Hoshana Rabbà at the Great Synagogue of Rome
The seventh day of Sukkot and the final day of the High Holiday cycle is called Hoshana Rabbà (Great salvation or great help): this day is considered the final day of the divine judgment in which we beseech God for a healthy and prosperous New Year.
In this day the 7 Hoshanot (supplications calling on G-d to bless us with a good judgment for the upcoming year) are recited in seven Hakkafot (circuits) around the Torah scrolls while shaking the lulav (one of the Four Species used during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot) and carrying the etrog, (citron; the other Species are the hadass – myrtle- and the aravah – willow).
The service ends with a ritual in which we bang aravot (willows) bundles on the ground in order to atone for our misdeeds. The beating of the willow rite symbolizes the ridding of any remaining sins. Hoshanà Rabbà is the day that the judgment which was sealed on Yom Kippur is “delivered”.
The shofar is blown at the end of 7 circuits.
Enjoy with me the beautiful shofar sound at the Great Synagogue of Rome!
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