Tag Archives: Sukkah

#TieBlog #Sukkot & #EtrogandLulav

7 Oct
The four species that are brought together on Sukkot, as described in Leviticus, 23:40.

The four species that are brought together on Sukkot, as described in Leviticus, 23:40.

In time for Sukkot, here is the newest tie in the #TieBlog collection. Two central commandments from the Torah related to this harvest festival are dwelling in the Sukkah (booth) for 7 days. The other is to gather four species of plants and wave them (based on Leviticus 23:40).

The Midrash (Lev. R. 30:9-12) notes that each of the species has different qualities. The Etrog (citron) has both a sweet taste and a fragrant smell. The lulav (date palm branch) has no smell but its fruit tastes sweet. The Hadas (myrtle) has a fragrant smell and no taste. The Aravah (willow) has no taste and no smell. Taste and order represent Torah and good deeds, respectively. Some Jews possess both, some perform better at one and some do not perform well at either. Yet we gather the species together to symbolize the unity of Israel. For more on Sukkot and Etrog and Lulav, watch the following YouTube videos:

Introduction to Sukkot

Introduction to Lulav and Etrog

How to Make the Lulav Shake

18 Sep
Corn stalks represent the fall harvest, and they can also be used for skhakh, the roof of the Sukkah.

Corn stalks represent the fall harvest, and they can also be used for skhakh, the roof of the Sukkah.

On Sukkot, we dwell for seven days in a Sukkah, a fragile, temporary dwelling. It symbolizes the fragility and impermanence of life, yet is also a time to offer gratitude to God for the divine sheltering presence and the abundance that we are able to enjoy in this world. The roof of the Sukkah is called skhakh and is made of plants. During the day, it must provide more share than sun light, and during the night, one must be able to see the stars. Corn stalks, like the ones on my tie, are a popular form of skhakh where they are available.