I recently read that it's a Segulah (others put it as a minhag) for a pregnant woman to bite off the Pitum of the esrog on Hoshana Rabbah for an easy labor.

(please correct me if I misunderstood it)

What is the connection between biting off the pitum and childbirth?

I read in the Halacha For Today email for Wednesday, 21 Tishrei 5772 (October 19, 2011). The original email read:

It is a Segulah for pregnant women to bite off the Pitum of the Esrog on Hoshana Rabbah, and to give Tzedakah and daven for an easy labor. (See Likutei Maharich Sukkos page 106a. See also Elef Hamagen Siman 660:6 and Sefer Moed L'Kol Chai Siman 24:25 where a special Tefilah text is printed for the woman to say)


2 Answers 2


You may be mixing two separate customs together.

  1. Quoted in Taamei Minhagim (pg. 521 paragraph 68), saying he saw it in some Sefer:

    • There is a custom for women to bite off the pitum of the Etrog. The reason is because our sages say that (according to one opinion) the forbidden fruit Adam and Chava ate was an Etrog. Therefore she bites the Pitum in order to show that "just as I have no benefit/pleasure from biting a Pitum so too I had no benefit/pleasure from the sin"

    [Notice he does not say anything about Hoshanah Rabba]

  2. Two parter brought in the Kaf HaChaim 664:60, and was mentioned in my answer here:

    • There is a custom to take the Etrog used on Sukkot, turn it into Etrog Jelly, and eat it on Tu B'Shevat.
    • There is a custom for pregnant women to eat Etrog Jelly while in labor, as a Segulah for an easy labor, and children that grow up with a good and peaceful life.

Or perhaps not, since the custom is mentioned explicitly in Likutei Maharich Part 3 (pg 106A) by Yisroel Chaim Friedman. (as linked to on the webpage quoted by yydl in the comments to the question.)

  • See my comment above about this custom being explicitly mentioned in QS"A, Y"Y
    – Lee
    Oct 14, 2014 at 17:31

According to some the sin of the Eitz HaDaas was with a Esrog tree. Through this came the curse of pain by child birth. When the lady bites the Pittum she is saying "just like I have no enjoyment now, I had no enjoyment then (at the sin of the Eitz HaDaas). Taamei HaMinhagim Likutim 68

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .