One of the exciting experiences that we look forward to this time of year is choosing the right arba minim. Everyone wants the most beautiful Esrog and wants it for the best available price.

Oftentimes, people shop around and may in fact go back to the venue that they chose in years past. Rambam Mesivta is happy to have its own local expert, Rabbi Binyamin Cohen. Rabbi Cohen, who is also a famous magician and entertainer, doesn’t just sell arba minim; he spends time with students to help them understand the fundamental halachos and criteria that make the arba minim kosher or pasul. In addition to the usual halachos, this year requires deeper understanding since one has to consider the laws of Shmitah.

Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman’s ninth grade shiur was treated to a hands-on seminar of what to look for and what to avoid when picking out arba minim. The talmidim had the opportunity to ask many questions and saw firsthand various types of hidurim and pesulim of all four minim. Regarding the pesulim, Rabbi Friedman jokingly said, “The defects that Rabbi Cohen is pointing out are serious and even a magician like him cannot make them go away.”

For those interested, Rabbi Cohen will be available to answer questions and provide arba minim at Rambam on Thursday, October 6, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; October 7, 9 a.m. – noon; Motzaei Shabbos, October 8, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.  Or alternatively one can order online at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The time spent by Rabbi Cohen was greatly appreciated by the boys and he plans to speak to other shiurim as well before Sukkos.

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