Take up a Lulav and Etrog all seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles

The Literal Commandment

Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. (Leviticus 23:40)

 

The literal commandment is to take the foliage [literally "fruit"] of beautiful trees, palm branches, and boughs of leafy trees and willows and rejoice before G-d for seven days during Sukkot: the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment to take up the lulav and etrog pictures Messiah. When we pick up the lulav (the bundle of palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows), its greenery reminds us of the life we have in Messiah. He is the the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When we pick up the etrog (the fruit of the beautiful tree) we are reminded of the fruit of the Spirit that exists in our own lives as a result of the price that Messiah paid for us.

In giving this commandment, G-d has given us a tangible way to connect with our Messiah and the work He has done on our behalf.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Although no specific reference is given in Scripture, we know Messiah obeyed all the commandments completely and was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Messiah fulfilled this commandment by taking up the lulav and etrog all seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional observance of this commandment involves picking up a bundle of the branches of the palm tree, brook willow, and myrtle tree (the "leafy tree") along with an etrog (the fruit of the "beautiful tree") which is a citron fruit similar to a lemon. These "four species" are waved in the four directions of the compass as well as up and down and a short prayer is recited to bless G-d.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment and should take up a lulav and etrog all seven days of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 118
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 3
  • Mishneh Torah Book Times
  • Mishneh Torah Category 16- Shofar, Sukkah, and Lulav
  • Reference Leviticus 23:40
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 23
  • Verse 40
  • English Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.
  • Hebrew מ וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת, וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל; וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם--שִׁבְעַת יָמִים.
  • Greek 40 καὶ λήμψεσθε τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πρώτῃ καρπὸν ξύλου ὡραῖον καὶ κάλλυνθρα φοινίκων καὶ κλάδους ξύλου δασεῖς καὶ ἰτέας καὶ ἄγνου κλάδους ἐκ χειμάρρου εὐφρανθῆναι ἔναντι κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ ὑμῶν ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας
  • Parashah 31- Emor
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 324
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of taking up the lulav on the first day of Sukkot
  • Category Appointed Times
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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