In Hilchos Tzitzis (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim) Siman 8 Sif 9 the Machaber writes that one must check the tzitzis before making a bracha in order to be sure they are kosher so his bracha shouldn't be "l'vatala" (said in vein.)

Why isn't this same halacha said by the Arba Minim of Sukkos. Seemingly similar reasons could be applied since a person is handling them every day and could have become pasul (invalid for the mitzvah) either from his use or simply a p'sul could appear over night.

I heard this question was asked to Rav Chaim Kanevsky and he said that the Arba Minim should indeed be checked just like tzitzis. However the Shulchan Aruch doesn't say this, the question is why did he say it by tzitzis and not by arba minim?

1 Answer 1


I would venture the following: It's unnecessary to mandate checking Arba Minim.

Why do we need to check our tzitzis?

Casually glancing at your tzitzis will not reveal their Kosher status - there's no visible difference between 6 and 8 strings to the casual observer.

Tzitzis are worn all day - and are mostly out of sight. When they become pasul you wouldn't know about it; the missing string doesn't leave a trail.

If you don't check your tzitzis regularly you'd never notice they were becoming untied and strings are missing.

You don't hold the strings when you make the Bracha or put them and over time you'd forget about them if you didn't inspect them. And when you collect them before Shma you're (1) concentrating on getting ready for Shma and (2) you have no easy way to tell if you're holding 32 or 30 strings.

Arba Minim - when left alone - don't usually become Pasul.

Before you make the bracha you are holding them in your hands after carefully picking them up.

What would make them Pasul?

  • Most of their leave falling off? You'd notice the pile of leaves when you pick it up/unwrap it. You'd also notice the bare stem.

  • The tips being cut off? How did that happen without you noticing it? Obviously if you bump your Arba Minim against something you'd glance at them to ensure their integrity.

  • Black spots on the Esrog? How would that happen once it's been declared Kosher?

  • The Pitum falling off? The become brittle-dry? I'm sure you'd notice at a glance.

  • The Esrog shrank past the size of an egg. You'd probably notice that.

So unless you're really distracted you'd notice them becoming Pasul.

Obviously, if you just let a group of tourist shake them, you'd want to glance them over - but what are you going to "inspect"?

  • 1
    A shchita knife that sits in a closed box for 3 days needs to be checked even though no one has touched it.
    – eramm
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 14:14
  • 1
    A chazaka that can be easily checked (Efshar LeVaReRo) needs to be checked.
    – eramm
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 14:16
  • I believe that's a machlokes
    – sam
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 15:54
  • Why can't black spots appear as the Etrog gets older? It ripens even after the "mashgiach" checked it.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 14:59
  • Some people wear their tzitzit out. We also do hold the strings for the bracha.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 16:49

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