Hi, I recently got an esrog from my shul and noticed it looks like there a couple of dry little spots that could be leaf spots. I am not sure if they were done when they were being grown or not. Can I use the esrog? Thank you so much!
Shalom, Thank you for your question. While it is a little difficult (if not impossible) to rule as to the kashrut of your etrog without seeing it – my guess is that it is kosher. The “little spots” you refer too are often found on etrogs (and are called “bletlach” in Yiddish – or “leaves”, as you wrote). They do not disqualify the etrog. However, you labeled your question with the words “esrog chaser”, which translates to “an etrog which has parts of it missing”. That is, parts of the surface of the etrog have been cut or scraped off. I am not sure why you used these words, as they don’t seem to fit with the description you wrote. None the less, an etrog that is “chaser” (lacking) is not kosher for the first day of the festival. However, this year the first day was a Shabbat, when we did not shake the lulav and etrog, so this would not be a problem this year. It could also be that your “spots” are in fact problematic – especially if they are not “bletlach”, but other clearly visible black spots. This will depend on where on the etrog they appear (and how spread over the etrog they are). In general spots of this sort are problematic when they appear on the part of the etrog that slopes up to the pitam. If you suspect you have a problem, you will need to show the etrog to a Rabbi in person, or at least send a photograph of your question. Chag Semach.