Llike a knight-errant of old, I was wandering through the dark and somber woods (here: http://stillinthewoods.blogspot.com/
) when I ran into a fabulous beast (here: http://stillinthewoods.blogspot.com/2006/08/shulchan-aruch.html
Steg (http://boroparkpyro.blogspot.com/) asks "Does the Shulhhan ‘Arukh of Lyadi have lists of 10 in it? I have no idea. I do know, though, that it doesn't have instructions on how to shake a lulav... "
I am flabbergasted ("Baruch atta Adonoi Eloheinu, melech ha oilum, asher flabberei et-gasteinu...
") that the RASMIB™ has a lulav-related question!
Especially after the kashei-lulav were hammered out in detail last year (at least, I seem to remember that happening - didn't feel like re-reading all relevant blogs during lunch, though - but you may do so, there's nothing stopping you).
So, because it is absolutely nowhere near Sukkos, I decided to refresh your collective memories (well...., also because I have nothing else to post about - zip ben diddly, Jack bar all).
On Sukkos, we wave shrubbery at the sky and live in a lean-to out in the open. After a week of doing this we have an all-night dance party with a bunch of bearded men.
This means something.
The shrubbery, however, is key.
It's a compound shrubbery. An "arba minim". Which is waved in a particular way. Most confusing.
The waving, per the Mechaber, the Rama, and the Taz, is east, south, west, north, up, down (clockwise: derech yemin, al pi Chazal).
Nusach Ashkenaz, nusach Sefarad, and nusach Mizrahi – all follow this order.
Chassidim usually follow the Ari (nusach Yerushalayim), as cited by the Magen Avraham, who paskenned south, north, east, up, down, west.
The Levush preferred east, south, north, up, down, west; the Tur – east, north, south, west, up, down; Rashi – north, south, east, west, up down.
[Kodos (the brother of Kang) put all of this odd gesticulation into perspective, when he paskenned "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling! Twirling! Twirling! Towards freedom!"
How wise is that vort. He draws a clear link between this, the autumn festival, and the chag ha heruteinu (Peysach). ]
The Rebbe of Prolicz said "I once heard a talmid ask our Master ‘Do you believe that one’s avodas Hashem will be enhanced by purchasing such odd fruit?’
The Rebbe answered ‘if you aver that this is a question of bechol levavcha, I would ask why it is not a question of bechol meodeicha. And if you say that it is indeed a question of bechol meodeicha, I happen to have some esrogim for sale’."
Which, of course, is firmly in line with the teaching of Rav Chai Gaon, Rav Sherira Gaon, the Rambam, Rav Hirsch, and others.
In mittn drinnen, tayere rabbosai, I heard what you were up to at the end of last Sukkos! Being besimches over ‘nosson lanu Toireh’ does NOT mean singing 'Mipi El' and 'Yankif Der Gonif ' at the top of your lungs under Jodi’s window at four o’clock in the morning!
Just because you decided to exchange simches b’ruach for shikker ad-reiyach, and spontaneously held a comparative tasting of single malts, is no excuse!
It’s a good thing she has no idea what y’all meant when you praised her 'etrogeyn m’tukeyn'!
The rest of this post is a pointless and interrelated explanation of relevant terminology, for reference purposes (taken from 'Likutei Ha Yeshiva Chippas Emess' - an unpublished seifer by the Rabam). You may find it usefull. Or not.
Al netilas lulav
= The blessing upon taking up the lulav and the esrog: "Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha olam, asher kidshannu be mitzvosav ve tzivanu al netilas lulav
". Blessed are you, our Lord our G-d, king of the universe, who sanctifies us with your commandments, and who commands us to take up the lulav.
= Brook-willow is not associated with either taste or smell, and represents someone who has neither good deeds nor knowledge of Torah. As is written in Psalms 68:5 "shiru l'Elohim zamru shemo solu larochev ba aravot be ya shemo ve ilzu le fanav
" (Chant unto God, sing praises to His name, extol Him who rides upon the clouds, whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him). And, like the clouds upon which He rides, the willows represent the lips that praise, the prayer that is His service – these being all that a person with neither deeds nor knowledge can offer. Note the similarity between ‘aravot’ (clouds) and ‘arava’ (brook-willow).
= The four species waved about on Sukkos (Esrog = Citron. Lulav = Palm frond. Hadassim = Myrtle branches. Aravos = Willow branches. Collectively, this is refered to as 'a shrubbery' (see Rav Monty Python's first Hagadah: Ha Kli Ha Kodosh.).
The complete arba minim (four species) go for as low as $20.00 on the Lower East Side (corner of Essex and Canal street), up to forty dollars in Boro Park. It is possible to get all four species, of a reasonably hiddur-mitzveyish quotient, for around $30 (with a little haggling – Main Street, Queens).
Or try the tables in the diamond district, 47th street near 7th avenue.
= The Arizal, Rabbi Yitzhak Luria, born 1534 in Yerushalayim, nifter 1572 in Sfat (Safed).
A major Kabalist, whose thought dominates Jewish mysticism even today, except for that version of Kabala dabbled in by celebrities. The Arizal’s intellectual inheritance was collected and published by his pupil Rabbi Chayim Vital Calabrese (1543 – 1620) in an eight volume collection, the Shemoneh Shearim (Eight Sections), otherwise known as the Etz Chayim (which means ‘Tree of Life’, but also refers to both Rabbi Chayim and the diagram of the ten sefiros).
= Rabbi Yoel Sirkes (1560?-1640), author of the Beis Chadash, which parallels the Beis Yosef as a commentary on the Tur.
= A citrus fruit grown on the margin of edibility, and quite lumpy. One can turn it into an aromatic preserve, but given the price we paid, better we should have it bronzed or sunk in clear plastic.
Esrog, or lump-lemon, has both taste and fragrance, and symbolizes the understanding and wisdom behind all of our actions. As it says in Psalms 104:1 "barachi nafshi et yehva Adonai Elohai gadalta meod, hod ve hadar lavashta
" (Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my G-d, you are extremely great, clothed with glory and majesty).
A perfect esrog comes only to those who yearn for it and toil in study, "in accordance with the pain is the reward, in accordance with the knowledge is the love of Hashem
The esrog is one of the four species (arba minim) required for the feast of tabernacles (Sukkos), as it says in Vayikra (Leviticus), Parshas Emor, psook 23:40 "...u lekachtem lachem ba yom ha rishon peri ets hadar kapot temarim va anaf ets avot ve arvei nachal u semachtem lifnei Adonai Eloheichem shivat yamim
" (And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of splendid trees (esrog), fronds of palm trees (lulav), and twigs of thick trees (hadas: myrtle), and branches of brook willows, and you shall rejoice with them before the Lord, seven days).
This means that one needs to buy them BEFORE the first day - there is a parallel with Peysach, when the last of the chometz is destroyed before the first day.
As it says in Shmois (Exodus) 34:21 "sheshet yamim taavod u vayom ha sheviyi tishbot, be charish u va katsir tishbot
" (Six days you shall labour but on the seventh day you shall rest; (even) at plowing and at harvest, rest.). Shmois (Exodus) 34:22 "ve chag shavuot taase lecha bikurei ketsir chitim, ve chag ha asif tekufat ha shana
" (And the feast of weeks shall you observe, the first fruits of the wheat, and the feast of reaping at the turn of the year.).
Why are these juxtaposed?
To tell us that shabbes takes precedence, whatsoever feast or season it is. And, as in every seven days, one is shabbes, for a seven day feast, we need eight days. Rejoicing with them is taken to mean frantic gesticulating and shaking, in a specific manner, as if to say "see what I have!"
If a man waves his arba minim in the forest, and there are no witnesses to see him, has he really rejoiced?
The esrog is described as the most beautiful of the four minim - pri eitz hador. The greater the fruit, the greater the mitzvah. And, as there are esrogim which are not true esrogim (being the result of cross-breeding with other citrus fruits), only an esrog which is bulbuous, bumpy, veiny, can be assumed to be kosher le sukkois. And much to be admired, envied even.
= Myrtle, which smells lovely, symbolizes good deeds, but no knowledge of Torah. The hadassa represents straightforwardness and common sense, such as an uncomplicated person would have. It says in Zecharia 1:8 "raiti ha laila ve hine ish rochev al sus adom ve hu omed bein ha hadasim
" (I looked in the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees).
= The Ba'al HaLevushim, Rav Mordechai Ben Avraham Yaffah (1535 - 1612), Talmudist and Kabalist, chief Rabbi of Grodne, who wrote a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch known by this name, short for Levush Malchus (Royal Vestment), and in reference to its ten divisions - the levushim (vestments).
=Palm frond has taste but no fragrance, and represents someone with knowledge of the Torah but no good deeds. But by a different interpretation, the lulav symbolizes upright conduct and character. As is written in Psalms 92:13 "tsadik ka tamar yifrach
" (The righteous like the date palm shall bloom).
The lulav is waved when we recite the blessing ‘Al netilas lulav’, again during hallel, when we say ‘hodu l’Hashem’, and also at ‘yomar na’ (the reminder by the sheliach tzibbur to repeat ‘hodu l’Hashem’), but not at ‘yomru na’.
Hillel opines that we "wave at ‘Hodu l’Hashem’, beginning and end (twice), and at ‘Ana Hashem, Hoshiyana’", while Shammai adds "at ‘Ana Hashem, hatzlichah na’". Rabbi Akiva remarks, in reference thereto, that Rabban Gamaliel and Rav Yehoshua only waved their lulavim at ‘Ana Hashem, hoshiyana’.
"A lulav of three handbreadths in length (is) long enough to wave (and) is valid
= The Shield of Abraham – a commentary on Orach Chayim (the first section of the Shulchan Aruch by Yoisef Karo, which handles prayers, shuls, sabbaths, and holidays) by Rabbi Avraham Gumbiner of Kalitch, Poyland (1637 – 1683).
= Author. The nickname of Yosef Karo (1488 – 1575), author of the Shulchan Aruch (Set Table), and the Beis Yosef (House of Joseph). Beis Yosef is a compilation of discussions on the laws (hilchois), often printed alongside the text of the Arba Turim (the Four Rows - a compilation in four sections of Halacha, by Rabbi Yakov Ben Asher (1270 - 1340), containing specifically those rules which are still applicable in golus).
= The Ramah (the ReMah); Rav Moishe Ben Yisroel Isserless (born 1525 or 1530 in Krakow, died 1572). Ashkenazic commentator, author of the Mappah (tablecloth), which is a supplement to Joseph Karo's Shulchan Aruch (the Set Table). The Shulchan Aruch is probably the most well known compendium of Jewish law, but is decidedly Sephardo-centric, which is why the Mappah is always printed alongside for the Ashkenazic bias.
= How, at this point, can you NOT know who Rashi is? You were chapping a shlof?
= Turei Zahav (Rows of Gold), an explicatory commentary on the Shulchan Aruch by Rabbi David Ben Shmuel HaLevi (Krakow 1586 - Lvov 1667), one of the foremost rabbinical authorities in seventeenth-century Poland. The son in law of the Bach.
= Both the Arba Turim (The Four Rows – in reference to the rows of semi-precious stones on the breastplate of the high priest, because the book consisted of four parts), a legal compendium by Yakov Ben Asher (1270 – 1343), and a short form of his book-name – Ba’al Ha Turim (the Master of the Rows). The Arba Turim much the model that Yoisef Karo followed when composing his Shulchan Aruch.
Labels: Lulav, The Yeshiva