web analytics
May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

A Grafted Esrog
‘Passul When Missing Even a Tiny Bit’
(Sukkah 34b)

Hybrid esrogim are a very serious concern, and one must be careful when choosing an esrog to ensure that it derives from a pure esrog tree. Today, most boxed esrogim come with a kashrus certificate, asserting that the esrog in the box is not grafted, the field in which the esrog grew has been in use for many generations, and is known to contain no mixture of other species.

Grafting Lemon Branches onto Esrog Trees

The esrog tree is known to be weak and have a short life span. Therefore, an esrog farmer may wish to graft branches from hardier lemon trees onto his esrog trees in order to produce a hybrid that is sturdier and more profitable. Fruits grown from such mixed species are often more beautiful than purebred esrogim.

Poskim question whether mixing lemons and esrogim transgresses the prohibition against planting or benefiting from kilayim. Since lemons and esrogim are so similar, combining them might not be included in the prohibition against mixing strains (see Shvus Yaakov 1:36, Chazon Ish, Kilayim 3:7). This article does not focus on whether making such a hybrid is permitted. Rather, we focus on whether this hybrid is kosher for use as an esrog on Sukkos.

Hybrid esrogim have been discussed by the most prominent poskim of the last 400 years. Numerous teshuvos have been written by the Rema, Maharam Alshich, Mabit, R’ Betzlalel Ashkenazi, and many others. The conclusion of all these poskim is that a hybrid esrog is passul.

A Hybrid Esrog Is Not an Esrog

Several explanations have been offered as to why hybrid esrogim are passul. The most commonly cited reason is that “a hybrid esrog is not an esrog at all.” In other words, the Torah requires us to use an esrog on Sukkos, not a combination of an esrog and another fruit (Teshuvos Rema, 117, Magen Avraham 648:27, Mishnah Berurah, s.k. 65).

Distinctive Traits of an Esrog

A pure esrog has certain traits that distinguish it from a hybrid. The stem of a hybrid esrog juts out from the bottom, whereas a pure esrog’s stem grows from an indentation on the bottom. The skin of a hybrid is smooth, whereas that of a purebred esrog is bumpy. The inner white flesh of a hybrid is thin like a lemon’s, whereas a pure esrog’s flesh is thicker (see Mishnah Berurah, ibid.). Nonetheless, the Mishnah Berurah cites the Chasam Sofer who rules that one may only use these signs to deem an esrog passul. One can’t rely on them to determine that an esrog is pure. When buying an esrog, one must only choose one grown in an orchard known to be of pure lineage (see Shaar HaTzion, s.k. 74).

Laboratory Tests

With recent technological advances in horticulture, it is now possible to subject a fruit to laboratory tests, and thereby determine its genetic makeup. Is such a test sufficient to deem a certain, unknown breed of esrogim pure and kosher? Rabbi Yechiel Michel Stern, a contemporary expert on esrogim, consulted with other experts in the field and came to the conclusion that even pure and kosher esrogim have some genetic traces of lemons. Therefore, genetic testing is useless to definitively determine which esrogim are kosher (Kashrus Arbaas Haminim, p. 181). How is it that pure esrogim, which have never been grafted with lemons, somehow show traces of lemon?

Cross-Pollination

The esrog plant produces its fruit by means of pollination. Bees carry pollen from the stamens to pistils, causing fruit to grow. However, bees might also happen to carry pollen from the stamens of lemon flowers to the pistils of esrog flowers, thus effecting a cross-pollination of the two species. The resultant fruit carries traces of both parents.

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Organization President Mohammad Sarafraz.
US Claims ‘No More Extensions’ on Nuclear Talks with Iran
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

Twice Promised
“Such And Such [I Give My Son]…”
(Kesubos 102b)

Seller’s Remorse
‘He Sold Because He Ostensibly Needed The Funds’
(Ketubbot 97a)

The Debt Lives On
‘The Orphans’ Mitzvah To Repay Their Father’s Debts’
(Ketubot 91b)

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

The Heiress?
‘Determining The Daughter’s Status’
(Kesubos 68b-69a)

A Woman Of Valor
‘Would That He Listen To Me…’
(Kesubos 63a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-119/2014/03/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: