The verse in Vayikra 23,40 states:

וּלְקַחְתֶּ֨ם לָכֶ֜ם בַּיּ֣וֹם הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן פְּרִ֨י עֵ֤ץ הָדָר֙ כַּפֹּ֣ת תְּמָרִ֔ים וַעֲנַ֥ף עֵץ־עָבֹ֖ת וְעַרְבֵי־נָ֑חַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם לִפְנֵ֛י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים

The Talmud Sukka 43a explains that the obligation for taking the four species on the first day of Sukkos is in all places and in the Beis Hamikdash is for all seven days of Sukkos.

I remember once hearing that there is a difference between וּלְקַחְתֶּם and וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם as follows: וּלְקַחְתֶּם is an obligation just to take the 4 species but וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם also tells me that there is an obligation biblically to shake the 4 species.

Has anyone seen this idea and could write the source?

  • from what I learned, the entire idea of shaking the daled minim is medarabanan so this is quite peculiar to me. it might be a asmachta but I'm not sure. Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 0:01
  • @yehoshuanisanov If that's true, why is the shiur of a lulav 4 tefachim? Is the last tefach only a chiyuv derabanan?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 13:44
  • @DoubleAA Can u pls elaborate ur question? Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 21:29
  • I think this is ur question: the Last tefach was added to shake the lulav like its implied from the gemara in sukkah(lulav hagazel, first mishnah, last rashi). However, according to my opinion, the lulav shaking is only medarabanan, why did we do 4 tefachim? it should be 3 since the last one is for shaking! rather, this is the answer: I think the idea of how long it is is medarabanan since its nowhere implied about the size of it. Therefore, the chachachim added a extra tefach so u can shake it also Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 21:34
  • im mopre simple words, yes, the 4th tefach(and maybe even the other 3) is medarabanan Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 21:34

2 Answers 2


Listen to this shiur of Rav Schacter who brings a story about the Brisker Rov being asked about what would be the din if one took the daled minim on the first day outside the old city and then would go to the Mikdash area would they be obligated to take the daled minim again because usmachtem is a separate mitzvah from ulakachtem.

Listen to 73 minute mark:


  • 1
    Mishna Sukkah 4:4 implies there is no need to take again (since how does it help to have them take it at home)
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 16:07
  • 1
    You could say that it isn't an obligation to actively go to the Mikdash ,but once you are there ,there is a seperate mitzvah of usmachtem ...not saying it's correct ,but once can say such a svarah
    – sam
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 16:47
  • 1
    No one said it is an obligation to go for lulav (though you might have to go anyway midin עליה לרגל) but the mishna seems to be assuming everyone is default coming to the only exciting show in town. It didn't say "shake at home and everyone stay home all day".
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 16:54
  • 1
    Interesting point ,don't disagree.
    – sam
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 16:55
  • 1
    Interesting story, however I'm looking for a source that וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם means shaking
    – Moz
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 20:36

The commandments we are given in the Torah serve as both our guide to daily life and a means to connect with the Infinite. The verse you mention from Vayikra (23:40) beautifully illustrates the dual nature of the mitzvah of lulav: the physical act of taking the four species (וּלְקַחְתֶּם) and the spiritual joy and elevation it brings (וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם).

The act of taking the four species in our hands reflects our ability and responsibility to harness the physical world for a spiritual purpose. The Talmudic distinction you brought, where the lulav is taken for all seven days in the Beis Hamikdash but only on the first day elsewhere, hints at the elevated spiritual status of the Mikdash. It is a place where the Divine presence is palpably felt, and thus, every action there resonates with a heightened spiritual significance.

The distinction you've heard, that וּלְקַחְתֶּם refers to the physical act of taking the species while וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם alludes to the shaking, is deeply insightful. Our Sages have always found profound layers of meaning in every nuance of the Torah. By this reading, the act of shaking the lulav becomes not just a physical motion, but an expression of inner joy, a dance of the soul.

However, regarding the halachic implications of this interpretation, it's crucial to approach with caution. The idea that the shaking of the lulav might be a biblical command is indeed not the mainstream view. Yet, Chassidus teaches us to seek deeper meanings and intentions in our actions, beyond just the halachic requirements. Perhaps this interpretation, while not necessarily halachic in nature, can inspire us to approach the mitzvah of lulav with greater enthusiasm and intention.

It's always commendable to delve into the deeper layers of Torah and mitzvot. Still, for practical halacha, one should always consult a reliable halachic authority. The true beauty of Torah is that it seamlessly blends the heavenly with the earthly, the esoteric with the practical. By taking the lulav and etrog, shaking them, and rejoicing before Hashem, we connect with the Divine and draw down blessings for the entire year.

  • Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. See in particular the focus on sourcing answers.
    – mbloch
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 16:42

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