The Weekly Shtikle Blog

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Friday, October 2

The Weekly Shtikle - Sukkos

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Opa, Tuvia Yehudah ben Yoel, a'h.

I recently noticed an interesting discrepancy in the mitzvos we perform as part of the holidays of this month. First, we have the shofar on Rosh HaShanah. The Torah doesn't ever identify the shofar by name when talking about Rosh HaShanah. We are simply told it is a "Yom Teruah." However, in other contexts (Matan Torah, Yovel), the shofar is mentioned by name with no explanation as to what exactly it is. We are not told to blow the horn of a ram.

Conversely, when we are taught of the four species to be brought on Sukkos, the traditional names we use for them are not mentioned at all (with the exception of aravos, perhaps.) We are not told to take an esrog, a lulav, hadassim, etc. Rather, we are told to take a "pri eitz hadar," a palm branch, etc. The focus is placed on the actual source of the species as opposed to simply naming them. 

(Although the Sukkah is mentioned without any detail as well, I don't think this fits the criteria of this group since it is not a singular object but a construction of many objects.)

So we are left to ponder why this is so. Unfortunately, I do not have a convincing answer at this point so I will have to leave this at "something to discuss" status. One approach that crossed my mind was that the essence of the shofar is not necessarily where it came from  (despite the ties to Akeidas Yitzchak) but the sound it produces. With the four species, however, the source of the actual species is of great significance and defines their very essence as is somewhat evident from last year's Sukkos shtikle. But I anxiously await a better suggestion.

Have a good Shabbos and good Yom Tov.

Eliezer Bulka

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