Arba Minim in the Torah
The Torah describes the mitzvah of the Arba Minim (Four Species) that are used on Sukkot.
Read the verse from Leviticus (Vayikra) and answer the questions below.
If you didn't know anything about the Arba Minim but wanted to fulfill the mitzvah described in the verse, what difficulties would you have in following the instructions?
What do you need to know in order to fulfill the mitzvah?
Arba Minim in the Mishna
The Mishnah, the first book of the Oral Torah, further explains the mitzvah. Chapter 3 of Tractate Sukkah explains the requirements for each of the four species that make up the Arba Minim.
Research each of the elements of the Arba Minim. What do they look like? Smell like? Taste like? Add your notes in a comment below.
To learn more about each of the parts of the Arba Minim, see Chapter 3 of Mishnah Sukkah.
Symbolism of the Arba Minim
The midrash below says that each element of the Arba Minim represents a different type of person.
Read the midrash and create a chart identifying the characteristics of each of the elements.
Others compare the Arba Minim to different parts of the body: Heart, spine, lips and eyes.
What else could the Arba Minim represent?
Choose at least two questions to discuss with your partner.
Be prepared to participate in a class discussion about the Arba Minim.
- Have you or your family ever had your own Arba Minim?
Where were they grown? Did you buy it as a set or select each individual component separately?
Some people buy the Arba Minim as a complete set and others pick out each element separately. How do you think you would feel about the Arba Minim if you chose each component yourself?
What is the reason for the Arba Minim?
What do they represent? (There are many answers to this question.)
How are the Arba Minim used?
The festival of Sukkot is also called zman simchateinu (the time of our happiness).
Why is Sukkot a happy time?
How do the Arba Minim add to or express our joy?
Why do you think the Arba Minim are held together? What can we learn from the fact that the mitzvah requires shaking the four separate elements together?