Our practice today of shaking the lulav every day of Sukkot is based on a decree that R. Yohanan b. Zakai made post Temple destruction. From where did he get the daring to institute that we would continue to perform the ritual as it had been done in the Temple itself? What is the ritual of lulav all about? Why do we shake it? How can his decree, made so long ago, help us today, in the time of Covid-19 and communal isolation, rejoice with the lulav?
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Source Sheet features Mishnah Sukkah 3:12, Mishnah Rosh HaShanah 4:3, Leviticus 23:40 and more.
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About Rahel Berkovits
Rahel Berkovits is a senior faculty member at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching Mishnah, Talmud and halakha for over twenty years. Rahel lectures widely in both Israel and abroad especially on topics concerning women and Jewish law and a Jewish sexual ethic. She is the Halakhic Editor and a writer for Hilkhot Nashim the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance’s Halakhic Source-guide Series, recently published by Koren Publishing. Rahel is a founding member of Congregation Shirah Hadasha, a halakhic partnership Synagogue, and serves on their halakha committee. In June 2015, Rahel received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbis Herzl Hefter and Daniel Sperber. Click here to read more.
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