Understanding the Four Species

The Four Species (Arba’at Ha-Minim) which are branches of three plants and one type of fruit tied together. The Four Species is waved in a ceremony during Sukkot. This practice is considered mitzvah.

  • Hadass – boughs from the myrtle tree. Hadass symbolizes the people who do good deeds but do not study the Torah.
  • Lulav – a palm branch. The lulav symbolizes the people who study the Torah but do not possess good deeds.
  • Esrog – is a fruit from the citron tree. The esrog symbolizes people who study the Torah and do good to other people at the same time.
  • Aravah – branches with leaves taken from the willow tree. The aravah symbolizes those who lack good deeds and do not study the Torah.

The mitzvah of waving the Four Species is based on the Torah commandment. “On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.” (Leviticus 23:40). The act of binding the branches is an expression of a person’s desire to devote his life to following God’s commandments.

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