ASBEE Home Page > Learning > Holidays > Sukkot > Lulav instructions

How to Shake a Lulav

  • Hold the set with the willows (long leaves) on the left of the lulav (palm) and the myrtle (short leaves) on the right, and the smooth spine of the lulav facing you,
  • Then, if you are a righty grab this whole lulav package with your right hand and if a lefty, grab it with your left hand. The other hand should hold the etrog (citron).
  • Hold the etrog next to the lulav. Before making a blessing, keep the cut stem up. After the blessing, turn the cut stem down, with the pitom ( the funny crown) up. One may hold the lulav package and the etrog in one hand if you wish.
  • The blessing is Baruch ata (Hashem) Elokeinu melech ha-olam, asher kidishanu be-mitzvotav ve-tzivanu, al netilat lulav. (Blessed are You who commanded us to take a lulav.)
  • On the first day that you take a lulav on Succos, add the she-he-chi-yanu: Baruch ata (Hashem) Elokeinu melech ha-olam, she-he-chee-yanu, ve-kee-ye-manu, ve-hee-gee-anu lazman ha-zeh. (Blessed are you who helped me reach this time.

 How to preserve your lulav:

  • The etrog usually does pretty well just in its wrapping in a box. Some put it in a refrigerator as well.
  • The lulav itself does fine in the bag.
  • The willow should be in or out of the refrigerator in a plastic containing something wet, but the wet cloth cannot touch the leaves or they will turn black.
  • The myrtle does well wrapped in a wet paper towel, in tin foil, in the refrigerator.