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Selichos, Arba Minim

Question:
May I know the Gaavad’ s opinion in the following:

1.a. If otherwise really difficult, is it permissible to say Selichos before Chatzois by night?
b. And what about a women who wishes to say Selichos and this will the only way she could say it?

2. Dirt which is not flesh of the Esrog but has firmly become embedded on the skin (either due to the heat or transport etc.) and it is difficult or impossible to remove it without damaging the Esrog – has it got a din of Blettlach and is it a lack of hiddur – or as it is only external it does not matter at all?

3. A Lulov whose Tiyomes is perfectly non-nechlok but all the Leaves (incl the Tiyomes) are attached and “glued” in a way that it will not “shake” even during the na’anuim, is it mehudor – or it there a chisoron in its stiffness?

Many thanks!

Answer:

1.  Selichos can be said in the morning or after chatzos, before chatzos at night should be avoided. If it is completely impossible otherwise, and the only minyan saying selichos is at that time, it would seem a man can participate in these selichos.

2. If it is an external piece of dirt it will not invalidate the esrog, however if it can not be removed it does lower the hiddur of the esrog.

3. According to Ashkenazi practice the shaking of the lulav involves the rustling of the leaves, and so a stiff lulav lacks the ability to properly perform the mitzvah.

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