Love of the Land

For the week ending 10 March 2012 / 15 Adar I 5772

Motza - The Tax-Free Willow Source

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

What was the source for the arava willow branches brought daily to the Beit Hamikdash during the Succot festival?

The answer is a small settlement just outside Jerusalem that was called Motza and sometimes referred to as Kalania. Both of these names refer to the special status that the government gave to this community by exempting it from taxes.

While today’s residents of this attractive suburb of the Israeli capital are no longer exempt from taxes, their area still yields a bountiful crop of aravot which Jews use for the mitzvah of the four species on Succot.

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