The Dual Mitzva of Lulav
The Dual Mitzva of Lulav
Based on a shiur by
The obligation to take the lulav in the
What is the meaning of the distinction between the mitzva of lulav
on first day of Sukkot and the rest of the festival? Rabbi
According to Rabbi Soloveitchik, this explains why the Rambam distinguishes between the first day and the rest of the days with respect to the disqualifications of a lulav. On the first day, the mitzva is to take the four species, and therefore the disqualification of hadar and all the other disqualifications apply. On the other days, these things do not disqualify the lulav, as the mitzva is one of rejoicing.
R. Yerucham Fischel Perlow (in his edition of Rav Saadya Gaons Sefer
ha-Mitzvot) states this point somewhat differently. He maintains that one who takes the
lulav on the first day in the provinces, and then comes to the
A difficulty may, however, be raised against this understanding from what is stated in the Mishna:
How was the mitzva of lulav carried out? If the first day of
the festival fell on Shabbat, they brought their lulavs to the
Now, if indeed there is an essential difference between taking the lulav in the Temple and taking it in the provinces, how was it possible to cancel the practice of taking the lulav in the Temple, and institute that each person should take the lulav in his own home (on the assumption that Jerusalem itself is considered as the provinces and not as the Temple)?
From here it follows that we cannot say that there is a difference
regarding the mitzva on the first day between the
An objection may, however, be raised against this understanding that divides
the mitzva of lulav in the
Similarly, in the count of the mitzvot at the beginning of Hilkhot Shofar, the Rambam lists taking the lulav as one mitzva and makes no distinction between the mitzva in the Temple and the mitzva in the provinces.
From here it follows that there is one mitzva of taking the
lulav, but that it involves two fulfillments: the first the taking itself;
and the second a fulfillment of rejoicing. On the first day, there is a
fulfillment of taking the lulav, and in the
The Mishna at the beginning of the third chapter of Sukkat establishes the minimum measure of a lulav: A lulav which is three handbreadths in length, long enough to wave, is valid. The implication is that the obligation to wave the lulav is by Torah law. This poses a difficulty for the Ittur, who rules that the blessing is recited on the taking of the lulav, while the waving is merely a Rabbinic obligation.
According to what we have said, it may be suggested that waving the
lulav is an expression of rejoicing. Accordingly, in the