Hoshana Raba Morning Service
Time & Location
About the Event
Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot is a semi-holiday in its own right.
Still counted among the days of Hol Hamoed (intermediate days of the festival), this day’s name means “the great hoshanah.” A hoshanah is a series of seven liturgical poems calling upon God to rescue and redeem the Jewish people, primarily by sending rain.
Hoshanah Rabbah was viewed by the rabbis of the Talmud as a mini-Yom Kippur, a day on which the entire Jewish community is judged by God to be worthy or not of the seasonal rains. All seven hoshanot prayers are recited in seven hakkafot, or processions, around the sanctuary.
At the conclusion of the seven processions, a special ritual is conducted in which the branches of the willow (the lulav ) are struck upon the ground. This is a symbolic attempt to rid ourselves of any remaining sins (the leaves representing these transgressions) that might influence God’s decision to send the seasonal rains.