From the Rav’s Desk: Repeating blessing over food when going back and forth to Sukkah

Q&A relating to Sukkos

Question: [Sunday 20th Tishrei 5781]

I would like to know what I am to do when I temporarily leave my sukkah in middle of eating and then come back, if I’m required to repeat the before blessing over the food? For example, if I’m drinking a coffee in my Sukkah and then left my Sukkah to get something from the house and then came back, should the blessing of Shehakol be repeated prior to be continuing to drink my coffee?



This follows the regular law of whether one is required to repeat a blessing when one changes in area, and practically is dependent on where your sukkah is located.

Sukkah is located directly adjacent to door of home, or in closed backyard or porch: If it is located in your porch, or your backyard which is completely closed from all sides and does not have an entrance to the outside, then the blessing is not to be repeated, and you should initially have in mind whenever you say a blessing over food in the Sukkah to also intend to in the home if you so choose [even though in actuality you will only be eating in the sukkah, if you are a male]. Certainly, if your sukkah is built directly adjacent to an entrance to your home [such as a sliding door of a porch] and hence after entering through the door you enter straight into the sukkah, then the blessing is not to be repeated.

Sukkah is located in front yard or outside property of home: If the sukkah is located in one’s front yard from which one leaves his property, and certainly if it is not located in his property at all, such as if it is built in the courtyard of his building, or on the lawn near the street, then a before blessing of Shehakol, Hadama, and Haeitz [of non-seven species], must be repeated prior to continuing to eat foods and beverages of these blessings, if one left the sukkah in middle of eating them and then returned, and was not eating together with another person who remained there in the interim awaiting his return to continue their eating. One does not repeat the blessing of Mezonos, Hamotzi, Hagafen, or Haeitz of seven species unless he has yet to eat a Kezayis prior to initially leaving the sukkah in middle. However, initially one is to avoid leaving the sukkah in middle even when eating these foods [with exception to Hamotzi] being that it enters into a dispute as to whether the blessing is to be repeated, and hence one is to have someone else bring him something he needs rather than go himself and enter into a question of repeating the blessing. It all the above cases, one does not repeat the blessing if he was eating together with a friend in the sukkah who remained there in the interim while he left and awaited his returned. Likewise, in all the above cases, if one is able to see his original area of eating throughout the entire time of his exiting and leaving the sukkah, then the blessing is not to be repeated. To note, however, that this is quite difficult to achieve especially being that most Sukkos contain four walls which block one’s view of the area of eating.

Explanation: The laws of repeating the before blessing when leaving and then reentering a Sukkah in the midst of an eating or drinking session follows the same laws as any other time during the year in which we differentiate between one who goes from one room to another in the same home versus one who goes from outside to inside or vice versa. Thus, the law by a sukkah is dependent on where the Sukkah is located, and if it can be considered and defined as another room of the home, or is considered a courtyard of the home. Practically, in the laws of Kiddush Bemakom Seuda, Admur rules as we stated above and differentiates between whether the sukkah is found adjacent to the entrance of the home or in the courtyard, and so we differentiate above. The Poskim of today clarify that a backyard which is closed by all sides is treated like another room of the home and is not defined as a courtyard. However, seemingly this only applies by a backyard that does not have an entrance of the outside, as otherwise it is similar to a regular Chatzer, and certainly a front yard from which one leaves to the outside has the status of a Chatzer. Vetzaruch Iyun, as from some Poskim of today it is implied that even the front yard is the status of another room if it is completely enclosed.

Sources: See Admur 273:4; 178:1; Seder Birchas Hanehnin 9:11-14; Rama 273:1; M”A 273:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 178:4 footnote 14; SSH”K 54 footnote 33

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