Bamboo Schach for cheap(er)

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    I need to get a lot of Bamboo for this Yom Tov. Prices seems outrageous.

    Do all companies charge the same amount? Does anybody give better prices? I am looking for the polls, not the mats.


    Where are you located? I know someone with invasive bamboo and would be glad to get rid of it (but you’d have to cut it down yourself).


    Know anyone with “invasive” or “non-invasive” PINE leaves (to put atop the bamboo)? It makes the Sukkah smell delicious.


    My father-in-law has a backyard full of invasive bamboo. I happen to think it’s beautiful, but my husband, who grew up seeing it as a nuisance, disagrees.


    @Eclipse – we used pine leaves once, and the needles kept falling into our food! Biiiiiig mistake.

    It would be fun, however, to have both bamboo schach AND a bamboo cradle, AND decorate the sukkah with Oriental decorations, AND make all the kids read “Bamboo Cradle” as part of a Sukkos Reading Program. 😛


    Bookworm: Really? I was trying to re-create my childhood Sukkos memories, but I don’t remember the needles. Maybe Canadian trees are less abrasive:)


    There’s also no reason why you couldn’t use nesarim, narrow slats of lumber/wood, for sechach. The Gemara mentions these explicitly. These would be a lot cheaper than buying a bamboo schach mat with hashgacha. Rambam, Hilchot Sukkah 5:7, says:

    “Boards which are less than four handbreadths wide may be used for sechach even though they have been planed. If they are more than four handbreadths wide, they should not be used as s’chach, even though they have not been planed. This is a decree [instituted] lest one sit under a roof and regard it as a sukkah.

    If one placed a board which was more than four handbreadths wide over [a sukkah, the sukkah] is kosher. However, one should not sleep under the board. A person who did sleep under the board has not fulfilled his obligation.

    There were boards that were four handbreadths wide, but less than four handbreadths thick. A person turned them on their side so that they would not be four handbreadths wide to use them as s’chach. This is not acceptable, because a board is unacceptable for use as s’chach whether one uses its width or thickness.”


    From my husband:

    While nesarim on their own are cheaper than bamboo mats, it’s a case of yotzei s’charo b’hefsedo. Once you have the nesarim, you can’t attach them to the sukkah (except by something that is in its natural state and is not m’kabel tumah…this excludes nails, staple gun, thumb tacks, and pretty much every type of fastener you can imagine). Even most types of string and yarn are woven and therefore m’kabel tumah. With the bamboo mats, you’re not paying for “hashgacha,” but for the attachment of the bamboo poles using non-woven string (i.e. not m’kabel tumah). (see Star-K’s website on Halachos of Schach).

    Even if you had the time and energy to acquire such string and use it to attach nesarim to each other, you would have to tie them in such a way that allowed at least some light in (most wood that I have bought from lumberyards wasn’t perfectly straight, but was sufficiently even to line up with similar shaped pieces of wood in a manner that would not allow light to penetrate if the boards were placed next to each other).

    Furthermore, I wonder whether the extent to which “nesarim” have been processed already makes them m’kabel tumah…


    There is minhag not to use nesarim because of ‘gezeras tikra” and according to Rema, you certainly should not use them if u are ashkenazi. It has nothing to do with mkabel tumah, a poorly understood and much abused (in the chumra direction) concept.


    twisted… could you possibly explain that in plain english?

    Sorry, but I’m still learning. thanks.

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