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In the last years, in Israel, on Erev Chag Succot, about 4 hours before the Chag begins, we witness an interesting phenomenon - incredible price drop for the 4 Minim, especially the expensive Etrog and Lulav. As they are absolutely worthless after the Chag starts, in about 20-30 minutes the sellers drop prices from 40-50 NIS to 5NIS (~$1.5) apiece (originally they start around 100-150 NIS).

The merchandise was of very good quality, I couldn't spot any blemishes. But frankly, buying a very Kosher Etrog and Lulav for 5 NIS felt somewhat cheap and disrespectful for the Chag, for which we follow the אנווהו principle.

I wondered if anybody addressed this issue: that one should spend a decent amount of money on the 4 Minim to show personal respect or that buying them as cheap as possible is just as good?

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While I can understand the emotional issue one may have with paying dirt-cheap prices for a mitzva, I do not see the connection between ואנווהו which literally means to glorify, which is done through the beautification of the mitzva-object as stated in the Talmud (Shabbat 133b), and the price spent on the mitzva. Do you have a source that the ואנווהו principle is said regarding the price too?

That have been said, perhaps it is fit to quote the Mate Ephraim (584,17) regarding purchasing an aliyah during the High Holidays: There is a higher virtue in a mitzvah that one paid money for, over a mitzvah that came free of charge.

To me it would seem simple that if one was given a nicer etrog than he already has, even if it is very cheap or even free, not accepting or buying it for emotional reasons is disrespectful for the mitzva.

  • The connection is simple - a cheap Mitzvah object would be disrespected. I agree that it's a greater Zchus, but the question was about sources that address that issue. – Al Berko Oct 16 at 17:11
  • A cheap Mitzvah object would only be disrespected if it's value is derived from it's monetary value, which clearly isn't the case. – Joe Howard Oct 16 at 17:33
  • To clarify: this is a type of questions that do not ask for Halacha, but rather for sources on the discussion. I appreciate your effort to discuss the issue in your answer, but the question is different. – Al Berko Oct 16 at 17:41
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I can't see how this make sense. According to this logic, it's preferable to pay the seller more then he asks...

A person that owns Etrog (citron) tree, that gives the best looking Etrog in town, can't accomplish ואנווהו because he gets it for free?

  • If you don't understand the logic it's worth to ask for clarification. It feels that buying Esrog for a buck is too cheap, and derogatory. I'd like to know if somebody addresses this issue – Al Berko Oct 15 at 8:45

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