Monday, October 13, 2014

Rambam on the Arba Minim (Four Species) of Succot


"It appears to me, regarding the four species taken with the lulav, that they represent the joy of leaving the wilderness, a place without planting, figs and grapes and pomegranates, and without water to drink, to a place of fruit-bearing trees and rivers. To commemorate this, they took the most attractive of the earth's produce, and the best-smelling, and the one with the prettiest leaves, and the best of the grasses as well – meaning the willow.

"These four species collectively possess these three traits:
One: Great availability in Israel of that time, such that anyone could find them;
Two: Good appearance and freshness. The etrog and hadas have a fine scent, but the lulav and etrog have a scent that is neither good nor bad;
Three: They to remain moist and fresh for seven days, which is not possible with peaches, pomegranate, aspargel, pears and the like."

(Rambam, Moreh haNevuchim 3:43)

חג סוכות שמח,

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