And ye shall take you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook.Leviticus 23:40
During the Holiday of Sukkot (“Tabernacles”), the Jewish people are commanded to take together four species (arba’a minim): etrog (fruit of a citron tree), lulav (a branch of a date palm), ḥadassim (boughs from the myrtle tree), and aravot (branches of the willow tree), and hold them together while waving with them in all six directions (na’anuim).
As I wrote in my essay “Unified Field Theory… Theory and Practice,” the four species, arba’a minim, also correspond to the four letters of the Tetragrammaton. According to the Arizal, this relationship is as follows:
|Letter of the Tetragrammaton||Arba’a Minim|
As I wrote in my earlier essays, all four fundamental forces correspond to the four letters of the Tetragrammaton (Shem Havayah—Y-H-W-H):
|Letter of the Tetragrammaton||Fundamental Force|
|Yud||Strong nuclear force|
|Heh||Weak nuclear force – beta decay|
|Letter of the Tetragrammaton||Force Carriers (Field Quanta) in the Standard Model||Force|
|Heh||W Boson and Z Boson||Weak Force|
|Heh||Higgs Boson||Higgs Field|
Combining Table 1 and Table 3, we get:
|Arba’a Minim||Tetragrammaton||Force carriers|
|Aravot||Heh||W Boson and Z Boson|
According to the Zohar, ḥadassim correspond to the primary triad of midot (lower sefirot), Ḥesed-Gevurah-Tiferet. This is the mystical reason for taking three ḥadassim—the triad of boughs from the myrtle tree symbolizes the triad of sefirot Ḥesed-Gevurah-Tiferet. Moreover, the leaves on the myrtle tree grow in triplets as well—all three originating from the same point. Thus, the numbers characteristic of ḥadassim are three and nine (triplets of leaves on each of the three boughs).
Two aravot (willow branches) symbolize sefirot Netzaḥ and Hod. Thus, the number associated with aravot is two.
Lulav (branch of a date palm) symbolizes the sefirah of Yesod. Thus, we take only one lulav.
Etrog symbolizes the sefirah of Malḥut, so we take only one etrog.
Let us summarize the numbers associated with each of the four species:
Ḥadassim — 3 (9)
Aravot — 2
Lulav — 1
Etrog — 1
We see here that the association of the ḥadassim to three sefirot—Ḥesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet—is the mystical reason for taking three ḥadassim. The association of aravot with two sefirot—Netzaḥ and Hod—is the mystical reason for taking two aravot. Similarly, the association of lulav and etrog with only a single sefira (lulav with Yesod and etrog with Malḥut) is the mystical reason for taking one of each of these species.
As we have seen above (see Table 4), the four species parallel four carriers of forces in the Standard Model. Does this parallel extend to the numerical values associated with four species? Let us start from the bottom.
Etrog, which has the number 1 associated with it (it corresponds to a single sefirah of Malḥut), parallels the Higgs Boson, which comes only in one flavor. So far, the parallel holds.
Lulav, which also has the number 1 associated with it (it corresponds to a single sefirah of Yesod), parallels the photon, which comes only in one flavor. The parallel still holds.
Aravot, which have the number 2 associated with them (they correspond to two sefirot of—Netzaḥ and Hod), parallel the carriers of the weak force that comes in two flavors, W and Z Bosons. The parallel still holds.
Ḥadassim, which have the numbers 3 and 9 associated with them (they correspond to three sefirot of— Ḥesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet), parallel the carriers of the strong force, gluons. Gluons, which mediate the strong interaction between quarks, acting as the exchange particle for the interaction, carry the color charge of the strong interaction. Quarks carry three color charges: red, green, and blue. This is how we get the number 3 associated with Ḥadassim. Each color has an anti-color, so we also have antired, antigreen, and antiblue. Gluons could be thought of as carrying two colors—a color and an anti-color. There are nine possible combinations of such colors:
red-antired, red-antigreen, red-antiblue
green–antired, green–antigreen, green–antiblue
blue–antired, blue–antigreen, blue–antiblue
Nine in total—this is how we get the number 9. The parallel holds all the way!
Next time you take arba’a minim, remember that you are holding in your hands a symbolic representation of the field quanta in the Standard Model. It should surely make you happy. Hag Same’ach!
 Leviticus 23:40 as explained by the Sages in the Talmud, tr. Sukkah32b, 35a.
 Alexander Poltorak, “Unified Field Theory… Theory and Practice,” QuantumTorah.com, October 16th, 2016, See online at https://quantumtorah.com/unified-field-theory-and-practice/.
 See, for example, Joseph teaches Pharaoh a lesson in fundamental forces (https://quantumtorah.com/joseph-teaches-pharaoh-a-lesson-in-fundamental-forces/, December 20th, 2015), Four Camps at Sea – Four Fundamental Interactions (https://quantumtorah.com/four-camps-at-sea-four-fundamental-interactions/, April 7, 2013), Grand Unification (https://quantumtorah.com/grand-unification/, December 23rd, 2017).
 Alexander Poltorak, “Tetragrammaton and the Standard Model,” QuantumTorah.com, July 17, 2023, https://quantumtorah.com/tetragrammaton-and-the-standard-model/.
 Zohar 3:24a.
 Strictly speaking, the week bosons come in three flavors: W+, W–, and Z. However, W– boson is an antiparticle of the W+ boson, which is why we do not count it here.
 There are actually eight independent gluons, but the number nine reflects the number of effective states.