Close-Up: Lulav and Etrog


The lulav is a cluster of plants: a palm branch, two boughs of willow, and three boughs of myrtle. The etrog is a citron fruit — basically an overgrown lemon. Together the lulav and etrog are called arba minim (ahr-BAH mee-NEEM), which is Hebrew for "the four species."

The lulav and etrog reconnect us to a time 3,000 years ago when most Jews in Israel lived as farmers, and the rhythm of life was tied to the land. Sukkot comes right at the end of the fall harvest.

When we shake the lulav and etrog in six directions — forward, right, back, left, up, and down — we create a force field, surrounding us on all sides. We hope to be surrounded by and protected by our many blessings this year.