The Talmud/Gemara in Shabbat 117b records a principle of using a mitzvah object for another mitzvah. Would using a leftover etrog or etrogim from Sukkot to make wine for kiddush/havdalah for Shabbat be an acceptable application of this principle?

  • Not sure what "acceptable" means since it's not an obligation
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 23 at 3:14
  • It’s at least comparable to using the lulav to start the fire to burn the chametz.
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jun 23 at 3:29
  • 2
    Wine is grape wine in halacha. You don't always need wine though but it is usually preferred.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jun 23 at 4:56
  • 1
    Practically I don't suggest using esrogim that are purchased for lulav and esrog. These tend to be grown with pesticides that are not safe for consumption as the main concern is to keep the fruit free of blemishes rather than being edible
    – Dude
    Commented Jun 23 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


This article https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/food/articles/dont-discard-that-etrog After Sukkot Is Over, Don’t Discard That Etrog! has a number of Post-Sukkot Etrog use ideas. Wine is not among them.

Etrogim are better known for jam than wine. Perhaps this recipe for lemon wine https://practicalselfreliance.com/lemon-wine/ can be adapted to use etrogim instead.

But the resulting "wine" - delicious or not. - would not however appear to qualify for borei peri hagafen So not an obvious choice for kiddush wine.

The idea of reusing Etrog and the other three of the arba minim is a “nice custom” rather than a mitvah some further ideas in this article What Should I Do with My Holiday Lulav and Etrog Set? https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1641900/jewish/What-Should-I-Do-with-My-Holiday-Lulav-and-Etrog-Set.htm

the best thing a person can do with an item like this is to use it for another Jewish observance. Here are some ideas for the lulav and etrog set:

Of the suggestions made, one that I have followed in the past is

Some insert cloves into the citrus (etrog) and let it dry, and use it as a fragrance during the havdalah ceremony.

Not quite Etrog wine for havdalah but an opportunity for the Etrog to play a meaningful supporting role. _________________________________

It may, however, be possible to use Etrog wine as an alternative to “hagafen”.

See Kiddush Without Wine by Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld

[Kiddush] is ideally done on wine (Talmud Pesachim 106a), which the Sages consider a means of lending importance to the declaration. If, however, wine (or grape juice) is not available, one may take an alternate food of importance. And the next most important food of the Shabbat meal is the challah (Shulchan Aruch 272:9). Here is the order of precedence: (a) Wine (or grape juice) (b) Challah: One first washes and then holds the two challahs in his two hands for the entire Kiddush. In Kiddush he replaces the blessing “borei pri hagefen” with “ha’motzi lechem min ha’aratez.” (c) Chamar Medina: This literally means “the wine of the country.” It refers to any beverage which is considered important locally. There are a wide range of opinions regarding what drinks fulfill this definition. In virtually all Western countries, beer and hard liquor (e.g. whiskey, scotch) definitely rate. If you are uncomfortable with those, tea or coffee are also acceptable.

(This final choice of chamar medina would not normally be relevant on Friday night, for a person who can neither have wine or bread will not be able to have a "meal" in its technical sense, and so will not be obligated in Kiddush.) On Shabbat morning, Kiddush fulfills a different purpose. It is not to remember the Sabbath, as that is done at the start of the day. Rather, it is a means of lending importance to the Shabbat meal. This is done by beginning it with a special drink. As on Friday night, the drink which would lend the most importance to the meal is wine. But if that is not feasible, Chamar Medina may be used.

  • I'll add something about kiddush over Chamar Medina into my answer.
    – Edward B
    Commented Jun 23 at 18:27

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