Put Them Together and Shake
The Arba Minim (Four Species) are a unique ritual item used on the festival of Sukkot. In Israel, a few days before the festival begins, special markets open for buyers to select and purchase the individual components of their set.
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Each group gets copies of the four photographs and answers the following questions:
- What are the people doing?
- What objects are the people holding?
- What questions do you have about the photographs?
- What would you want to ask the people in the photographs?
Using the source sheet, students work in pairs to further examine the background behind the photographs.
- Have you or your family ever had your own Arba Minim?
- Why do you think the people in the photographs chose to buy each component separately?
- How do the photographs enhance your understanding of the mitzvah (commandment) of the Arba Minim?
- What is the reason for the Arba Minim? What do they represent? (There are many answers to this question.)
- How are the Arba Minim used?
- The festival of Sukkot is also called zman simchateinu (the time of our happiness). Why is Sukkot a happy time? How do the Arba Minim add to or express our joy?
- Sukkot is the final harvest festival of the year. How do you think the farmers felt at the end of the harvest?
- What emotions, besides happiness, do you think are experienced on Sukkot?
Choose one of the following individually or in pairs:
- Design an infographic of the Arba Minim. Include photographs and the requirements for each component. Suggested websites: Venngage and Canva.
- Imagine you are walking around the Arba Minim market where the photographs were taken and you meet people who are assembling their own sets of Arba Minim.Record a conversation with the people that you meet.(Note: Although the photographs are of Haredim choosing their Arba Minim, Jews from all walks of life buy Arba Minim.)
- What are they looking for when they choose the best one?
- What does the mitzvah of the Arba Minim mean to them?
- What is their favorite aspect of the festival of Sukkot?