Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why do we wave lulavim?

After much thought, I think I am going to embrace the Josh Waxman suggestion.

Once upon a time, people used palm branches to make noise. Slowly, slowly, the act of making noise with a palm branch became thought of as the "right" thing to do when a king came around. Then, slowly, slowly this became thought of as an appropriate thing to do for the King of Kings, too. (and after all didn't He tell us to "take" a palm frond? What else could he have wanted us to do with it?) 

Somewhere along the line, the noise making attribute was forgotten, and the key thing became the waving. And now, that we were waving, of course the Rabbis were going to tell us how to wave. Hence Nanuim. 


The first guy to wave the lulalv was an escaped slave in the Sinai desert, who did it during the first sukkot, following matan torah, using arbah minim he ordered on Like the mainstream observwant Jew he was, this escaped slave waved his lulav using the authentic Nanuim (Chabad of course, or maybe Yemenite)  because the oral interpretation provided by Moshe made it clear that waving is what God wants.

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