The Feast of the Tabernacles, the Feast of Ingathering or just simply the Hut Holiday, Sukkot in Jerusalem is certainly a Joyous occasion. Coming on the heels of Yom Kippur, Sukkot is a celebration of thanksgiving, community and eating. And lets not forget the lulav and etrog – the four species, namely the lulav (date palm frond), hadass (bough of a myrtle tree), aravah (willow branch) (these three are actually bound together and collectively referred to as the lulav) and the etrog (a citron, a lemon-like citrus fruit) which one is commanded to grasp and shake on each of the seven days of Sukkot. Sukkot is also celebrated by building and decorating a hut and actually living in it (yes muffti, married couples are even expected to have relations in there) but despite that, the lulav is my favorite and most meaningful part of the holiday.
Why? Well let’s say having a scent represents good deeds, and let’s say having a taste represents Jewish knowledge or Torah study – in this way the lulav symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people as follows:
- The lulav has taste but no smell, symbolizing those who know the rules of Judaism but do not practice them.
- The hadass has a good smell but no taste, symbolizing those who do good deeds but do not have knowledge of Judaism.
- The aravah has neither taste nor smell, symbolizing those who never study Torah and never do good deeds.
- The etrog has both a good taste and a good smell, symbolizing those who know the rules of Judaism and apply them in their lives.
Thus we are symbolically all united in the service of God. Even Muffti whether he likes it or not is included as part of this equation. It’s kinda sweet in a soft and mushy PC way. I love it! Anyways, I snapped some pics at the Shuk’s annual Four Species Market. Click below to ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!