Lulav and Etrog (Arba Minim, Four Species)

The lulav and etrog (literally, palm-branch and citron) in Judaism is a symbolic bundle of plants (the “four species” or Arba Minim) used to fulfill the mitzvah of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, an agricultural festival commemorating the Israelite’s sojourn in the desert.

The bundle contains:

  • Lulav, a frond from a date palm
  • Hadass, a branch of myrtle
  • Aravah a willow branch
  • Etrog, a citron, the fruit of a citrus similar to lemons

The bundled plants are waved ritually on all seven days of Sukkot, as prescribed in the book of Leviticus:

“And you shall take for yourselves on the first day , the fruit of the citron tree, tightly bound branches of date palms, the branch of the myrtle tree, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.”

A blessing is recited with the branches in the dominant hand (usually the right) and the fruit in the favored hand.

From an early synagogue floor

Related Symbols:


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: