Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Is It Better to Make a Bracha On Your Own Esrog Or Your Friend’s Mehudardike Esrog?


reb_moshe_shternbuch1Since one is obligated to pay up to an extra 33% for a mehudardike esrog, does that require him to at least make the effort to go around shul and find the nicest esrog and make a bracha on it instead of his own? This is a question raised by Rav Moshe Shternbuch (2:315).

Rav Shternbuch answers that on the first day you are required to shake your own lulav and esrog. You can also be yotzei if someone gives you their daled minim as long as they give it to you as a gift to be returned and not just to borrow. This “matanah al menas lehachzir,” says Rav Shternbuch, is not as mehudar as having your own daled minim outright without time limits. Since the complete ownership is a hiddur in the essence of the esrog itself and the hiddur of beauty is not intrinsic in the esrog, he says it is better to use your own if it is 100% kosher even if it not as mehudar.

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  1. And what about the second day, when there is no “lachem” ? Is it better then to find the best 4-minim of someone else?

    I once read – I think – that RCK would use his fathers mehudar 4-minim

  2. Everyone in shul should find the best esrog, hound the owner to make a bracha on on it, and abuse it till the esrog turns brown. The next day they should pick the best esrog still available and repeat the process. Grow up, boys. Buy an esrog and use it without making everyone else meshugah. Do your mitzvah at your own expense , not someone else’s.