- Question: [Friday, 19th Tishreiy, 5783]
I purchased a very expensive Pitom-less Esrog and just discovered a hole that goes through the top part of the Pitom into the Esrog? Is it Kosher?
During Chol Hamoed it is for certain Kosher. On the first day [and second in Diaspora] of Sukkos, it is only valid if the hole does not reach the seed box of the Esrog. This can be verified through sticking a thin wire through the hole and seeing how deep it goes. [If it goes past the Chotem, this is a sign that it has reached the seed box.] If one is unsure if the hole has reached the seed box, or has no way of verifying, then it is valid even on the first day.
It is disputed amongst Poskim as to whether an Esrog which has a hole without a missing piece is invalid during the first day/s of Sukkos, depending on the hole. If the hole does not reach the seed box, or go from side to side, and is smaller than an Issur, then the Esrog remains valid according to all, if no piece from it is missing. If, however, the hole reaches the seed box, or goes side to side, or is size of an Issur, then its validation on the first days is under dispute, and practically, we rule that is only valid with a blessing if no other Esrog available and no actual piece is missing. However, if one is in mere doubt whether the hole has reached the seed box of the Esrog, then the Esrog is valid if the hole in question is not the size of an Issur and is not Mefulash from one side of the Esrog the other side.
Sources: P”M Y.D. 43 M”Z 2; Bikkureiy Yaakov 648:24; M”B 648:11 and 32; Chaim Ubracha 252; Kaf Hachaim 648:52; See regarding the general invalidation of an Esrog with a hole: Admur 648:3-6 and 8; Michaber 648:2; Mishneh Sukkah 34b; See regarding dispute in Poskim if hole reaches seed box: Stringent: Opinion in Admur 648:6; 2nd opinion in Michaber 648:2; Tosafos Sukkah 36a; Rosh 18; Ritva; Ran; Taz 648:6 ; Lenient: Stam opinion in Admur 648:5; 1st opinion in Michaber 648:2; Raavad in Tamim Deim 230; Bahag; Rif; See regarding the validation in a case of doubt: Admur 648:8; Rama 648:2; Taz 648:3; See regarding Chol Hamoed: Opinion in Admur 648:6; 2nd opinion in Michaber 648:2; Tosafos Sukkah 36a; Rosh 18; Ritva; Ran; Taz 648:6