Sukkot - the exteriors that teach about the interior

The symbols of Sukkot and what they teach us about Derech Eretz.

Contact Editor
Rabbi Elan Adler,

Studio Ya Ya-designed sukkah at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Studio Ya Ya-designed sukkah at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Courtesy of Yarok Yarok Events Design

Aside from the sukkah itself, the Sukkot festival is perhaps best known for the four plants, or Four Species, which we bind together during prayers.

The lulav (palm branch), citron (etrog), hadasssim (myrtle twigs) and aravot (willows branches) are all held together in both hands and are waved in six directions during specific morning prayers during the holiday.

Why are we commanded to take the Four Species, and what might be the deeper 'Derech Eretz' lessons of each separately and all of them together? Is a myrtle just a leaf? Is a citron just a lemon-looking fruit? You'll find there's more than meets the eye.



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