Godssecret's Weblog

Fill your Etrog-wife-world with lights
October 6, 2009, 7:29 am
Filed under: arba minim, succah

A beautiful wife is like a Etrog (citron). The etrog is a manifestation of your merit in this world. The state of your aspect of the “Shechinah” (Divine Presence)Man is the Groom and the Etrog is the Royal Bride. The body of the Groom contains 6 directions. These directions are his Kindness, discipline, balance, power of determination and ability of focus on detail. His way he works with the powers. The mentalities of the body are the   “rachamim” (mercies) of these 6 directions. When the Etrog is taken with the (Lulov -Palm branch) these mentalities are drawn into it (from Heaven through the Lulov). The lights of mercy enter the Etrog. The root of “Rachamim” (Mercy) is “dat” (Knowledge). Before mercy can enter the Etrog it must be illuminated by “dat”. Lights of mental powers are drawn into the Etrog, and the Etrog is illuminated. Then all these “new” energies illuminate you and the whole world.


Of course, nice Etrogs are elegant pale yellow as wax, gold, and yolk. A darker yellow is also kosher.

An etrog must be at least the size of an egg. If the etrog is longer than an egg but not as wide as an egg, but its total volume is more than that of an egg, it is still kosher.

If the pitom falls off or the stem on the bottom of the etrog is completely removed, the etrog is invalid.

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

An etrog that is completely green is invalid. If, however, if it started to become yellow, it is valid

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

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.

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. [21] If the outermost peel, which acts like a thin ice-frosting on the Etrog, is lacking the Etrog is still valid

  1. The Gemara (35b) says that if a growth is found in two or three separate places, it invalidates the etrog, since it appears “spotted.” Additionally, the Gemara states, if the growth is found on the chotam, it invalidates the etrog regardless of its size. The Rosh (3:20) writes that a discoloration of white or black has the same status as a growth. Therefore, the Tur and Shulchan Aruch (648:12) write that a discoloration of any size on the chotam would invalidate the etrog.
    • What is the chotam? Rashi (35b s.v. Ubechotmo) explains that the line at which the etrog begins to slope inwards is the chotam. See Halachos of the Four Minim (p. 10) for a diagram. The Rosh explains that the Rif holds that the chotam is the entire slope up to its pitom. The Beit Yosef (648:12) writes that the minhag was to be strict for both Rashi and the Rif. The Beiur Halacha (648 s.v. Mimakom) explains that the Rif, and by implication Shulchan Aruch, agree that the pitom itself is included in the chotam.


It isn’t necessary to use a magnifying glass for kashrut. He also cites that Rav Shlomo Zalman in Shalmei Moed p. 134 agrees that for an etrog you don’t need a magnifying glass to check if it is punctured.

Rama (Responsa 126) writes that the differences between a grafted etrog and a real etrog include: 1)A real one is bumpy, while a grafted one is smooth. 2)A real one has an indented oketz, while a grafted one has an oketz that protrudes. 3)A real one has a thick peel with very little juice, while a grafted one has a thin peel and a lot of juice. The Tiferet Yisrael (MishnayotSukka 3:6) says that a person ideally should look for an etrog that is very bumpy and has an indented oketz.

  • The Gemara (36a) says that an etrog that is round like a ball is invalid. This is quoted by Tur and Shulchan Aruch (648:18). Mishna Brurah (648:59) explains that a round etrog is invalid since it is not a normal shape of an etrog. Beiur Halacha (648:18) elaborates that it is not necessary to be stringent for the opinion of Tosfot that a cylindrical etrog is invalid, since most authorities disagree. Kaf Hachaim (648:113), however, says that ideally, one should accommodate this view of Tosfot. Chazon Ovadia p. 279 cites the Mata Yerushalayim who permits a ball-like etrog if it has a pitom and oketz and disagrees because the poskim didn’t mention this distinction. Interestingly, the Radvaz (1423, 5:50) writes that the Rambam doesn’t quote the halacha of a ball-like etrog since it doesn’t occur naturally. If it was crafted with a shaped bottle it is invalid in any event.
  • : Tiferet Yisrael (YachinSukkah 3:6) writes that ideally, the etrog should be like a tower, meaning thick at the bottom and thin on top. Nitei Gavriel (p. 140) and Arbaat Haminim Lamedharim (p. 252) agree.

The top of the Etrog is the most important.
The Rishonim argued what is considered the top part:
Rashi – the ring around the Etrog that from there it starts to become narrow. Rosh – all the slope to the top. Ran – just around the Pittom. The Rambam – only the Pittom. We go according to more stringent opinions.
On the top part: any change in the look is a problem, even if it’s small (only if it can be seen). In Etrogim with a small slope, this Halacha is only to that small part. We should look for an Etrog which is completely clean on the top, even from ‘Blatllach’ (brown scabs) or dents that aren’t a problem. The Etrog is more Mehudar when clean




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