Special Projects

Lulavim Project of Sukkot 2017:

So Sascha and my first Lulavim Project was a success!

I had not been working in a “job” since the Labor Day Federal holiday. I was a week and a day from that “jobless” status when this opportunity fell into my lap! Seriously, I commented on a friend’s post to a mutual friend when they had asked, “where can we get lulavim locally?” I answered, “well, Sascha and I are going to make our own non-traditional lulavim this year.” My friend said, “I’ll take eight!” I was like, ‘uuuuuhhh, who hung that neon marquis?’ Before I knew it, others were chiming in with requests for lulavim with which to celebrate sukkot.  I said, “Sascha, it looks like we are going to make it through the end of this month!” Well, I did some reconnaissance on what was needed and when I needed it by and made it happen. I had applied for a Sales Tax Permit on the 20th of the month and by the 25th, I had my TIN and permit in my hand. I had sent out a congregational email out so people who hadn’t ordered a traditional lulav/lulavim could have the opportunity to order a non-traditional set. I also posted the advertisement on my Facebook page which solicited quite a bit of interest from both people who knew about sukkot and those who did not have the understanding of sukkot.

During the making of the lulavim, it became obvious what I needed to do with myself. I’ve been a tool to make other business owners’ dreams come true, it was now time to make my dream come true. I am a teacher/tutor. It’s always been a trait in me. Teaching people WHO WANT TO KNOW Hebrew is what I’m made to do! Over approximately 7 years I’ve been teaching/tutoring Hebrew to others in the congregation of which I attend. Now, it’s time to open that up to others who have the DESIRE to learn His language.

So, as Sascha and I packaged all of the lulavim together, I put with it a postcard flyer offering my tutoring services to those who purchased lulavim. When I handed people the advertisement with their lulavim, many people opened up about obstacles that keep them from learning His language and how they genuinely desired to learn His language. Time, testing phobias, inability to leave home, inability to leave work, retention handicaps, erratic schedules, et cetera… I realized I can help many people fulfill their desires to grow closer to Elohim by teaching them His language.

What’s a lulav? Well the traditional lulav looks like this:

Inline image

Vayiqra/Leviticus 23:40-43
“And you will take on the first day fruit of magnificent trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you will rejoice before YHVH your Elohim seven days.
And you will keep it a feast to YHVH seven days in the year. It will be a statute forever in your generations; you will celebrate it in the seventh month.
You will dwell in booths(sukkot) seven days; all who are Yisraelim born shall dwell in booths; that your generations may know that I made the people of Yisrael to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim; I AM YHVH your Elohim.”
So what do you do with a lulav?
The command says to take the species together and rejoice before YHVH your Elohim for seven days. At the congregation I attend, we wave it! 3 times in 6 directions – North south east west up and down.
It reminds me of being inside of a cube, like a foreshadowing of being inside the new Yerushalayim!
When and where do you wave it? You wave it in a sukkah (yours or a sukkah you visit) for the seven days of sukkot. You bring it with you to the first day of sukkot assembly and you bring it with you to shabbat service to wave! You bring it with you to each person’s sukkah that you visit.
It’s an instrument of praise! And each of the species in the lulav is symbolic of 4 parts of the body.
The Chadasim/Myrtle is symbolic of the eye. The Aravot/Willow is symbolic of the lips. The Lulav/Date Palm is symbolic of the spine. The Etrog/Citron is symbolic of the heart. We are each a living lulav.
When you enter your sukkah or your host’s sukkah it’s customary to pray these prayers.
Pray the blessing when entering the Sukkah:
Barukh atah, YHVH, 
eloheinu melekh haolam, 
asher kidshanu b’mitsvotav, 
v’tsivanu lashevet basukkot. Amein.
Blessed are You, YHVH, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us in His commandments and commanded us sit in booths.
On the FIRST NIGHT ONLY add this portion:
Barukh atah, YHVH, 
eloheinu melekh haolam, 
asher sh’heKHeyanu 
v’kimanu v’higianu 
lazman hazeh. Amein.
Blessed are You, YHVH, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who has kept us in life and has preserved us, and has enabled us to reach this season. Amein.
Then pray the blessing for waving the lulav:
Barukh atah, YHVH,
eloheinu melekh haolam,
asher kidshanu b’mitsvotav,
v’tsivanu al netilat lulav. Amein.
Blessed are You, YHVH, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us in His commandments and commanded us concerning the lifting of the lulav. Amein.
This is what the lulav looked like that we made!
Sascha and I decided to document the delivery days with pictures and videos of our friends and with our trusty dog Rosco through the Shemen L’Chaim Facebook Page.
Here are some pictures of our lulavim building and delivery days!

Thank you for allowing Sascha and me to help make your Holy Days BRIGHT!


Sascha and Deann Ford