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    The fresh lulav

    The law of the lulav begins, “You shall take… on the first day…” (Lev. 23:39-40).

    The Torah is talking about the first day of the Sukkot festival, which falls in the middle of the month and is never on a Sunday.

    From a homiletical point of view, the Torah is telling us that even though half the month is over, we can start a new thought symbolised by taking a fresh lulav in mid-month. The same idea works with Pesach, which falls on the 15th of the month of Nisan.

    It has an application to Jewish history: though we are not a new people starting its journey, nor a redeemed people at the culmination of history’s course, we can always find something new to think and do.

    Similarly with human beings as a whole, who even in mid-career can be invigorated with new ideas, new challenges, new opportunities and new energy.

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