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 disqualify 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 will 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 Etrogim, 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.