I just got back from getting my arba minim, aka lulav and etrog. The whole trip went a lot more smoothly than the last time I tried to do this in Israel–I bought the stuff off some scruffy dati (religious) kid in jeans on the sidewalk not far from my neighborhood, and he didn’t blink twice about selling to me, cut the aravah (willow) off the tree right next to where we were standing, which was really nice. I’m glad I have a better sense of how to get things done with minimal drama in this town now. As I walked home, I smelled my pretty, fragrant etrog (a nice corrective to all the dog poo on the sidewalk) and began to start to get that festival feeling.
That’s cool. I was remembering that post this morning while I was getting my own 4 minim — was it really already 2 years ago? Both then and this year I bought from non-gender-specific 4 minim markets, but last year I happened on a men-only one. Guess which time my wife was with me. *sigh*
BTW the Hartman High School had a social action program this year selling 4 minim and using the profits to fund school books for kids who can’t buy their own. I wonder if your guy was part of that? “Scruffy dati kid in jeans” fits the Hartman stereotype 😉
I would be thrilled if my mitzvah money went to tzedekah–wish I’d known to ask, or to seek out a Hartman thing specifically. The kid certainly could have been in high school–I’d say he could have been anywhere from 16 to 20, now I don’t really remember. Hmm.
It’s pretty cool to imagine being able to cut the aravah right off the tree. 🙂 My Arba Minim came by mail yesterday — from Israel, natch, but shipped via New York, and purchased online. It’s a nutty world. 🙂
Yes, that is what I am implying. However, we must make a distinction between the story you told about buying the arba minim and women taking the arba minim in general. Because I totally support it in general. However, when you told your story, you felt awkward enough that you had to make up a story about who you were buying the arba minim for, so in that sense, it’s like doing something not so holy in an effort to reach something that you feel is holy, which is, in my opinion, totally analogous to the aish zara story.
But then again, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be a woman in these types of situations.
So I hope that clarifies it.
Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!
And I prefer Uri, not Uriel btw 😉
Thanks for clarifying, I still don’t think it’s a fair analogy.
Cut it off a tree on the sidewalk?? Did he own the tree, or have permission from the owner? Because if not, you need to go and get a kosher lulav double-quick.
Hey, Jen– He had permission, it’s OK.