From Halachipedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Grafted Etrog

  1. A grafted Etrog is pasul whether it was grafted with lemon, promerance, or any other fruit. [1]
  2. The signs given by the Achronim to distinguish a grafted etrog from a real one are not to be relied upon nowadays when it’s possible to graft an etrog and make it look very much like an etrog. [2]
  3. Rather one should not buy an Etrog except from a trustworthy seller and can testify that the Etrog isn’t grafted. [3]
  4. Even if the Etrog is only in doubt one may not make a Bracha on the Etrog. [4]
  5. If one has an etrog that’s safek if it’s grafted and an etrog that’s not as hadar (“beautiful”), one should make the Bracha on the true etrog first and after shaking the minim with it, one should take the one that’s a safek grafted. [5]

A dry Etrog

  1. An Etrog which is so dry that it doesn't have any moisture is invalid. [6]
  2. It is possible to check if an Etrog is invalid by piercing it with a needle with a string attached and if there's moisture on the string the Etrog is not considered dry. In order that this procedure not make the Etrog invalid because of a hole, one should pierce the thick part of the Etrog without piercing the Etrog completely through and through, others suggest that one should pierce it along the length of the Etrog. [7]
  3. An Etrog from the previous Sukkot is considered a dry Etrog which is invalid. Some say, however, that if an Etrog from a previous year was left closed in a moist and cool area it is possible to be moist and valid for the mitzvah. [8]

A Punctured Etrog

  1. An Etrog which is punctured through and through is invalid. Some say that it is valid as long as no part of the flesh of the Etrog is lacking. Only in extenuating circumstances may one rely on the second opinion. [9]
  2. An Etrog which is punctured up until the inner chamber where the seeds are but doesn't go through completely, some say it is invalid and others argue. [10]
  3. If any of the flesh of the Etrog is lacking, it is invalid. Others, however, say that an Etrog which is lacking is only invalid if it is punctured completely and is lacking, or it is lacking at least the area of an Isur (a coin at the time of the gemara). In extenuating circumstances one may rely upon the second opinion. [11] If the outermost peel, which acts like a thin ice-frosting on the Etrog, is lacking the Etrog is still valid. [12]
  4. If the flesh of the Etrog deteriorated but the inner chamber in which the seeds are is intact, the Etrog is valid. [13]

Etrog without Pitom

  1. An etrog whose pitom is not valid to be used for the mitzva of daled minim, see footnote. [14] According to some poskim, this invalidation only applies for the first day of sukkot since that is the only time that it's diorayta. [15] However, all this only applies if the etrog had a pitom from the outset. If it never had a pitom, then it is valid. [16]

Trumot and Maaserot

  1. Trumot and Maaserot must be taken off for the Etrog be to be used for the mitzvah, otherwise the Etrog is pasul for all seven days of Sukkot. [17] Therefore, one must be careful in finding a reliable seller. [18]
  2. If one cut an etrog from a non-Jew’s field in Israel that etrog should not be used unless one forgot to take off Trumot and Maaserot and it’s already Yom Tov (when it’s forbidden to take off trumot and masserot). [19]


  1. Any of the four minim that are stolen are unfit all 7 days of Sukkot. [20]
  2. Any of the four minim that are borrowed are unfit for the first day of Sukkot. [21]
  3. One of the four minim that are borrowed is fit the shakings of hallel and hoshanot but not the first shaking of the lulav on the first day of Sukkot. [22]
  4. One shouldn’t cut any of the four minim from the field of a non-Jew (even with his permission) but rather one should allow the non-Jew to cut it himself and give it to you. [23] This is only preferable, however, after the fact, the minim are fit for the mitzvah and one may make a Bracha on it. [24]

Eating the Etrog

  1. It’s forbidden to eat an Etrog all the days of Sukkot and if one does take a bite out of the Etrog it’s unfit [25]
  2. In Israel, it's permissible to eat the Etrog on Shemini Aseret, and in Chutz LeAretz (outside Israel) one may eat it on the ninth day of Sukkot. [26]


  1. The overwhelming consensus of Achronim hold that a grafted Etrog is unfit all days of Sukkot and one may not make a Bracha on it. These Achronim include Magen Avraham 648:23, Taz 648:3, S”A HaRav 648:31, Mishna Brurah 648:65, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 223).
  2. The Sh”t Rama 126 brings 3 signs that distinguish a real etrog from a grafted one: 1) The real etrog have many small bumps while grafted ones are smooth, 2)the real etrog has a stem (o’ketz; opposite the pitom) that’s indented, while grafted ones have stems that protrude from the fruit, and 3) the peel of an etrog is very thick and the fleshy-fruit part is small and dry, while grafted ones have a thin peel with a large and juicy flesh part. However, the Sh”t Chatom Sofer 207 questions the reliability of the signs. So writes the Sh”t Shenot Chaim 270, Mishna Brurah 648:65, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 223). Nonetheless, Mishna Brurah 648:65 writes that one may rely on the signs for using the etrog on the second day.
  3. Mishna Brurah 648:65, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 223)
  4. Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 228-232), Sh”t Mishneh Halachot 6:117
  5. The Achronim quote the story of when the Grach (Rav Chaim Solovachik) had an etrog that was safek grafted and one that’s surely non-grated but not as hadar. The made the Bracha on the safek grafted one so that he could fulfill his mitzvah with the more hadar etrog, rather than use the true etrog and once he fulfills the mitzvah he would no longer be able to fulfill the mitzvah of hadar. However, the Mikrei Kodesh (Sukkot 2:9) and Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 244) argue that shaking the safek kasher one first would be a safek hefsek between the bracha and shaking on the true etrog and so one should take the true etrog first.
  6. S”A 648:1 writes that a dry Etrog which has no moisture is invalid.
  7. The S”A 648:1 writes that one could check whether an Etrog is considered dry by piercing it with a needle that has a string attached and if the string comes out moist the Etrog is considered moist. The Mishna Brurah 648:3 quotes a dispute regarding how to do this procedure without invalidating the Etrog by having a hole in it. Some say that one should make a hole in the thick part of the Etrog so that its not a hole through and through. Others say that one should make a hole along the length of the Etrog, along the Uketz-Chotam axis.
  8. The Rama 648:1 writes that an Etrog from a previous Etrog is invalid as an dry Etrog. Mishna Brurah (Shaar HaTziyun 648:8) quotes the Raavad who holds that there's no time limit for an Etrog, rather it all depends on the moisture of the Etrog. He quotes the Bikkurei Yacov who saw an Etrog from a previous year which was moist since it was kept in a closed, moist, and cool place.
  9. S”A 648:2 writes that an Etrog which is punctured completely is invalid, however, some say that it is valid as long as it isn't lacking. Mishna Brurah 648:9 writes that we hold like the second opinion in extenuating circumstances.
  10. S”A 648:3. Mishna Brurah 648:23 writes that one should be strict not to use an Etrog which is punctured up until the inner chamber, unless it isn't possible to find another Etrog, in which case one may be lenient especially if the Etrog isn't lacking.
  11. S”A 648:2. The Rama rules that in extenuating circumstances one may rely upon the second opinion.
  12. Beiur Halacha 648:2 s.v. VeIm
  13. S”A 648:4
  14. Mishna Sukkah 34b. for the following discussion see Diagram of Etrog. Shulchan Aruch OC 648:7 rules like the Rabbeinu Tam Tosafot Sukkah 35a and Rambam Hilchot Lulav 8:7 that as long as the dad is intact, the etrog is still valid. However, the Rif Sukkah 17b according to the Ran there "Gemara" says that if the shoshanta falls off, the etrog is invalid. Rama 638:7 says that one should preferably be stringent and follow the opinion of the Rif, that if the shoshanta falls off the etrog is invalid. However, Mishna Berura 648:31 explains that the Rama only refers to a case where one has a choice of purchasing two equivalent etrogim, but one has a broken shoshanta but if the etrog with the broken shoshanta is a nicer etrog, one should purchase that one. The Levush 648:8 disagrees and says that the etrog is invalidated if any part of the dad breaks off. Mishna Berurah 648:30 quotes the opinions of Taz 648:11 that the etrog is invalidated only if the entire dad is broken off and the Magen Avraham 648:9 that if any part of the dad remains protruding from the etrog it is still valid, but does not rule conclusively on the matter. Rashi Sukkah 35b "Nitla" quotes an opinion that the pitom refers to the bottom of the etrog and therefore if what we usually call the oketz falls off the etrog would be invalid.
  15. Tosafot Sukkah 29b "Bainan" writes that an incomplete etrog is valid from the second day onward but an etrog which lacks hadar is invalid throughout Sukkot. Rambam Hilchot Lulav 8:9 disagrees saying that an etrog that lacks even hadar is valid from the second day onward. Shulchan Aruch OC 649:5 rules like the Rambam but the Rama there rules like Tosafot. Therefore, according to Shulchan Aruch an etrog which lost its pitom is kosher after the first day. However, according to the Rama it would be a problem if it's a problem of hadar. Rabbeinu Yerucham Sefer Adam 8:3 says that an etrog whose pitom broke is similar to an incomplete etrog and is valid starting on the second day. However, Rav Avraham of Prague cited in Darkei Moshe 649:5 says that an etrog whose pitom broke lacks hadar and is therefore invalid throughout Sukkot. Rama rules like Rabbeinu Yerucham, and therefore according to him it would be mutar to use an etrog with a broken pitom after the first day. However, the Magen Avraham 649:17 rules like the Rav Avraham of Prague since the Maggid Mishneh Hilchot Lulav 8:7 rules that way and therefore an etrog with a broken pitom would be invalid even after the first day. Mishna Berurah 649:36 concludes based on the Elia Rabba 649:15 that even if Rav Avraham of Prague and the Magen Avraham are correct, you can rely on the aforementioned Rambam that lacking hadar is still permitted for after the first day, but he adds that one shouldn't recite a beracha on such an etrog unless it's something that would be permitted to recite a beracha on the first day as well.
  16. Rosh Sukkah 3:16, Rama, OC 648:7. Mishna Berurah 648:32, explains that since it grew without the pitom, it isn't in the category of lacking hadar or incomplete.
  17. Rambam (Hilchot Sukkat 8:9), Kolbo (Siman 72), Eliyah Rabba 649:4, Pri Megadim A”A 649:20, Bikkurei Yacov 649:29, S”A HaRav 649:15, Mishna Brurah 649:45, Natai Gavriel 36:2, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 248)
  18. Kaf HaChaim 649:41, Natai Gavriel 36:2
  19. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 246)
  20. S”A 649:1, Natai Gavriel 44:1
  21. S”A 658:3
  22. Mikrei Kodesh pg 78, Natai Gavriel 44:3 in name of Rabbi Moshe Solovatchik.
  23. Rama 649:1 based on the Rashba; even though, the Kaf HaChaim 649:21 quotes the Smag and Radvaz who say that nowadays there’s no need to be strict in this matter, nonetheless, the Kaf HaChaim concludes like other achronim that it’s preferable to be strict for the Rashba.
  24. Mishna Brurah 649:10, Kaf HaChaim 649:23 quotes the Get Mekushar who says that one shouldn’t make a Bracha in such a case and concludes that one may make a Bracha as times have changed (see there).
  25. Rama 649:5
  26. Chazon Ovadyah (Sukkot pg 444)