Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Na'anuim": Shaking the Lulav

During the time of Rav Moshe of Rozvadov, zt”l, arba minim were scarce and so many bochurim and children did not have the privilege of having their own for the mitzvah. While the Rebbe would do the na’anuim, adults who had already finished that round of using their arba minim would pass them around to those children who did not have.
Once, one of the children pushed forward to receive an esrog from an adult and disturbed the Rebbe. He paused during the na’anuim and looked at the child for a moment, after which he finished up the remaining motions perfunctorily, not in the deliberate way that was his wont.
Afterward the Rebbe wondered aloud, “Why don’t the parents make sure their children do not disturb the adults? The na’anuim are very powerful and should be said with the utmost intention. The children who can shake the lulav are obligated—but not at the expense of someone else’s kavanah!”
When Rav Yisroel of Ruzhin, zt”l, was a child he spent a Sukkos with Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, zt”l. As an impressionable young boy he saw how the Rav did the na’anuim with boundless love and joy. In his fervor, Rav Levi Yitzchak was all too liable to break his lulav unintentionally, and so he always had someone at the ready with another lulav to replace the one that had been shaken a little too enthusiastically.
After watching the proceedings, the young Yisroel held his arba minim close as he stood below the amud and remarked, “There is a person so full of love of Hashem that he breaks his lulav. Yet there is also a different type of person on whom you see nothing at all. Such a person is so full of awe in Hashem’s power that he hardly moves a muscle!”

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