Sukkah 43: My Lulav Is Better Than Yours

March 23, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Despite the explicit command to take the lulav on the first day of Sukkot--and to blow the shofar on the first of day of the seventh month-- with no exception made if these days fall on Shabbat, our practice is not so. As Rabba explained, we are afraid, "lest one carry it in his hand and go to an expert to learn [how to properly do the mitzva] and carry it four cubits in the public domain...
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Sukkah 38: Shake the Lulav

March 19, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"A child who knows how to shake [the lulav] is obligated to take the lulav" (Sukkah 42a). As we noted in our first "daily daf" on masechet sukkah here, the mitzva of chinuch, training children in the proper observance of mitzvoth only begins when the mitzva can be done completely. So while one fulfills the mitzva of lulav immediately upon picking it up (even if we don't shake it) we only begin training...
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Sukkah 36: Lulav in the Sukkah

March 18, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We tend to view the mitzvoth of sitting in the sukkah and the arba minim (henceforth referred to as the "lulav") as distinct mitzvoth each focusing on different, perhaps even contradictory aspects of Sukkot. The taking of the lulav celebrates the harvest and is the source of the mitzva to "rejoice before the Lord your G-d for seven days" (Vayikra 23:40). On the other hand the...
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Sukkah 35: Long Live the Etrog

March 17, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Rambam in his introduction to the Mishna divides the Oral Law into various categories. He begins with what he terms peirushim hamekubalim miSinai, explanations that were received from Sinai. These are explanations of the biblical text that have been passed down from generation to generation and thus, claims the Rambam there never has been and never can be a debate as to their meaning. Included in this group is the definition of...
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Sukkah 34: Don't Cut Yourself

March 13, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And you shall take for yourself on the first day pri etz hadar, a beautiful fruit tree, kapot temarim, branches of date palms, anaf etz avot, twigs of a plaited tree, and arevei nachal, willows of the brook, and rejoice before the Lord your G-d for seven days" (Vayikra 23:40). Yet without the Oral Law, we would be unable to figure out exactly which four species we are to take....
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