More Discussions for this daf
1. Carrying With A Pole Held By Two People 2. Mutav she'Yihyu Shogegin 3. Yoma Arichta
4. Sukah and Esrog 5. A Gezeirah Which Shouldn't Apply Nowadays 6. Seven Esrogim
7. Sukah vs. Esrog

avrohom Adler asked:

The Gemara states (concerning someone in Eretz Yisrael) that if someone had 7 esrogim for 7 days (he designated one for each day), then one opinion states that he may eat each one immediately after using it, while the other opinion holds that he may not eat each one until the end of the day. Thus, on day two, according to all opinions, he can eat the esrog that was only designated for day one.

The Gemara then states (just a bit later...) that outside of Eretz Yisrael, there is a Rabbinic decree that forbids the esrog from being eaten on the eighth day.

My question... If someone outside of Eretz Yisrael designated 7 esrogim for 7 days (actually, 6, because of Shabbos), how would the d'rabbanan work? Is the person not allowed to eat ANY of the esrogim until after Simchas Torah? That doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. Is the person only not allowed to eat the last one the next day? That seems counterintuitive as well, since if there was a true safek on the day, all the other ones should have a one-day delay in eating them as well. Is this person "off the hook" on the d'rabbanan because of his designation? Not sure why that should be the case either...

In reality, whether the day we outside of Eretz Yisrael call Shmini Azeres is really Hoshanah Rabbah or not should be irrelevant. Since clearly the halacha is that we do NOT take lulav/esrog on the "eighth day", when we purchase the esrog, we have intention to use it on the 6 days that we use it. Therefore, the esrog should become permitted at the end of Hoshana Rabbah the same way as for all of the other days.

avrohom Adler, usa

The Kollel replies:

Dear Avrohom,

Thanks for your query. I would like to sort out the different statements, and I think that then all will fit into place.

The Din of a person using seven Esrogim for seven days is identical to Eretz Yisrael and Chutz la'Aretz. The issue is whether it is designated for the Mitzvah only and thus may be eaten immediately after the Mitzvah was performed, or does it apply to the entire day, and may not be eaten until the next day. As I said, the Din is the same everywhere. The fact that in Chutz la'Aretz it might be the second or third day of the Chag has no bearing on the situation. The designation applies to the Mitzvah relevant on that specific day (or the entire day) only.

The second issue is in the case of using one Esrog for the entire Chag: when does it become permissible in Chutz la'Aretz. And in this case the rabbinic decree forbids using it on the eighth day since in reality it might be the seventh day and the mitzvah of Esrog still applies. You may ask, "But nevertheless we do not observe the Mitzvah of Esrog on the eighth day, so why should we treat it as if the Mitzvah applies on this day also?"

There are various answers offered by the Rishonim for this question. The most common answer is that if the people would be permitted to benefit from the Esrog on this day, they would come to the ultimate conclusion that it is the eighth day of the Chag, and there would be no need to eat in the Sukah either. Thus the prohibition of eating the Esrog applies to remind us that it is indeed a Safek.

All the best.

Y. Landy

Gedalliah asked:

While we're on the topic......According to this second reason....What about all of the modern-day products that are made from pesach matza meal? other than a slight variation in taste/texture (depending on who cooks...sometimes there is no noticeable difference) many of these are indistinguishable from chametz products. For example, pesadich breakfast cereal, muffins, noodles, etc. Why don't we say that one will err and have the chametz by mistake? Understandably this would not apply to those who avoid gebructs, but for everyone else, especially newcomers to Torah-observant Judaism?

Chanuka Sameach.....

The Kollel replies:

I didn't find an authoritative written source that addresses your question, but I did ask one prominent Posek here in Israel. His response was that you can't forbid Matzah meal because you can't forbid Matzah. It seems that it's all or nothing; either you forbid that type of food altogether - even in its whole state - or you don't forbid it at all. One reason for this might be that it is too difficult to determine how finely that food can be ground before it becomes forbidden. We see, for example, that it is difficult to pin down exactly how fine vegetables may be chopped on Shabbos before one runs into the Melachah of Tochen (see Biur Halachah, "ha'Mechatech", 321:12). Kitnyos, on the other hand, we can live without for a week, so they were forbidden altogether.

Another possible answer to your question is that the first reason of the Gezeirah doesn't apply to Matzah (whole or ground up), i.e. we're not worried about grain getting mixed up with Matzah, and only things - like Kitnyos - to which both reasons were applicable, were included in the Gezeirah. (Whereas to possibly be freed from the Gezeirah, once something was forbidden, would require that neither reason apply any longer.)

Kol Tuv,

Yonasan Sigler