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* The Gemara (32b) considers a [[hadas]] with rows of two leaves and one leaf on top to be a [[hadas]] shoteh, or “unstable” [[hadas]]. The Gemara understands the requirement for rows of three leaves (meshulashim) to be the explanation of “avot,” the Torah’s description of the [[hadas]].
* Halichot Shlomo ({{ibid}}.) rules that the determining factor for meshulashim is the location of the stems of the leaves. Additionally, he explains that a row of leaves is considered meshulash if the three stems are in close proximity such that it would be possible to draw a horizontal circumference of the branch that would intersect with all three stems (see diagram). Rav Yigal Ariel (Techumin 11:177) understands that it is sufficient if the leaves are roughly in rows of three and do not blatantly deviate from rows. Rav Chaim Jachter ({{ibid}}.) notes that the common practice of some gedolim was to analyze the [[hadas]] at arm’s length to make this determination. Yalkut Yosef (646:8) rules that ideally the leaves should cover the entire branch.</ref>
# Therefore, a [[hadas]] that has only two leaves growing at each level on its stem is invalid for the mitzvah. <ref>The Rama (646:3) quotes a minhag to be lenient if there are two leaves above another two leaves, though the Mishna Brurah (646:15) rules that one should ideally not rely on this minhag. Yalkut Yosef (646:2) writes that such a [[hadas]] is invalid.</Ref>
# If leaves fell off such that rows of three leaves cover only a majority of the branch (or a majority of the length requirement for the mitzvah if one has a long branch), the [[hadas]] is acceptable. <Ref> Shulchan Aruch (646:5) rules that one ideally should have the leaves be in rows of three for the entire length of the [[hadas]]; nevertheless, one fulfills his obligation if the leaves are in rows of three for the majority of the branch. Mishna Brurah (646:18) states that this majority refers to a majority of the minimum size of a [[hadas]] branch. Thus, since the [[hadas]] should be 12 [[etzba’ot]], a majority would only require no more than 6 [[etzba’ot]], even if the [[hadas]] is larger than its necessary 12 [[etzba’ot]].
* If only two leaves remain in each row for a majority of the [[hadas]], Mishna Brurah ({{ibid}}.) rules that one may be lenient in extenuating circumstances. </Ref>
# If the leaves become dry to the point where they easily wither away when one presses a fingernail to them and they lose their green color, the [[hadas]] is pasul. If, however, three green leaves in a row at the top of the [[hadas]] remain, the [[hadas]] is valid. <Ref> Shulchan Aruch (646:7) explains that for the leaves to be considered dry, they must have turned white. Mishna Brurah (646:20) notes that if they have turned white, they certainly will wither when touched. If it is difficult to determine whether one’s [[hadas]] is dry, Mishna Brurah says that one can test it by putting it in water for a day or two and checking to see if it returns to its initial moist state. Shulchan Aruch (646:8) notes that if three moist leaves remain in a row at the top of the [[hadas]], the [[hadas]] is valid. Mishna Brurah (646:21) explains that having three leaves on top allows the [[hadas]] to retain its status of hadar.</ref>
# A Hadas that has more berries, whether they are red or black, than leaves is invalid.<ref>S"A Shulchan Aruch 646:2</ref>
|[[Image:Hadas With Berries.gif|125px|right]]
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==Which Hadasim are best?==
# It is best to choose hadasim that have many leaves close together so that the stem is completely covered by the leaves. <ref> Yalkut Yosef, Siman 646, Seif 3. Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim: HaKeter Institute, 2010. </ref>
==How big are the leaves of Hadasim?==
# The individual leaves of the hadasim should be approximately the size of the thumbnail. Some Poskim rule that if a [[hadas]] has large, wide leaves it is a [[hadas]] shote and is invalid for the performance of the mitzvah. <ref> Yalkut Yosef, Siman 646, Seif 4. Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim: HaKeter Institute, 2010. </ref>
==Does a severed tip of a hadas invalidate it?==
# If the tip of the stem of the [[hadas]] was broken or cut off it is still kosher and one may recite the beracha over it. Nevertheless, it is best that hadasim have their tips intact. <ref> Yalkut Yosef, Siman 646, Seif 5. Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim: HaKeter Institute, 2010. </ref>
==What is the minimum length of a hadas?==
# According to Maran, a [[hadas]] must be at least three [[Tefachim]] or 20 centimeters long. However, other poskim maintain that the minimum length of a [[hadas]] is 24 centimeters. It is recommended that one choose hadasim that are at least 24 centimeters long in order to fulfill the mitzvah according to all poskim. <ref> Yalkut Yosef, Siman 646, Seif 7. Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim: HaKeter Institute, 2010. </ref>
==What if the leaves of the hadasim are dry?==
# If most of the leaves of someone's hadasim have become completely dry but at least one set of three leaves at the top of each [[hadas]] is still fresh, the hadasim are still kosher. <ref> Yalkut Yosef, Siman 646, Seif 13. Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim: HaKeter Institute, 2010. </ref>
==What if the leaves of the hadasim have withered?==
# If the leaves of the hadasim have withered, the hadasim are still kosher. <ref> Yalkut Yosef, Siman 646, Seif 14. Givat Shaul, Yerushalayim: HaKeter Institute, 2010. </ref>
==Sources==

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