Off to Israel for Succot? Don't take your lulav

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2011

It has been several years since air passengers could travel with nail scissors, tweezers or even shampoo as hand luggage, but now even lulavs and etrogs are on the list of banned goods.

Israel's Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry has announced that lulavs, along with willow and myrtle plants, cannot be brought in to the country at all.

The ministry said bringing the palm fronds into Israel on a commercial flight "would be fraught with tangible danger of infiltration of pests [that] could damage human, animal and plant health, and potentially cause irreversible harm."

Etrogs, the fourth of the species used on Succot, are not totally off the hook either.

Passengers will be allowed to take only one of the citrus fruit in their luggage and on arrival will have to present it to customs officials for screening.

The news could cause extra alarm because Egypt recently announced that it would not export lulavs into Israel this year, despite long-established trade links in the area.

Last updated: 9:44am, September 21 2011