Lulavim: About a Palm Tree #Sukkot

photographs by Nino Loss

IN Rehovot, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the center of Tel Aviv, next to a Yemenite synagogue stands this date palm tree, known for its especially high-grade lulavim — the closed fronds of the tree. The lulav is one of the Four Species used during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. The three other species are the hadass (myrtle), aravah (willow), and the etrog (a type of citron). When bound together they are referred to as “the lulav”.

Some seventy years ago, when immigrating, a group of Yemenites built this synagogue and planted this palm tree, together with etrog seeds that they also had brought with them from Yemen. To this day, every year before Sukkot, a small group of people still comes especially from Bnei Brak to pick a lulav from this palm tree. Today though the project for an apartment building next to the synagogue is threatening to destroy the tree. Therefore attempts to transplant the tree are made, hence the black plastic bags wrapped around parts of the tree.

Cutting a lulav from this palm tree is not an easy task, as the tree has got especially mighty thorns…

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Not straight enough “lulavim” (closed fronds of the palm tree). About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
The old palm tree in the back of a synagogue. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Suburbain synagogue back door. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Playing with the frond of a palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
A thorny business. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Empty lot next to the synagogue. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Cutting closed fronds of a palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
The tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Working on the tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Chair and palm tree. Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Chair and palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Looking for beautiful, firmly closed fronds of the date palm tree.
Looking for beautiful, firmly closed fronds of the date palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Getting up there. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Harvesting the closed fronds of a palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Working in a palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
The back of the synagogue with the palm tree. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Inspection. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
The harvest. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Close inspection of the closed fronds of the palm tree to be used during the holiday of Sukkos. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Choosing the right one. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

Lulavim. About a Alm Tree. #Sukkot
Sorting through the fronds. Lulavim. About a Palm Tree. #Sukkot

 

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