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Wikipedia writes, (unsourced) that standard Eretz Yisrael Esrogim are Ordang Esrogim, because virtually all of the Esrogim in Eretz Yisrael were safek murkav (possibly grafted) or produced exceptionally low quality fruit, besides for one tree growing in the backyard of a Shochet named Ordang.

Later an ungrafted tree was found in the backyard of a Shochet in Hadera with the name ordang. Today, most Hasidic communities in Israel, as well as in the diaspora, are using descendants of this strain while planted under rabbinical Hashgacha.

Does anyone have any information about this Esrog? How did they know that it was certainly not grafted, unlike all of the other Esrogim grown in Eretz Yisrael?

Lekicha Tama by Rabbi Reit (page 78) says that according to one version these were actually Corsica Esrogim cultivated by Rabbi Ordang under the supervision of the Badatz.

Any details you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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  • There's a story of the Chazon Ish picking an esrog tree and saying it was not murkav, but I don't know if it was this one.
    – N.T.
    Sep 5, 2021 at 6:16

1 Answer 1

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+50

So it writes here the following about a Rov called Rabbi Eliezer Aliner, Libava, Latvia, (1904-1980):

Rabbi Eliezer Aliner was born in the city Leipaja/Libava on the coast of the Baltic Sea. This city was used by many rabbis as a summer resort. From an early age Rabbi Eliezer spent much time with them, and he gathered many stories about the activities and the customs of great men of Yisrael. In his own home, from his parents Shraga Feibush and Breina, whose family name was Ordang, he absorbed an education that combined Torah and Zionism, together with general studies. He went to Berlin, where he studied in the Beit Midrash for rabbis. He learned chemistry in the University of Berlin in order to be able to work in the Dead Sea Works. In 5687 (1927), the Ordang family made aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. His parents and his brother Tuvia, who studied agronomy, settled in Chadeira. The family planted an orchard there which included a grove of etrog trees. The species of etrogim that they grew were called "Etrogei Ordang." Eliezer moved to Jerusalem in order to continue his studies in the Chemistry Department of Hebrew University.

When researching a bit further I came across this site which has a number of very good sources in the footnotes which where possible, I have linked. It writes as follows:

אורדנג-חדרה

אתרוגי אורדנג נטעו ע"י שרגא פייבוש אורדנג בשנת תרפ"ז בחדרה, אתרוגים אלו קיבלו הכשר על ידי רבנים שונים[126]. אולם בשם החזו"א ישנה שמועה שפקפק על אתרוגי אורדנג[127].

יש הטוענים שמקור אתרוגים אלו הוא משכם[128], ויש המשערים שמקורם באתרוגי יפו[129].

הפרדס של אורדנג התייבש בשנת תשט"ז, ואת אתרוגי חדרה גידלו אנשים שונים שלקחו מאתרוגים אלו בתקופות שונות (חלקם לפני הפקפוקים שהעלה החזו"א).

אתרוגים אלו גודלו בהיקף נרחב על ידי ר' אברהם גרוס, ואלו הם "אתרוגי חדרה" שמגדלים עד היום[130]. אתרוגי אורדנג מצויים גם אצל פרדסנים אחרים, חלקם בשמות אחרים[131].

אתרוגים אלו נפוצים מאד בשוק, והינם קטנים יחסית (פרי בשל מגיע עד ק"ג אחד), בעל בליטות ושקערוריות יפות, חוטם מחודד, ובעלי פיטמים[132].

Chadeira Esrogim

Ordang Esrogim were planted by Shraga Feivush Ordang in the year 5687 (1927) in Chadeira. These Esrogim received their hechsher through different Rabbonim.1 However it is brought in the name of the Chazon Ish that he doubted these type of esrogim.2

There are those who claim that these esrogim came originally from Shechem3 and there are those who speculated that they originate from Yaffo Esrogim.4

Ordang's orchard dried up in 1967, and Chadeira esrogim were grown by different people who took from these esrogim in different periods. (Some of them before the doubts raised by the Chazon Ish).

These esrogim were grown extensively by Rav Avraham Gross, and these are the "Chadeira esrogim" that are grown to this day.5 Ordang esrogim are also found in other orchards, some by other names.6

These esrogim are very common in the market, and are relatively small (Ripe fruit reaches up to one kilogram)

They have beautiful bumps (blitos) and depressions, a pointed nose (chotem), and has a pitom.7


I have translated the footnotes of the Hebrew text into English....

1 HaRav Yosef Chaim Bornstein, the Rov of Chadeira in the year 5698 (1937) Esrogei Eretz Yisroel p.43. And according to testimony, Rabbi Kook also accepted these esrogim (Esrogei Eretz Yisroel ibid.). Rabbi Meir Karlitz ( Esrogei Eretz Yisroel p.48-49), also the Badatz Eida HaChareidis gave their hechsher to these esrogim (Moadim V'Zmanim, cheilek 6, siman 60, Esrogei Eretz Yisroel, p.50)

2 Moadim V'Zmanim, cheilek 6, siman 60. Arbaas Haminim Lemehadrin p. 281. Esrogei Eretz Yisroel p.49-55. Taharas HaEsrogim. See also above regarding the Chazon Ish's letter on the grafting done according to Rabbi Kook's instructions (I think it is Kovetz Igros, Cheilek alef, 191 but can't find online to check).

3 As witnessed about Rav Avraham Gross in Esrogei Eretz Yisrael p.44

4 Esrogei Eretz Yisrael p.44 in the name of HaRav Levi Yitzchak Sofer. And he writes in his Taharas HaEsrogim pp.127-131 - He clarified that this is not certain with him, but brought some reinforcements to this belief because of the way in which these esrogim grow, which are similar to descriptions of Corfu esrogim and not to the original esrogim of the Land of Israel (Similarly brought in the Kuntres Pe'ulas Tzadik L'Chaim and Shu"t Minchas Eliezer). And explained there (in a note) that this is the reason of the Chazon Ish who was against the Ordang Esrog because he was specifically searching for the original esrogim of the land of Israel. From his words it appears that he prefers the tradition regarding Corfu esrogim which is the form of the esrogim that has been handed down from generation to generation rather than the strain of the Chazon Ish (see in Taharas HaEsrogim p.147)

And see about the esrogim of the Land of Israel that were indeed esroims in the Land of Israel that came from Corfu.

5 Esrogei Eretz Yisrael p. 46

6 Esrogei Eretz Yisrael p.48, Pri Eitz Hadar p.127

7 Esrogei Eretz Yisrael p.45

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  • Excellent answer. Thanks! However, your copy of Taharas Ha'esrogim is clearly different than the copy the author had and the pages quoted there don't say what the author says they say. I do appreciate you finding the correct page for the first one.
    – Eliyahu
    Sep 9, 2021 at 4:23
  • Ah okay - if I have some spare time I will try to locate the said passage and relink.
    – Dov
    Sep 9, 2021 at 7:16
  • Okay. I'll accept the answer in the meantime and release the bounty. Thanks so much!
    – Eliyahu
    Sep 9, 2021 at 19:06
  • Pleasure! Thank YOU!
    – Dov
    Sep 9, 2021 at 19:37

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