15

It seems, according to this article, that people found a way. It would seem that as long as Jews stayed in the moderate climate on the shores of the Mediterranean, there was no difficulty obtaining etrogim for the holiday. As people moved north into France, Germany, Poland and Russia, however, the temperature-sensitive tree could not exist and tremendous ...


13

After Sukkos is over (and you don't need them for mitzvah purposes anymore), collect your leftover aravah branches that you used for ד' מינים and הושענות. (You may also want to collect other's branches, because many people just leave their הושענות in shul when they're done with them -- that's another 5 branches per bundle!) Place the branches in ...


12

The source is the Gemara, Sukkah 43b-44b, which calls this practice מנהג נביאים (a custom instituted by the prophets) or יסוד נביאים (a practice established by them). (The Gemara ends up ruling that the first version is correct, and that therefore we don't say a berachah for it.) On 43b and 44b the Gemara mentions, in this connection, חיבוט of the aravah. (...


12

The Gemara (Sukkah 37B) asks the same question: R. Jeremiah enquired of R. Zerika, Why in the blessing do we say only ‘To take the palm-branch’? — Because it towers above the others. Then why should not one lift up the ethrog and recite the blessing over it? — The reason is, the other answered him, that as a species it naturally towers above all of them.


10

Kaf Hachaim, 664:60, tells us what to do with the lulav and esrog after Hoshanah Rabbah (the last time we use the lulav), as well as the aravos used for hosha'anas. I'm translating this from the hebrew, so I may have gotten some of the details wrong. Please correct me if I got something wrong: After prayer on Hoshana Rabbah take the lulav (with hadasim and ...


9

Sitting in the sukkah can be considered a "passive" action, for without saying a berakhah (ברכה) all we're doing is simply sitting and eating outside. However, shaking the Lulav is an "active" or "positive" action which is very specific to Sukkot, and as such, it is not done for the same reasons we don't say a berakhah when sitting in the sukkah on Shmini ...


9

Because in theory you could have said Shehecheyanu when you prepared (bound) your lulav before Sukkos. So even supposing that the second day of Sukkos was the real Yom Tov (and the previous day was actually erev Sukkos), your Shehecheyanu then would still count as the real thing. (By contrast, with kiddush, you're saying the berachah because of the holiday ...


9

I had an opportunity for the first time today to see the inside of four common etrogim. I found it fascinating ... and surprising. Here's a Moroccan etrog Here's a Hazon Ish etrog (for more details, see here under Contemporary Esrogim) Here's a Calabria etrog (some of the pulp on the right side was removed for tasting) Finally, here's a Teimani etrog ...


9

The Ma'amar Mordechai can be found here. The Kaf HaChayim can be found here.


8

The Aruch Hashulchan explains that one could add Hadasim and Aravos because the Torah doesn't say how many Hadasim or Aravos to have, it just used a plural form for "Arvei Nachal" and "Anfei Eitz Avos". Therefore one can add more Hadasim or Aravos for beauty. Though Lubavitch custom is to add Hadasim but not Aravos.


8

Ultimately the source is from the Talmud: Rabbis Ami and Asi would make a meal of the bread that was used for an eiruv, stating since it was used for one mitzva, let us use it for another (Talmud Shabbos 117b). Rema (664:9) we put away aravoth and use them to bake matzo, for the reason aforementioned. Since matzo baking has been commercialized, the custom ...


7

I've tried the paper towel/aluminum foil (my father's method) idea, keeping them in the fridge, and keeping them in water. One year I got a whole lot of them and experimented with around seven different methods for each pair, to see at the end of the week which method would be the best. The winner (and what I've been doing every year since then): wet them ...


7

Yes. While R'Yehuda holds "lulav tzorech egged" (they need to be tied), and therefore one must use part of the 4 minim to tie it, the halacha is not like R'Yehuda. Thus you can use anything to tie the 4 minim, or nothing at all. In fact, the Gemara says the anshei Yerushalayim would use gold to tie their lulavim. Even though its not required, we have a ...


7

http://hershkow.comeze.com/46.pdf Regarding a old Esrog - Shaalos UTeshuvos Maharil 5 says that it is impossible to maintain its wetness from year to year and therefore it may not be used. Rama Orach Chaim 648 based on this Maharil says it is definitely dry and unusable. However the Bikurei Yaakov (Aruch Laner) says that he saw an Esrog that ...


7

The reason for taking seventy aravot on Succot was to signify the additional seventy bulls which were sacrificed on the holiday (cf. Sukka 52b); such was the custom of the Sura Academy as attested to by Natronai Gaon (Shaare Teshuvah §312). See also Otzar HaGeonim (Sukka ibid) for additional significations. The custom was ultimately codified by Tur (OC §651, ...


6

The poskim discuss the case of a person who separated challah with a b'rachah and then did hataras n'darim to nullify the separation (and therefore will have to separate again). Is the person's b'rachah considered l'vatalah? The Chasam Sofer says it was not l'vatalah, possibly based on the S'dei Chemed, Vol. 6, p. 320. But the case of the tallis may be ...


6

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 657) rules that if a child knows how to wave the 4 species appropriately, his father must, because of the obligation of Chinuch -- education, arrange for him to have a set. The Biur Halacha (sv Katan) notes that this is true even if they are unable to recite the proper blessing. In sv Kedei, he says that "it is obvious that the set ...


6

My great grandfather (in S. Germany) used to save his Lulav from year to year in his coat closet. He would remove the outer leaves and the insides were apparently still fresh enough to be used. For that matter, a lot of the Lulavim and Haddasim that are in the market now, have been in storage for many months. The Shulchan Aruch (based in the Mishna) spells ...


6

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 658:5) rules explicitly that only if the last person returns the esrog is the first one (and all others) yotzei. Interesting sidebar: The Biur Halacha is in doubt whether they were yotzei only if the last user returned the esrog on his own volition to the original owner or even if the original owner had to demand it back from the ...


6

The Yerushalmi Sukka 15b halacha 8 seems to be the source for shaking three times : דף טו,ב פרק ג הלכה ח גמרא הא בהודו לא. להוציא אף באנא ה' הצליחה נא. רב חייה בר אשי בשם רב זה שהוא משכים לצאת לדרך נוטל לולב ומנענע. שופר ותוקע. לכשתגיע עונות קריאת שמע ה"ז קורא את שמע ומתפלל. תני צריך לנענע ג' פעמים ר' זעירה בעי הכין חד והכין חד. או הכין והכין חד. ...


6

In Orach Chaim 4 siman 123, Rav Moshe stronglly asserts that a lemon is not kosher for an esrog and says kol shekein a canary palm is not good for lulav. Later in the tshuva he quotes the Saba Kadisha in his tshuvos chelek 3 siman 12 who seems to lean to possibly allowing the lemon to be used as an esrog, but points out that even he would not allow the ...


5

See Mishnah Berurah 651:59 דכתיב ולקחתם לכם ביום הראשון פרי עץ וגו' משמע אחד ולא שנים וה"ה ללולב דכתיב כפות תמרים חסר וי"ו דהיינו אחד וי"א דעובר בזה גם על בל תוסיף אבל בערבה לא נתן בה תורה קצבה והאי דקי"ל דבעינן שתי ערבות משום דכתיב ערבי נחל היינו דבהכי סגי דמיעוט ערבי שתים אבל טפי ג"כ שפיר דמי וה"ה בהדס דכתיב ענף עץ עבות ג"כ יכול להוסיף כמה שירצה In ...


5

Teshuvas Hage'onim (Sharey Teshuva Siman 340) cites two reasons in the name of Rav Tzemach Goan: 1) The leaves of the arova look like lips. Hitting them on the ground hints to fact that we require atonement, and therefore fulfill the verse in Eicha (3:29) "יתן בעפר פיהו, אולי יש תקווה" (Let him put his mouth into the dust; there may yet be hope), meaning to ...


5

Originally it was real flax. Then the major esrog growers in Israel found a way to save some money and switched to some other natural material. I don't remember exactly what it was Jute? or Hemp? I also don't remember exactly when the change took place, but I am sure it was sometime after 1980. Also I don't think that they went to the present packaging ...


5

According to Shabbos 54a, this would not meet the requirements for shaatnez. A double-fastening is needed to make flax and wool into a Kli. One stitch holding a piece piece of wool to a piece of linen is not liable, two stitches are needed. Also, if you wrap a cord of wool and a cord of flax around your hand, you're are liable (eg. leading two camels, one ...


5

You may be mixing two separate customs together. Quoted in Taamei Minhagim (pg. 521 paragraph 68), saying he saw it in some Sefer: There is a custom for women to bite off the pitum of the Etrog. The reason is because our sages say that (according to one opinion) the forbidden fruit Adam and Chava ate was an Etrog. Therefore she bites the Pitum in order to ...


5

Dayan Raskin, in his notes to the Rav's Siddur, explains that Raaya Meheimna speaks of 72 motions total (18 for נטילת לולב and 54 in Hallel), while Arizal says to do 72 in Hallel alone. So the compromise is to consider R.M. as talking about where you do נטילת לולב right before Hallel, and then its 18 wavings count along with the ones in Hallel; while Arizal ...


5

I was just referred to "How to keep your aravos fresh throughout sukkos: The definitive guide for frustrated palm-frond wavers", an apparently anonymous document describing a series of nine experiments, carefully testing different strategies for keeping Aravot fresh. Read the whole thing to see all of the strategies tested and all of the results, including ...


5

If you live in a more arid and hot climate, like southern California, put a few drops of water in the lulav bag. When you walk out in the street, the heat of the day causes the water to evaporate, but because the bag is closed, it has nowhere to go. this disperses the water around the whole bag, and keeps the everything moist. Kind of like a mini greenhouse. ...


5

I was raised to use an Esrog from Eretz Yisroel for two reasons. One was to support farmers there, and the other reason was for the love of Eretz Yisroel.


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