Gold and Humility

The Mishnah states that the people of <st1:place w:st=”on”><st1:city w:st=”on”>Jerusalem would bind their lulav bundles with gold strings. The Chachamim said to Rabbi Meir that they would first bind the lulav with material of the same species in order to fulfill the mitzvah properly and then they added the gold strings as decoration. It is interesting that the word that the Mishnah uses for these gold strings is gimoniyos, which Rashi explains is derived from the word kiagmon, which means bent.

Perhaps the Mishnah is teaching us that the people of Jerusalem would glorify the mitzvah of lulav with gold fibers, which usually can be interpreted to be a display of arrogance. Nonetheless, the people of <st1:city w:st=”on”><st1:place w:st=”on”>Jerusalem acted for the sake of Heaven, and their actions were done “bent over,” i.e. in a humble fashion.

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