Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

The Ministry of Agriculture, in a step that it says is intended to protect Israeli agriculture, has prohibited forbidden the bringing into Israel sets of the “Arba Minim” (the four species on which Jews make a blessing on the days of the upcoming holiday of Sukkot) from foreign countries.

However, visitors may bring with them one Etrog per person – the citron which looks like a lemon and has both a scent and a taste. The remaining 3 species have 1 with no taste or smell, 1 with just taste, and 1 with a scent but no taste. These species cannot be brought into Israel for fear that they are infected with pests that could harm local agriculture and will therefore be confiscated upon entering the country.

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If visitors to Israel do bring their own Arba Minim, the Ministry of Agriculture will provide them with a set of the 3 not allowed for import that were grown in Israel, free of charge.

Israel, as do most countries, prohibits individuals from bringing fresh produce into the country to prevent the possible spread of foreign pests. These pests may damage the local crops and thus cause irreversible damage to agriculture and even lead to the extinction of entire branches of agriculture.

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