Revolutionary Breakthrough: Rebbe’s Esrog Replanted in Calabria

In the past, you needed to choose either an Esrog from Calabria (Yanover Esrog) or an Esrog from the seeds of the Rebbe’s Esrog grown in Israel. Now you can have both in one. With the Hashgacha of the CHK and the Badatz Edah Hachareidis.

For many generations, the “Yanover” Esrog has been the gold standard for Chasidim being that they have a tradition of being ungrafted with other fruits. The Alter Rebbe said that the tradition goes back to Moshe Rabbeinu who sent messengers to bring Etrogim from Calabria.

However, due to the Rebbe’s concern about the integrity of the Yanover Esrogim, due to Etrog growing nicer than its natural look, and there was suspicion that the Italian farmers were beautifying the Etrogim in a way that disqualified them from use for the Mitzvah. The Rebbe sent his own Esrog to be re-planted in Kfar Chabad.

This led Chassidim to a dilemma. Every Chosid would love to perform the Mitzvah on an Esrog that was grown from the Rebbe’s Esrog, yet it is hard to abandon the tradition of making the Brocho on a Calabrian-grown Esrog. Many would buy one of each, while others would suffice with just one of them.

Now we can have both advantages without compromise!

Thanks to known Chabad Esrog dealer Betzalel Yakont of Kfar Chabad, a new orchard in Calabria was bought, and under the strict supervision of the CHK, leading Chabad Rabbonim, along with the Badatz Edah Hachareidis, seeds from the Rebbe’s Esrogim were re-planted in the rich “Yanaver” soil.

Remarkably, this is the first time that the Badatz Edah Hachareidis are giving their Hechsher on Yanover Esrogim. They have never done so previously since they were not able to authenticate the Kashrus of the Calabria-grown Esrogim beyond doubt. In this case, however, their professional Agronomists and Mashgichim supervised the process from beginning to end, even demanding 24/7 video surveillance to ensure that no grafting or the like would take place. This is not possible to achieve in most Etrog orchards being that they are owned by non-Jews that have an interest in beautifying the Esrogim, and cannot be supervised 24/7.

Exactly 414 Esrogim suitable for the Mitzvah were harvested this summer. With Hashem’s help, the orchard is expected to grow tens of thousands in the future.

In Crown Heights the Esrogim will be sold at Mogilevsky Esrogim 382 Kingston Ave.

It will be available at select Esrogim dealers in central Chabad communities in the US and Canada.

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  1. “the rich “Yanaver” soil.”

    It’s grown in Calabria which doesn’t have Yanever soil.

    “Yanev” is Genoa in Yiddish, which was the port city from where the Calabrian esrogim were grown but it’s hundreds of miles away.

  2. The Rebbe gave his esrog to be planted in EY after he was asked by the orchard owner if this could be done, as far as I’ve ever heard or read.

    This claim that the Rebbe gave his esrog to be planted in EY because he was worried about how beautiful the Italian esrogim were is a bit outrageous.

    If they have proof or testimony, let them show it.

    Otherwise, it’s likely a “המצאה” of an imaginative pr consultant…

    1. When the Rebbe gave the esrog the Rebbe wasn’t talking about the present esrogim. The Rebbe was talking about the future that there will or might be come a time that you will have to worry about the Calabria esrogim if they’re grafted or not and the Rebbe said about his esrog that it has the signs of a genuine esrog (which is not grafted) so the Rebbe gave it for an orchard to be planted from that esrog (I remember reading this years ago in one of the kfar chabad magazines)

  3. there is a book that was recently printed by rabbi eliyahu matusof on the integrity of the calabria esrogim

    the Rebbe was very involved in arranging that calabria esrogim should be replanted in eretz yisrael,
    years after the planting of the orchard, the owner asked the Rebbe if he can plant trees from the Rebbes esrog, to which the Rebbe consented and sent a esrog of his.

    the part of the article which is very misleading (besides for the above fact check) is that they fail to point out the the Rebbe was Makpid to make a bracha specifically on a calabria esrog, even after the above mentioned orchard was planted in kfar chabad,
    its very nice to have a esrog from the rebbes esrog seeds, but to use it to bash the kashrus of the “regular” calabria esrogim is just wrong.

    1. In addition to what was said above, it is hard to understand the need for 24/7 surveillance. A tree that is murkav is recognizable by the knot in the place of the harkavah. You can’t plant a kosher esrog tree and then have someone be markiv it without your knowledge.
      Another point leho’ir, that in Reshimos the Rebbe writes that the FR instructed him to shake with an esrog from EY as well as making a brachah on a Calbrian esrog, but this was apparently not a hora’ah lerabim. It was also the practice of the previous Rebbeim.

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