It’s customary during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot to buy what are known as “the four species” – lulav (a palm frond), hadass (leaves from a myrtle tree), aravah (leaves from a willow tree) and etrog (a large yellow citron). The four species are gathered together and “waved” symbolically in the synagogue or inside a sukka – the temporary dwelling built by Jews to commemorate the years G-d provided for the Israelites in the wilderness following their freedom from slavery in Egypt.
In order to “beautify the mitzvah,” Jews will often search far and wide for the most impressive components of the four species – especially the etrog. The small Bnei Anousim community in El Salvador may have found the largest etrog of the year.
In the picture above, Eliyahu Franco, president of the Beit Israel synagogue in San Salvador and head of El Salvador’s national association of Bnei Anousim communities, displays an etrog of massive proportions. (See our story on Eliyahu and El Salvador here and our article on Shavei Israel’s new emissary to El Salvador here.)
While there’s no prize for biggest etrog, let’s all extend a hearty chag sameach (happy holidays) to Franco and the 300 Bnei Anousim in the country!
Here are a few more pictures from Beit Israel’s sukka – and it’s a big one too, just like the etrog.