In Off Year For Israel, Morocco Is Etrog Hot Spot

09/22/2015 - 20:00

Assads, Morocco — Why the Jews want etrogs each fall, Mohammed Douch does not entirely understand. What he does know is that Jewish buyers are his main customers.

Jewish merchants come from around the world to buy from Moroccan etrog growers like Mohammed Douch in Assads. Ben Sales/JTA

Four Species OK For Air Travel, Says TSA

09/27/2012 - 20:00

Plants used for Sukkot can be carried on an airplane, the Transportation Security Administration said.

The TSA, which is a part of the U.S. Homeland Security Department, said it will allow palm branches, myrtle twigs, willow twigs and citrons in airports, through security checkpoints and on airplanes. The items and the people carrying them must go through security screenings; the items are not on any prohibited list.

An Etrog Tree Grows In Arizona

Meet Matt Bycer, a lawyer and organic farmer seeking to establish a domestic supply of the Sukkot fruit.
09/24/2012 - 20:00

Matt Bycer is like any other 33-year-old attorney who wakes up at the crack of dawn to exercise.

Except that rather than sweating to a P90X regimen, Bycer, in a T-shirt, shorts and cowboy hat, lugs 170 buckets of water across his backyard in Scottsdale, Ariz., to water his etrog farm.

New species of lawyer: Matt Bycer, a patent attorney by day, has established a small etrog farm at his Phoenix home.

Branching Out Beyond Egypt

New domestic, foreign suppliers of lulavim shaking up business, but prices still higher than last year.
10/10/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Ever since the government of Egypt announced a ban on the export of date palm branches, life in the Sukkot business has been high-stress for everyone — but not David Wiseman.

A British-born Orthodox Jew transplanted to Dallas, Wiseman sells Sukkot’s ritual bundles of flora and has developed a domestic source of palm fronds, better known as the lulav, a key element in the foliage shaken and waved during observance of the harvest holiday.

Lulav merchant David Wiseman holding some rare domestic date palm branches. Courtesy of David Wiseman

Fruit Of Arab Spring?

With Egyptian supply down, Sukkot ritual objects expected to be pricier.
09/19/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Lulav and etrog sets sold in the United States may be pricier than usual this Sukkot, due to an Egyptian ban on the sale of the date palm branches.

The price of lulav-and-etrog sets could rise this year due to a date palm branch shortage.
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