History and Halacha of Grafting Esrogim

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Sofer, a world-renowned expert and author on the topic of grafted esrogim, delivered a shiur on the botanic history of various esrogim and the Chabad tradition to use esrogim grown in Calabria, Italy.

The past week, Kollel Anash of Crown Heights had the honor of hosting a shiur by Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Sofer on the halachic issues associated with Esrogim Murkovim, grafted esrogim. Rabbi Sofer serves as a Rov in Williamsburg and is considered one of the world’s greatest experts on the topic. He is also the author of the sefer Taharas HaEsrogim.

Rabbi Sofer discussed the botanic history of the various esrogim being imported. He focused mainly on the Chabad tradition, which is to specifically use esrogim grown in Calabria, Italy. These esrogim are also known as Yanover Esrogim.

He explained that the grafting methods being done in Calabria in modern times are different from what was done in the past. The more recent methods do not change the type of fruit the tree will bear. Therefore, the esrogim from grafted trees and the esrogim from non-grafted trees look the same. They even have the same DNA.

Rabbi Sofer also discussed whether one could tell if the esrog tree was grown from the branch of a grafted tree. And if an esrog tree did indeed originate from a grafted tree, would its esrogim still be considered kosher to use.


For the past ten years, Kollel Anash has been dedicated to assisting young married men master the laws of Taharas Hamishpachah and Shabbos. The halachos are studied in depth; from the sources in Gemara and Rishonim all the way down to halacha lemaaseh. The Kollel has recently added a unique three-year track for studying the halachos of Choshen Mishpat.

The kollel is located at Congregation Anash 770 Montgomery Street and is under the leadership of Rabbi Michoel Lerner. The Kollel was founded and is sponsored by Rabbi Dovid Fischer, Rov of Congregation Anash.

Watch Rabbi Sofer’s shiur here:

YouTube player

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