Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Jewish Crafts: Etrog Pomander
At the end of Sukkot each year one has to dispose of their etrog, a citrus fruit that is one of the Arba'at Ha-Minim/Four Species. Since the etrog is used for a mitzvah one can't just through it in the garbage when they are done with it. You need to wait until it can no longer be used for a mitzvah to dispose of it. This means that one should wait until it is dried up before they through it in the garbage.
There are other ways that one can get rid of their etrog respectfully. A lot of people make etrog jelly out of their etrogs but because etrogs are so fragile and because they are not used for "food" they are spayed with tons of pesticides.
Another option is to make a pomander out of them. To make one you need to poke holes in the etrog with a sharp object like a fork and then you fill in the holes with whole cloves.
Every few days one should squeeze the etrog to make sure that the cloves stay in tight. In a few weeks the etrog dries up and the cloves are dried into the etrog. You can use your pomander for Havdalah. Etrogs are beautifully fragrant and when combined with the cloves they smell unbelievable.
We used our not yet dried pomander for Havdalah this week and it was so lovely. Eventually the areas that are yellow shrink away and the cloves take on the shape of a small etrog. I will try to post a picture of our pomander when it has finished drying.