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U.S. Clears Sukkot Four Species for Air Travel

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A man holds on Etrog, one of the four species for the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Credit: Emi Salman

The Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection once again will allow the carrying of the four plants used during Sukkot.

However, travelers may be asked to open containers so that their religious items can be checked for invasive pests, according to the notice posted this week on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website.

The Transportation Security Administration, as in previous years, said the containers would be inspected for security purposes.

The four species permitted in airports, security checkpoints and on airplanes are a palm branches, myrtle twigs, willow twigs and a citron. Willow twigs from Europe are not allowed entry.

The Orthodox Union has published a Sukkot guide for travelers online.

“We are gratified by the ongoing sensitivity of these agencies to the religious concerns of our community,” said Rabbi Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel of America’s vice president for federal affairs and its Washington director, who has been working with the relevant federal agencies on these issues for more than two decades. “They are taking meaningful and appropriate steps to accommodate our religious needs.”

Sukkot begins on Wednesday night.

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