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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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Now, This Is a Lulav

Now, This Is a Lulav

Here’s an image of the Lubavitcher Rebbe benching his lulav and etrog.


Nancy commented, when she saw this image, how his eyes always look directly at you in all his pictures.

The etrog is upside down, which I thought meant the Rebbe is about to make the blessing, but reader JK was quick to correct me (from his iPhone) that the Rebbe never turned the etrog upside down and didn’t bench in shul.  He also added: “Get things right before writing to thousands.”

I was impressed by the lavish assortment of hadassim and aravot in his lulav bunch. Why haven’t I thought about it before? All these years I’ve been carefully counting them out, three of this, two of that – when I could have this big, fluffy hedge of a lulav.

This morning I plan to take my spare branches and add them to the ones that have so far survived the daily benching, see what that looks like.

Chag Same’ach!

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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4 Responses to “Now, This Is a Lulav”

  1. The rebbe didn't turn the smearing upside down because according to Kabbalah we don't over turn objects of blessing. This is in holy books and not my own words. It's the custom of chabad as well. Get your facts correct.

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    Thanks for the correction. So, tell me, what's the context of this image, in which the Rebbe is clearly holding the etrog upside down?

  3. Mendel Lew says:

    It is not, in fact, upside down. The Etrog has a Pitum and that is what is visible.
    The Rebbe would allow his Arba Minim to be used daily – once he had fulfilled the Mitzvah. I was one of many thousands who had the privilege of using the set on numerous occasions and that Etrog is typical, very large and beautiful.
    Just as an additional point, that picture is taken as the Tzibbur is doing Hoshanos. The Rebbe would go with the Chazzan, and then watch everyone else do the circuit. A beautiful picture!

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