By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com
It is an interesting question.
The family in question had guests coming on Chol HaMoed from Lakewood for a pizza get-together. The father, however, had a migraine. Nonetheless, the father deemed it inappropriate to recuse himself from the gathering in the Sukkah, notwithstanding that he was technically exempt – because of the principle of “Mitzta’er patur min HaSukkah.”
He stayed. He made “HaMotzi” for everyone and also recited the “Laishev BaSukkah.”
But did either bracha actually work?
A DEBATE IN THE POSKIM
This author would like to suggest that it is a debate among the Poskim.
THE CHAYEI ODOM’S VIEW
Rav Avrohom Danzig zt”l, author of the Chayei Odom (1748-1820) discusses an issue that pertains to another fascinating question. If someone lives in an apartment building without a Sukkah and he feels awkward and or uncomfortable eating in someone else’s Sukkah. Is that considered “Mitzta’er patur min haSukkah” and can he recite a bracha?
The Chayei Odom (147:2) explains that this type of Mitzta’er is different, because he can still control his own level of Simcha and or awkwardness or discomfort. Regarding rain or regarding illness – these are beyond his control, and it is forbidden to recite a blessing. It is clear from the Chayei Odom that his view is that one cannot be machmir in regard to the bracha when one is mitzta’er on account of ill-health.
RAV SHLOMO KLUGER’S VIEW
In his Chochmas Shlomo commentary to Shulchan Aruch (OC 639:7), Rav Shlomo Kluger zt”l (1785-1869) writes: “Perforce, we must say that it is only when it is raining, where it is like throwing water on the servant and from Heaven he is being shown that his service is not desired, that one may not be machmir – but in other situations, it is permitted and it is worthy to do so in my opinion.”
SO WHO DO WE PASKEN LIKE?
The Mishna Brurah (640:22) cites the view of the Chayei Odom as authoritative. At the very least then, it would seem that if the father does choose to join in, someone else should recite both the HaMotzi and the Laishev. Nonetheless, there are a number of other Poskim that seem to allow a person to be machmir (and this is also the implication of Rashi in Sukkah 28b “Bar Mimetallta”) – that being the case, each person should ask his own Rav or Posaik as to what should be done.
If someone did do it, it is this author’s opinion that b’dieved it is not considered a hefsek for the HaMotzi that was recited and a boruch shaim kevod malchuso need not be recited.
If one does have a migraine, please note that the picture on the right is not a poster, but a recommendation as to an effective and kosher migraine medication.
PLEASE HELP A VERY CHOSHUV HACHNASSAS KALLAH SITUATION
The author can be reached at [email protected]