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Friday, October 13, 2006

Guarding The Lulav

This morning when my husband returned from the Shachrit of Hoshanah Rabbah, I breathed a sigh of relief. With a small home and a toddler in that home, we have been standing guard over the arba minim like hawks all week, ensuring that only those who are authorized to shake the lulav (that wouldn't include me) actually handle the lulav.

Unfortunately, we don't have any safe place to keep this prized possession, and it cost more than a set of our china. Our very curious toddler has been eyeing the arba minim set ever since it was picked up. And, he has been trying to sneak a shake of his own.

So, when my husband came home from the Beit Knesset and we told him it was finally his turn, the simcha was tangible. So, what happened next? He asked Mommy if he could get a red lulav of his own, or maybe a black lulav. I've never considered buying a chinuch set. But, I imagine that if we left the arba minim outside until next year, he might be able to have a black set of his own.

Chag Sameach.

12 comments:

mother in israel said...

Our mehadrin set cost NIS 95 or about $20; they had sets for 75 and 85 also. Sometimes we are able get a non-kosher one for the younger kids. I have seen china for less than NIS 95 but I imagine you paid a lot more!!

We recently saw the DVD of the movie Ushpizin, which takes place on Sukkot. It's about a destitute couple who are unexpectedly given some money before the holiday. The husband buys an etrog for NIS 1000. They don't have any kids but something does happen to it before the end of the movie. . .

My husband enjoys having the toddlers shake the lulav, from the time they are old enough to stand up and hold it. Under his supervision of course!!

SephardiLady said...

Our arba minim set has averaged, in the last few years, $50. And, we buy the minimal set. A place setting of my china, runs approximately $40 (l'havdil), which is relatively low as far as china goes.

The ironic thing is that while the lulav survived my toddler, he broke a piece of china over yom tov. So, either way, I guess we were going to be out the money.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Our mehadrin set was 85 NIS...and I'm totally neurotic about it every year. At least there are pitum-less etrogim...but I don't see spineless lulavim ever evolving.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand the aversion Sephardi women have to lulav and etrog. Sure, don't make a bracha. Don't even shake it if it makes you uncomfortable (although it is my understanding that there is no reason NOT to shake it, just as there is no reason TO shake it, if you are a woman). But to be so zealous about not touching it? Why?

SephardiLady said...

Anon-I have no problem handling (i.e. touching) the lulav and etrog. In fact, every year I pick it up for my husband from the lulav dealer, pay for it, and bring it home.

I don't see any reason why I should shake it without a beracha, but I'm curious about that. I was instructed NOT to count the omer, even though I could count it with NO beracha. But, I'm not sure the same reasoning applies. . . and I really didn't understand the reasoning in the first place.

MRN said...

Where we live there are possul arba minim that are available for free. You can always use a lemon instead of an etrog and that should reduce the cost of your chinuch set considerably.

SephardiLady said...

Hi MRN. . . Glad to see you still around. Good ideas. I will file that in my head for next year. There also are the toy sets, which could last for many years.

Charlie Hall said...

'only those who are authorized to shake the lulav (that wouldn't include me) '

I don't understand this. I've been taught that women have voluntarily taken on taking the lulav (as they have shofar), and that Ashkenazic women should say the same blessing as men. I lent out my arba minim to a female friend in the neighborhood who didn't own her own each day of chol hamoed.

SephardiLady said...

Ashkenazi women have voluntarily taken on taking the arba minim and hearing shofar, amongst other time-bound mitzvot.

Sephardi women have never taken these mitzvot on. There is no problem with taking the arba minim. But, saying a beracha is clearly a no-no for Sephardi women.

Here is a source (sorry I can't get a direct one for lulav and etrog online):

http://dailyhalacha.com/displayRead.asp?readID=874

Jewboy said...

My toddler has been enjoying smelling the esrog ever since I was done with it on Hoshanah Rabbah.

SephardiLady said...

So cute, Jewboy. What nachat.

Anonymous said...

My husband brought home one of treif lulaving that they were throwing away on the day before Yom Tov for my three-year-old. I have never seen him happier and it did not end up costing us anything. I hope he is able to get another one next year.