Citron: The exquisite fruit that brings rabbis

Jan 18, 2023 223

Every summer, in preparation for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Hasidic rabbis from all over the world travel to the northern part of Italy's Calabria region to handpick the best citron fruits for their lulav, the bundle of four plants used to bless the small, temporary huts built every autumn by Jews to celebrate the holiday.

For about two weeks, the orchards around the town of Santa Maria del Cedro fill up with English, Russian, Hebrew and Yiddish-speaking rabbis and their families. With the help of local farmers, they inspect the trees and analyse the fruits, sometimes with magnifying glasses, in their quest for citron perfection.

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