Friday, October 5, 2012

The Clics Sukkah - halachic issues

 Five Towns Jewish Times  by Rabbi Yair Hoffman

According to their website, “Clics are colored plastic building blocks that clic together to form hundreds of different models, limited only by the imagination of the child.

They are “produced in bite-proof safe, polypropylene, they are durable and able to withstand prolonged use under all conditions.”

Many people saw the Sukkah made out of Clics highlighted in a popular Vosizneias artcle just before Sukkos.  The Sukkah was constructed by Yonasan Schwartz, owner of Toys to Discover in Borough Park, with the assistance of numerous young boys from throughout Boro Park. The Sukkah, it is reported used over 30,000 Clics and was six by eight feet in its dimension.  

The question is: Are there any halachos about the use of the Sukkah’s clics after Yom Tov is over?

The Sukkas Chaim cites the Zichron L’Moshe which relates a fascinating story about the Chasam Sofer.  The Chasam Sofer had a Yeshiva in Pressburg where students came to study with him from far and wide.  There was one bochur who, while taking down the Sukkah after the Yom Tov, callously stepped upon the branches that were used for the Schach.  The Chasam Sofer felt that the young man’s insensitivity to something that was just used for the Mitzvah of Sukkah was not an insignificant issue.  The Chasam Sofer refused to take the young man as a student in his Yeshiva.

The issue, of course, is based on the Gemorah in Megillah 26b that states that items used for a Mitzvah (Tashmishei Mitzvah) may be thrown out.  Yet we do find (Shabbos 22a) that a use that is demeaning or undignified is forbidden.   The term used by the Poskim is Tashmish shel Bizayon.

In regard to our Clics Sukkah we, therefore, have three questions:  

1] What exactly defines a Sukkah?  Is it the Schach and the four walls?  Or is it just whatever is under the Schach (provided, of course, that what is under meets the size and stability requirements)? [...]

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