Friday, April 03, 2009

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The Lulav and Pesach

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

The Lulav is the palm branch that we use during the holiday of Succot. Succot is some six months before Pesach, so what connection can the lulav have with Pesach? First, Pesach is the holiday when we remember going out of Egypt, and on Succot we remember that we dwelt in succahs (booths) when G-d took us out of Egypt. So there is this great connection between them.

But even more directly, it is our custom to use the lulav to prepare for Pesach. We used to use it as fuel to bake our Pesach matzah, but now our custom is to use it as fuel to burn our leavening.

The lulav is a pleasant reminder of the holiday that passed. Even if we do not consciously remember the holiday, when we see the lulav we remember it spiritually. We were spiritually strengthened by the holiday, and seeing the lulav subtly reminds us of this.

It is said that keeping the luvav brings peace to the home. How is this possible? The mitzvah of lulav is about joy and togetherness. Joy, since Succah is the holiday of our joy, and togetherness, because the mitzvah of lulav is to bring the four species together. Each of the four represents Jews at different levels of spiritual attainment. We bring the four species together, teaching us to bring all types of Jews together no matter what level they are on. So joy and togetherness are felt when we see the luluv. And joyful togetherness is what makes a peaceful home.

But why is the lulav kept until Pesach and then used to bake our matzah, or to burn our leavening? First and foremost, our matzah should be made with joy. Matzah is the main ingredient of Pesach, and we want our holiday to be as joyful as possible. But to understand more deeply, look at what each of the Pesach “ingredients” represents. Egypt represents limitations, matzah represents humility, leavening represents arrogance, and the lulav represents joy and togetherness. To help us go out of Egypt, we use the lulav’s joy and togetherness as the fuel to burn away our arrogance. And this leads us to a successful and happy Pesach.

(Photo: From bobov.net, the previous Bobover Rebbe with his Lulav and Esrog.)

1 comments:

yaakov said...

thanks for this piece. and the tribute to nativ. a"h.

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