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The Ramban (Vayikra 23:40) writes

ועל דרך האמת "פרי עץ הדר" הוא הפרי שבו רוב התאוה ובו חטא אדם הראשון שנאמר (בראשית ג ו) ותרא האשה כי טוב העץ למאכל וכי תאוה הוא לעינים ונחמד העץ להשכיל ותקח מפריו ותאכל

The Eitz HaDaas was the Esrog which Adam HaRishon ate from. Why do we specifically take this fruit as part of the daled minim?

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  • Maybe to be mesaken the Chet
    – robev
    Sep 25 '20 at 15:48
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    @robev I wondered the same thing since we take grapes for kiddush and wheat for challah on shabbos (other identified species of eitz hadaas, but was wondering if someone wrote as much)
    – NJM
    Sep 25 '20 at 16:13
  • We have learned that if Adam had waited until after Shabbos to eat he would have been allowed. This may explain that the esrog symbolizes those who are both righteous and learned. It was only that Adam violated the command of Hashem that caused him to lose this symbolism. Sep 27 '20 at 1:05
  • According to Rabbi Akiva we use the Etz Hadaas even more often.
    – user6591
    Oct 8 '20 at 1:14
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Dirshu's Doresh Dovid (Moed p. 271) explains that the esrog is the fruit which reveals our intense desires - which can be used for good or not so much. After clearing our Heavenly accounts through teshuva over the Aseres Yemei Teshuva/Yom Kippur, we are able to fix (on our own level) the mistake of Adam Harishon and take the esrog to harness our profound inner desire to serve only Hashem.

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Rabeinu Bechaye says that using the Esrog on sukkos atones for the sin of the Aitz Hadaas which was an esrog. (According to shita it was an Esrog) There's also a medrash that implies Adam did the sin 5 days after yom kippur. Meaning the sin took place on sukkos. So we use an Esrog to atone for the sin that took place that day.

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  • Great find in the Rabbeinu Bechaye - would you please tell me where it's located?
    – NJM
    Oct 8 '20 at 2:57
  • I'll try to find it
    – Shlomy
    Oct 8 '20 at 3:16
  • @NJM: it's in his commentary on Bereishis 3:6: ומשם ואילך נצטוינו בתורה להביא בתשרי שנברא בו אדם אתרוג עם לולב ומיניו כדי לחבר וליחד את הכל. (He compares it to the way the Jewish people worshipped the Golden Calf, and then had to bring bulls as korbanos.)
    – Meir
    Nov 8 '20 at 16:59

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