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You = A Beautiful Etrog

Thursday, 27 September, 2012 - 9:00 am

You = A Beautiful Etrog

Have you seen someone searching for an Etrog? Many people go around to different Etrog dealers looking for the most beautiful Etrog; oval in shape, the pitom intact and with a skin bearing no blemishes.

The Etrog is part of the mitzvah of "Lulav and Etrog" - to take a Myrtle, willow and Lulav (palm frond), and shake them together with an Etrog (citron). - The Etrog is the most expensive and trouble-prone commodity. (FYI we have one more set available for $54 - Reply to this email if you want it!)

We can be similar to the Etrog in one of 2 ways: we can be "the most expensive" or the "trouble prone commodity". There is a thought attributed to the Baal Shem tov that the initials of the word Etrog represent the Hebrew verse "Al Tevoaini Regel Gaava" - Let not the foot of pride overtake me – Psalms 36, 11.

As we spoke by High Holiday services; pride and ego are a spiritual malady that affects a person. While humility - true humility - is one of the most expansive and life-enhancing of all virtues. It does not mean undervaluing yourself. It means recognizing that your gifts are G-d given. It means having a beautiful Etrog - because we want to beautify the mitzvah - not to show off.

If we don't accept others, if we are arrogant because of "our accomplishments" without realizing that they are an outcome of our work AND our G-d given talents coupled with G-d's blessing, we are like a trouble prone Etrog. Like someone who shows off the beauty of their Etrog.

This sukkot, don't allow the "high holiday spirit" to wear off. Become "A Beautiful Etrog" - not allowing pride to get in the way of growing spiritually!

How will you "try" to help yourself grow spiritually? Need Ideas? Email me

Have a great Shabbat and hope to see you by services,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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