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According to my understanding of Shulchan Aruch OC 647:1, the edges of the leaves of the aravos should not have serrated edges, but should rather be smooth:

עַרְבֵי נַחַל הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה [...] וּפִיו חָלָק

(See also Mishna Berura there, note 1, which seems to support my reading of the Mechaber)

When I went to the daled minim shuk tonight, all the aravos I saw appeared to have serrated edges, unlike the ones I'm used to from America (from my own backyard). The ones pictured below claim to be under the supervision of the Badatz Edah HaChareidis (you can see part of the logo, in reverse, in the picture). I also noticed some sets with the name of Rav Nissim Karelitz on them. (I don't have a picture of American aravos with me, at the moment)

Aravos with apparently serrated leaves, against the backdrop of a partial logo of the Badatz Eidah HaChareidis Yerushalayim

Is this a problem with the aravos? If they are, indeed, kosher for use, how should the above-cited portion of Shulchan Aruch be understood?

  • @Zeev I'm pretty sure the American ones don't look like that, but I don't have any at hand – MTL Sep 26 '15 at 21:21
  • I take it back, you are right, it looks like there are other types which are much smoother. Anyway, these aravos whith tiny razors pointed upwards have no problem. The arava in genral looks smooth. Picture – Zeev Sep 26 '15 at 21:40
  • My understanding is it was decided that the ones along the Jordan river are clearly original and hence kosher. The 'indicators' recorded, such as smooth/serrated we're just for dealing with previously unknown cultivars. – Double AA Sep 27 '15 at 0:07
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Small serations are kosher, large ones are not. See Halachipedia's entry on aravos.

  • It also depends on the shape of the serrations. The ones you show are pointed toward the top/tip, which is good. – Yehuda W Sep 27 '15 at 13:46

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