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October 3, 2012 6:24 pm

Huffington Post Poll: What is Judaism’s Most Unusual Ritual?

avatar by Zach Pontz

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The etrog, lulav and hadas for sale.

A recent article in the Huffington Post offered up a poll asking “What is Judaism’s most unusual ritual?” The poll was accompanied by an article declaring the Lulav and Etrog ritual to be “Judaism’s closest thing to a rain dance” in which “Leaves of the three trees are joined with the etrog and shaken together three times in six directions: right, left, forward, behind, up and down.” The Article explains: “this ritualized movement is meant to draw blessing from all corners of the earth and send blessing out to all of creation.”

The article continues with a detailing of the act: “After shaking the lulav and etrog in one direction, it is brought back toward the body before being shaken in the next direction.”

The poll itself, which offers no tally of total votes, has thus far placed Brit Milah, or circumcision, ahead of the pack with 23.32% of the vote. Close second is Kaparot, or the Yom Kippur “Scapegoat,” at 20.16%, while right behind it is the adorning of tefillin, phylacteries, with 19.24% of the vote, and Eruv, which is an invisible enclosure, with 18.31%. Rounding out the poll is the Lulav and Etrog, with 10.67% of the vote, Tzitzit, which are fringed garments, takes 5.67%, and lastly, the least peculiar of the bunch according to this poll, the sounding of the ram’s horn known as the shofar at Rosh Hashanah, which has thus far garnered but 2.64% of the vote.

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