Sunday night Sept 27th, 2015 begins the holiday of Sukkot. It is a holiday where we leave our homes and go dwell in a hut for a week, and every day we shake a bundle of sticks and a fruit together.
Wow, that sounds really weird when you put it that way. 2 questions, mainly because it is 3 hours Erev Shabbat:
1. What’s with the hut?
2. What’s the meaning of the bundle of sticks and fruit, and WHAT are they?.
First Question. Sukkot happens less than a week after Yom Kippurim. On YK we experience a time of intense closeness with the Creator of the World. Right afterwards, we leave our comfort zone, especially for those who hate camping and outside eating activities, and go dwell in a temporary, somewhat uncomfortable, place. We are reminding ourselves that it’s not our physical doors and walls that protect us, but a Higher Power.
2nd Question. I promised it would be fast right? What’s with the sticks and (REALLY EXPENSIVE) fruit? First, what are they?
The 3 types of branches put together are the :
1. Lulav:closed frond from the date palm tree
2. Hadas (myrtle)
3. Aravah (Willow).
The fruit is called an Estrog, or a “citron” in English, one of those words that if you didn’t know the Hebrew, you’re certainly not going to know what the English word is talking about.
The 3 branches are bound together, and when taken with the Etrog are referred to as “the Lulav”. Now the question is WHY?
The 4 Species symbolize many different things. We’re keeping it short right? So one of the many things they symbolize are the Jewish people.
Each of the parts of a lulav represents a different type of Jew. But a lulav is only considered kosher and valid when all of the parts are held together. Jews have been shaken up and down, and all around as a nation. To be a whole nation, every Jew matters. No matter where you are in your Jewish journey, realize that you matter to the nation, and to us, and YOU are important.
If you’re going to be in Bloomington, Indiana this Sukkot, check out our What’s New page for a list of Events.