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Sukkot - Using Bamboo Fencing

Using Bamboo Fencing for Schach

For many years, Rabbi Gedalia D. Schwartz, זצ״ל and יבלח״ט Rabbi Shmuel Feurst and Rabbi Yona Reiss were among the halachic authorities to permit the use of bamboo fencing that is sold at home improvement stores (e.g. Home Depot and Loews) to be used for schach.


The basis of this decision was:

1. Unlike bamboo window shades or other such finished products, the bamboo fencing was not a designated "utensil" ["kli"] and therefore like plain bamboo poles, was not "mekabel tumah."

2. The thin wires that were woven between the bamboo was not a "davar hama'amid," - did not hold the bamboo up and therefore, did not invalidate these mats from being used. As an added precaution, they instructed that these mats should be placed perpendicular to the boards that supported them.

3. These mats provided sufficient shade to fulfill the requirement that "tziltah merubah mei'chamtah" - more shade than sunlight.


However, recently it became apparent that after repeated use many of these mats lost some of their bamboo, and therefore, there was more light than shade - invalidating the sukkah.


As a result, the cRc is no longer recommending specific bamboo mats for Sukkot and recommend that people who continue to use them add additional schach to their sukkah - either doubling the mats or adding branches or other permitted schach items.

Wed, December 6 2023 23 Kislev 5784