A Lulav includes the Four Species that Scripture mentions as part of the Sukkot celebrations.
The four species (Hebrew: ארבעת המינים arba’at ha-minim, also called arba minim) are four plants mentioned in theTorah (Leviticus 23:40) as being relevant to Sukkot. Karaite Jews build their Sukkot out of branches from the four specified plants (see Other interpretations), while Rabbinic Jews take three types of branches and one type of fruit which are held together and waved in a special ceremony during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The waving of the four plants is a mitzvah prescribed by the Torah, and contains symbolic allusions to a Jew’s service of God.
Leviticus 23:40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. English Standard Version
In Leviticus 23:40 the Hebrew terms for the four plants are:
- ets hadar (עֵץ הָדָר) magnificent trees
- tamar (תְּמָרִים) palm trees
- ets avoth (עֵץ־עָבֹת) thick trees
- arvei nachal (עַרְבֵי נַחַל) willows of the brook
In Talmudic tradition, the four plants are identified as:
- etrog (אתרוג) – the fruit of a citron tree
- lulav (לולב) – a ripe, green, closed frond from a date palm tree
- hadass (הדס) – boughs with leaves from the myrtle tree
- aravah (ערבה) – branches with leaves from the willow tree”
This year, Father gave me the idea to create a Lulav with only paper, scissors or a straight edge, and a pen.
What follows are the instructions for making it yourself. I took photos on my first time making it, so there are some minor improvements from the photos. 🙂
Sukkot Lulav Construction paper Craft for children, and those young at heart!
Needed: 8 sheets of Construction paper – 2 dark green, 2 light green, 1 tan/brown or beige, 1 yellow, 2 light blue
Scissors; a Pen, pencil or Markers
The finished product should look like this (except with a yellow Citron, not from plain white paper)
1. Take each sheet of paper, and draw lines as you see them on the following photos, this will be enough to make 4 lulav’s The dark green sheets are for Open Palm, and should match one another. The two light green sheets are for the willow and the myrtle and also should match one another:
Light Green, 2 sheets – Willow & Myrtle
Light Blue – 2 sheets – Closed Palm
Wrap/Bond – tan, cream, brown – this one really needs to be divided into four sections. Rather than just 2. A ruler makes it easy to do. The point is to create a long strip of paper to wrap the leaf stems with. Half a sheet is really too much.
You’ll notice the “leaf” details in the willow and myrtle in the pic above. Obviously, you could add that with pen, markers or crayon. The the details are not to be cut. Also, I snipped the tops of the myrtle, so that the tips were angled with the leaves. You will have an open palm (dark green) and closed palm frond (light blue).The closed palm will double as the hanger.
2. All full lines are to be cut/torn, dotted lines are to be folded. Some folds aren’t marked above, but will be included in directions. Start with the closed Palm Frond:
3. Cut the sheet in half, diagonally. Fold into a closed frond, starting with the long edge, moving toward the corner, about 1’ folds. Once you get to the very end, and see where the corner is, make a small tear to tuck the 1/4inch of the corner into the frond body, so that it doesn’t come loose. A picture of that will be included later, along with the myrtle after it’s been cut and folded.
4. When cutting the wrap pieces be very careful to not cut beyond the lines, you will have one long strip of paper which is necessary to bind the entire thing together, in the pic here I had only two per page, but it was more than I needed, so I suggest four per page.
The next pic is of everything, once it is cut. You’ll notice the bond/wrap pulled out in a longer piece above, and also the ends of the myrtle that have been cut diagonally, and how each piece of myrtle is separated, with about 1 1/2 inch at the bottom not cut.
5. Fold Myrtle in a bit off symmetry fashion, so that the fronds spread out some as in the pic below The myrtle stem is KEY to making this all fit together!
6. Lay a willow face down behind the Myrtle, and fold the stem, tucking it into at least 1 fold deep of the Myrtle stem. I made a little cut in the myrtle stem, to tuck it back thru, for added security, as you can see below.
7. Lay open palm on the folded closed palm, with the tip of the open palm no more than 1 inch from one end of the closed palm.
8. Face up, lay the Myrtle and willow on top of the palms, so that there are at least 2 inches of the open palm stem which extend beyond the myrtle stem, and 3 inches of closed palm stem which extend beyond the myrtle stem.
Now, for the wrapping. 9. Fold the wrap so that it is a symmetrical line – as pictured below – step 9a and tuck the beginning of the bond into the center of the myrtle stem (you may have to fold it small enough to do this) and then using folds and even tension (not enough to tear it), wrap the bond around the entire bunch, covering no more than 2 inches of the myrtle stem, and leaving the end of the myrtle stem visible. Finally, tuck the end into the bottom of the wrap (opposite the stem end). The finished product below.
10 Fold the citron stem, and tuck into the stem end of the myrtle or wrap.
11 Fold the green palm stem down, tuck thru the cut tab in the Citron and then into the bond/wrap.
12. Finally, fold the Closed Pam Backwards to be slipped between the top of your sukkah and the frame, or backwards and around, tucking into the bond to hold it on a rail, twig, branch, etc. On a child’s bunkbed sukkah, this could be slipped between the mattress and the frame, or could be hung over the rail of their bed. 😀 It may also just be used to gently wave it in celebration!
Again, Here is a pic of the finished Lulav – for celebrating the Biblical Holdiay of Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles with! Happy feast to you!!