How much should you spend on a lulav and etrog, and why are the humble four species so expensive?
Your beautiful, exorbitant, Israeli-imported lulav and etrog are killing the environment, Jordie Gerson writes. And who needs the racket?
Sukkot and Simchat Torah have slowly but surely evolved into a time of year when the envelope is pushed when it comes to women’s participation, even in Orthodox communities.
Why was Mordechai Lightstone harassed by police in Kalamazoo, Michigan? He was shaking a lulav, not ‘brandishing a sword in some sort of ritual’!
A Chabad leader recounts chasing after celebrities to show them the Jewish way. He insists it’s just as important to put a challah in the hands of jailed killers.
Levi and Yisroel Pekar have asked thousands of people, ‘Are you Jewish?’ over the years. One of them was Natalie Portman — and another was Jon Stewart.
Hasidic Jews take to the streets during Sukkot to bring lulavs to the masses. A set of twins takes us inside their quixotic effort.
Nothing is more associated with the holiday of Sukkot than the etrog, the lulav with its willow and myrtle branches. But in the Bible, the identity of three of these four species is unclear.
Sukkot has traditionally been one of the easiest Jewish holidays to relate to current environmental concerns. The ritual of voluntarily “living” or eating meals in temporary, intentionally fragile huts reminds us of the cycles of the earth by placing us in physical contact with the elements. Putting up and decorating a sukkah to make it comfortable and cozy enables us to evaluate what and how much we really need to live with or consume. As another way of connecting with the environment and our ancestors we also engage with and say blessings over four plant species delineated in the Torah, the lulav and etrog. These messages seem applicable and forward-thinking; they bring our observance of ancient laws into the present.
Israel likely will not have palm fronds from the Sinai for this year’s Sukkot lulavs.