Via Flickr: Licensed under Creative Commons
Incidentally, and on the topic of Succos preparations, I find it bemusing how much money Arba Minim vendors charge for esrogim. When you try to describe this phenomenon to anyone who is unaware of this market dynamic, you get some rather confused stares and quizzical looks. Luckily this only happened to me once, but the fellow was wise enough to nod apologetically in his state of disarray. Logically, how can it be possible that a somewhat typical citrus fruit which is grown within the contiguous United States in mass quantities and sold throughout the year for pennies on the dollar per pound can fetch upwards of $200 in certain markets? The answer is really quite simple but irrelevant. I guess the simplest analogy to explain this issue would be to juxtapose esrogim to diamonds. I’ll have to remember that next time I have to explain it…
Regardless, esrogim are mystical objects that are arguably worth the price (depending on what you spend of course...) because they complete the set; they make up a part of the whole. There are many explanations and reasons given for the symbolisms associated with the esrog and what it represents within us and within the context of Klal Yisrael, but that is not where this post is headed. Incidentally, I can share with you a bracha I received upon finding my esrog last year, to which I should note was quite nice and proved to be rather hard to find (the esrog, not the bracha! Okay, maybe it’s both…): “May you find a Kallah as nice and beautiful as your esrog!” and B”H I did! Although after showing the esrog to my friend he found a negligible defect in it. :-/ Hmm… I wonder if I should avoid introducing TAK to him…? :-P
In retrospect, I am quite happy that person didn’t give me the same bracha for my lulav and hadassim last year, those weren’t nearly as good, to put it mildly…. :-/ ::shrug:: I really have no idea how these mystical thing work. I guess this is why I was always skeptical of trying obscure simonim on Rosh Hashanah. Who knows what they really might mean?! For example: eating Life cereal. So while eating “Life” might connote one’s asking for a sweet (or cinnamony) life, but does that also mean one is asking for a mass-produced life that comes from a box? That doesn’t sound good… unless of course one is “cookie cutter,” then I guess its okay, right? Or perhaps those who eat the store-name brand version, does that mean they’re asking for a cheaper and imitation version of life?! I’m not even going to get into the issues that come up if the cereal in question is spoiled, dried out, or extra crunchy! I cannot see any of those boding well for anyone… Also wouldn’t a cereal life be phonetically a little too close for comfort to a serial life…. :-o I dunno, I'm just saying... Yeah, so while I commend those who chose to utilize obscure, unique, and creative simonim during Rosh Hashanah, Succos, and all year round, to which they’re actions are fully supported by halacha and admirable, I think I’ll pass at the moment and stick with tried-and-true ones.
Wishing everyone a Chag Sameach and all the best.