Henry Litoff was my first employee when I started Zaide Reuven’s Esrog Farm about 20 years ago when I started growing esrog trees. Here he is pictured with his father and brother and the 5.5 lb esrog he grew from the seeds of one of our first esrogim we sold. He managed to do this in Dallas using his own greenhouse.
First deliveries of 1,500 etrogim arrive from African country just in time for Jewish holiday of Sukkot
First deliveries of 1,500 etrogim arrived in Israelseveral days ago. This is the first time the Jewish state imports etrogim from Morocco.
The Moroccan citron which grows in the Atlas Mountains is considered the original etrog from the biblical times, according to researchers specializing in the plants of the Bible.
The Moroccan citron is mostly popular among Sephardic communities, and the import is being done at the request of the communities’ leaders in Israel.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Gaza farmers lose $1 million from Hamas lulav ban
The report makes it clear that Hamas’ reasons have nothing to do with any tree disease and everything to do with inconveniencing Jews.
By the way, if they are really losing $1 million and they planned to export 100-200,000 lulavim, that is quite a profit they would have been making! My understanding is that the usual wholesale price to farmers is closer to $3 each than $5-$10.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ REGARDING SHIPPING – 2013 SEASON
Orders placed from Wednesday September 10th 2013 CDT onwards will not be accepted unless confirmed beforehand by direct phone contact – 469 939 5596
Due to the narrow window of time we operate in, we have little margin for error and so in order to ensure you get your lulav and esrog in the best condition and at the best time, we ask that you partner with us by reading and understanding what follows:
- Succos starts the evening of Wednesday 18th September 2013. Lulav bundles must be assembled prior to the onset of Yom Tov, although they will not be used until Monday morning. Please see HERE for assembly instructions.
- Orders placed through THIS web site will be sent out on Monday September 16th 2013 using the overnight service. Aravos should arrive in reasonable condition but we encourage everyone to grow their own locally – click here to see how easy it is. Because of this year’s calendar we will not be offering two day service this year through this web site since the package could arrive after Yom Kippur or Shabbat starts.
- When placing your order, please be sure to supply a valid email address so that we can send you a tracking number. Please also be sure to include your contact phone numbers, including cell phone number.
- Make sure the physical delivery address is a place where someone is available to receive the package at the time it is expected to arrive. ALL PACKAGES will be sent without signature confirmation.
- TRACK your package on the morning of September 17th by going online to www.ups.com or calling UPS at 1-800-PICK-UPS (1-800-742-5877). If your package is not in the system, or if you have not received a tracking number by then, please call us immediately. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL Wednesday 18th September to call us as we may not be able to correct any issues.
- When you receive your package please open it immediately and check it is in good order. If not please call us immediately so that we can take steps to remedy the situation. Please store the willow and myrtle, and the lulav (if possible) in the refrigerator.
- If your package has not arrived by 5pm on Tuesday September 17th, please call UPS. You are responsible for tracking the package again (see step 6) and then calling UPS at 1-800-PICK-UPS (1-800-742-5877). We will not be able to take calls later than noon Central Time on Wednesday 18th September to track packages. If something is missing or damaged we will try to remedy it if you call us before noon Central Time, but we will not guarantee that we can.
Orders placed through our partner The Esrog Grove were sent September 11th by 2 day service. If you ordered through them you must address any problems about delays or other mishaps through them.
As of Friday 13th September, all orders must be placed through THIS web site. Please call us first to make sure we have sufficient quantity – 469 939 5596.
Trick or Treat – Halloween or Sukkot?
Only in America: A black church leader uses the Lulav and Etrog for services on Halloween. “It helps keep children off the streets.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
It may be kosher even if not Jewish, but an American black church choir leader uses the Jewish “Four Species” of Sukkot for church services because both holidays fall in the autumn and because it helps keep children off the streets.
The bizarre combination of the sacred Jewish symbols with the pagan holiday began in recent years when the woman, whose name is not being published, contacted Dr. David Wiseman, a research scientist who deals with etrogim, one of the “Four Species.”
He had been growing the citrus fruit in his back yard orchard, bringing the trees inside during the winter so the fruit would not be destroyed by frost. Dr. Wiseman entered the “lulav and etrog business” following a 2005 shortage of lulavim from Egypt, the major suppler for Israel, and he established his Zaide Reuven Esrog Farm, which actually is a virtual farm.
On principle, he did not want to import Egyptian-grown lulavim, which are the main source for Israel and elsewhere, and developed a source in California.
Dr. Wiseman, formerly of London and now living in Dallas, Texas, told Arutz Sheva that before he agreed to supply the religious items to the church, he received permission from rabbis after they decided there was no violation of Jewish principles by the use of the Four Species in church.
“I received the call from a lady from a black Pentecostal church in Newark, New Jersey, who said she was desperate for etrogim,” said Dr. Wiseman.
“I asked her why she wanted them, and she said it was for her church,” Dr. Wiseman relates. “I got a little nervous and asked what she would be doing with the etrogim. She replied that her church does not like Halloween because it so pagan, and instead of all the ‘trick or treat’ and costumes, she wanted to do something more biblical and make it a fall festival. They also wanted to keep the kids off the street and conduct Bible study.”
Dr. Wiseman said she figured that there was no better way to celebrate the fall festival than adopting customs from Sukkot, which is a time of the harvest after the summer and known in English as the Feast of Tabernacles.
Sukkot usually falls in mid-to-late September or early October. “Okay, so they were three weeks late,” laughs Dr. Wiseman. “Who’s counting?”
He said the church choir leader continues to call every year, and she ordered 20 sets of the Four Species last year. The Four Species include the etrog and the lulav, part of the date tree, as well as “hadasim” and “avarot.”
He was able to come up with the supplies, although most of the Four Species had wilted to the point that they no longer were “kosher,” i.e. fit for use on Sukkot.
The church apparently is getting more involved with the Jewish holiday and studying Sukkot more seriously. Last year, one church actually built a sukkah inside the church, although during the actual holiday a sukkah is not considered “kosher” if placed inside a building under a roof.
The church members and children sang and danced while waving the palm branches.
One order from a Christian for the Four Species requested a strictly kosher set, including a certification that they were suitable according to the custom of the Torah sage Chazon Ish.
Dr. Wiseman also has used his expertise as a research scientist to write a scholarly book called “The Esrog,” which is a treatise but which also includes recipes and the laws of Sukkot.