Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Jewish men wearing prayer shawls holding the Four Species on the seventh day of Sukkot at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Travelers entering Israel who are thinking of bringing their own set of the Four Species for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) may be in for a surprise as they step down from the aircraft.

Israel bans the entry of any plant grown outside the country other than those commercially imported, due to fears of plant diseases and the spread of insects and other pests — even those brought in for ritual purposes.

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A special task force will begin to operate at Ben Gurion International Airport in the coming days to prevent inbound passengers from bringing in their own sets of Four Species for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the government announced.

Instead, agents will distribute free sets of Israeli Four Species to arriving visitors, to include an etrog and a lulav – a date palm frond, three branches of myrtle and two branches of red willow — for those who wish.

Passengers who wish can bring in one etrog, pending inspection by an agent from the Agriculture Ministry to rule out any plant diseases, according to Makor Rishon.

Sukkot begins at sunset on September 23.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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