Dear STOCS Friend:
The Arba Minim are associated with numerous symbolisms. Specifically, the Arava (willow) is described as lacking aroma and taste. Accordingly, it has the same connotation as the wicked child we read about at the Passover Seder. However, the interaction with a negative symbol is vastly different on Sukkot than on Passover. At the Seder, the rasha (wicked child) is shunned.
Despite that, on Sukkot, the Arava is tied together with all the Arba Minim as a sign of harmony. Then, as a united group, the Arba Minim are involved in two special mitzvot, shaking the lulav and the Hoshanos.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, quoting Rabbi Soloveitchik points out this is done in the hope the arava --wicked child- feels and appreciates the beauty of the mitzvot of Hashem. By doing so, Sukkot embodies the holiday of hope and positivity. We should never give up hope nor leave any Jew behind. Never underestimate the power of inclusiveness!
I look forward to seeing you in shul as we celebrate the beautiful Yom Tov of Sukkot.
Rabbi Evan Shore