Oct 15, 2008

What a lulav!

As a postscript to my post on the esrogim and lulavim, I feel it worthwhile to mention this -

My brother in law has become a very serious "brisker". He is overly pedantic about his lulav and esrog, and spent three days looking around Yerushalayim for a lulav that would be satisfactory to his requirements. He could not find one. A couple hours before yom tov he calls me up to ask me if the lulavs I got were good and if there is a rav locally he could show them to. If not, he could not come for yom tov, because he did not yet have a lulav and would need to continue looking and would not have time to come.

I said I dont know about a rav - he can try goign to the house of any rav if he wants, but an hour before yom tov is not very promising on that. I said I would look at the lulavim and give him my opinion. I looked and told him that the lulavim I got from the shul all look great, but I did not know if they would look great to him.

he said ok, and came anyway.

He took a lulav and went to shul in the morning. He showed the lulav to the rav of the shul he davened in (different shul than where I had bought them), and the rav was very impressed with the lulav and told him it is a beautiful lulav and asked him where he bought it.

So despite my not understanding the costs involved and generally not wanting to pay so much for the 4 species, the quality of the esrogim and lulavim from the supplier for the shul was extremely high and was likely to be considerably cheaper than what he would charge for these in other years.


  1. and spent three days looking around Yerushalayim for a lulav

    Isn't that bittul Torah? And what about helping his wife prepare for Yom Tov?

  2. a. bittul torah? dont know. this is what briskers do before sukkos. gotta get a kosher lulav and esrog and it is not easy to find.

    b. he is not yet married.

  3. This being my first year here, I was floored to find separate lulav stores, with a range of lulavim. One store I stopped at in Bet had NIS 40, 70, 120, 150, and 200 level lulavim. I was shocked they weren't just included in the purchase of the esrogim.

    On the other hand, I was surprised at the high quality of the esrogim at the various stores. One guy on Uria had a wide selection of Otzar Beis Din, all open box for NIS 150 - and they were absolutely fabulous. They would easily go for $150 in the US.

    I've also spent some good time on selecting my esrog, but have never had to spend any time on selecting the right lulav or haddasim - and had different quality levels available. That really struck me as weird.

    I also don't remember that being the case when I lived in Israel 13 years ago. Is it a new thing?

  4. I also picked what I thought would be very cool - a really tall lulav. I've found that to be a mistake as it keeps getting hit against the roof in the succah and in shul!

  5. I love the tall lulavs and that is what I usually get. This years is more normal sized though...

  6. which rov did he show it to?

  7. What's with these Briskers? Is your BIL OCD?

  8. If he was really a brisker, he wouldnt eat in your house, since you eat hechsheirim other than Edah hachareidis. And even with edah, not all products are accepted by them.

  9. non-brisker - that is the way briskers are. they call it medakdek b'mitzvos, you call it OCD.

    anonymous - how do you know what we buy when he is coming over to us? and maybe he is meikil on certain things for when he comes over here for shalom bayis...

  10. So the Brisker Rov invented the concept of "medakdek bemitvos", and everyone before him, mekilim? I don't think so. Something makes me think that those with an OCD disposition are attracted to that lifestyle.

  11. How do i know what you buy when hes not there? I dont. but something tells me that you eat other than the chumros of brisk. Please correct me if Im wrong, factually, not just how do I know? Also, how do I know that you dont kasher your pots and dishes? I dont, but please be realistic. Moreover, from what I understand, the real hard core briskers avoid the shalom bayis issues all together and dont go anywhere except other briskers. Dont take it personally, its more of a he'ara on him, that he is not a full fledged brisker, rather a guy learning there who has picked up on some of the dikduk b'mitzvos of the briskers.

    WRT the OCD claim - youre not the first to make the claim. But the ans is that although there are other poskim, the brisker rov (and rav chaim and the beis haleivi) didnt make up the shitos rishonim that are out there. They just choose to try to be yotze all the shitos. Other poskim dont.

  12. My opinion is that it is Assur to spend an extraordinary amount of money on the arbah minim as long as there are still poor people that could use some of that money in better ways. The mitzvah of Tzedaka far outweighs the mitzvah of hiddur mitzvah!!!



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