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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
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Positive Mitzvah 169

  Day 57Day 59  

Positive Mitzvah 169: Taking the Four Species: Lulav, Etrog, Hadasim and Aravot
Leviticus 23:40 "And you shall take for yourselves on the first day (of Sukkot)"

On the first day of Sukkot, we are commanded to take four kinds of plants and to use them in our service, rejoicing before HaShem on the holiday.

These plants are:

  1. The Lulav - an unopened palm branch.

  2. The Etrog - the fruit of the citron tree.

  3. Hadasim - at least three myrtle branches.

  4. Aravot - two willows that grow near a brook.

We attach the Hadasim and Aravot to the Lulav and while holding the Etrog next to the Lulav, we recite the proper blessing.

My father-in-law, Professor Avraham Polichenco, was a professor of computer science in Argentina and introduced computers to Argentina in the 60s. At the same time he made a major shift in life, from an ardent secular Zionist with a bias towards anyone religious, to a fervent chassid with a keen interest in the Kaballa.

My father-in-law was privileged to have engaged the Rebbe in several long discussions. In one of those talks, they discussed computers. It is interesting that the Rebbe's concept of the computer back then in the 60s was very much the concept of "convergence" that only became popular in the early 90s.

What is new about the computer? You walk into a room and you see familiar machines: A typewriter, a tape recorder, a television, of course a calculator -- but none of these are new. Unseen, however, beneath the floors and behind the walls, are cables connecting all these machines to work together as one. There is a technology that allows them to all speak the same language -- thereby transforming them from many ordinary machines into a single powerful computer.

Now, let's take your own life. You pray, you do business, you eat, you talk -- each activity seemingly irrelevant to the next. A mess of fragments. And such, too, is the native psyche of the human being: We have minds that understand one way, hearts that feels another -- and what we do has often nothing to do with either of those.

Take the technology of the computer and apply it in terms of your everyday life: Find a common meaning at which all these fragments converge, and thereby unleash their power. When a person wakes up in the morning and realizes he was created and placed here with a purpose, and that nothing in his life is irrelevant to that purpose, then all the fragments converge into one harmonious whole.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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