"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," Berman wrote.
Berman added that while he understands that Egypt has a right to manage its own resources, Egypt in prior years has given more advance notice of these bans. He also said he hoped the ban was not a form of retaliation against Israel.
"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," he wrote. "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."
A spokeswoman for Berman said the Egyptian government had not replied to the letter as of this week.