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What Should I Do with My Holiday Lulav and Etrog Set?

What Should I Do with My Holiday Lulav and Etrog Set?

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Dear Rabbi,

At the suggestion of my Chabad rabbi, I decided that I want to have my own lulav and etrog set for the holiday of Sukkot so that my entire family can take part in the observance.

When the holiday is over, should I just throw it in the garbage?

Answer:

I commend you and your family for taking on this additional observance. Uniting your entire family in observing Jewish traditions brings positive energy to the Jewish experience in your home.

One may discard of the lulav and etrog set following the holiday of Sukkot; however, out of respect, it should be wrapped before placing it into the garbage. According to Jewish law, one should show respect for an item that was used for a Jewish observance.1

However, the best thing a person can do with an item like this is to use it for another Jewish observance. Here are some ideas for the lulav and etrog set:

  1. Burn it with leavened bread (and other leavened products, known as chametz) on the eve of Passover.
  2. Use the myrtles (hadassim) together with other spices as a fragrance (the besamim) at the traditional havdalah ceremony said at the conclusion of the Sabbath.
  3. Some insert cloves into the citrus (etrog) and let it dry, and use it as a fragrance during the havdalah ceremony.
  4. If you are creative with your hands, you can make a basket out of the palm branches and place the spices in there.
  5. Others fry the citrus and eat it on the New Year for trees (Tu B’shvat).2
  6. Make a jelly from the citrus and eat it on the Sabbath.3
  7. Using the lulav to feed the fire that bakes the matzah, the thin cracker-like, unleavened bread eaten on Passover.4

Or you could come up with your own ideas to continue making use of the lulav and etrog set for the good.

FOOTNOTES
1.

See the Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chayim 665:8-9 and 21:1.

2.

These customs are cited by Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, Nitei Gavriel, ch. 61.

3.

What my grandmother, Esther Bukiet, used to do with it every year.

4.

Rabbi Jacob ben Moshe Halevi Molin, known as the Maharil, cited by Rabbi Moshe Isserlis in Orach Chayim 665:9.

Dovid Zaklikowski is the director of Lubavitch Archives, a freelance journalist and public speaker. Dovid and his wife Chana Raizel are the proud parents of four: Motti, Meir, Shaina & Moshe Binyomin.
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Discussion (6)
September 27, 2012
Etrog jam
Some ten or fifteen years ago, the Montreal newspaper La Presse came up with an original idea for an article marking Sukkot -- they wrote about using the etrog as the source for jam. In fact, if my memory is correct, they listed some places here in Montreal where etrog jam was available.
David Pinto
Montreal, QC - Canada
October 24, 2011
Etrogim are FULL of Cancer-causing Pesticides!
If you've celebrated the Jewish holiday of sukot and want to make etrog jam/jelly or to snack on the peels DON'T! The fruit is heavily doused with pesticides to meet import/export regulations. Homegrown varieties are no exception. Demand certifiable proof that the etrog you'll eat is organic.
Yocheved Golani
Bet Shemesh, Israel
October 23, 2011
put it over your doorpost (the lulav)
Anonymous
October 23, 2011
etrogs interest
thank you for your comments...if you wish some of this perfume, be in touch via the editors,
chana schornberg
Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
October 18, 2011
aromatic etrog oil anyone?
If you can gather about 40-50 kg. of etrogim ( I know that's alot) take it to your local essential oil distillery--we have them here in Israel, (the Negev region) and eventually with the cold pressing and distillation you can get the most divine essential oil of estrogim-50KG you can get about 1 liter or a bit less; it is costly...a rare treasure in the aromatic world, it goes for a hefty price. I know I have a bit, as do a few others. To my knowledge I among 3 other people in the world are the only ones that have this, combined with essential oils of myrtle, lemon and a dash of pine, I have created a lovely perfume that mimics the fragrance of the holiday.
chana schoenberg
Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
October 18, 2011
Thanks
your ideas really touched a creative note in me!!

Thank you for showing how it is that the materials of jewish observance; i.e. materials that were once used for a spiritual meaning, can then be utilized to enhance the meaning of the full yearly cycle of festivals ultimately showing how the cosmic seed of tefillah, prayer, connects the materiality of our world in sacred remembrance.

A real-life unfoldment of the "seeds of generations bearing fruit" within and without a time bound notion of (contained) experience.

May God keep you & bless you & your family for a good & sweet new year!!
Mr. R. Davidson
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