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01 Aug '23

Mystical meaning behinde the four species

Posted by shmuel haskelewitch in Etrog, Lulav, sukkos, sukkot
Sukkot is a joyous festival that celebrates the harvest and commemorates G-d protection of the Israelites during the 40 years that they spent wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt. One of the most significant customs of Sukkot is the waving of the four species: the lulav (palm branch), the etrog (citron), the hadas (myrtle), and the aravah (willow). These four species are held together and waved in all six directions during the Hallel prayer on each of the seven days of Sukkot.
The four species represent different parts of the body, and each has its own symbolic meaning. According to Jewish mysticism, the four species are also said to represent different spiritual qualities, and each is associated with one of the four letters of God's holy name: Yud, Hei, Vav, and Hei.
The etrog, which is often considered the most important of the four species, represents the heart. Its shape is said to resemble the human heart, and it is associated with the emotion of joy. The four species are also said to represent the unity of the Jewish people, as it is made up of different types that come together.
The lulav, which is made up of a palm branch, represents the spine. It is associated with the trait of kindness, and symbolizes the righteousness and uprightness of the Jewish people. The hadas, or myrtle, represents the eyes. It is associated with the trait of knowledge, and symbolizes the importance of learning and understanding. The aravah, or willow, represents the lips. It is associated with the trait of humility, and symbolizes the importance of speaking with humility and kindness.
When the four species are brought together and waved, they symbolize the unity of the Jewish people, and the different spiritual qualities that each individual brings to the community. By waving the four species in all directions, we remind ourselves that God's presence is everywhere, and that we should strive to bring holiness and joy into all aspects of our lives.
In addition to their spiritual significance, the four species are also a symbol of nature and the harvest, reminding us to be grateful for the bounty of the earth and to appreciate the beauty of God's creation. The mitzvah of the four species is a tangible reminder of the blessings that surround us, and a call to celebrate life with joy and gratitude.
21 Jun '23

Order Your Etrog Early: Why You Should Plan Ahead for Sukkot

Posted by shmuel haskelewitch in Etrog, sukkos, sukkot
Sukkot, the Jewish festival of booths, is a time of celebration and joy. It's a time to gather together with friends and family, and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. One of the central elements of Sukkot is the use of the four species: the etrog, the lulav, the hadass, and the aravah. Of these, the etrog is perhaps the most important, and finding the perfect etrog can be a challenge. Here's why you should consider ordering your etrog early, and how to do it.
Why Order Early?
Ordering your etrog early has several advantages. First and foremost, it ensures that you will have your etrog in time for Sukkot. Because etrogim are in high demand during the holiday season, they can sell out quickly. By ordering early, you can avoid the risk of your desired etrog selling out before you have a chance to order it.
Ordering early also gives us the opportunity to select for you from a wider variety of etrogim. Many vendors offer special deals and discounts for early orders, so you can save money while getting the etrog you want.
Finally, ordering early gives you the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of. You won't have to worry about last-minute rushes or shortages, and you can focus on enjoying the holiday with your loved ones.
How to Order Early
Ordering your etrog early is easy. Many vendors offer pre-order options online, so you can order your etrog from the comfort of your own home. Simply visit the vendor's website and select the etrog you want. You can often choose from a variety of sizes and styles, depending on your needs and preferences.
When you place your order, be sure to select a shipping option that allows enough time for your etrog to arrive before Sukkot. Most vendors will provide an estimated delivery date, so you can plan accordingly.
In addition to ordering early, you should also take steps to ensure that your etrog stays fresh and healthy until Sukkot. Store it in a cool, dry place, and handle it gently to avoid any damage.
In conclusion, ordering your etrog early is a smart choice for anyone who wants to ensure a smooth and stress-free Sukkot. By planning ahead and ordering early, you can get the etrog you want, save money, and enjoy the holiday with your loved ones. So why wait? Order your etrog today and start preparing for a joyful and meaningful Sukkot.
20 Apr '23

The Tradition of Using an Etrog from Calabria, Italy for Sukkot

Posted by shmuel haskelewitch in calabria, etrog, sukkos, sukkot
Sukkot is a joyous holiday that celebrates the harvest season and the bounty of the earth. One of the most important symbols of Sukkot is the etrog, a citrus fruit that is used along with the lulav, myrtle, and willow branches in the holiday's rituals. While most etrogim are grown in Israel, there is a longstanding tradition among some communities to use an etrog from Calabria, Italy for Sukkot.
The tradition of using an etrog from Calabria dates back millennia, to a time when the Israelites were in the desert and Moses sent messengers to Calabria to bring back etrogim. Later, when it was under the rule of the Kingdom of Naples. Jewish communities in Calabria began growing etrogim for their own use, and the tradition spread to other communities throughout Italy and Europe. The Calabrian etrogim were highly valued for their unique shape, fragrance, and taste, and became a symbol of Jewish identity and pride.
Over time, the tradition of using a Calabrian etrog for Sukkot spread to other parts of the world, including North Africa and the Middle East. Today, many Jews around the world continue to use a Calabrian etrog for Sukkot, both for its historical significance and its distinct qualities.
The Calabrian etrogim are known for their elongated shape and pronounced tip, which is said to resemble a "crown" or "coronet." The etrogim from Calabria are also known for their powerful and distinctive fragrance, which is believed to symbolize the sweet aroma of the Garden of Eden. The sweet and mild taste of the Calabrian etrogim is also highly prized, and they are often used in traditional Jewish dishes and culinary preparations.
At EasyEtrog, we are proud to offer a selection of high-quality etrogim from Calabria, Italy, grown under strict supervision to ensure that they meet the highest standards of kashrut and beauty. We believe that the tradition of using a Calabrian etrog for Sukkot is an important part of Jewish heritage and identity, and we are committed to helping our customers celebrate this joyous holiday in the most meaningful and beautiful way possible.
08 Jun '22

Is an Etrog without a Pitam Kosher?

Posted by shmuly haskel in Etrog, Lulav, Pitam

This is a question we get every now and then.

Typically, a customer will contact us asking if his Etrog is still Kosher after the Pitam on his Etrog has fallen off accidentally.

Before I get to the answer, if this happens to you please contact us immediately so that we can get you a replacement as soon as possible.

What is a Pitam?
At the top of the growing Etrog there is a "Pitam". (see Picture)

In Shulchan Aruch, there are various opinions regarding a Pitam that has fallen from the Etrog.

In the case where an Etrog from which the entire "Pitam" was taken and a dimple was formed in it, this makes the Etrog invalid. Since an Etrog should not be missing a part of it.

If however the "Pitam" is cut exactly at the top of the Etrog and no dimple is formed in it, the Rama's opinion is that it is Kosher, but other Halachic authorities are of the opinion that it should not be used, and in fact on the first day of Sukkot one should try not use it and seek another Etrog.

In the case where only part of the Pitam is broken and a little wood remains above the Etrog, the Mogen Avrohom is of the opinion that one can use it, but in fact, it is good to splurge and take another Etrog.

All of the above is in regards to an Etrog that in the way of their creation and the form of their growth they had a Pitam, and only after they were picked from the tree did the Pitam fall off. But many Etrogs do not have a Pitam and grow without one at all while picking them, as the Pitam falls off the Etrog while it is still on a tree, and these Etrogs are considered Kosher and beautiful. In fact many Etrogs that grow in Calabria have their Pitam fall off while still on the tree.

In summary, if the Pitam had fallen off before the Etrog was picked from the tree the Etrog is Kosher however if the Pitam has fallen after it had been picked it may render the Etrog non Kosher.