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the most handsome Etrog

Wednesday, 4 October, 2017 - 7:53 am

 “There is no greater hadar (enhancement) for an etrog than that of many Jews performing this elevated mitzvah of shaking the lulav with it.” So wrote the Rebbe in his letter from the 2nd of Cheshvan, 5718 (1957). More simply put: the highest category of hadar in an etrog is that it be used by as many people as possible. I think that this sentence sums up the entire holiday that is about to begin.

The festival of Succot is a festival of unity and mutual love between Jews. This is the holiday that expresses more than anything else the connection between the various segments of the Jewish People, be it via the Four Species that are said to refer to the four types of Jews, bound together for one blessing, or via the most beautiful Succah of all – the one that the most people sit in.

People put much effort into obtaining an expensive, beautiful etrog. Some save up money to purchase a perfect, unblemished one. But we must always remember that the most handsome etrog is the one that has served the most Jews for the blessing of “al netilat lulav”.

So it is with the etrog and so it is with everything else in our lives. A truly beautiful and fine home is the one that has the most guests; the fanciest kitchen is the one in which a great deal of food was prepared for others, and the highest-classed car is the car that has given rides to others.

“There is no greater hadar for an etrog than that of many Jews performing this elevated mitzvah with it.”

 

Chag Same’ach,

 

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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