No shortage of palm fronds anticipated

Barriers to the import of lulavim have been removed; Israel Nature and Parks Authority tries to prevent people damaging trees for Succa roofing.

lulav 248.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
lulav 248.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
As preparations for Succot intensify, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority is boosting its supervision and educational efforts in order to prevent people from damaging trees and bushes by cutting branches off them for Succa roofing (s’chach) and for the ritual use of the four species – lulavim (palm fronds), hadassim (boughs with leaves from myrtle trees), aravot (branches with leaves from willow trees) and etrogim (citrons) – at times in disregard of signs prohibiting taking the branches or fruit.
Ahead of the holiday three years ago, the chief rabbis issued a reminder that it is prohibited to use unlawfully obtained branches for succa roofing or to make a blessing on any of the four species that were stolen. The rabbis also warned against buying Succot goods from a person who might have obtained his merchandise without the proper permits, which would be against the law and most likely harm nature.
In related news, Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon recently informed Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi that no shortage of palm fronds is expected this year, since the barriers to the import of the lulavim have been successfully removed.
Some 25 importers have been granted the appropriate licenses to import more than 3.3 million palm fronds from the El-Arish area in northern Sinai.