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Four Kinds Essays

An Afternoon In Queens
Once the core of a Jew is reached, we share much more than we can imagine.
The Four Mysteries of King Solomon
Why do vacillation and hardship fuel growth? How can contradictory ideas embody a singular truth? Why does a simple physical deed elevate us to levels of holiness and G‑dliness?
One Twig and One Leaf
The very virtues of the other three kinds—the understanding of the lulav, the feeling of the hadas, the across-the-board perfection of the etrog—spell their deficiency.
The Unity of Our People
The esrog expresses the concept of unity by virtue of the fact that it grows on the tree for an entire calendar year, and is exposed to all the seasonal variations and changes of climate. Not only does the esrog withstand all these influences, but it responds positively to them...
It Takes All Kinds
It's not just that it takes all kinds to make a people - it also takes all kinds to make a person.
Unity in Three Dimensions
Sukkot is the festival that celebrates Jewish unity. Unity is the underlying theme of the festival’s three precepts: joy, the taking of the Four Kinds, and dwelling in the sukkah.
The Multiculturalism Debate
Does Jewish unity allow for diversity? The pros and cons of multiculturalism are reflected in the two primary mitzvot of Sukkot—taking the Four Kinds and dwelling in the sukkah.
United We Sit
At the core of Sukkot is the quest for oneness. Let's take a look...
Four Species Visualization
A meditation for the sukkah
You are sitting in a sukkah. Its walls are panels of fragrant wood. On the floor beneath you dance patterns of light and shade, cast by the sechach, the scented roof of leaves above your head. Take a deep breath. Imbibe the peace within your sukkah’s walls . . .
The spiritual service of the soul in this world elevates it to the level of “motion,” i.e. true progress without limit. This progress is expressed in the Jewish custom of swaying while learning Torah and praying...
On Rosh Hashanah all Jews are unified based on the inner soul, a level on which all Jews are equal. On Sukkot, by contrast, the unity is outward and revealed, based on the interdependence of all Jews...
The law disqualifying only most of an etrog, a majority, teaches us, then, not always to follow the majority...
A Candid Conversation with an Etrog Dealer
Where do lulavim grow? Why does an etrog cost so much? Can I grow my own willows? Just about everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask . . .
My Homeless Experience
A Sukkot Lesson
As I sit back in my chair behind my large oak desk, waiting for Windows to load, I wonder when I had become so conceited. Where had this feeling of superiority come from? What is it that makes me believe, for even a fleeting moment, that I am better than those two men?
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