be kept in the sukkah. However, if it is too difficult to remove it, it may simply be covered.90

84. Shulchan Aruch 639:1.

85. This is to the exclusion of Pyrex dishes and the like, which are made to be used for cooking and serving equally.

86. First, because this is a most optimal fulfillment of the mitzvah of teishvu k’ein taduru—to live in the sukkah in the manner that one lives in his home. Second, it ensures that one will not encounter questionable situations regarding the sukkah obligation and regarding the berachah of leisheiv basukkah in inclement weather. Additionally, it enhances one’s mitzvah of enjoyment of Yom Tov.

87. See Pri Megadim, Mishbetzos Zahav 639:13; see, also, Maharach Ohr Zarua, 194. See, also, He’ir Yosef (Lorence), Sukkah, chapter 61.

88. Chut Shani, p. 258.

89. See Mishnah Berurah 639:5.

90. Although the grill is still in the sukkah, since it cannot be seen, its presence does not compromise the dignity of the sukkah. Hence, it is permitted.