Lulav & Etrog
A Devotaj Sacred Arts Source Sheet
Lulav (Palm, Myrtle, Willow)
It is made up of 3 pieces of myrtle, 2 willow, 1 palm branch as well as an etrog (citron).
In the choice of plants – it also illustrates the connection to water (EJMMM)
Palm is dry
Willow is connected to water, and dries out during the week
Myrtle retains its moisture during the week
Etrog is a vessel of moisture
The parts of the Lulav also represent parts of the body and the letters of the Tetragrammaton, as follows:
Etrog: Heart; yud
Myrtle: Eyes; hei
Palm: Spine; vav
Willow: Mouth; hei
The four species and the four kinds of Jews (Babylonian Talmud, Succah 30:13a)
The Etrog (smell and taste) is the Jew who combines Torah study with good deeds.
The Lulav (taste but no smell) is the Jew who studies Torah, but does no good deeds.
The Hadas (smell but no taste) is the Jew who performs good deeds, but does not study Torah. The Arava (no smell, no taste) is the Jew who neither studies Torah nor performs good deeds
The four species are also connected to the Matriarchs and Patriarchs ((Babylonian Talmud, Succah 30a:11):
Etrog: Avraham and Sarah
Lulav (palm): Isaac and Rebekah
Myrtle: Jacob and Leah
Willow: Josef and Rachel
Four Species and Jewish festivals (Rabbi D. Gottlieb to his teacher. Lecture: Inner Dimensions of Simcha on Succot. Ohr Somayach Lecture Series, Jerusalem via The Esrog by Zadie Reuven)
Etrog: Yom Kippur
Lulav (palm): Rosh Hashanah
Willow: Simchat Torah/Shemini Atzeret
[Deep dive below on Palm, Willow, Myrtle, and Etrog for paid subscribers only.]
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