Now that Sukkot is around the corner, it’s time to think about purchasing your arba minim (four species). When you choose your lulav, esrog, hadas and aravah, you’ll naturally gravitate toward the ones that look the nicest. But choosing arba minim is actually more complicated than just picking the best-looking ones; there are many laws you need to know.
- An esrog needs to have two kinds of hechsherim in order to be fit for use on Sukkot.
- It’s important to check that the middle leaf of the lulav is not split down the middle. According to Ashkenazi custom, if most of the middle leaf is split the lulav is invalid.
- A hadas must have three leaves coming out of every level. If the leaves are not even with each other, this hadas cannot be used to fulfill the mitzvah.
- Dry Aravos are not valid so it’s best to buy some extras and keep them refrigerated so you can switch to fresh aravos over the span of the holiday.
These halachos are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to learn about choosing kosher arba minim.
Torah Live has produced a video guide of the most pertinent laws one needs to know in order to buy the arba minim. It’s part of our video series on Sukkot: The Ultimate Shelter.