Low-End Calabria Esrogim Fetching $400 and Up

From Yeshiva World News:

As YWN has previously reported, if you are one of the people who wish to buy a Calabria esrog, you are likely to learn they are not readily available and if they are, they are quite costly.

These esrogim, which are grown in Italy, have suffered from harsh weather conditions this year and the price has jumped four times the price last year. One of the merchants in Jerusalem updated his regular customers, informing them this year, the cost will be 1,200 shekels for an entry price esrog.

The Calabrian breeds are grown in the Calabria region in south-eastern Italy, and the tradition is that Bnei Yisrael used these esrogim, which were grown there in the orchards freely, without the cultivation and care of human hands, which led to the conclusion that this was not a crossbreed.

Chabadniks customarily purchase a Calabria esrog, which on a regular year can cost $100 and upward. This year however, the reality is a different one, and the cost is now $350-$400 for a bottom line esrog and its size and beauty are not comparable to past years.

It appears a cold front that hit Italy a few months ago and if this was not enough, it was followed later on with extreme heat and the esrog crop has been sorely compromised.

One veteran Jerusalem merchant explains to his clients that this year, prices are quite high and the quality of the esrogim is far less than they have settled for in past years. In addition, he urges people to come early as there is a significant shortage this year.

Many Satmar Chassidim also purchase Calabria esrogim and efforts to place a ceiling on the price have failed. Rabbonim and askanim visited Italy in the hope of halting the sharp price increase, but this too failed since there are few esrogim which are kosher, not to mention even a fewer number that one might consider mehadrin.

For an in depth article about Yaanuva Esrogin, click here.


  • 2. Yossel wrote:

    Since most houses in CH are worth over $1M, just take out a second mortgage and you can buy a bottom quality esrog!

  • 3. Anonymous wrote:

    Why would you write this.

    You are pushing up the prices.

    The fact is Shapiro has sold to a friend of mine for under $300 a beautiful Esrog. And I heard from others that he sold them for $260 and less. Shapiro is a good person and I think we should suport those that are trying to do good for the community and not buy from those who are saying this year it will most likely be over $500- In Israel You can get a beautiful Calabria esrog for under $300 if you go to the right person. If not you can get sucked into $400- even up to a $1000- if you deal with those kind of people. Just remember it might be better not to Buy From Italy/Calabria this year as if these people see you are ready to pay next year they will be very cheap only double or triple last years prices.

    Rabbi Heller since most people if not all people respect you in C.H. Please come out with some kind of letter addressing this problem help the community it is an easy fix. If you say something like it is better to buy a Kefar Chabad Esrog or better not to buy a Calabria Esrog You will be doing the Shechunah a big favour. Beacause the real people that will get hurt are the people that really cant afford this and the Kolel Yunger light.

  • 5. Berel wrote:

    Chassidim have endangered their lives to obtain yanover esrogim. So while obviously, any kosher estrog will do, there’s plenty reason to go the extra mile to make the brocho this year on yanover like always.

    The fact is that there aren’t enough kosher yanover estrogim in existence for everybody who had one last year to have one this year, and that fact will express itself in an elevated market price no matter what our capacity for wishful thinking.

    If it goes at this price level, then I will go in on a yanover with my fellow shul members and my family will make the brocho on yanover, but I will do the nanuim with kvar Chabad.

    My kids and my house will see that you don’t do things the best way only when it is convenient.

  • 6. Lubab wrote:

    Hype. Hype. Hype. If you can’t afford a Calabria this season due to shortage, be mezakeh another yid with Calabria and G-d will lovingly embrace your Kfar Chabad esrog.

    No good crisis will go to waste and you’ll see which dealers exploit it to widen their margins. They should be thanked because they’re exposing themselves as never being worthy of your business again.

    The dealers that want the client for the long haul will forego the gouging. Those that want the quick buck and lose their entire client base, may as well look for a new parnosso now.

    • 7. Berel wrote:

      Hype? The minhag is hype? In previous generations we had chasidim now we have lubabs.

      If you can’t afford to keep the minhag, or if you do not care enough about the minhag to lay out the money why are you coming onto the community website to cool off others.

  • 9. Rabbonim in Chabad wrote:

    Would it be possible for the Rabbonim in Chabad to tell us what to do this year?

    Thank you

  • 11. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    Remember the “Law of supply and Demand” rules absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 12. $400 wrote:

    This is now the new price. Prices will not go down next year even if there is no shortage . Malim B’kodesh.

    • 13. Milhouse wrote:

      What are you talking about? Esrog prices respond to the market just like anything else. When there is a glut prices go down.

      Or are you the same person who adamantly insisted a few years ago that the price of eggs would never fall from the peaks it had risen to because of an epidemic among the chickens? Not only are eggs now less than half what they were then, but grocery prices generally have fallen recently and are now at a record low. Production has risen, consumption has not, therefore prices have fallen; that’s how it works.


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