It is customary to shake the Arba Minim (The Four Species) during Sukkot. We are commanded to take four types of plants and shake this to rejoice before God. These four species are the etrog (citron), the aravot (2 willow branches), a lulav (palm branch), and hadass (3 myrlte branches) bound together. The four species are also waved in Hallel prayers and during bimah processions.
- The Arba Minim can be purchased through your nearest Judaica store. You can also buy these online.
- Bind the four species this way: the aravot placed on the left, the hadassim on the right, and the lulav on the middle.
- Pick up the etrog using your right hand. The stem should be facing upward. Be careful not to break the pitam to avoid the etrog from becoming invalid.
- Transfer the etrog to your left hand.
- Using your right hand, pick the lulav. Adjust it so that the lulav’s stem faces you while the hadassim is positioned on your right and the aravot is placed on your left.
- While holding the lulav and etrog together, recite the following blessing: “Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’ votav v’tzivanu al n’tilat lulav. Amein.” (Blessed are you, Lord our God, sovereign of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to take up the lulav. Amen)
- After reciting the blessing, turn the etrog so the stem is down and the pitam is up.
- Shake the lulav forward three times. Pull the lulav and etrog back to your chest.
- Shake the lulav over your right shoulder, to the left, up and down.