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Jewish Holidays

Hoshana Rabbah: The Jew with No Frills – Part 1

October 13, 2016, by

The Arba Minim (4 species) – the lulav, etrog, aravot, and hadasim – represent our ability to perform and accomplish. The 7 Noahide laws represent the other nations’ ability to perform and accomplish. On Hoshana Rabbah we show our deeds are of a higher quality. For part 2 click here

Tefillin on Chol HaMoed

October 10, 2016, by

Most people don’t wear Tefillin on Chol HaMoed. What is the reason why many don’t? Why do some wear Tefillin and what is the source for their minhag?

Your Gashmius is my Ruchnius

September 21, 2016, by

And when you gather the cuttings of your land, don’t cut the corner of your field when you harvest, and the fallings of your harvesting don’t gather, for the poor man and the convert you should leave them. – Vayikra 23:22 The Torah reading on the first days of Sukkos outlines the yomim tovim of year […]

Sukkot: Exalted Entourage

September 9, 2016, by

Shiur provided courtesy of Naaleh.com. Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein There is a well-known custom of inviting seven special guests, seven shepherds of our nation, into our sukkot, one on each night of Sukkot. What is this custom based on? The Torah commands, “You shall dwell in booths for a seven day period; every native […]

How Many Aravos and Hadassim?

October 1, 2015, by

According to Rav Binyamin Shlomo Hamburger, the minhag in Worms was to use 68 aravot on Sukkot. Did other communities who followed minhagei Ashkenaz do likewise?

Sukkot and the Power to Transform Trash Into Love

September 16, 2015, by

At its core, Sukkot is about faith. The Zohar and other midrashim describe the Sukkah in its spiritual sense as a shelter that gives off a shade called the “shade of faith.” We leave our sturdy homes and move into flimsy wooden shacks for seven days. Doing so helps us understand that true protection comes […]

Halacha L’Maaseh on Arba Minim

September 16, 2015, by

Lulav: If First Day of Sukkot Is Shabbat You do not need to buy a fancy or expensive lulav and etrog if the first day of Sukkot is Shabbat, since the Torah requirement for the Etrog to be beautiful is only on the first day of Sukkot. Palm Branch Sizes Minimum length for lulav (palm […]

Sukkot FAQs: Building & Eating in the Sukkah

October 7, 2014, by

OU Kosher presents frequently asked questions to-date on the OU Kosher Hotline (212-613-8241) by consumers in preparation for Sukkot. Questions may also be submitted to kosherq@ou.org. The questions below were answered by  Rabbi Eli Gersten, rabbinic coordinator and halachic recorder. The responses were reviewed by Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Kosher executive rabbinic coordinator. Rabbi Moshe Zywica, OU Kosher executive […]