I hope everyone had an enjoyable sukkos and is ready to get back to the regulat grind.
The first night we had a massive downpour right after maa'riv which of course leads into the question of what is one supposd to do when it rains the first night. Basically, there are 2 shittos in the Rishonim. Some Rishonim hold that the first night one has a chiyuv to eat in the sukkah even if it rains. The petur of mitzaeir does not apply the first night. Other Rishonim hold that the petur of mitztaeir does apply the first night and one does not have to eat in the rain. What is the lomdus of the machlokes? There are actually a couple of ways to learn the machlokes. One way is to say that they argue in how to understand the chiyuv of eating in the sukkah the first night. Teh gemara says that we have a gezeirah shava of 15-15 from Pesach to teach us that eating in the sukkah the first night is not optional. Just like one has a chiyuv to eat matzxah the first night so too one has a chiyuv to eat in the sukkah the first night. The question is what is the chiyuv. Does the gezeirah shava just tell us that one has to eat bread the first night and since you can't eat outside the sukkah you have to eat it in the sukkah. However, there is no specific chiyuv to eat in the sukkah. The other way to understand the gezeirah shava is that the limud is telling us that there is a specific chiyuv to eat in the sukkah. It is not enough to eat bread but that bread must be eaten in the sukkah. One nafka mina would be how much bread does one have to eat. If the chiyuv is just to eat bread then one can argue you only need to eat a k'zayis. (You woud then also need to say that the achilas k'zayis on the first night becomes an achilas keva and m'meilah you would require a sukkah for the k'zayis.). According to the 2nd tzad, the chiyuv is to davka eat in the sukkah and since an achilas sukkah is a beitzah, you need to eat a beitzah of bread.
A second nafka mina is our case. Does the petur of mitztaeir/rain/teishvu k'ein taduru apply the first night. If the chiyuv is just to eat bread and you only need a sukkah to allow you to eat the bread so there would still be a petur of mitztaeir/rain/teishvu k'ein taduru and you would be able to eat the k'zayis of bread in the house. According to the 2nd tzad, the chiyuv is to davka eat in the sukkah and one could argue that there is no petur of mitztaeir/rain/teishvu k'ein taduru and one would need to eat the bread in the sukkah even in the rain.
I would just point out that one could argue the two sides differently-ayin Aruch Hashulchan.
What does one do l'halacha? The truth is that even according to the tzad you have a chiyuv to eat in the sukkah in the rain, the chiyuv only applies to the first beitzah/k'zayis. So in reality one could make kiddush in the house, eat the meal and see if it stops raining. If it stops you can go outside eat in the sukkah and be yotzei both shittos. If it doesn't stop raining you could still go outside eat a k'beitzah in the rain and be yotzei the shitta that you need to eat in the rain. The problem is what to do with the beracha of shehechiyanu. The beracha of shehechiyanu goes on the yom tov and on the sukkah. If you made kiddush in the house the shehechiyanu only goes on yom tov. Therefore, the Mishna Berura and other poskim like the Mateh Efraim and Pri Megadim reccomend waiting an hour or two before making kiddush.
I actually had decided to start eating around 9:30 and right when I was ready to make kiddush teh rain stopped. We had our whole meal in the sukkah.
Waiting until Chatzos
There is a shittah brought down to wait until chatzos. It is quoted from the Maharil, although the Sharei Teshuva says that in the Teshuvas Maharil he writes noone did this and the Teshuvos are the ikkar.
The Bekurei Yaakov and Chayei Adam also say to wait until chatzos. The Chayei Adam says you can make kiddush in the house after 2 hours but you should try to stay up until chatzos to eat a k'beitzah in the sukkah. . The Bekurei Yaakov (639:33) says the reason is based on the Magen Avraham that if you don't have wine for kiddush one should wait until chatzos to see if we can get wine. So here too we wait until chatzos to see if we can eat in the sukkah. My problem with the Bekurei Yaakov is that according to all shittos, if it would not be for the beracha of shehechiyanu, you can really make kiddush in the house as long as you eventually eat a k'zayis in the sukkah. So really the only reason you are waiting to make kiddush until chatzos is to get out of the problem of shehechiyanu. But that does not seem to be what the Bekurei Yaakov is saying. He seems to be saying we should be willing to wait until chatzos for it to stop raining to start the entire meal cause we wait up to chatzos to do the mitzvah-just like kiddush. This implies we need to wait up to chatzos for the atual mitzvah not just for shehechiyanu, but then why can't we start the meal earlier and just wait until chatzos to eat a k'beitzah
I think a possible hesber is the following. The GR"A says that the reason you are patur when it rains is caause there is no shem sukkah. In other words, the petur of mitztaeir and petur of rain are not the same. By mitztaeir I have a perfectly good sukkah outside to use, however since to sit in it would not be k'ein taduru I am patur. By rain, the reason I can't sit in the sukkah is because I don't have a sukkah to use. The rain takes away the shem sukkah. According to this, on the first night I really am chayuv to sit in a sukkah. the only reason I can't is because I don't have a sukkah to sit in. I can't eat in the house because I am really chayuv in sukkah. So how long must I wait to get a sukkah? We learn from the Magen Avraham that just like I wait until chatzos to see if I can get wine for kiddush, hu hadin I wait until chatzos to ss if I can get a sukkah-if it stops raining I'll have a sukkah. I think this also explains another part of the Bekurei Yaakov. He throws in the idea that if you are mitztaeir to wait you can eat. But what does he gain by this/. How is this different than the petur of rain? The answer is that they are 2 very different peturim. Mitztaeir is a petur in yeshivas sukkah while rain says I don't have a sukkah to sit in.