1) WHY MAY AN ESROG OF "ORLAH" NOT BE USED
QUESTION: The Mishnah (34b) states that an Esrog of Orlah may not be used for the Mitzvah. The Gemara records two reasons for why such an Esrog is invalid. According to one Amora, an Esrog of Orlah is invalid because one is not permitted to eat it ("Ein Bah Heter Achilah"), and thus it is not considered "Lachem," the property of the person who fulfills the Mitzvah. (This reason is also given for why one may not use an Esrog of Terumah Teme'ah.)
According to a second Amora, an Esrog of Orlah is invalid because one has no monetary ownership of an item of Orlah ("Ein Bah Din Mamon"), and thus it is not considered "Lachem."
Why does the Gemara seek a reason for why an Esrog of Orlah may not be used for the Mitzvah? The reason is obvious -- fruits of Orlah are "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" -- they must be burned (as must fruits of Terumah Teme'ah). Any object that must be burned is considered already burned and reduced to ashes, and consequently it does not have the minimum size necessary for the Mitzvah.
It would have been much more appropriate for the Gemara to say that an Esrog of Orlah is invalid because of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei," because that Pesul invalidates the Esrog for all seven days of Sukos. In contrast, the fact that the Esrog is not considered "Lachem" (either because one may not eat it, or because one has no monetary ownership of it) applies only on the first day of Sukos.
Why does the Gemara give a secondary reason for the Pesul of an Esrog of Orlah (and for an Esrog of Terumah Teme'ah) and omit the primary reason?
(a) TOSFOS (DH l'Fi) answers that the Gemara indeed could have explained that an Esrog of Orlah is invalid because of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei," and the reasons of "Ein Bah Heter Achilah" and "Ein Bah Din Mamon" have no advantage over the reason of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei." The only reason why the Gemara records this discussion is to explain the case (in the end of the Mishnah) of an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni, according to Rebbi Meir who maintains that produce of Ma'aser Sheni belongs to Shamayim ("Mamon Gavo'ah"). According to the opinion that an Esrog must be permitted to be eaten in order to be used for the Mitzvah, an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni is valid, because it may be eaten (in Yerushalayim). According to the opinion that one must have monetary ownership of an Esrog in order to use it for the Mitzvah, an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni is invalid according to Rebbi Meir, because the person does not have full ownership of it.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Lulav 8:9, and in Perush ha'Mishnayos here) explains that an Esrog that may not be eaten indeed is invalid for all seven days. He explains that the fact that it cannot be eaten not only removes the Esrog from the category of "Lachem," but it also removes it from the category of "fruit." The Esrog must be a "Pri Etz Hadar"; if it is not edible it is not a "Pri" (fruit) at all, and therefore it is invalid.
Alternatively, the Rambam (in Hilchos Lulav) means that it is not proper to use such an Esrog for the Mitzvah, because it is Asur b'Hana'ah. The Gemara earlier (30a) cites a verse (Malachi 1:8) that teaches that items used for Mitzvos must be respectable, and an item that is Asur b'Hana'ah does not fall into that category (RABEINU AVRAHAM MIN HA'HAR). Accordingly, the reason of "Ein Bah Heter Achilah" invalidates the Esrog of Orlah all seven days, and thus the reason of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" has no advantage over it.
Why, though, does the Gemara mention the opinion that an Esrog must be the monetary property of its owner in order for him to use it for the Mitzvah? That reason invalidates the Esrog for only the first day of Sukos (because it is not "Lachem"). It must be (as mentioned in (a) above) that this reason is mentioned only to explain the law at the end of the Mishnah, which says that one may not use an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni (according to Rebbi Meir).
(c) The KAPOS TEMARIM suggests an answer which is also found in the PISKEI RID. When the Mishnah says that an Esrog of Orlah is invalid, it means that even an Esrog of Orlah from outside of Eretz Yisrael is invalid. The law is that the owner of Orlah fruit that grew outside of Eretz Yisrael may not eat that fruit, but he may feed it to others (Kidushin 39b). Accordingly, the Esrog is not "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei," since it does not have to be burned and may even be sold. Why, then, may such an Esrog not be used? It must be because it is not considered "Lachem" since it may not be eaten.
Why, though, does the Gemara give that reason for an Esrog of Terumah Teme'ah, when it could give the reason of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei"? The Piskei Rid explains that Terumah Teme'ah is also not "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei," because one may derive benefit from it. Even though Terumah Teme'ah must be burned, one is permitted to derive benefit from it as it burns (for example, he may benefit from the heat or light that it produces as it burns). In contrast, one may not benefit from other types of Isurei Hana'ah, even as they burn. Since there is a permissible way to derive benefit from the forbidden item in the case of Terumah Teme'ah, "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" does not apply.
However, if the subject of the Gemara here is an Esrog of Orlah from outside of Eretz Yisrael, how does the reason that "Ein Bah Din Mamon" invalidate it? A fruit of Orlah from outside of Eretz Yisrael is considered to be legally owned, and the owner may even sell it to someone else. The Piskei Rid explains (as mentioned above in answers (a) and (b)) that the Gemara gives the reason of "Ein Bah Din Mamon" here only because it will be needed later to explain the case of an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni.
(d) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR and RA'AVAD (as cited by the Ritva) rule that an Esrog of Orlah indeed may be used on the last six days of Sukos. On the first day it may not be used because it is not "Lachem," as the Gemara says.
According to their opinion, why is such an Esrog not invalid because of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei"? Since it must be burned, it should be "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" and be invalid for all seven days of Sukos.
Perhaps the answer is as follows. TOSFOS (DH l'Fi) writes that the obligation to burn Orlah is mid'Oraisa and not merely mid'Rabanan; the Torah requires that Orlah be burned and not just buried. (Tosfos makes this assertion even though in no place does the Gemara state explicitly that Orlah must be burned mid'Oraisa.) Why does Tosfos insist that the requirement to burn fruits of Orlah is a Mitzvah d'Oraisa? Perhaps Tosfos maintains that if the Mitzvah to burn Orlah is only mid'Rabanan, then "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" should not apply. "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" does not mean that anything that is Asur b'Hana'ah is not considered to have a Shi'ur. Rather, it means that anything that the Torah commands us to burn does not have a Shi'ur. If the requirement to burn Orlah would be mid'Rabanan, then it would not be considered already burned and it would not be "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei."
Perhaps the Ba'al ha'Me'or agrees with the logic of Tosfos, that "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" applies only when the Torah requires that the object be burned, but he argues with Tosfos about the obligation to burn Orlah. According to the Ba'al ha'Me'or, there is no Mitzvah d'Oraisa to burn Orlah. Therefore, an Esrog of Orlah is not invalid because of "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei," and, consequently, it is invalid only on the first day.
For the same reason, an Esrog of Terumah Teme'ah is invalid only on the first day of Sukos. "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei" does not apply because the obligation to separate Terumah from fruits other than wine and oil is only mid'Rabanan in the first place, and thus there is no Mitzvah d'Oraisa to burn an Esrog of Terumah Teme'ah.
(e) The RAMBAN (in Lulav ha'Gadol) and the RITVA (34b, 35a) explain that when the Gemara says "Ein Bah Heter Achilah," it actually means that the Esrog of Orlah is Asur b'Hana'ah and not just b'Achilah, and thus it indeed is "Katusei Mikatas Shi'urei."
Why, though, does the Gemara give the reason of "Ein Bah Din Mamon"? Those words certainly do not mean that the Esrog is Asur b'Hana'ah. It must be that this reason is mentioned only to explain the Mishnah's other case, that of an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni (as explained above), and it is not intended to be an explanation for why an Esrog of Orlah may not be used. (In fact, the Ritva says that an Esrog of Orlah does have a "Din Mamon." Even though Orlah is Asur b'Hana'ah, its owner still has legal ownership over it. This is an issue that is debated by the Rishonim in a number of places.)
2) OWNERSHIP OF AN ITEM WORTH LESS THAN A "PERUTAH"
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a dispute between Rebbi Chiya bar Avin and Rebbi Asi about whether one must have legal ownership ("Din Mamon") of an Esrog in order to fulfill the Mitzvah with it, or whether it suffices merely to be permitted to eat it ("Heter Achilah"). A practical difference between the two opinions exists in a case of an Esrog that has a "Heter Achilah" (it may be eaten) but does not have a "Din Mamon" (it is not legally owned by the person who uses it). According to Rebbi Meir, an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni is such a case: the Esrog may be eaten (in Yerushalayim), but it does not belong to its owner, but rather to Shamayim.
When the Gemara first cites this dispute to explain why an Esrog of Orlah may not be used for the Mitzvah, RASHI explains that an Esrog of Orlah does not have a "Din Mamon" because it is not worth a Perutah ("Ein Bah Shaveh Perutah"), as it is Asur b'Hana'ah. A person cannot have ownership of an item which has no worth, and thus the Esrog is not considered "Lachem."
Similarly, Rashi earlier implies that an item worth less than a Perutah is not considered legally owned (and is thus not considered "Lachem"). The Rabanan earlier (27b) prove that one may use a borrowed Sukah for the Mitzvah from the verse that implies that only a Sukah in which all of the Jewish people are able to sit is valid. In order for all of the people to sit in one Sukah, it must be that one person owns the Sukah and the others fulfill their obligation by borrowing his Sukah. Rashi asserts that the verse cannot mean that they all collectively own the Sukah, because each person's share would amount to less than a Perutah's worth of the Sukah (since there are so many people), and thus the Sukah would not be considered "Lachem." One must own at least a Perutah's worth of an object in order for it to be considered his property.
The SEFAS EMES (30a) asks that according to Rashi, who says that an object worth less than a Perutah is not considered "Lachem," why does the Gemara say that the practical difference (whether an Esrog must be owned or not) exists only in a case of an Esrog of Ma'aser Sheni? The Gemara should give a much more obvious difference -- a case of an Esrog which is worth less than a Perutah! Such an Esrog is not "Lachem" according to the opinion which requires an Esrog to have a "Din Mamon."
In addition, the MINCHAS CHINUCH (325:9) and the SHA'AREI TESHUVAH (OC 482:1) ask that although there is a requirement for Matzah to be "Lachem" (Pesachim 38a), there is no requirement that the Matzah be worth at least a Perutah. Similarly, in practice, the Aravos that one buys for the Mitzvah of Arba'as ha'Minim are often inexpensive and worth less than a Perutah. If an object worth less than a Perutah is not considered "Lachem," then why may one use Matzah or Aravos that are worth less than a Perutah?
ANSWER: The SEFAS EMES explains that when Rashi says that an object worth less than a Perutah is not considered owned ("Lachem"), he refers only to fruit of Orlah and to other Isurei Hana'ah. An object which is Asur b'Hana'ah has absolutely no value. (For example, if one gathers together a thousand fruits of Orlah, they still have no value.) Objects which are not Asur b'Hana'ah, but merely have little value and are worth less than a Perutah, are considered to be owned, because if one adds them together their value will be more than a Perutah. Since such items add up to more than a Perutah when combined with the rest of one's property, they are considered legally owned and even fulfill the condition of "Lachem." (The Gemara in Gitin (20a) makes such a distinction. See also TOSFOS RID to Sukah 41b, who permits Aravos worth less than a Perutah.)
According to this answer, why does Rashi earlier (27b) say that it is impossible for all of the Jewish people to own one Sukah and fulfill their obligation with it? The Sukah is not Asur b'Hana'ah, and thus the small portion of Sukah which each person owns should be considered legally his and fulfill the condition of "Lachem."
Rashi does not mean that one has no legal right over what is worth less than a Perutah (as a Nochri is killed even if he steals less than a Perutah; Sanhedrin 61a). He also does not mean that what is worth less than a Perutah lacks the condition of "Din Mamon" and is thus not considered "Lachem," because Rashi's explanation of the Tana is not limited to the opinion that maintains that "Din Mamon" is necessary; he explains the Tana according to all opinions, even according to the Amora'im who do not require "Din Mamon." What is Rashi's intention?
HAGA'ON RAV YISRAEL ZEV GUSTMAN zt'l explained that a person's ownership of an object worth less than a Perutah is considered "Lachem" only when that person is the sole owner of the object. An object owned by a partnership ("Shutfus") is different. In a partnership, if each person's share of the object is not worth a Perutah or more, he does not own enough to make it considered "Lachem." In fact, when a person owns an object in a partnership, even if his share is worth more than a Perutah it is not fully "Lachem" (see TOSFOS 27b, DH Kol, who maintains that one does not fulfill a Mitzvah which requires "Lachem" with an object he owns in a partnership). When each partner's share amounts to less than a Perutah's worth, it is not considered "Lachem" at all.
3) HALACHAH: THE "CHOTAM" OF AN ESROG
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (34b) states that when the majority of an Esrog is covered with spots of blight, the Esrog is invalid. The Gemara quotes Rava who says that if the spots are on the Chotam, then even the smallest amount invalidates the Esrog.
What is the Chotam?
(a) RASHI (according to the ROSH's understanding) says that the Chotam is a thin, circular strip around the surface of the Esrog at the place where it begins to slope sharply towards its point (the part commonly called the Pitam). The Chotam is not comprised of the entire area of the slope, but only the small strip around the Esrog at the point where the slope begins.
(b) RABEINU CHANANEL, the RIF (as explained by the Rosh), and the RAN explain that the area of the slope itself, from the point where it begins to slope until the Pitam, is called the Chotam.
(c) The RAMBAM, RITZ GE'AS, and the RAN (in the name of "Acherim") explain that the Chotam is the peg-like stem that holds the crown (Shoshanta) at the top of the Esrog.
HALACHAH: The ROSH rules that one should be stringent and follow the opinions of both Rashi and Rabeinu Chananel. Therefore, if an Esrog has a minimal amount of spots on it from the point that it begins to slope (including the area itself where the slope begins), until the Pitam, it is invalid.
4) HALACHAH: THE "BUCHNA" OF AN ESROG
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (34b) states that an Esrog is invalid if its Pitam fell off. The Gemara quotes a Beraisa in which Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elazar says that the Esrog is invalid "if the Buchna fell off."
What is the Buchna?
(a) RASHI, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Lulav 8:7), and the RAN (in the name of "Acherim") explain that the Buchna is the small crown at the top of the Esrog ("Shoshanta") and the peg-like stem that supports it (the part commonly called the Pitam). Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elazar in the Beraisa does not argue with the Mishnah, but merely explains what the Mishnah means when it says "Pitam."
(b) RABEINU CHANANEL, the RIF, RAN, and RABEINU YITZCHAK HA'LEVI cited by Rashi explain that the Buchna is the ball at the root of the Ukatz, the piece of wood at the bottom of the Esrog by which it hangs from the tree. If the Ukatz falls off but the little ball inside the Esrog remains, the Esrog is not considered "lacking" ("Chaser"), nor does it have the appearance of lacking, and is valid. However, if the little ball also falls out, the Esrog is lacking and is invalid.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 648:8) rules like the Rif and Rambam, who say that if the Ukatz at the bottom of the Esrog falls off, the Esrog is invalid because it is lacking. If, however, the ball (inside the Esrog) which is attached to the Ukatz did not come out with the Ukatz (that is, no indentation is left at the place where the Ukatz fell off), the Esrog is valid, since it is not considered lacking (REMA there, and MISHNAH BERURAH 648:33-34).