September 20, 2021 5:11 am at 5:11 am #2009105abukspanParticipant
The Succos Willow and the Essential Jewish Good Nature
ולקחתם לכם ביום הראשון פרי עץ הדר כפת תמרים וענף עץ עבת וערבי נחל
You shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of a tree of splendor, fronds of date palms, and branches of a cordlike tree, and brook willows (Vayikra 23:40).
The Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 30:11) writes that each of the four species is symbolic of a different type of Jew. The esrog, which has both a pleasant taste and smell, represents the righteous Jew, who possesses Torah knowledge and performs good deeds. The lulav, whose fruit is a date, has a pleasant taste but no smell; this symbolizes a Jew who learns Torah but does not perform any good deeds. The hadassah, which has a pleasant smell but no taste, represents a Jew with good deeds but no Torah knowledge. And, finally, the aravah, which has neither smell nor taste, represents a Jew without Torah knowledge and without good deeds. Hashem says to tie all of the species together so that one can atone for the other’s deficits.
And yet, the question arises: The Gemara (Yevamos 79a) tells us that every Jew possesses three attributes: “Sheloshah simanim yeish be’umah zu, harachmanim ve’habayshanin u’gomlei chasadim – The Jewish nation has three praiseworthy characteristics; they are compassionate, they possess a sense of shame, and they perform acts of kindness.” Then how can we say that there could be a Jew represented by the aravah, who is lacking any good?
In truth, the Gemara is telling us something else. The Jewish nation as a whole possess these three characteristics, and even if a Yid as an individual is devoid of good deeds and devoid of Torah as the aravah, he can still count himself as part of the merciful, bashful, and kindhearted nation of Klal Yisrael. Even more, explains the Aderes Eliyahu (Vezos Haberachah; also brought down along with the Midrash quoted above), if the only merit this type of Jew possesses is that he calls himself a Jew and includes himself as part of the tzibbur, he receives reward.
Rav Tzvi Hirsch Ferber (longtime rav in London and one of the founders of the Manchester Yeshivah), in Sefer HaMo’adim, explains that notwithstanding the aravah’s lack of Torah and good deeds, the four species would not be complete without it. In fact, the three essential Jewish traits are actually alluded to in the description of the aravah, when comparing it to the tzaftzefah, a leafy branch that is not acceptable for the four species.
The Gemara (Succah 34a) describes three differences between the aravah and the tzaftzefah. First, the aravah has a reddish stem, while the stem of the tzaftzefah is a pale white. Next, the aravah has leaves with smooth edges, but the tzaftzefah has leaves with jagged edges. And finally, the aravah has leaves that are long and narrow, but the leaves of the tzaftzefah are short and round.
It is these characteristics, which belong only to the aravah, that serve as evidence of the inherently good nature of Bnei Yisrael. First of all, the aravah has a reddish stem, which alludes to the quality of bayshanus, a sense of shame. When a Jew is reproved or realizes his mistakes, his face turns red because he is ashamed of his shortcomings. In addition, the smooth edges of the aravah allude to the Jewish quality of mercy, rachmanus; it is not jagged like the tzaftzefah. A Jew is not sharp and prickly but speaks softly and in pacifying tones, so as not to cause pain to another person. Last, the aravah has long, narrow leaves while the tzaftzefah’s are short and round. When rain falls on long, narrow leaves, it runs off and falls onto the adjacent leaves, hinting at the quality of kindness, gemilus chasadim, where Jews look out for the welfare of others and provide for those in need. But the tzaftzefah, with its short, round leaves, exhibits none of this kindness, with the water flowing from the round leaf to the stem and not helping its neighbors.
Regardless of a Jew’s level of observance, if he considers himself one of us, he is special and worthy. And just as the four species are incomplete without the aravah, we are incomplete as a nation without the Jew who is represented by the aravah.September 20, 2021 8:53 am at 8:53 am #2009148
We must keep the arovas together with the lulav. When seperated symbolically, we need to knock it off. I heard once that the gomlei chasodim unite the other two. The rachmonim want to help but the baishonim are ashamed to ask, so the gomlei chasodim bring them together. כי ‘גבר’ עלינו חסדו stands for the three.September 20, 2021 9:43 am at 9:43 am #2009158
The esrug is taam etzo upiryo shava, its taste of the tree and fruit is the same. The child is like the father, who has not swayed from the father’s teachings. The Kappos Temorim compares a lemon to an esrug. A lemon has a lot of fruit and a little skin whereas an esrug is the opposite its is more like a tree.September 20, 2021 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #2009221
In order the aravos should keep their Jewish good nature they must stay as part of the tzibur, group and not get separated. When they get separated they become hohanos and get knocked off.September 24, 2021 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #2009881
Should be above, become hoshanas and get knocked off.September 27, 2021 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #2010370
The earth get punished at the time Adam Harishon sined. Why? Maybe, He wanted to eat the fruit of the eitz hadaas as the tree was forbidden, so tasted each from the other trees and noticed that they taste different. But the eitz hadaas was an esrug tasting the same, so the fruit was also forbidden. He would not have eaten of the eits hadaas if the earth would have followed Hashem’s commandment eitz peri having the fruit and tree taste the same.
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