Etrog Questions

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Junglekeeper, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    1. According to a FAQ, in order for an etrog tree to be considered kosher it must be grown from seed or from a cutting (and not grafted). In addition "...there are some important Halachot (Laws) which must be considered when the tree is transplanted or repotted." and "Note the Laws of Orlah regarding replanting.". However there is no explanation as to what these laws are. Can anyone provide insight into them?

    2. What happens to the etrog fruit once the Feast of Tabernacles is over?
     
  2. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have an etrog tree and the tree is a grafted tree. I realize that a grafted etrog tree is not acceptable under the jewish laws. However, not being jewish I really am not concerned whether it is a grafted tree or not. It makes no difference to me. The ONLY reason for having an etrog is as a collection tree. Actually, I just pick the fruit when it is mature and through it away, as it does not tastegood. Perhaps someone of the jewish faith, would know why there ase so many laws that pertain to the citrus variety. - Millet
     
  3. AnotherAlterEgo

    AnotherAlterEgo Active Member

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    Indeed there are many grafted Etrog trees out there, but I suppose I'm more of a purist -- even though, strangely enough -- I'm a Gentile. In all honesty, though, I sell a lot of Etrog trees to Jews, and have for several years. My parent trees have been blessed by a rabbi and are Kosher. These are the real collector trees, in my humble opinion.

    If you want to know more about Etrogs, the Feast of the Tabernacles and the various rules regarding Etrog culture and harvest, visit www.esrogfarm.com. (Zaide Reuven's Etrog Farm). He also wrote a nifty Etrog book called "The Esrog".

    Shalom!
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    AnotherAlterEgo,
    I, like Millet, do not have a preference for a grafted or ungrafted tree and would be happy to grow either one. The questions were posed out of curiosity - enlightenment is a good thing. The answers are likely to be found in "The Esrog". I'll check to see if the local library has it. In the meantime I hope someone can shed light on the Halachot and Orlah laws and how they apply to the 'kosherness' of a tree.

    Reuven's new website no longer carry the descriptions and images of the different etrog varieties. I wonder why this information was dropped.

    Millet,
    The shape and size of etrog fruit is supposed to be highly variable even on a single tree. Have you found this to be the case with your tree? You throw away the fruit?? Do you not find them aromatic enough to perfume a room?
     
  5. AnotherAlterEgo

    AnotherAlterEgo Active Member

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    Your enlightenment is on the way. . . It may take me a day, or two, but I'll dig through my horticultural books and try to find some answers to your questions. "The Esrog" is a small spiral-bound publication, and many of my hort. books are in boxes.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks, AAE. No luck at the library. There's no rush with the info - patience is a virtue. I can't imagine what laws have to be followed when repotting these trees.
     
  7. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    AAE, your statement "These are the real collector trees" meaning Etrog trees that are Kosher, would most certainly have validity, if I were Jewish. However, as I am not Jewish, I really could care less whether the tree is, or is not, Kosher. I would much rather grow a grafted tree than a Kosher tree. Junglekeeper, actually, I did not know that etrog fruits were highly variable even on a single tree. All the fruits on my tree seem to look more or less the same, but some fruits, of course, have been larger and some are smaller. Take care. - Millet
     
  8. AnotherAlterEgo

    AnotherAlterEgo Active Member

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    Millet - I guess citrus collectors are like baseball fans. LOL. I apologize for implying that you should have an ungrafted Etrog. I was actually pointing out that a blessed tree is a real collector tree from my perspective (hence the "in my humble opinion" part of my post). Like you, I am not Jewish. But the idea of having a tree with religious value, having been blessed by a leader in said religion, appeals to me. If you think I'm bad when it comes to citrus, you should see my Boy Scout leader uniform. I'll only wear insignia that was current when I was a child. Hence, not very many folks recognize them, and my son is usually embarrassed. LOL. Take care.
     
  9. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    AAE it is quite alright. I'm also not much into the blessing of my citrus trees. However, happy growing. Take care. - Millet
     
  10. Laaz

    Laaz Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Millet. This spring I should be able to send you a cutting from my Variegated Etrog. Just got it a few months ago & is starting to put on some nice growth.
     
  11. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Laaz, sounds great. = Millet
     
  12. ZaideReuven

    ZaideReuven Member

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    Re: Etrog Questions - authentic reply frmo Zaide Reuven

    I have just come across this very interesting forum on esrogim and note with pleasure that someone has plugged my web site - www.esrogfarm.com.
    I see that there are a number of questions that have arisen.
    We are just updating the site, including new images and so we don't have everything quite as we would like it yet.
    Our book "TheEsrog" is out of print but you can order an e-book directly from the site.
    In addition we sell authentic esrog trees which are kosher. We have some of the major varieties including Yanaver, Moroccan, Chazon Ish etc.
    Contrary to popular opinion "blessing by a rabbi" has no bearing on whether or not the tree is kosher, but there are numerous laws that need to be adhered to, including the method of repotting. The book explains why.
    If you have any questions you can email me directly at esrog@esrogfarm.com.







     
  13. ZaideReuven

    ZaideReuven Member

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    Our book is available as an e-book - you can get it at esrogfarm.com.
     
  14. AnotherAlterEgo

    AnotherAlterEgo Active Member

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    David - It's nice seeing you participate here. As it goes, I purchased my Etrog trees from you several years ago at your Dallas home and you told me they were blessed by a Rabbi and are Kosher specimens. Perhaps you were joking about the "blessing" part, but I am hopeful that my specimens are indeed Kosher. I have harvested dozens of Etrogs from them through the years. I'm sorry to hear you aren't printing your book any more. I own a copy and have enjoyed perusing it through the years. Once again, nice seeing you.
     
  15. de bon chemin

    de bon chemin Member

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    as you are the last one on this field and i see you are using the proper 'jargon'

    let start -
    the Jews are using the 4 kinds of 'plant' for the holiday
    of soccoth tabernacles
    as a remembrance of the 40 years in the desert after the exodus
    of Egypte 3319 years ago.
    the mitsvah commandement is to take a palm date fond,
    willow branchs,myrtle branchs and a citrus medica(trenj,trog,troj,cedrat,citroen,banjura,buddah hand...)


    each one has a particular signification but the
    bottom line is: it's a commandement


    about the etrog citrus medica:
    first and foremost is the identity of the fruit ,its origin ,credencial a...
    for that, the written law gave signs that will define the etrog
    and will disqualify other citrus .it should be:
    -fruit
    -beautiful (remarquable)
    -not perishable
    -can stand up to 2 years on the tree
    -that the edible part is as the tree in taste and ' texture'
    -will grow from all waters (cultivated and not wild)
    -bloom and bare fruit all year around
    -the fruits :old ones,new ones at the same time

    after you have the fruit and the specs are refining to the citrus medica
    then comes the oral law (talmudic dicussion and customs)
    you need a 'pedigree' to the tree from where, whom take care of it , provenance...
    some communauties will take only from yemen ,others from italia (region de calabria ).
    some places were disquilify by the rabbis through the centuries:
    corfue,rodhes,sardenia,corsico, panama,haiti.
    some are still questionnable and use only if others are not found (morroco -sousse, citrus earle of cuba-was used during the ww2 in usa) .
    that mostly because the signs were off with the time ( we come back to that, due to
    out cross pollination, as the citrus medica is monoembryonic,no nucellar (identical to mother) only zygotic seeds... so the best way of propagation is softwood propagation..take note that the etrog tree has a very short life 14-20 years)

    -the etrog should be perfect in all aspects:
    -color (not green,black,red,white, -even a small area will disqualify this fruit,not the all tree)
    -form (oval,with one nipple-apex only,the petiole should be furrow deep inside the fruit, not flat or outside like a lemon, the style should not be broken, but it can dry out on the tree)
    -size (bigger than an egg size, and straight )
    -skin ( bumpy, very sick albedo, less juice as possible, lot of seeds,disposition of the seeds should be longitudinal by the length of the fuit, not cross laying)

    all this, is for the etrog fruit but the etrog tree has be planted by the 'semences laws' and the 'dimes laws' (hilekhot zerayim,if grow in Israel trumot vemaasserot), not following these laws will disqualify the fruit or even the tree.

    any tree can not be grafted (murkav) to a rootstock that is of a different kind of the scion.
    for the etrog tree:
    being that it's a tree of a special kind some rabbis will not allow even lemon rootstock,( and none will allow of course oranga mare, poncirus, pommelo.)
    and the fruits can be use only after the 3 years (orla) of the plantation in full ground.
    no transplanting is possible ( or you start the 3 years count again).
    for the container trees ...I do not know ...because what define a 'container' is complex
    ( ask your qualified Rabbi on the matter)

    then like 300 years ago, the 'traffic' ( they were selling murkavim as original etc... ) of etrogim was so bad that rabbis started to grow their own ochard ( in italia for exemple, untill now Rabbis from Milano will travel during the year and follow the propagation stage, floraison,pesticide spraying,pollination ..)
    or will use for the holiday only one fruit for the all communauty.

    the etrog yemenite( trenj) has no juice at all and it is the only one that is edible as is
    the others have to be 'blanchir' a few times ( in salted water then flat water) then cook in a sugar sirop,
    the buddha hand is a etrog but to get all the fingers perfect : no discoloration, no drying, balance form...just forget about using it for the holidays but it can be use as a rootstock because it is the same kind .

    the fruit after the holiday is use for smelling parfum for the ceremonial of the exit of the shabbat every saturday evening.
    or cook in a pearl sugar sirop and eaten for the trees' new year "tu bishevat".
    the sefaradim jews are using the etrog style candied for a gift as good sign to a newly wed or a young student of cheder (pre 1-a).
    the ashkenazim are bitting the style by the last day of succot and say a supplication :

    Not as Eve in the garden of Eden that she could not hold herself 3 hours untill the venue of the holly Shabbat, on the contrary I did not trangress Your commandement for 7 (8) days and did not use the fruit in any way (smelling, tasting...) and now that its funtion has finish, I can use it and still I do not retrieve any pleasure from it ( as it's bitter and not cook.).
    So, please G-d finish this bitter galuth and take us one by one and pick ( as Your fruits) up us, our elders, our sons, our daughters for the return to Jerusalem , for the next Succoth.
    then they wish each other: "Leshana abaha bYerushalayim"
    next year in Jerusalem

    Jehu De Bonchemin
     
  16. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you, de bon chemin, for taking the time to compose this in-depth reply to my post. I look forward to growing this most interesting fruit.
     
  17. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I was in the River Park COSTCO last week and
    a gal I helped pick out an atropurpureum dissectum
    for about 6 weeks earlier came up to me and asked
    me if I was the guy that worked for such and such
    and I first said to myself, how did she know that?
    and answered yes and then she went on to tell me
    that she is going to plant 2 1/2 acres of organic
    Etrogs. I was astonished. I later asked her a few
    background questions to see if she had any real
    idea of what she was up against and got an idea
    of what she wanted to do. She seemed to know
    of this thread below without me saying a word
    about it.

    I told her there are at least two forms of Etrog
    available and told her who to get each form from.
    I did put in a plug for her to try other Citrus as
    well, so we'll see what happens as I am sure she'll
    bump into me again at the same COSTCO sometime.

    Citrus?

    Jim
     
  18. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Cool. The web does make the world a bit smaller.
     
  19. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    de bon chemin - Thanks for your post about kosher Etrogs. Ineteresting, informative and bizarre. - Millet
     
  20. de bon chemin

    de bon chemin Member

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    Sorry!! But I am an (french) etchnolog not an arboricultor.

    I was interested by the citrus ceremonial in general, first by the Japanese (citrus junos- yuzu), then by the Chinese Buddhist (citrus digitata-Buddha hand), and now by the Jews (citrus medica-etrog).
    Checking this forum, being that specific questions were asked, I tried to give some answers . I'll try to rebember the purpose of this forum.


    But I will be very interested to taught to a citrus breeder or a citruscultor ,as I have many questions myself in ref. to out cross pollination,and the grafting effect and passing mutations on the scion and its fruits.
    the hybridation being empiric, very long and laborious, still some breeders have a knowledge of pollen citrus compatibility.
    th. you
     
  21. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    de bon chemin, Your post about the etrog was a good post, filled with a lot of information. I made notes in my file, and was very glad to get the information, thank you. I am always astonished at the amount of reglious laws and regulations that can be attached to something as insignificant as an etrog. For example even the way it has to be transplanted, or can't be grafted. In ether case the fruit will be exactly the same. However, I can understand, as the Jewish religion down through history, and it has a very long history, has acquired a great multitude of external laws and regulations that have come to be attached to it's proper adherence. Good information, thank you. - Millet
     
  22. aron

    aron Member

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    you need a 'pedigree' to the tree from where, whom take care of it , provenance...
    some communauties will take only from yemen ,others from italia (region de calabria ).
    some places were disquilify by the rabbis through the centuries:
    corfue,rodhes,sardenia,corsico, panama,haiti.
    some are still questionnable and use only if others are not found (morroco -sousse, citrus earle of cuba-was used during the ww2 in usa) .
     
  23. aron

    aron Member

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    de bon chemin
    Do you have more information about the use of cuban esrogim?
    Do you know of any literature in English about the history of esrogim, their use and countries of origin?

    aron
     
  24. de bon chemin

    de bon chemin Member

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    -The cuban has two provenances:
    the first is....Colombus C., he sailed with 3 ships and in one of them (the Pina) , Jews run away from the Roman Holy Inquisition under the Spanish Torquemada, taking with them Italian/ Corsican Etrogim ( due to the form that the one that they used in WW2).

    the second, by the jewish philanthropist Lord Moses Montefiore from England at the time of the Queen Victoria, he bought lands in the Caraibes and in Brasil, this species was from Greece ( korkira-Corfue).The ones from Israel too were planted in Haifa by Moses Montefiore, there is no original etrog in Israel.....

    The uses of the last one was for candied tuttifrutti and fragrance ( the parfumeur Coco Channel in her "Channel5", at the beginning of the 19th century, was very pleased with her choice of Citron Medica oil).

    -check the web but the etrog grow in the climatic band from 28-42 degres (in the South Hemisphere too but no use to the Ritual because they got the proper size in beginnning of winter (too late) and until next fall, the fruits will be to big and not "clean" as required by the customers,even if they are "Kosher" but not "Beautiful"),

    and their planting follow the Jewish Diaspora in their peregrination through space and age...in India( Barenja in Bombay), in Persia-Iran (Etroj in Bamm) and just in any "warm" communauty
     
  25. aron

    aron Member

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    de bon chemin

    I find your information fascinating it is exactly what I need, but I want sources. Where do you get your information from?

    aron
     

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