Sukkot, Judaism’s most exalted festival to express gratitude to Lord for the abundance and prosperity with which Israel’s holy land is blessed, lays down a special mitzvah for recitation of blessings over four plant products. The lulav etrog pair is formed of a sweetly aromatic citrus fruit, 3 twigs of myrtle, branch of palm tree and 2 willow boughs. The citron etrog is kept in one hand whereas the remaining three kinds are tied together to form a lulav. The combination is waves in the synagogues in six different directions to pay homage to the ubiquity of God.
Correct process to wave the four species
An ardent Jew should adhere to the correct religious procedure to express gratitude for the economic prosperity in his life. This will also serve to make the happiness in his life perennial.
- Position yourself in the synagogue with your face towards the east. The lulav is to be held in the right hand and the spine should confront you. The left hand should grasp the etrog. Exercise care to ensure that the pittam is directed downwards, opposite to the direction of its growth. Now, start the recitation of the hallowed blessing ‘Baruch atahAdonaiEloheynuMelech Ha Holam, asherkidshanub'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al netilatlulav.’ This means that God, who rules over the universe, is profusely thanked for sanctification of the Jewish community with the commandments and also for illuminating on the subject of holding the palm branch.
- Shechiyanu, the blessing is recited on the 1st day of Sukkot. ‘Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha Olam, shechiyanuv'kimanu, v'higianu, lazman ha ze’ is chanted to express the exalted nature of God Adonai who is responsible for our life and sustenance and has made the materialization of this divine moment possible.
- The lulav etrog are next brought together through convergence of hands. Now face each of the 6 directions, the customary four directions along with above and below respectively with veneration. Wave the pair of etrog and lulav up and down. The upper portion of the etrog should be positioned next to lulav’s bottom and the etrog is to be concealed with the fingers.
- Next, turn eastwards and with estrog and lulav being held in both hands, extend the arms. Shale the four species together and then draw the arms closer to you. Iterate the process two more times.
- The same procedure is to be followed for the remaining directions of north, west, south, up and down.
- If you are a Sephardic Jew, you need to adhere to this order of waving – right, left, front, back, top and bottom.
The Hebrew month of Tisheri is chosen for celebration of seven day long harvest holiday of Sukkot.
Lulav Etrog at MyEsorg. Find more information on http://myesrog.com/cmsPage.asp?id=3