Is there a way to tell whether the Pitum of an Etrog has been broken off or whether the Etrog had just grown that way (without a pitum)?

(I just seem to be a little worried about mine, so any advice based on experience and knowledge would be appreciated!)

  • 1
    They don't actually grow without a pitom, it is just that certain types naturally lose the pitom before the esrog ripens (while it is still on the tree). This is not considered chaseir. See here and here. As far as hiddur, see here.
    – Fred
    Oct 3, 2012 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


Edit: ( I have revised my answer as it was originally a bit misleading)

Some opinions hold that only if the pitam fell off in the early stages of the esrog's growth, does the esrog remain kosher. In such a case:

If there is an indentation at the tip of the Chotem, where the pitam was once attached, this is a clear indication that the pitam fell off in the early stages of the esrog's development, and the esrog is kosher. Another indication that the pitam fell of in the early satges of the the esrog's growth is a thin groove that encircles the area of the fallen pitam.

However some authorities are more lenient, and hold that a pitam that fell off even immediately before the esrog was picked does not render the esrog pasul.

In this case - then the following would be a sign that the pitam naturally fell off and would be kosher:

A clear indication that the pitam was fully dried while still on the tree is the presence of a scab that *fully cover*s the place where the pitam was severed...

If the place of the pitum is only partially covered with the scab , then it must be assumed that it was still partially attached while on the tree , and only fell off later , after the esrog was picked; consequently, the esrog must be considered pasul.

(Source: The four minim - apractical illusrated guide - by R. Avraham Chaim Adess [feldhaim publishers] - pp154-158)

I myself have seen a esrog with a broken pitum - and I can testify to the above. (ie - you don't see a nice clean scab but rather a bumby/jagged surface.

  • I'd think that its breaking off just before or after the esrog was detached would have the same look. But what do I know.
    – msh210
    Nov 2, 2012 at 2:35

The experts say if you can put a hair through the top then it must have fallen off!

  • 8
    What does this even mean? Put a hair through what?
    – Double AA
    Oct 3, 2012 at 1:06
  • 2
    Just to clarify: when you say “fallen-off” you mean it broke after harvest? (i.e. pasul). Or, it had “naturally” fallen-off? (i.e. kosher). Also, if you happen to have a source for this would be good!
    – Larry
    Oct 3, 2012 at 16:34
  • 2
    @SethJ [comment disagreeing with the need for visual aids, edited for appropriateness]
    – Yehuda
    Nov 3, 2012 at 19:58
  • 5
    Ouch. That was a bit unnecessary. Your answer is vague at best. How would one insert a hair into a solid object? Is the assumption that if it fell off the base of it is softer? That there is a hole? Is this a metaphor? How do you not see that 4 people (besides me) voted this down? How do you not see that 5 people have voted up @doubleaa's comment? I at least tried to offer a suggestion that you include a visual aid. I'm assuming, to your credit, that this answer at least has merit.
    – Seth J
    Nov 3, 2012 at 23:27
  • 5
    If you cannot accept that many people do not understand what you are saying, I'm sorry, but you should not take offense. Instead, try to improve your answer.
    – Seth J
    Nov 3, 2012 at 23:28

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