Berman to Egypt: Let My Lulavs Go


lulavimToday, Congressman Howard L. Berman (CA-28), Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent the following letter to the Prime Minister of Egypt, Essam Sharaf, expressing his serious concern over reports that Egypt has made a decision to ban the export of lulavim, necessary for Sukkos.

The Honorable Essam Sharaf
Prime Minister
The Arab Republic of Egypt
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Court NW
Washington DC, 20008

Dear Prime Minster Sharaf:

I am writing to express my deep concern over reports that Egypt has made a decision to ban the export of palm fronds, also known as lulavs, used in the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which this year begins on October 12th of this year. Given that Egypt is one of the world’s largest supplier of lulavs, an export ban imposed so close to Sukkot may lead to shortages or extreme price spikes – causing financial hardship for families and communities simply wishing to fulfill their religious obligations.

I understand that Egypt has previously limited the export of lulavs to prevent overharvesting, and I appreciate the fact that Egypt has a sovereign right to manage its agricultural resources, but such prior export limitations were announced well in advance of Sukkot – giving Jewish communities ample notice to secure alternative supplies of lulavs before the holiday.

In light of the recent tensions between Egypt and Israel, there is a widespread perception that the reported ban on lulav exports was imposed for purely political reasons. I sincerely hope this is not the case, for such a restriction could deprive a very large number of Jewish people around the world – including many of my constituents in Los Angeles — of lulavs used in religious services.

I urge your government to reassess in a timely manner the decision to impose an export ban and take all necessary steps to prevent any disruption in the supply of lulavs before Sukkot.



Ranking Member

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  1. I respectfully disagree. Let the Mitzrim keep their palm fronds. There are millions of date palms elsewhere, and another country can have the zchus of providing lulavim. I would gladly pay an extra few dollars to a US provider and let the Miztrim lose out on the money.

  2. lets show Egypt there lulavim are not good and we don’t need them. I am sure if every house takes 1 set of daled minin there are enough lulavim to go around without taking from Egypt.


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