MISHNAH: THE MITZVAH OF ARAVAH
Aravos were brought from Motza and arranged around the Mizbe'ach with their points bent over the Mizbe'ach.
The Shofar was blown.
Each day the Kohanim circled the Mizbe'ach once and said Ana Hash-m.
(R. Yehudah): They said Ani Vahu.
On the seventh day they circled the Mizbe'ach seven times.
They bid farewell to the Mizbe'ach with Yofi Lecha.
(R. Eliezer): They said 'l'Kah u'Lecha Mizbe'ach.'
The same procedure was followed on weekdays and Shabbos (but the Aravos were brought and preserved in water from before Shabbos).
(R. Yochanan b. Beroka): Palm branches were brought and beaten on the base of the Mizbe'ach, giving the day its name, Chavot Charayos.
After completing the Mitzvos of Lulav and Esrog, they would eat the childrens' Esrogim.
Motza was also called Kalni'a.
Question: Why does our Tana call it Motza.
Answer: Because it was excluded from government taxes.
MANY LONG ARAVOS
The Aravos were 11 Amos tall in order to lean over the Mizbe'ach one Amah.
(Mereimar citing Mar Zutra): We thus see that the Aravos were resting on the Yesod (not on the floor).
The Mizbe'ach rose an Amah from the floor and indented to form the Yesod.
Five Amos higher it indented again to form the Sovev.
Three Amos higher it indented again to from the Gag of the Mizbe'ach, with corners which rose up another Amah.
Thus in order to bend naturally onto the Mizbe'ach the Aravos must have been standing on the Yesod.
Question (R. Avahu): On what basis must the Aravos be taller than the roof of the Mizbe'ach?
Answer: The Pasuk Isru Chag Ba'Avosim Ad Karnos ha'Mizbe'ach.
OTHER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE VERSE
(R. Avahu citing R. Elazar): This Pasuk also teaches the merit of one who takes the Lulav and Hadas properly.
(R. Yirmiyah citing R. Shimon b. Yochai citing R. Shimon HaMechuzi citing R. Yochanan HaMekusi): The Pasuk also praises one who adorns the Festival with food and drink.
ATZEI SHITIM OMDIM
(Chizkiyah citing R. Yirmiyah citing R. Shimon b. Yochai): Mitzvos must be done as the article grows (learned from Atzei Shitim Omdim, and supported by the Beraisa).
Omdim also teaches that the Kerashim support their gold plating.
It also teaches that they are eternal.
MORE CITATIONS OF CHIZKIYAH
R. Shimon b. Yochai asserted that he could exempt the world from Justice, moreso with his son and still moreso with Yosam b. Uziahu.
R. Shimon b. Yochai reported seeing very few B'nei Aliyah, being certain that he and his son were among them, even if there were only two altogether.
Question: But Rava taught that there are many Tzadikim!?
Answer: Not many who see clearly.
Question: But Abaye taught (based on the word Lo in the Pasuk in Yeshayah) that there are no fewer than 36 such Tzadikim who receive the Shechinah daily!?
Answer: Only very few may approach without permission.
THE FAREWELL TO THE MIZBE'ACH
Question: LeKah Ul'cha seems to be joining something else to the Shem Shamayim, chas v'Shalom!?
Answer: The two terms must be understood separately, acknowledging Hash-m, and then the Mizbe'ach.
R. YOCHANAN BEN BEROKAH TAUGHT THAT THEY BROUGHT PALM BRANCHES
Question: What is R. Yochanan's source?
Answer (R. Huna): The plural Kapos implies one for Lulav and one for the Mizbe'ach (the Rabanan disagree since the word is written as though it were singular).
Answer (R. Levi): It is from a Sevara, not a Pasuk (emphasizing the single hearted commitment of Klal Yisrael to Hash-m).
BERACHOS OVER THE LULAV AND SUKAH
(R. Yehudah citing Shmuel): The Berachah is recited over the Lulav each of the seven days, but only once over the Sukah.
Question: What is the reason?
Answer: Lulav (unlike Sukah) has an new obligation each day since there is no Mitzvah at night.
(Rabah bar bar Chanah citing R. Yochanan): The Berachah is recited over the Sukah each of the seven days but only once over the Lulav.
Question: What is the reason?
Answer: Sukah is d'Oraisa all seven days while Lulav is d'Oraisa (outside the Mikdash) only on the first day (the rest are Zecher l'Mikdash).
(Ravin citing R. Yochanan): They are both recited each of the seven days.
(R. Yosef): Adopt the position of Rabah bar bar Chanah since even Ravin agrees with him regarding Sukah.