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Special Days

76: Taking the Four Species

"You shall take for yourselves on the first day a fruit of a citron tree, branches of palms, twigs of myrtles, and brook willows." (Vayikra 23:40)

For the seven days of Sukkos, excluding Shabbos, we are commanded to take a lulav, an esrog, three myrtle branches, and two willow branches, which we lift up and shake each day. These four species symbolically correspond to a person's spine, heart, eyes, and lips, to show that we dedicate each part of ourselves to serving Hashem (Vayikra Rabbah 30:13), as the verse says, "All my parts say, 'Hashem, who is like You?'" (Tehillim 35:10)

The Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim 3:43) explains that the four species serve as a reminder to rejoice in the fact that Hashem took us from the wilderness to a country full of fruit trees and rivers. These four species have a pleasant appearance and cause us to be joyous.


Text Copyright 2008 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.


 


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