So there you are standing in shull about to shake your lulav and boom you notice the guy in front of you shaking it a different way then you tend to shake, sizing him up quickly with his gray beard and black hat you decide that he is probably more knowledgeable then you in these matters. Taking into account his silver etrog dish and green lulav holder, you realize he has been doing the lulav shake longer then you have been alive- so you begin to bust out his same moves, but then you notice another similar looking fellow doing something totally different, has the world gone mad?
Nope, this is how it is in shuls across the land as folks prepare to do one of Judaism’s weirdest rituals, folks wonder what exactly is the right way to shake the lulav.
Although not intended to be, this is what gives the lulav a sexual feeling. The shaker thrusts the lulav forward and back three times, as if he or she were trying to penetrate some unknown object three above of their head. The thrust is usually done without an actual shake at the end of the thrust, and therefore is seen as untznius in many circles.
The Pom-Pom(power shake):
The pom-pom AKA the Power Shake, is when the person wielding the lulav brings it up for the thrust and then just shakes it for a few moments, instead of of bringing it back tree times to shake, they tend to shake it in all its fury like a mad-cow-diseased cheerleader at one of those “Bring it On” style contests, that I used to watch on ESPN as my soft-core porn as a child. The pom-pom usually has the force to shake a few hadassim loose and make those very annoying lulav loops slide down to the hadassim and aravos holder, making for split ends.
The Thrust-Shake Combo:
Exactly as it sounds, this is when a full thrust is combined with a full shake. I think this is the most common of all shakes, I of course have no idea what the “proper” way to do it is, but this seems to fly in most shulls. The shake is usually light enough so that your lulav rings stay in place and only a minimal amount of noise coming from the split palms slapping together.
The Silent Shake:
You may be wondering if they make some sort of Viagra so that the lulav can get itself up to shaking, but they don’t, and sometimes when the fellow next to you just aint rockin the shake you wonder if they wound his lulav rings too tight and its preventing any slapping leaves from emitting a sound.
Usually done by Lubavitchers the Hurricane causes their spices to fly all over the place. Especially since Lubavs always need to be better then you they have an extra ten of each, and they don’t bother with those poser spice holders either, instead opting for the lulav chokehold, in order that they can hold the obscenely huge esrogim they buy. The Hurricane is also done by the drunken folks taking shots in the mini-sukkah before Hallel.
Also known as the Rosh Yeshiva, also known as the Buckingham Palace Guard imitation. This is when the shaker doesn’t thrust the lulav anywhere but straight ahead parallel to them. Its like they do not want to use to much of their arms and almost looks as if there is someone in front of them and they are robotically pushing something out of the way.
This is when the shaker, shakes it like a salt shaker. They not only shake as they point their spears into the air, they turn in the direction using lots of body movement. They must always be pointing in the direction that they are shaking. These folks are usually in their own worlds, not paying any mind to anything going about them, to the point that they are poking people in the eye and damaging their lulav on ceiling fans and chandeliers.
Lulav shaking soundtrack suggestions:
Shake it like a salt shaker;
Shake your booty;
Shake it like a poleroid picture;
Rattlesnake shake- Motley Crew
Any later James Brown;
Fun Sukkos video: