Hundreds of etrogs, the citron fruit used for the holiday of Sukkot, were seized at an airport in England.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency held up the shipment at the Manchester Airport under new and stricter regulations on the import of citrus fruit. Etrog importers were unaware of the new rules, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews worked with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to have the 600 etrogs taken to a Manchester synagogue, where the stalks could be trimmed to meet the stricter rules, the Board of Deputies reported. The fruits also must be destroyed immediately after the holiday.
Some 10,000 etrogs were due to be imported to Britain for Sukkot this year.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said the board’s “timely intervention” has “potentially saved Sukkot.”
“The waving of the lulav (palm branch) and etrog with hadas (myrtle) and arava (willow) is an essential and iconic part of the festival and it was vital to ensure the supply of etrogs for this year,” she said in a statement.
Van der Zyl called on suppliers to “ensure that etrogs are imported in full compliance with regulations in the years ahead.”
The shipment was seized at the end of last month.