It Takes All Kinds

October 2, 2012 - 5:00 am

“On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the  your LORD God for seven days.” — Leviticus 23:40

One of the highlights of the Sukkot synagogue service has become known affectionately to kids all over the world as “the lulav parade.” At this point in the service, the worshipers take the four species mentioned in the Bible and walk around the synagogue reciting special prayers and singing festive songs. To kids, it’s a grand parade. Some parents give their kids a lemon and a piece of celery so that they can feel like the adults, but in actuality, the four species are palm fronds (called a lulav in Hebrew, hence the name of the parade), with myrtle on one side and willow branches on the other, and a lemon look-alike called a citron. Together, they play a central role in the celebration of Sukkot.

The Sages teach us that each of the four species has unique qualities.  One smells good, but tastes terrible while another tastes great but has no smell at all. One has both a great smell and taste, and another has neither. Yet, each of the four is equally important on Sukkot. Without one, the rest are incomplete. This is to teach us one of the greatest lessons of the holiday. Every single person is important. Without even one of us, the rest of us are lacking.

Every successful organization has learned to appreciate the different qualities in people. Some people have amazing vision and groundbreaking ideas, but when it comes to caring for details, they totally fall apart. Other people are great at dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” but they shy away from the limelight and prefer working behind the scenes. It takes all kinds of people to get any initiative off the ground. The differences between people are celebrated, because each person’s strength compensates for the other’s weakness. This is true unity – not when people work side by side, but when they fit together like pieces of a puzzle to make the entire picture beautiful and complete.

What’s your strength? How do you fit into the human equation? Every team needs a captain and a manager and a coach and a publicist and of course, players. It takes all types of people to make any group successful. Humanity is no different. The Sages teach that every human being has his own unique light to add to the world. This Sukkot, find your light and share it with us all!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *