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# A hole of any size invalidates the etrog. Many poskim hold that it is not an issue if only a piece of the outermost peel is removed, while some say that it is acceptable even if a piece of the thin yellow peel is removed. <ref> The Mishna (34b), according to Rashi, states that an etrog that is punctured and lacking even a little bit is invalid. If, however, it is punctured but not lacking, it remains valid. The Gemara (36a) limits the leniency of the Mishna to where the hole does not penetrate all the way through the etrog and the hole is not the size of an issar coin. The Rosh (3:18) agrees with Rashi. Rabbeinu Chananeil, though, maintains that the Gemara’s limitation was regarding the stringency of the Mishna. Thus, in his view, the Gemara means that an etrog that is punctured and lacking is invalid only if the hole goes all the way through or is at least the size of an issar coin.
* The Rambam (8:7, as understood by the Beit Yosef 648:2) explains the Mishna as meaning if an etrog is punctured or lacking it is invalid, unlike Rashi. For all practical purposes, though, the Rambam agrees with Rashi, because he explains the Gemara as referring to the first case, like Rabbeinu Chananeil, thus limiting the stringency of the Mishna to where the hole goes all the way through or is the size of an issar coin. Though the Rif (17b) is not clear, the Beit Yosef suggests that he agrees with the Rambam.
* The Gemara (35b), according to the explanation of the Rabbeinu Chananeil and Rosh (3:17), establishes that an etrog that is peeled in its majority is invalid, while an etrog that has only a minority peeled is valid. The Ran (17a s.v. Niklaf) explains that the Gemara is discussing a case where the outermost peel (which is thin like frost) is removed. If, however, the thin yellow peel is removed, the etrog would be invalid, as it is an etrog that is lacking. The Rambam (8:7, as understood by the Bach) agrees that it is valid only if none of the thin yellow peel was removed. The Rashba (Responsa 1:58), however, says that it is invalid only if part of the thick white section is removed (see the Machon Yerushalayim edition of the Tur 648 note 13). Chazon Ovadia p. 269 adopts the Rashba's view.
* The Bach concludes that the view of the Ran should be normative. Shaar Hatziyun (648:27) elaborates upon the Bach (see also Beiur Halacha 645:2). The Chazon Ish (147:1), however, claims that there never was a dispute and everyone really subscribes to the view of the Rashba. See Mishna Brurah (648:26), who discusses the status of an etrog if the area where the outermost peel was removed became discolored.
* The Terumat Hadeshen (Responsa 99) writes that if a hole was made while the etrog was growing but the flesh and peel subsequently grew over it, it is valid. Rama (648:2) agrees. Chazon Ovadia p. 269 cites the Rashash Sukkah 36a who permits a hole that isn't noticeable. </ref>
# 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. <ref>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. </ref>
# 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. <ref>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.</ref>
# 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. <ref>S”A Shulchan Aruch O.C. 648:2. The Rama rules that in extenuating circumstances one may rely upon the second opinion. </ref> If the outermost peel, which acts like a thin ice-frosting on the Etrog, is lacking the Etrog is still valid. <ref>Beiur Halacha 648:2 s.v. VeIm , Chazon Ovadia p. 269 </ref># If the flesh of the Etrog deteriorated but the inner chamber in which the seeds are is intact, the Etrog is valid. <ref>S”A Shulchan Aruch O.C. 648:4</ref>
==Etrog without Pitom==

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