Dwelling in the Sukkah
[Editor's note: we have skipped halachos 3 through 6 of this chapter]
7. On the remaining nights (aside from the first), and similarly, during
all the days [of Succos], there is no obligation to eat [only] in the
sukkah. However, should one desire to eat an "achilas keva" (lit: "fixed
meal") or to sleep, one is obligated to do so in the sukkah.
What is considered an "achilas keva"? More than a "k'beitzah" (1) of
bread, even when one does not sit down to eat it as a meal ("lo kovah
oleho"); the same applies even to "pas ha'boh be'kisnin" (2). Similarly, if
one sits down to a meal ("kovea seuda") of cooked foods made from the five
species of grain (3), and one will eat more than a "k'beitzah," one is
obligated to eat [the meal] in the sukkah, and to recite the blessing [for
the mitzvah to dwell in a sukkah], "leisheiv ba'sukkah".
In contrast, even when one sits down to a meal comprising a substantial
quantity of fruits, it is permissible to eat them outside the sukkah.
Similarly, wine and other beverages, or meat, cheese, [and other similar
foods], may be eaten outside the sukkah, provided one does not sit down to
eat them as a meal. If, however, one desires to drink wine or other
beverages as part of a meal ("derech kevah") or one sits down to a meal of
meat or cheese, it is necessary [to do so in] a sukkah. One should not,
however, recite the blessing "leisheiv ba'sukkah" (unless one is eating
bread with the meal). It is preferable that one eat bread beforehand, so
that one may recite the blessing ["leisheiv basukkah"].
The above represents the minimum requirements of the law. However, [our
Sages said] that one who is stringent with himself and does not drink even
water outside the sukkah, is praiseworthy.
(1) Opinions as to the size of a "k'beitzah" range from 86.23 ml to 100 ml.
In more concrete terms, a "k'beitzah" is two thirds of a slice of regular
sliced white bread or three quarters of a regular square machine matzah
("Halachos of K'zayis" by Rabbi Y. Bodner).
(2) Cake, biscuits, or pastry made from the five species of grain (see note 3).
(3) The five species are wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt.