Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hoshana Rabbah


On Hoshana Rabbah (which is Monday), we perform the normal Mitzvah of lifting/waving the Lulav and Etrog, and then during the "Hoshanot" we circle the altar with our Lulav and Etrog, before putting down the Lulav and Etrog and picking up a set of Aravot, also known as "Hoshanot." At the end of our prayers, we beat the Hoshanot against the ground.

This practice dates back to Temple times, and was created by the Prophets; it marks the height of our Succot prayers for rain.

There are various customs as to the number of times we strike the Hoshanot against the ground. One need not get all of the leaves off of the stems; that is not the purpose of the practice.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 664; Mishneh Berurah 664:19)

Moadim l'Simcha,

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