arba minim

arba minim pl. n. Hebrew (ar-BAH mee-NEEM) Literally, “four species.” The name for the three parts of the lulav and the etrog, which are used to fulfill the commandments to “rejoice before the Lord” during Sukkot. On Sukkot, both in synagogue and in the sukkah, it is traditional to hold the lulav in the right hand and the etrog in the left, and then to shake the lulav while reciting a blessing. The lulav is composed of three kinds of plants: the lulav (palm), the hadas (myrtle) and the aravot (willow). They are said to correspond to the human body: the long, strong palm is the backbone; myrtle leaves are round like eyes; willow leaves are oval like a mouth, and the etrog symbolizes the heart. When Jews wave the lulav and hold the etrog, they are praying with all parts of their body, with all of their senses.

  1. plural noun

Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of Jewish words. Over 1000 entries for Jewish holidays and life-cycle events, culture, history, the Bible and other sacred texts, and worship. Each entry has a pronunciation guide and is cross-referenced to related terms.; “A JPS desk reference”–cover. (8). Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society.

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