Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Tishrei 5760 - September 15, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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The Best Buy in Lulavim
by Yated Staff

"Chaim'keh, don't pick up any lulavim. Don't touch the tops or walk near them. You might make them posul."

"Moshei, don't worry. I'll buy you a Pepsi in a few minutes. I know you're hot. Who isn't underneath this scorching Bnei Brak sun? You want to go home? I'm restless too, but I must find a lulav, a good lulav. In fact not only do I need one for myself, but I need six!"

After endless hours in the various arba minim markets and checking overflowing stands filling the city's sidewalks, I saw an ad pasted on a telephone pole announcing a Deri lulavim sale. I had almost forgotten about the Deri lulavim. Well, I had heard a great deal about them and now was the time to try my luck with them too.

I walked over to that "store," approached the dealer and asked him whether he had a good lulav for me. He took out a lulav hidden somewhere in the back (for such a small place he had a remarkable number of "backs"). What a lulav! It was straight as an arrow, green as grass, long as the golus, and the best thing was that the tiyomes (middle leaf) was closed as if with cement. Wow!

"Okay," I inquired innocently, "what's the price for this lulav?"

He looked me straight in the face (it seems that after all those hours in the arba minim market I looked like a lulav), thought a while, took a quick look at the lulav I was holding, and then quoted the astronomical price of 200 NIS (almost $50 -- most lulavim are NIS 20-50). Although shocked at the price, at least I now knew why he had looked at me so discerningly.

I was in a real dilemma. Here was a perfect lulav, just what I had searched for all day. But since I study in kollel, I have a limited amount of money to spend for the yom tov. Was it justified to spend so much merely for a lulav? I still had to find an esrog, haddasim, and arovos, and another five sets of arba minim -- apart from, of course, all the other yom tov necessities. But then there is a saying that "Time is money." I couldn't roam around the markets the whole day and not study a word of Torah.

The end of my internal debate is unimportant -- at least to the reader (if anyone really wants to know, I did succumb to temptation and I bought the overpriced lulav). The question is, though, what exactly is a Deri lulav and why are they so expensive?

What Do People Look For in a Lulav and Why?

Although the Ramo rules (Orach Chaim 645:3) that lechatchilo there is a mitzvah min hamuvchar for the tiyomes not to be open even slightly, people always found it hard to comply with that psak. There were few lulavim in Europe and it was almost impossible to find such a mehudar lulav. People paid attention to the lulav being straight and not open enough to make it posul and that is about all.

After the Brisker Rov came to Yerushalayim he decided to be machmir like the Ramo. That is the reason people call a closed, green, not-burnt-on-top lulav, a Brisker lulav. Actually it is a Ramo lulav, but it was the Brisker Rov who decided to start being machmir like the Ramo.

The Brisker Rov opened up the kora (brown protective material -- incidentally, "bark" in Polish is "kora") around the lulav to insure that it is really closed and not held together by the kora.

Afterwards a real turmoil started in Eretz Yisroel as people tried to meet the high standard set by the Brisker Rov. People began looking for closed green lulavim, not burnt on top and not covered by any brown kora.

This is not an easy task at all since the kora is not there by accident. HaKodosh Boruch Hu put it there for a purpose. The function of kora is to sustain the lulav so that water can flow up and down the leaves. It protects the lulav so that the leaves do not dry out, and keeps it alive.


Before discussing the Deri lulav species let us examine the date palm (tamar), and what part of it is the lulav.

"The common date palm, scientifically classified as the phoneix doctylifera, grows about 23 meters (75 feet) tall, and terminates in a crown of graceful, shining, pinnate leaves about 5 m (16 feet) long. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants. From earliest times, fertilization has been aided by cutting off the male flower cluster just before the stamens ripen and suspending it among the flowers of the female tree. More than 1000 dates may appear on a single bunch weighing 8 kg (18 pounds) or more. Palms begin to bear fruit in 4 to 5 years and reach full bearing at 10-15 years, yielding 40 to 80 kg (90 to 180 pounds) or more each. Palms are known to live as long as 150 years, but their fruit production declines, and in commercial culture they are replaced at an earlier age. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq are the leading date-producing and exporting countries, although fruit from Algeria and Tunisia also is well known in Europe. California is the major American producer. Spanish missionaries carried the tree to the New World in the 18th and early 19th centuries." ("Palm trees." BCD98- S, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc).

Every five weeks, three or four lulavim grow together as a bunch. The dekel (date palm) has a lev (a core or heart) at the top. Each lulav shoots out from the center of the lev and feeds from the lev. Afterwards the lulavim move to the side, the leaves open up, the tiyomes flattens out, it bears dates, and a new generation starts.

The Midrash (Vayikro Rabba 30:15) applauds the wisdom of Chazal who explain to us what the four minim are since, "The Torah (Vayikro 23:40) only tells us to take kapos temorim and praise [Hashem] with them, but a person [after Chazal's guidance] takes a lulav, the lev of the date palm." Incidentally the Maharil writes that someone who takes an esrog and lulav will be zoche to Olom Hazeh and Olom Haboh and will have children who are tzaddikim and have a lev in Torah.

The top of the date palm is called its lev even by secular Israeli agricultural scientists. It is called the lev since if someone saws straight down the top of the tree at its core, the palm would die. One does not need to chop it off from the bottom to kill it.

There are nine types of dates in Eretz Yisroel: Chiyani, Barhi, Chadro'i, Chalou'i, Deri, Zehidi, Dekel Nur, Majul, and Imri. There are only about 4000 Deri date palms in all of Eretz Yisroel and since each tree yields about 3-4 lulavim that makes about 12-16,000 lulavim. Certainly not enough for the needs of all of the Torah- observant community.

The Deri Discovery

Rav Shabsai Cobin, originally from the USA, is an amiable, energetic kollel man. Now in his forties, a true talmid chochom and yirei Shomayim, he has been living in Tzfas for twenty-one years. He studied in HaRav Shmuel Avigdor Feivelson's kollel for twenty years and now studies in the Tzanz kollel of Tzfas.

Fifteen years ago R' Shabsai started searching for a Brisker lulav. He said: "It is inconceivable that HaKodosh Boruch Hu commanded us to take the four minim and did not create a mehudar lulav that satisfies all opinions and shittos and is completely closed."

R' Shabsai searched for the perfect lulav among all the different kibbutzim in the north and eventually arrived at the kibbutz dati of Tirat Tzvi in Beit Shean, northern Eretz Yisroel, the closest kibbutz to the Jordan border. It is only 500 meters from the Jordanian border.

In Tirat Tzvi he met Moshe Zachai who had set up a hut with a stand on which he proudly displayed his wares: hundreds of lulavim laid out organized according to the different species so that people could buy them. Moshe Zachai, who is currently one of the people in charge of date production in Tirat Tzvi, originally came to his kibbutz in 1965 when, in the course of his service in the IDF's Nachal unit (Pioneering Fighting Youth), he guarded Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi. He fell in love with the fertile area and, after being discharged from the army, he remained there and became involved with date production. At that time Zachai planted more Deri date palms, since there were only a few and he liked its dark fruit.

The keen eyes of Rav Shabsai Cobin quickly saw that no other species comes close to the Deri lulav in hiddur. It was a real beauty and very strong. Other types whose tiyomes were closed ended in a pinpoint and were in danger of breaking off and becoming a nifsak rosho.

He took some 300 lulavim and traveled in his friend's battered car to the famed Lederman shul in Bnei Brak. He first started selling his merchandise for the bargain price of some 20-30 shekels ($5-$7) apiece. People could not believe their eyes.

Word got around quickly. The son of HaRav Chaim Greineman came over to R' Shabsai and requested that he immediately accompany him to his father. R' Shabsai showed him 22 lulavim and HaRav Greineman bought 20 from him, one after the other. R' Shabsai told him that he can take the kora off to get a better look at the lulav. "No," said HaRav Greineman, "I don't need to. I already know its good by looking at it. It's not mine yet. After I buy it I'll take the kora off." HaRav Greineman was enthusiastic about the lulavim and asked him where he bought them. He later advised him to sell the lulavim in Yerushalayim where people are willing to pay even more for a lulav.

For the last ten years R' Shabsai and a partner have rented a store in Meah Shearim to sell Deri lulavim. Soon, the Deri species acquired a name as the premier lulav type, even though it cost a premier price.

Meanwhile other chareidi dealers have been combing the kibbutzim in the Beit Shean area. Whereas R' Shabsai used to pay ten shekels to the kibbutzim, these dealers overbid him and offered fifteen shekels. Needless to say R' Shabsai lost a lot of business.

The Special Qualities of Deri

"One can take a Deri lulav and throw it at the wall," says an impassioned Moshe Zachai. "With other lulavim the tiyomes opens immediately but in the Deri lulav it remains closed. The tiyomes in other species can become ruined even on the way to shul. Deri is strong, resists blows, and remains intact for the whole yom tov."

HaRav Refoel Reichman, a renowned medakdeik in mitzvos, sits hours and hours in R' Shabsai's store to find a lulav. "The Deri lulavim are mehudar and of exemplary appearance," comments HaRav Reichman. "Besides their doubtless kashrus they have the plus of having a good tzurah. But it depends from where they are purchased. Some are better than others. In general, they have a good tzurah and many of them are mehudar with a closed tiyomes. There is, however, no klal that a Deri lulav is automatically good. You must be bodeik it. It's not a Canary lulav -- the Canary lulav came from the Canary Islands over 100 years ago. Deri has definite simonim quite different from the Canary."

What are Canary lulavim? R' Shabsai explained: "The dekolim around the Kosel, for example, are not temorim, date palms; they are Canary palms. They do not produce dates but berries, and the Torah tells us, `The branches of date palms' -- dates, and not berries. It is easy to differentiate between the two types of lulavim. On opening a date palm a white powder can be found on the leaves. To the best of my knowledge there aren't too many Canary lulavim in the market."

HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt'l rules that a Canary lulav is posul even bedi'eved, but HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt'l rules that it is kosher (see Kashrus Arbaas Haminim, pg. 170).

"The lulavim sold by HaRav Cobin have the ma'aloh of not being cut on Shabbos," HaRav Yechiel Michel Stern, the rav and moreh tzedek of the Ezras Torah neighborhood in Yerushalayim and author of Kashrus Arbaas Haminim, tells us. "One can find many more unopened Deri lulavim than others, but one must check them. There is no doubt about their being lulavim. The Rekanti (parshas Beshalach) writes, `There are seventy types of date palms . . . not similar in appearance . . . or taste.' The scientists who have another number categorize them differently."

Even Moshe Zachai told us some Deri lulavim have problems of hemnik (looking like two leaves, like a fork, Orach Chaim 645:7). The younger trees are better for lulavim since there are more problems with mature trees. However, in general they are a much better lulav.

The perspective of many experts in kibbutzim fifteen years ago was that you should not pick lulavim from the date palm's core since doing so ruins the tree. After R' Shabsai cut them from their core and the dates still grew as before, their experts' opinion changed. "If Hashem told us to take the lulav," says R' Shabsai, "it can't harm the tree. Chazal control nature. The Torah is teva. There's no difference."


Deri branches are certainly lulavim -- a date palm -- since you can see its dates. So the lulavim are surely "the branches of date palms" (Vayikro 23:40).

The modern Deri species originates in Iraq -- from Bovel. When the Jews from Bovel immigrated to Eretz Yisroel in the beginning of the fifties they brought Deri saplings with them and planted them in the kibbutzim. Thus, the Deri species is in Israel for about 40 years.

In Iraq there are many Deri palms but their branches cannot be brought to Israel. R' Shabsai tried. He sent Israeli Arabs to ask Jordanian Arabs to bring Deri lulavim from Iraq to Jordan and afterwards to send them to Israel. It would be a lucrative business for all involved. However, the Jordanians told his agents that there is no way to export Jordanian lulavim to Israel because Israeli authorities will not allow it. They are afraid that the foreign branches may be infected with a certain pest that attacks date palms. Israel must, naturally, protect its own agriculture from ruin.

The authorities do not allow the import of lulavim from anywhere in chutz la'aretz to Eretz Yisroel except from El Arish in northern Sinai, not far from the Gaza Strip. R' Shabsai investigated this very thoroughly. Pakistan also cultivates palms and sends their dates to Australia, but Israel will not allow any imports from there. He could buy cheap Pakistan or South African lulavim but would be unable to import them to Eretz Yisroel. America gets its lulavim from El Arish, as well as from Arizona and California. In the U.S.A. no Deri lulavim are sold commercially.

R' Shabsai tells us that the Vilna Gaon writes that yishuv Eretz Yisroel is a sign of ikveseh demeshichah. "The abundant possibilities in Eretz Yisroel to be mehadeir in mitzvos are stunning. Each child can have arba minim more beautiful than even the geonim had. European boys studying here in the yeshivos bring home Deri lulavim. Jews in America in general, because of their lack of experience, do not really know what a beautiful lulav is. In America the general minhag is to buy sets: an esrog, a lulav, and haddasim. There is no tremendous lulav market as in Eretz Yisroel and therefore few people in America have ever seen such a lulav. The son of HaRav Moshe Eisemann zt"l of Vineland, HaRav Meir Eisemann, who gives shiurim in Lakewood, lived here about thirteen years ago, and he still annually sends a shaliach to me for a lulav. People in Eretz Yisroel take for granted the many ways there are to fulfill mitzvos behiddur. The lulavim, haddasim, and esrogim here are beautiful."

Why the High Price of Deri Lulavim?

Moshe Zachai explains why the Deri lulav is sold at such a high price. "Its fruit is sold at regular prices, but the female trees have problems in pollination, of absorbing the powder from the male trees. The Deri also gives much less fruit than other trees do. No one today would plant a Deri palm only for its fruit. Farmers try to earn a profit from the Deri tree that is comparable to what they can earn from other species. Other species give 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of fruit per tree but Deri yields only 40-50 kilograms, just about half. It is therefore much less profitable on the basis of its fruit alone. Selling the lulav helps it be about as profitable as a regular date palm."

(Parenthetically, it is a machlokes whether the lulavim from male date palms are kosher or not since those particular trees do not yield dates. The Chasam Sofer [Chidushei Chasam Sofer, Succah 34b] is machshir since it is from a species that has dates but the Tzofnas Paneiach rules that they are posul).

"Financially," tells us R' Shabsai, "it doesn't pay to raise Deri. You get $120-150 for a bunch of dates and the Deri gives much less fruit. The money the kibbutzim get from the sale of the lulavim, is a matonoh for them, a pure gain with no extra costs. They work for the dates and the lulavim are extra profit.

"In general a date palm needs much care. Apart from watering, there is the tiresome pollination process. Female trees produce fruit and male trees produce seeds. You take the seeds, cut them, dry them, cook them, and make powder from them. This is all done on the kibbutz. The workers go to each flower -- three to four months before the dates are to grow -- and pollinate each one by hand with the powder. It must be done by hand or else little fruit is produced. They open the flower of each tree and pollinate it individually. There are far fewer male trees since they are not needed for their dates, but only for their pollen. It is the most fascinating thing in the world."

The dealers also have a good reason to demand a high price. HaRav Reichman tells us: "The dealer pays a certain amount for each lulav although he does not sell every one since not all are perfect. In the long run he has to compensate himself for all his time and effort and the number of unsold lulavim. He needs some profit and since he initially pays a relatively high price for each Deri piece he must ask for an especially high price. If someone is prepared to search for hours he can find a nice lulav that is not a Deri. But there are those for whom time is worth more than money. The Deri lulavim are more or less all good ones."

HaRav W. M., a serious full-time kollel student who sells lulavim before Succos to help his parnosso, told us, "This all started when dealers came and offered double for the lulavim and that jacked up the prices. I once made a deal with a certain kibbutz for 4 shekel a lulav. A short while before I was supposed to pick up the lulavim I called up the kibbutz to finalize the arrangements. The kibbutz head told me that someone had offered him 8 shekel a lulav and asked me if I could please back down from the deal. I knew that this kibbutz was in a difficult financial position so I agreed.

"Before Succos I saw the lulavim of this kibbutz, with which I was well-acquainted, being sold in Bnei Brak. I went to the dealer and accused him of halachically unfair business practice. He went away and tried selling his merchandise elsewhere, but I later heard that he was not successful in selling his lulavim.

"The kibbutzim do not gain much from the fruit of the Deri date palms since their small fruit is used only by industry. The Majul date palm gives much more fruit. Another reason for their high price is that for every 100 lulavim, only twenty are well closed and can be sold. There is a tremendous amount of wastage. If a dealer buys a hundred lulavim he pays 5000 shekel and if he sells only 200 he must cover his expenses and make a profit. All that makes the prices higher."

What is R' Shabsai's explanation for the high prices: "Whoever wants a Deri, wants a beautiful tiyomes. Even by Deri if you buy 1000 lulavim you have to throw away about 400 lulavim because they aren't Brisker lulavim. That's not because they aren't good lulavim but because they aren't good enough for a Brisker lulav. A baal habayis doesn't want to pay such a price for a lulav -- even for a Deri.

"It is actually a dangerous market. People can and have lost a lot of money. The dealers have jacked up prices by their offers of higher prices to the wholesale producers. The dealers saw that people want to buy Deri so they offered more money to obtain the merchandise."

Refrigerated Lulavim

There is a rumor that some lulavim are refrigerated. Should that bother us? I asked R' Shabsai and Mr. Mike Ehrlich, the Distribution Manager of Tirat Tzvi, an American oleh, whether that should bother us. (Mr. Ehrlich's response is recorded in a special side box).

First let us ask R' Shabsai. "A full lulav grows in a month and a week. If a kibbutz cuts 100 trees they only get 300 to 400 lulavim. To be able to sell more, they cut some a month or two beforehand, so that another crop will grow in before the season. Of course, the lulav must be refrigerated to last.

"I tried refrigeration but saw that about five days after taking it out of the cold storage it dehydrated quite rapidly -- much faster than a fresh-cut lulav. A regular person buying a lulav would not be able to tell whether or not it had been refrigerated. I open it up and smell it inside and then I can tell if it has been refrigerated. At Tzemach, the Kibbutz Artzi lab, the scientists give advice on how to preserve lulavim. They claim that refrigeration preserves the lulav. In my opinion it is not good for the lulav and I stay away from it. Refrigeration does not insure the length of life of a lulav and should be avoided.

"There are a lot of potential problems with refrigeration. If there is any dampness during the refrigeration, black spots appear all around the lulav. Also, in refrigeration the kora falls off and it is better to keep the kora around the lulav as long as possible. The hechsher I am getting will state explicitly that the lulav has not been refrigerated."

It seems that you have to know from whom to buy your Deri lulav.

The Future

This year R' Shabsai Cobin is trying to lower the price of Deri lulavim. He needs much siyata diShmaya. He bought a great deal of lulavim and is the biggest Deri seller in the world today. He has no idea at this point if he will come out with a profit or not. His personal goal is to make the Deri lulav accessible to more people and he wants to drop the lowest prices for a good lulav to NIS 100 in a box for the first quality. Open lulavim should cost NIS 150-180.

In addition he is planning to sell lulovim closed with the kora for NIS 70. The tiyomes under the kora in the packages will not be open; he says he has never seen an open Deri lulav unless it suffered a strong knock. He has seen Deri lulavim with pinpoints, or looking like a hemnik, or with one tip higher than the other. But, of course, the percentage of choice Deri lulavim is significantly higher than with other species. There is, of course, no way to know of these problems without taking off the kora unless you are a novi, but many people take lulovim.

R' Shabsai is also thinking of going to the Weitzman Institute in Rechovot to ask them to genetically change the shape of the lulav and take out the kora from the middle leaf. Let the middle leaf grow like the one next to it -- green. If someone does that he will be a millionaire!

Actually R' Shabsai is taking a great risk in trying to lower the price. Other dealers do not want him to lower the price. He is not buying out the market but is just buying a tremendous amount of lulavim. Another plan of his is to put lulavim inside boxes after taking a little kora off the top, and receive a hechsher from a reliable rav for them.

His goal is to calm down the lulav market. To show the other dealers that there is much advertisement against the high prices so that they will lower them.

Gedolei Yisroel Love Deri

For the last ten years before the petirah of HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt'l, his nephew HaRav Yitzchok Schwadron, the son of HaRav Sholom Schwadron zt'l, bought lulavim from R' Shabsai for his uncle. The Mishnah Berurah is machshir two tiyomes, but since the shittas hageonim rules that the double tiyomes must not be separated (see Yom Shel Shlomo, Bovo Kama 96), although the Shulchan Orach does not rule that way, R' Shlomo Zalman wanted a Deri lulav that has only a very small percentage of double tiyomes.

HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and the Erloi Rebbe take a long Deri lulav. There is a Mogen Avrohom (672:3) in Hilchos Chanukah who rules that it is a hiddur to have a long lulav. He differentiates between using enough olive oil in a menora for it to burn longer than a half an hour and using a long lulav. Adding olive oil, he says, is a hiddur outside of the mitzvah itself -- it just adds to the mitzvah but does not change the basic mitzva performance in any way. That, he says, is not considered a hiddur at all. A long lulav, on the other hand, is a hiddur since it affects the essence of the mitzvah and the way it is performed, since the extra length adds to its beauty.

Maran HaRav E.M. Shach shlita has made a brocho on R' Shabsai's Deri lulav a few times. HaRav Zelig Braverman, a relative of HaRav Shach, was asked eight years ago by the Rosh Yeshiva to call up R' Shabsai after Succos and thank him for such a beautiful lulav. HaRav Moshe Arye Freund zt'l, the late Ravad of the Eida HaChareidis, used R' Shabsai's lulavim for many years. He sent his gabai to call R' Cobin to his office and thanked him personally for such a mehudar lulav. HaRav Freund asked the names of his children and gave them all brochos.

The Sephardi world follows the halachic ruling of the Beis Yosef and not of the Ramo. R' Shabsai once asked HaRav Yehuda Tzadkah zt'l if there is an inyan for Sephardim to be machmir according to the Ramo and choose a lulav that is entirely closed. He answered that there is no inyan at all.

!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOX BOX

Refrigeration and High Prices

The following is an interview with Mr. Mike Ehrlich, the Market Director of the Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi in the Beit Shean area.

Question: I would like to ask you about two important points. First of all, there are persistent rumors that some lulavim are refrigerated before Succos and later sold in the lulav market together with the fresh lulavim. Is this true? Second, is there any justification for the high price of Deri lulavim and is it the kibbutzim who are jacking up the prices?

Answer: No one can pick all the lulavim of any species just two days before Succos. They are always picked some time in the middle of Av and the lulavim are fine. In the last few years some dealers have bought lulavim very early. "Very early" means even during Sivan. They refrigerate them and later sell them. We ourselves tried this last year together with one of our dealers but were unsuccessful and the lulavim rotted. We didn't sell those lulavim and didn't try it again this year.

Question: But aren't there people who do refrigerate theirs?

Answer: There are people who do refrigerate. I was told that in the U.S. there is a process that works but I don't know what it is. The consumer should buy from a reliable supplier. Asking when the lulav was cut -- in Sivan or Av -- is certainly a legitimate question. A lulav picked during Av and Elul is perfectly good and does not have to be picked two days before Succos. There are dealers who successfully refrigerate the lulavim for many months and supply good lulavim to the market. I know we tried but weren't successful.

Question: Are there other kibbutzim who do refrigerate lulavim?

Answer: Again, it is not the kibbutzim who refrigerate the lulavim; it is the dealers.

Question: How long does it take a lulav to grow?

Answer: It depends what size of a lulav you want to wait for. In the month and a half to two months of the picking season we can pick more or less twice. They are then [towards the end] usually smaller but are still kosher.

Question: If a dealer would come to you in the middle of Sivan would you sell him lulavim?

Answer: Yes I would. We tried to refrigerate them ourselves but weren't successful so we didn't do it again. Someone who wants to try does so on his own responsibility.

All lulavim are refrigerated. OK, maybe you are lucky and you got the lulav picked two days before, but nobody can get all the lulavim down so quickly. All of them are refrigerated but the question is for how long. If you pick in Sivan and know how to refrigerate them, there are no problems. I don't know how. There is someone from the States who wants to come next year and refrigerate them. He says he has a method. OK, kol hakovod, let him try.

High prices

I have my permanent dealers who come each year and I raise the price according to the annual inflation rate. I have not raised the price in the past two years and I have been in charge for the last three years.

I feel I must say something to justify the dealers. They suffer from much devaluation of their merchandise. Not all of the lulavim are saleable. Some of them are ruined when they are checked. I don't know how many of them are not sold. Of course, they all cry to me that they didn't make any money. Whether or not that is true, I can't know. There is certainly a loss because of the merchandise becoming ruined or not fit for sale and it is no small amount. What the dealers do in the market is their business. I don't follow up on what they do. If I wanted I could jack up the price even more, but I feel it is a fair price that we are asking and we don't ask for more.

!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! BOX 2 BOX 2 BOX 2

The following circular was issued in Bnei Brak.

Beis Din Tzedek -- Bnei Brak

Under the leadership of HaRav Nissim Karelitz shlita

Elul 5759

For The Medhadrin in Mitzvos

Since the price of mehudar lulavim has risen way above justification, we therefore request that no individual pay more than sixty NIS for a mehudar lulav.

If there are dealers who have already obligated themselves and are likely to suffer a loss, people are allowed to pay them for the most mehudar sorts (Deri, and the like) one hundred NIS, and not more.

We hereby sign,

S.N. Karelitz

Yaakov Edelstein

Pinchas Shreiber

S.Z. Ulman

Yosef HaCohen Roth

Yaakov Yisroel Posen

Tzvi Friedman

Yehudah Silman

Sariel Rosenberg

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