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Five Alternatives to the Etrog

The etrog has been identified as the Torah’s פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר, “fruit of trees of beauty” (Leviticus 23:40), since the Second Temple period. Here are five other interpretations of this verse.

Dr. Rabbi

David Z. Moster



The Etrog: Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

The etrog tree, according to midrash, fulfilled God’s command in creation, such that the tree tasted like its fruit. It was also the tree of Knowledge from which Eve ate. By taking the etrog on Sukkot along with the other species, we atone for this primordial sin.

Prof. Rabbi

Rachel Adelman



How the Forbidden Fruit Became an Apple

Wheat, grapes, citrons, figs, pomegranates, and olives have all been presented as the fruit that Adam and Eve ate, yet the apple, which only entered the scene in the 12th century C.E., became the most popular candidate.


Azzan Yadin-Israel



The Etrog: Celebrating Sukkot With a Persian Apple

A luxury Persian import, famous for its medicinal qualities and lovely smell, the citron became Sukkot’s פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר “fruit of a splendid tree” in the first century C.E.


Dafna Langgut



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