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What’s an etrog?

October 31, 2007
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So as not to bend or tear the lulav during the week’s use, they are carried to and from the Western Wall or synagogue in long, clear plastic zipper cases. Etrogs are sold in boxes lined in foam, but sometimes kept at home in special ornate silver boxes. Both are carefully inspected before purchase, even using an eyepiece for magnification! The Four Species have to be free of blemish, just like an animal given for sacrifice in Temple times. Many a poor Jew have made great sacrifices to bring the Lord a perfect gift, as a kosher etrog easily costs US $100 and even as much as US $1,000!

Etrog slices
Cooked in Syrup


  • 4 large etrogs
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Rinse the etrogs and soak them in cold water for at least 3 hours. Cut them into thick slices (about 1/3 inch or 1 cm) and remove the seeds. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a large pan and bring to a boil. Press the etrog slices firmly into the syrup. Cover with a lid and let it simmer lightly for 1 to 1½ hours, or until they are very soft. Remove the slices and arrange on a serving dish. Continue simmering the syrup, uncovered, until it has thickened. Pour the remaining syrup over the slices.


This is an enchanting, but easy, dessert that can be served with a tad of cinnamon, chopped nuts, and some cream to top it off!


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