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Shake Your Lulav Vigorously

by Yori Yanover

Hoshana Rabbah is the final day in the period of judgment the world and all its inhabitants have been undergoing since Rosh Hashanah. This morning, local Jews were congregating to supplicate, sing praise and circle the Torah stage, which serves as a symbolic substitution to the Temple altar.

A wonderful component of all of the above is the fact that this is the last opportunity this season for Jews to shake their four species – the Etrog citrus fruit, the palm, myrtle and willow branches – and because you no longer plan on using them you can shake as vigorously as you feel like, trying to make the end of the palm branch rustle loudly.

Sure, it’s a solemn occasion, but the joy of shaking your lulav without fear of it falling apart – that’s priceless…

And when you really shake them, the myrtle and Etrog start spreading a mesmerizing fragrance that becomes stronger and stronger, spreading through the synagogue as if it were an orchard in bloom.


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