Sukkot 2022 is only a few months away and it’s a great time to buy a handmade silver etrog box. We’ll take a closer look at the 5 best etrog boxes from the exclusive Nadav Art Judaica workshop in Jerusalem. We’ll also explore the ancient Sukkot traditions and offer some practical tips for buying fine Judaica for Sukkot.
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Sukkot is an important holiday on the Jewish calendar,
but the holiday doesn’t get the same prominence as Passover, Rosh HaShanah and Hanukkah outside Israel. Part of the reason is that Sukkot is very much an outdoor holiday – which is great in Israel where autumn temperatures can typically reach a very pleasant 80℉ / 28 ℃ or more.
If you’re spending October in Canada, the Northern US, or the UK, you’ll probably already be turning the heating up and closing the curtains in the evening. Most people who celebrate the Sukkot festival in Israel focus on the old-fashioned Jewish custom of building a sukkah (booth or hut) in the garden. Many families eat their meals and even sleep in the flimsy homemade shelters.
Buy Etrog Boxes for Sukkot
Even if you’re not rushing to build a sukkah and camp in the garden for Sukkot 2022 (there is no religious obligation to endure hardship during Sukkot) you can still follow at least one of the ancient Sukkot traditions. A gift of a handmade etrog box is a unique way to celebrate the holiday and is also guaranteed to fascinate any children who are attending a family Sukkot dinner.
Etrog boxes for Sukkot are used to contain the ritual etrog (citron fruit) during the week-long holiday. The etrog is brought out daily and displayed. For the fruit to remain kosher for Sukkot it has to keep its stem parts. The delicate etrog is traditionally wrapped in soft flax leaves and kept in the family etrog box.
Jewish artisans and silversmiths have been making special handmade etrog boxes for centuries. The finest historical examples of etrog boxes are prized collector’s items and command high prices at auction. 19th-century silver etrog boxes – often also used as sugar boxes – can easily fetch six-figure sums at auction.
Do I need an Etrog Box?
From a religious or ritual perspective, there’s absolutely no need for a special etrog box. You can use an old cardboard box and wrap your etrog in a kitchen roll. As long as the etrog remains undamaged, it will still be kosher for Sukkot. People choose to buy etrog boxes because they are beautiful items of Judaica that celebrate an ancient Jewish tradition. When they aren’t in use as etrog boxes, they make beautiful ornaments – or can be used as part of a tea set or tableware.
How do I Know if my Etrog Box is Genuine?
Genuine Judaica etrog boxes are handmade by expert Jewish craftsmen who have a genuine passion for their art. Some of the best Israeli artisans come from silversmithing families and draw on generations of secret knowledge and experience. If your etrog box (or any piece of fine Judaica) was handmade in Jerusalem by Jewish jewelers and artists – you know that it’s genuine.
Provenance aside, the attention to detail, the quality of the fine work, and the immaculate finish distinguish genuine etrog boxes from cheap factory imitations produced in Turkish factories. Even the simplest items of Judaica show the artist’s love of Jewish traditions and history. That kind of creativity and inspiration can be imitated, but can never be equaled!
See the full 2022 collection of handmade Judaica
The 5 Best Etrog Boxes in 2022
You can buy handmade etrog boxes online from the Nadav Art 2022 range. The boutique collection includes a selection of contemporary designer Judaica and some stunning traditional styles. Top Jerusalem silversmith Avi Nadav has worked exclusively with 925 sterling silver to produce several outstanding creations. Choose from minimalist designs with subtle silver beading or enameled blessings, or opt for intricate traditional craftsmanship.
If you want to buy etrog boxes for Sukkot, you’ll find some beautiful holiday gifts. The finest luxury items are studded with polished Israeli amethysts and are true collectors pieces.
Avi Nadav speaks fluent English and will be happy to customize or personalize any etrog box or other Sukkot holiday gift from the online store.
Shop the full range of Sukkot Judaica
Our Choice of the 5 Best Etrog Boxes
1. Shalom Enameled Silver Etrog Box
If we were looking for the perfect example of a handmade silver etrog box, it would be the Shalom enameled silver etrog box by Jerusalem silversmith Avi Nadav. The Shalom etrog box is handcrafted in a traditional box design. Each panel is decorated with a Sukkot theme like date palms. The superbly crafted silver ornamentation is set over a background of colored enamel.
The box and lid are joined by a cunningly concealed hinge. The lid is decorated with a perfectly depicted man, standing beneath a sukkah and holding out miniature etrog and lulav. The man wears a tallit and kippah and could easily be one of our earliest Jewish ancestors. The background of the lid design is also set with multi-colored enamel.
The inside of the box is gold plated so that the etrog can never come into contact with tarnished silver (even though 925 sterling silver retains its shine well). The Shalom etrog box is a superb collector’s item that will be admired by your Sukkot guests. More importantly, it will keep your Sukkot etrog fruit safe and fresh!
2. Amethyst Studded Silver Etrog Box
When silversmiths decorate Judaica pieces with semi-precious stones or gems, it can be a challenge to create a luxury item that also displays good taste. There’s always a risk that a sterling silver etrog box or candlestick will look vulgar or gaudy when it’s studded with jewels. This amethyst studded etrog box includes perfectly proportioned silver filigree work and is a subtle and elegant work of art!
The handmade silver etrog box features a modern ‘double egg cup’ design which sits the etrog fruit safely inside the box. The polished silver surface is decorated with ornate Yemenite-style silver filigree work, which contains the handpicked Israeli amethysts. This is a striking and unusual etrog box that is influenced by several historical styles and designs. It’s actually a modern designer piece, but it has an ancient Eastern look.
Like all top-quality handmade Judaica, the etrog box is robust and completely functional. It will keep your etrog fruit secure and kosher for Sukkot. The 925 sterling silver is surprisingly tough and shouldn’t take any dents if you do drop the box. It’s also easy to clean and to polish to a high shine. This is an amazing Sukkot gift that will last for many generations.
3. Modern Sterling Silver Etrog Case
If you love minimalist contemporary designs, but also want to observe ancient traditions, the modern sterling silver etrog case could be the perfect purchase. The cylindrical case has a detachable lid and is handmade from 925 sterling silver in our Jerusalem design studio. The insides of the box and lid are gold plated. This isn’t just for extra luxury, it also helps to preserve the etrog fruit.
At first glance, the modern silver etrog box appears to have no decorations. When you look more closely, you’ll see an extract Hebrew blessing בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ set around the lid with skillful silver stamping. The Hebrew words translate as “Creator of the tree”. If you want to personalize this stunning etrog box, our Jerusalem designers may be able to inlay the Hebrew lettering with your choice of colored enamel.
This is a special etrog box that will look amazing in any home with modern decor. It’s a great wedding gift or Sukkot gift for anybody who loves designer silverware. The box will also keep your wrapped etrog fruit completely secure, and kosher for Sukkot. A fun game is to challenge your Sukkot guests – especially the kids – and see if they can guess what the box is for!
4. Baruch Silver Etrog Box with Amethyst Stones
The unique Baruch etrog box combines a simple and elegant design with a special touch of luxury. The Baruch box is handmade in Jerusalem from 925 sterling silver and is inspired by the famous Fabergé eggs of Imperial Russia. The box itself stands on immaculately crafted silver legs, each decorated with flowing filigree work and set with a polished purple amethyst. The join where the lid and base meet, is also ringed with silver filigree and set with Israeli amethysts.
The Baruch etrog box is definitely a collector’s piece and is designed to last for hundreds of years. When you buy this etrog box, you’re purchasing a future family heirloom. This is modern Judaica at its very finest – right down to the lifelike silver citron stem that functions as a tiny handle for the box lid.
As with all Nadav Art Judaica, the Baruch etrog box is first and foremost a functional ritual item. It will keep your Sukkot etrog fruit safe and secure, and the gold plated interior of the box will keep it perfectly clean and fresh. If you carefully wrap your etrog in leaves (or tissue paper) the Baruch box will protect it!
5. Fashionable Minimalist Silver Etrog Box
Judaica styles evolved and improved over thousands of years, borrowing from other cultures and exploring new materials. This fashionable minimalist silver etrog box is at the cutting edge of 2022 contemporary style. It’s created for the modern home and is a piece of top quality designer silverware.
The modern silver etrog box features five beautifully crafted citron leaves, set above the lid. They are part decoration, part handle. The circular base is inlaid with black enameled Hebrew lettering. The words read בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ (Borei pri ha etz) or Creator of the tree fruits. The lettering is enhanced with subtle bands of silver beading, but there is no other decoration.
This is a beautiful contemporary etrog box that shows off the outstanding beauty of gleaming 925 sterling silver. It’s easy to restore the polish with any commercial silver cleaning product and your etrog box will make a stunning ornament when it’s not in use. The box is handmade in Jerusalem by Avi Nadav, one of Israel’s most talented and experienced silversmiths.
Buy Personalized Judaica Gifts for Sukkot
If you’re looking for a special Sukkot gift, or a Jewish wedding gift, or a housewarming present, it’s worth adding a personal touch. Nadav Art’s English-speaking jewelers and designers will be happy to work with you to create the perfect Sukkot gift. If you already know what you want, they’ll make it happen. If you need ideas, the team has over a hundred years of combined design experience to draw on!
Etrog boxes are fairly small items, but it’s usually possible to find a place for a unique engraving or silver stamping. Popular choices for engravings are names, initials, blessings, biblical verses and personal dedications. Silver stamping is larger than fine engraving, but can be inlaid with your choice of colored enamel.
If you have an idea for your own etrog box, or you saw a design in a museum or book, we can quickly produce some first sketches or computer-generated images. Our silversmiths and designers will work closely with you to turn your vision into a stunning piece of handmade Judaica.
Come and see our full Sukkot products collection