Sunday, October 01, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 29 - Alive and praising HaShem

The Mishnah states that a dry lulav is invalid, and the Gemara explains that the reason why it is invalid is because the Torah requires that the four species be hadar, beautiful, and a dry lulav is not beautiful. The Yerushalmi states that the reason why a dry lulav is invalid is because it is said (Tehillim 115:17) the dead cannot praise HaShem. What is the connection between the four species and praising HaShem? It is said (Ibid 96:12-13) the field and everything in it will exult; then all the trees of the forest will sing with joy. Before HaShem, for He will have arrived, He will have arrived to judge the earth. The Medrash states that these verses allude to the idea that after the judgment of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, one takes the trees of the forest, i.e. the lulav. It is said that the trees of the forest will sing with joy, and this alludes to the idea that the lulav is used to praise HaShem. Additionally, Rabbeinu Bachye (Vayikra 23:40) writes that the four species are fresh and alive, and the Torah and its recipients are alive, and we take the four species that have life and we praise HaShem, Who is referred to as the Living G-d.