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    Etrog boxes – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Who invented silver etrog boxes?

    A. We don’t know, but it is unlikely to have been before the 18th century.

    When etrogim were rare and difficult to obtain – central and northern Europe derived them from Mediterranean countries and sometimes the regimes charged huge sums for permission to bring in lulavim and etrogim – communities exercised great care in storing their etrogim when they were not in use during the actual services.

    There was also a rabbinic rule that every mitzvah had to be beautified, so every appurtance had an ornamented cover or receptacle.

    Generally etrog boxes were made of silver with appropriate adornment; some families had etrog boxes made of olive wood from the Holy Land.

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