Banning some, giving others: Shaky presence of lulavs and etrogs at Israel’s airport

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Banning some, giving others: Shaky presence of lulavs and etrogs at Israel’s airport

Banning some, giving others: Shaky presence of lulavs and etrogs at Israel’s airport

A task force will begin operating at Ben-Gurion International Airport in the next few days, charged with preventing the import of three of the four species necessary for the traditional celebration of Sukkot.

 

 

 A special task force will begin operating at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel in the next few days, charged with preventing the import of three of the four species that comprise the lulav and etrog combination necessary for the traditional celebration of the Sukkot holiday, which starts on the night of Sept. 23.

The Agriculture Ministry said its ban on myrtle (hadassim), willow branches (aravot) and palm fronds (lulav) is meant to prevent the spread of plant diseases and pests inside the country.

Though offenders bringing illegal lulav parts into the country may be subject to fines or even criminal offenses depending on the severity of the infraction, the task force has purchased thousands of sets of the four species deemed kosher for use on Sukkot and will distribute them for free at the airport for all those who wish to receive them.

Ministry inspectors caught a woman last week trying to smuggle 40 etrogs, valued at more than $1,000, into the country by falsely declaring her suitcase was lost in the hopes of retrieving it later without having to pass through customs.

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