Friday, October 17, 2008

Some Thoughts on Shaking the Lulav.

This Post is being rewritten. See comment by Yaakov.



  2. Where does the Gemara reject the later explanation?
    Also why are you tying Rav Acha's statement about Satan with the reason of "Leatzor Ruchos Raos"? (see Rashi)
    Also why are you assuming that Rav Acha, one of the Baalei Mesorah was acting based on superstition?
    Also Why are you assuming the Rosh (and others who maintain 4 directions) are superstitionus mystics? The Rosh argues from Halachik grounds and actually is based more off of the first reason. (Rosh on this Gemara)
    Also When questioning any Baal Mesorah (Whether Amora or Rishon) we must be careful not to be "Makchish Magideha". and if they say something which seems funny at first to think into it and see if we can understand it (according to the obligation of Dan LeKaf Zechut, See the Rambam on Avos 1:6)

  3. In terms of explaining the idea of stopping bad winds and dew, which in no way is mystical. It seems to be the other side of the first statement. The first idea is that God has complete mastery over the world. The second statement is the result in terms of practical effect. To the extent we live our lives in line with recognizing that the world depends on God we will have success. i.e. by subjecating ourselves to the objective system of divine wisdom instead of assuming a universe which satisfies our every fantasy. (note that this is the opposite of superstition which assumes that through magical ceremony we can control God) Keep in mind also that at these two periods (sukkos and Shavuos) the world is judged (for water and for fruit), the judgement is tyed to whether we correctly understand and incorporate the ideas of the holidays. This is also what the Gemara means by: "The Mitzvah enhancements prevent troubles". In ordeer for the Mitzvos to be fully effective (In changing us such that the Hashgacha will relate to us differently) we must try to attach ourselves to every idea contained in the MItzvah and not be satisfied with fulfilling the minimum (rote) perfomance.

  4. Yaakov, Thank you for your comment and I admit that I did not express myself well in this post. Your non mystical explanation for the idea of stopping bad winds is well thought out and makes sense. I was reacting to the popular belief that does see in the shaking a mystical preventative or at least some magical act that prevents bad things from happening.But I deserve your upbraiding for not being more careful. I will rewrite the post incorporating your ideas for which I thank you.