Etrog

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Grafted Etrog

  1. A grafted Etrog is pasul whether it was grafted with lemon, promerance, or any other fruit. [1]
  2. The signs given by the Achronim to distinguish a grafted etrog from a real one are not to be relied upon nowadays when it’s possible to graft an etrog and make it look very much like an etrog. [2]
  3. Rather one should not buy an Etrog except from a trustworthy seller and can testify that the Etrog isn’t grafted. [3]
  4. Even if the Etrog is only in doubt one may not make a Bracha on the Etrog. [4]
  5. If one has an etrog that’s safek if it’s grafted and an etrog that’s not as hadar (“beautiful”), one should make the Bracha on the true etrog first and after shaking the minim with it, one should take the one that’s a safek grafted. [5]

Trumot and Maaserot

  1. Trumot and Maaserot must be taken off for the Etrog be to be used for the mitzvah, otherwise the Etrog is pasul for all seven days of Sukkot. [6] Therefore, one must be careful in finding a reliable seller. [7]
  2. If one cut an etrog from a non-Jew’s field in Israel that etrog should not be used unless one forgot to take off Trumot and Maaserot and it’s already Yom Tov (when it’s forbidden to take off trumot and masserot). [8]

Stolen

  1. Any of the four minim that are stolen are unfit all 7 days of Sukkot. [9]
  2. Any of the four minim that are borrowed are unfit for the first day of Sukkot. [10]
  3. One of the four minim that are borrowed is fit the shakings of hallel and hoshanot but not the first shaking of the lulav on the first day of Sukkot. [11]
  4. One shouldn’t cut any of the four minim from the field of a non-Jew (even with his permission) but rather one should allow the non-Jew to cut it himself and give it to you. [12] This is only preferable, however, after the fact, the minim are fit for the mitzvah and one may make a Bracha on it. [13]

Eating the Etrog

  1. It’s forbidden to eat an Etrog all the days of Sukkot and if one does take a bite out of the Etrog it’s unfit [14]
  2. In Israel, it's permissible to eat the Etrog on Shemini Aseret, and in Chutz LeAretz (outside Israel) one may eat it on the ninth day of Sukkot. [15]

References

  1. The overwhelming consensus of Achronim hold that a grafted Etrog is unfit all days of Sukkot and one may not make a Bracha on it. These Achronim include Avraham 648:23, Taz 648:3, S”A HaRav 648:31, Mishna Brurah 648:65, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 223).
  2. The Sh”t Rama 126 brings 3 signs that distinguish a real etrog from a grafted one: 1) The real etrog have many small bumps while grafted ones are smooth, 2)the real etrog has a stem (o’ketz; opposite the pitom) that’s indented, while grafted ones have stems that protrude from the fruit, and 3) the peel of an etrog is very thick and the fleshy-fruit part is small and dry, while grafted ones have a thin peel with a large and juicy flesh part. However, the Sh”t Chatom Sofer 207 questions the reliability of the signs. So writes the Sh”t Shenot Chaim 270, Mishna Brurah 648:65, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 223). Nonetheless, Mishna Brurah 648:65 writes that one may rely on the signs for using the etrog on the second day.
  3. Mishna Brurah 648:65, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 223)
  4. Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 228-232), Sh”t Mishneh Halachot 6:117
  5. The Achronim quote the story of when the Grach (Rav Chaim Solovachik) had an etrog that was safek grafted and one that’s surely non-grated but not as hadar. The made the Bracha on the safek grafted one so that he could fulfill his mitzvah with the more hadar etrog, rather than use the true etrog and once he fulfills the mitzvah he would no longer be able to fulfill the mitzvah of hadar. However, the Mikrei Kodesh (Sukkot 2:9) and Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 244) argue that shaking the safek kasher one first would be a safek hefsek between the bracha and shaking on the true etrog and so one should take the true etrog first.
  6. Rambam (Hilchot Sukkat 8:9), Kolbo (Siman 72), Eliyah Rabba 649:4, Pri Megadim A”A 649:20, Bikkurei Yacov 649:29, S”A HaRav 649:15, Mishna Brurah 649:45, Natai Gavriel 36:2, Chazon Ovadyah Sukkot (pg 248)
  7. Kaf HaChaim 649:41, Natai Gavriel 36:2
  8. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 246)
  9. S”A 649:1, Natai Gavriel 44:1
  10. S”A 658:3
  11. Mikrei Kodesh pg 78, Natai Gavriel 44:3 in name of Rabbi Moshe Solovatchik.
  12. Rama 649:1 based on the Rashba; even though, the Kaf HaChaim 649:21 quotes the Smag and Radvaz who say that nowadays there’s no need to be strict in this matter, nonetheless, the Kaf HaChaim concludes like other achronim that it’s preferable to be strict for the Rashba.
  13. Mishna Brurah 649:10, Kaf HaChaim 649:23 quotes the Get Mekushar who says that one shouldn’t make a Bracha in such a case and concludes that one may make a Bracha as times have changed (see there).
  14. Rama 649:5
  15. Chazon Ovadyah (Sukkot pg 444)