Are you finding yourself confused every time you are offered an Etrog? That’s okay, you’re definitely not alone. There are many Etrog orchards all over Israel and each of them has its own reputation. If you want to know a bit more about the famous orchards, this article is just for you…
Thank G-d, after more than 2000 years, there are now Israeli Etrog orchards that can supply the whole country. In our generation we have seen a dramatic change. If until now the Jews who lived in Israel relied on Etrogs imported from other countries, today the Etrogs grown in Israel are exported to Jews in other countries. We went to check on the major Etrog orchards in Israel.
Antman Etrogs are famous and widespread. The owners, Moti and Arye Antman, are descendants of a pioneer family that made Aliya 70 years ago from the CzechRepublic. The Antman brothers are known as experts when it comes to raising Etrogs.
Hagai Kirshenbaum owns a huge orchard of 17 acres that has been in existence for more than 100 years. Kirshenbaum Etrogs are known for their high quality and are enjoyed by many people who search specifically for them every year. As a fifth generation Etrog grower, Kirshenbaum is an Etrog specialist.
Shlomai’s origins are in Um-El-Fahm, the place where Shraga Shlomai established his Etrog plants. He tested many growing methods until he found the perfect formula which he still uses today. You can identify this type by its roundish form and the Pitam.
The Breverman Etrogs were the first to appear in the Israel and their source is unknown. This type of Etrog in known as “adorned” (splendid) and many people, especially from the ultra-orthodox world, search for it. Unfortunately, it is a difficult specie to raise since it attracts insects. As the years go by, this specie becomes more distinct. You can identify this type of Etrog by its roughness and the absence of a Pitam.
Halperin- Fridman Etrogs
The Halperin- Fridman Etrog is a relatively new specie and its source is in the middle of the 20th century. These Etrogs received a blessing from the Hazon Ish, and therefore are considered “adorned”.
Rabbi Michael Yehuda Lepkovich, is a disciple of the Hazon Ish from whom he received Etrog seeds which he planted in his personal garden. You can identify this specie by its length. Until a few years ago, the original Etrog tree still bloomed in his garden in Bnei-Berak, but it is now dry and doesn’t yield any fruit.
The Kivilevich Etrog’s source is in Wadi Qelt. Yechiel Michal Kivilevich took seeds from there and planted them in Petach Tikva and Bat Yam. Today this specie has spread to more orchards around the country. These Etrogs are considered adorned and you can identify them by their big bulges.
Ordang (Gross) Etrogs
Ordang Etrogs originated in Hadera in 1927. It started as a home grown project in the gardens of Menachem Arieli, Rabbi Zevulun Garz and Itzhak Lifshitz. As time passed, this special specie found its way to Avraham Gross’s hands, who created the brand “Etrogei Gross”. These are known as highly adorned, relatively small, clean and with a Pitam.