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What blessing do I recite when shaking my Lulav?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

Library » Holidays » Sukkot » Four Species | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Take the Lulav out of the bag and hold it in your right hand (unless you're a lefty) with the spine facing you, and say:

1. Boruch attah Ado-nai Elo-heinu melech ha'olam asher kidishanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al netilat lulav.
[Blessed are You G-d our G-d King of the Universe who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded regarding taking the Lulav (palm branch)].

Other than the first day of the holiday (or the first day when you perform the Mitzvah), the Etrog is lifted right after the blessing, and the shaking commences. On the first day of the holiday, (or you first time), while still holding the Lulav, pick up the Etrog in your left hand and recite the following blessing. (Toward the end of the blessing put the etrog and lulav together):

2. Boruch attah Ado-nai Elo-heinu melech ha'olam she'hechiyanu, vikimanu, vi'higi'anu lizman hazeh.
[Blessed are You G-d our G-d King of the Universe who has granted us life, sustained us and enables us to reach this occasion].

[Ed. note: This is the Chabad custom. Other customs include holding the Etrog upside down during the blessing, and then turning it over for the shaking. Consult with your local Halachic authority to determine the custom in your community.]


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Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Etrog
A citron; a greenish-yellow citrus fruit. We are required to take an Etrog on the holiday of Sukkot and shake it together with a palm branch, a myrtle and a willow.
Lulav
A palm branch. One of the Four Species we are required to take on the holiday of Sukkot. We shake it together with a citron, myrtle, and willow.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.