What is lulav and etrog?

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Lulav and etrog refer to the four species of plants that are considered sacred among the Jewish community. These plants were specifically mentioned in the Jewish holy book called the Torah as part of one of their religious celebrations. In the so-called Feast of Tabernacles or the Sukkoth, people are advised to wave the four species of plants or the lulav and etrog as a sign of their service to God. This tradition of plant-waving during the Sukkoth is continued up to today using the same species of plants that were originally mentioned in the holy book of Torah.

Lulav and etrog represent four different species of plants for Karaite Jews. Rabbinic Jews meanwhile combine the three species of plants and refer to them as the lulav and the fourth specie is the etrog or the fruit of the citron tree. The lulav meanwhile is a combination of boughs and branches of the palm, myrtle, and willow trees. These branches are then combined with the etrog which is the only fruit in the group. The four species of plants are then tied together in a bundle and are typically brought during the celebration of Sukkoth. This Jewish festival is celebrated around September and October or exactly 5 days after another Jewish event called Yom Kippur. Lulav and etrog is especially important for Jews as it symbolizes their thanksgiving to God for all blessings and so-called fruitfulness of their land. Some Jews also create huts using different parts of the four species of trees as part of their Sukkoth celebration.

The waving of lulav and etrog is also done during the prayer or religious activity called Hallel. The species of plants are also shaken in six different directions around the synagogue or religious area to symbolize the presence of God in all directions. With Sukkoth considered a pilgrim festival by the Jews, many of them try to find the best quality lulav and etrog they can get to signify their happiness and thanksgiving to God.

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