If you are travelling before or during Sukkos, and wondering how TSA will react to your lulav et al, go armed (no pun intended) with the following advisory from Aguda’s Washington office.
Succot is a significant religious holiday for Jews. It is 7 days in which observant Jews commemorate the wanderings of their forbearers in the wilderness and celebrate the harvest season. Observant Jews perform special rituals during this time, including the taking of four kinds of plants and incorporating them into daily prayer services.
The travel period this year for the Succot holiday will commence several days before the October 6 onset of the holiday (approximately October 1, 2006) and end several days after its October 15 conclusion (approximately October 18, 2006).
Jewish travelers may carry four plants – which include a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron – in airports and through the security checkpoints. These plants are religious articles and may be carried either separately or as a bundle. Jewish travelers may be observed in prayer, shaking the bundle of plants in six directions.
TSA’s standard operating procedures do not prohibit the carrying of such agricultural items through the airport or the security checkpoints, or on aircraft.
These plants are not on TSA’s Prohibited Items List and are not part of the recent changes made to the Prohibited Items List.
TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties has prepared the above information. If you have any questions, contact Stephanie Stoltzfus at 571-227-2363, [email protected]