web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Broken Stem (Part II)

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The minimum requirements for a kosher etrog that apply to all seven days of Sukkot are as follows: (i) it must be at least the size of an egg (there is no maximum size limit), (ii) it may not be round like a ball, (iii) it must be halachically edible as food and not subject to any shemittah, terumah or orlah eating restrictions, (iv) it must be free from certain types of blemishes that reduce its size (v) and it may not be the product of grafting with a lemon tree (murkav).

A feature that adds to the beauty of the etrog but is not essential is the pitam, which ideally should be in a straight line with the stem and have bumps and ridges. If the pitam has broken off, it is preferable to use another etrog, though many authorities hold that the broken etrog may be used on the first day of Sukkot as long as part of the pitam remains intact. If the pitam broke off entirely, the etrog may not be used on the first day of Sukkot unless it is the only etrog in town. It may, however, be used on the last six days of Sukkot. Of course, an etrog that never had a pitam is kosher.

The lulav must measure 12.4 inches along its backbone, and the te’yomet, the central leaf, must be double-leafed, closed, intact and straight. The hadas must have small triple leaves over a majority of the branch, should be between 9.3 inches and 11.4 inches long and the tip must be intact.

The aravot must have red stems, their leaves must be narrow and lip shaped, and they must be smooth-edged.

Other requirements, common to all the arba minim, are as follows: (i) On the first day of Sukkot, the arba minim must belong to the person using them and not be stolen or borrowed, since this would defeat the ulekachtem lachem requirement, (ii) on the first day of Sukkot the arba minim may not be dried out and withered since this defeats the hadar requirement which, according to some opinions, applies only on the first day, and (iii) they may not be subject at any time during Sukkot to condemnation for having been used in connection with idolatry.

In order to fulfill the mitzvah with a borrowed lulav on the first day, the owner should stipulate that he is giving the lulav to the user as a gift to be returned after use. According to some authorities, such a condition may be implied even if not expressed. Out of the same concern, the arba minim should be fully paid up before Yom Tov.

When the arba minim are picked up for the first time each Sukkot day, the blessing Al Netilat Lulav is recited all seven days and Shehecheyanu blessing is added on the first day. These blessings are recited with the etrog in the left hand, facing head down.

When the blessing is completed, the etrog is then turned the right way up. The reason for this is to allow for the blessing to be recited before the mitzvah is performed, in accordance with the rule of over leassiyatam. On Shabbat, no arba minim are taken because of the rabbis’ concern that this might lead to carrying the arba minim in the streets.

The arba minim are compared to the human being in prayer. The lulav symbolizes the backbone, the etrog, the heart, the hadas the eyes, and the arava the lips moving in the service of God.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


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 “The Broken Stem (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Keeping-Jerusalem
Marching On Toward Full Unification
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Happiness is not the central value of the Torah. Occurring ten times more is the word “simcha,” JOY

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

When Moses ascended the mountain that first, fateful day of Elul, the shofar was sounded daily in the Camp of Israel, heralding his expected return.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Shabbat during the nine days, one may don freshly laundered clothes, eat meat and drink wine, including Havdalah wine.

The combination of the severity of the punishment and the ease with which the prohibition may be forgotten require that the smallest amount of chametz – chametz bemashehu – be prohibited.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

Conversely, no part of the Land within the boundaries delineated in Numbers 34 may be relinquished for any purpose whatsoever.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/the-broken-stem-part-ii/2014/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: