Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Is a Stolen Lulav Kosher?

Is a stolen Lulav Kosher? The Halacha (Jewish Law) on this matter is very clear - namely, that one can't fulfill the mitzvah of Lulav on Succot while making use of a stolen Lulav.

This law seems to be particularly relevant this year. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The local wholesale lulav market is in uproar because a single importer, who has managed to corner the local market, is set to charge five times the normal wholesale price for the palm fronds used on Succot... Instead of charging the accepted $1 per lulav to wholesalers, Belali has let it be known that he will charge at least $5.

Cosmic X, in a related post, brings some other troubling info to light:
A report in the Hebrew weekly Yated Ne'eman alleges that Balali, a non-observant Jew, bribed Egyptian officials to this end.

So, here's my question.

Let's assume for a moment that the way this Lulav exporter was able to corner the market was through unscrupulous means, wouldn't that then mean that anyone who uses one of these ill-gotten Lulavim (even if they themselves purchased them legitimately) would be using a "stolen" Lulav, and therefore, one that is unfit for use?




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