I have always appreciated the beauty of Chag Sukkot but I never fully grasped its essence. It seemed to me that there must be a connection between the Sukkah and the four species yet I never found it in any literature.
The question broadened for me when I started to wonder why do we read Kohelet at this time. Then I realized therein lies the answer.In Kohelet we are made aware of the fleeting, temporal qualities of life. This is also the case with the different acts that we perform on the Holiday of Sukkot.
We leave our homes, go into our yards and live in a hut to show that we rely on Hashem. It says “in Sukkot you shall dwell for seven days”. We are taught the number seven represents our physical existence in this world. I believe what it is trying to teach us is that our life in THIS world is as temporary and short lived as a Sukkah.
It is taught that the four species represent the different parts of the body.The lulav represents the spine which is the core of man and aids in the performance of his actions.The Hadassim are the eyes and aravot the lips. The eyes being indicative of what we perceive,the lips how we express it, both are a major components of our intellect.The estrog, symbolizes the heart, our emotions. We hold them together to show that our heart and mind should work together in service to G-d. The four species are the fleeting representation of man, just as the Sukkah is fleeting representation of our dwelling on earth and all of our possessions. Why do we substitute our substantial personas and strong homes with such short lived, tenuous manifestations?
It seems to be as Kohelet laments when he says its all futile, but its not! The point is, we as people put stock in things we believe to be real and permanent like ourselves (the four species) and our homes and possessions (Sukkah). Our time on this planet “the seven days” of our existence is temporary. The ironic thing and that which we need to understand is that the Sukkah and Four Minim, ie the mitzvoth, ARE everlasting, permanently attained, whereas our bodies and homes won’t live on forever.
So as king Solomon says Fear G-d and keep his commandments for that is mans whole duty…
Good Luck!….. I mean May G-d be with you 😉