Air Travel With the Four Minim
Once again, official travel regulations are on the side of the observant traveler.
Stephanie Stoltzfus, the Manager of the External Compliance Division in the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties at the Transportation Security Administration, known to most of us simply as TSA, was kind enough to give me a heads up to TSA’s policies this season, as they appear on the official website.
TSA recognizes that the travel period for Sukkot, a significant event for persons of the Jewish faith, begins approximately on September 23, 2007, and ends approximately on October 4, 2007.
TSA’s standard operating procedures do not prohibit the carrying of the four plants – which include a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron through the airport or the security checkpoints, or on aircraft. These plants are not on TSA’s Prohibited Items List.
TSA understands that this is a significant religious event for the Jewish faith and has reminded its security workforce that members of the Jewish faith may be observed engaging in religious practices or meditations and carrying the four plants.
Rav Moshe zt”l didn’t call the US a “Malchus shel chesed” for nothing.
Can someone please find out whether there is any dispensation for those of us who travel with vats of herring.
Although the TSA might allow them to be brought onto the plane, I don’t think that Israel allows travelers to bring the 4 species into the country for fear of insects and plant disease.
I don’t know for sure, but a few years ago I was stopped at customs (before sukkos!) and was told to tell any of my friends that might be coming on Sukkos not to bring their lulav and esrog, as the customs officials don’t want to incinerate them, but they have no choice.
That is probably correct. Not only would you not be allowed to travel to Israel, you most likely won’t be able to travel to the USA with the Arba Minim. The TSA regulations are just stating that they are not on the prohibited list, like knives, guns or baby bottles. You would still be required to make sure your agriculture items are allowed into your destination country.
Anyone traveling to Eretz Yisroel for the chagim, should be encouraged & required to purchase their 4 minim in Israel. Support the Israeli vendors, businesses and revitalize the economy.
“Anyone traveling to Eretz Yisroel for the chagim, should be encouraged & required to purchase their 4 minim in Israel. Support the Israeli vendors, businesses and revitalize the economy.”
– “revitalize”?? as far as I know davka the economy is doing very well and is not a charity case these days. I am not sure you are helping the Israeli economy in the long run by reinforcing the stereotype that they are weak.
– “Required”?? by whom? Should we require olim to buty all their appliances in Israel? Should we require succos visitors to buy all their food in Israel? your non live and let live approach makes me nervous.
Hey Jewish Observer,
When the prices are cheaper and the quality is the same or better, buy your minim in Eretz Yisroel, why not? This year being shmittah, the farmers of the esrogim groves were depending on a productive and financially fruitful yield, “revitalizing the economy”-we can use all the business we can get her in EY. Chag Sameach.
“When the prices are cheaper and the quality is the same or better, buy your minim in Eretz Yisroel, why not?”
– why not is not the same thing as required. I am not required to say this. I just figured why not.