Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lulav and Etrog

I went out Friday to go etrog shopping. I started by the shuk, where they have a tent set up with a lulav and etrog shuk. The majority of etrogim are sold pre-boxed, with a Rabbi's seal, and you cant see it til after you buy it. After years of watching my Dad pick up each Etrog and check it, while Mrs. Gold pointed out it's qualities, I'm unable to buy one sight-unseen. The ones that are open have already been checked by thousands of people and deemed not good for them. After over an hour of searching, nothing caught my eye, so I went up to Geulah. Geulah is etrog central. there's an enormous area with tables and tables of etrogim, lulavim, hadassim. The best ones are classified A,A. Then theres A, and then just mehadrin, then mehudar, then just kosher. As i recall, the Torah says the etrog has to be mehudar. From that somehow a lulav now has to be A,A for it to be good. Being as its only real quality is that the "spine" has to be attached at the top, and it has to be a certain length, I dont know how it could be cut into so many categories of beauty, but it is. Sellers are also all along the street, each with his table, squawking his wares. "Lulav Lulav Lulav, only A,A here!!" "Etrogim, we only sell the best!!" "Hadassim, you dont have to look anywhere else!!" The best thing they had was etrogim pre-boxed with a seal from a Rabbi that theyre mehadrin, but they were in clear plastic boxes, so you can actually see what you're buying. Also, they dont get ruined by everyone picking them up and checking them. Chazzon Ish style etrogim were boxed like this. Still nothing caught my eye, so I kept walking. Then I saw a big sign, "Etrog Zacks". I knew I was going to find what I wanted there. I walk in, and he has a few boxes. All of them are green, so I start to leave. One second, he tells me, I have another box in the back. He brings it out, and I start to get excited. With yiddish flying around my head, I go thru the box, checking each one. Now, to be honest, I'm never really sure what I'm looking for. As long as it doesnt have big marks on the top third its kosher, and the more bumpy it is the better. But being as people were taking out magnifying glasses to check them, maybe I'm missing something. But I found one I liked, so I ask him how much they cost. "Each one is different", he tells me. So I give him the one I like, and he starts analyzing it under a light with a magnifying glass. (think diamond shopping). He mumble a bit, tells me its beautiful, mehadrin, etc, etc. and quotes me a price. What is the price based on? I have no idea. Do they start at a high number and go down with each scratch, or start at a low price, and go up with each bump? Or do they just try to assume how much you're willing to pay and charge 20 shek more? Bottom line, I now have a lulav, etrog, and hadassim, and I'm just waiting for the holiday to start. Chag Samayach to all!!


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Blogger 2R said...

was he an eyedoctor zacks or a rabbi zacks...?

7:44 PM  
Blogger Veev said...

This was very entertaining...

6:02 AM  
Blogger Just Shu said...

I walked into Borensteins, picked up a lulav, looked at it, was happy, picked a etrog, looked at it, was happy. and that was that.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Veev said...

It takes so little....

10:34 PM  
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