Monday, August 31, 2009

Halocho #402 - In which hand do we hold the Etrog?

On Sukkoth there's a Mitzvah to shake the four species; a Lulav, 3 Haddasim, 2 Aravot and an Etrog. The Etrog is a citron; Citrus Medica. It is held in ones left hand when shaking the four species, with the stem (where it was cut off the tree) facing downwards. By nature the Etrog tree is very soft (mine buckled during a light Jerusalem snow storm), therefore it is often grafted onto other trees to make it stronger. An Etrog from a grafted tree cannot be used when shaking the four species. (Grafted fruit is Kosher to eat, despite the prohibition against grafting trees.) The Etrog needs to be whole; scratches and dents may invalidate it. The Etrog should not have dark dots on it, though it may have light scabs that are a result of leaves and thorns brushing against it while it grows. (Etrog trees have thorns that grow to about 2" long.) The "nose" of the the Etrog - from where it starts getting narrow - should be perfectly clean. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 174:2, Shulchan Aruch 648 Ktiva Vechatima Tova; wishing you happy year to come - Danny Monday, 11 Elul 5769 Please daven for Rachamim ben Charlotte Jacqueline

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