Congregation Ahavas Achim

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Shemini Atzeret and Hoshana Rabbah Holiday Service

Description: According to tradition, we hope to be written into the Book of Life on Rosh HaShanah and sealed into the Book of Life on Yom Kippur for a good year. However, judgment is not finalized until Hoshana Rabbah, our last chance to “slip our names” into the Book of Life, as if they were written on post-it notes. Therefore we wish each other (in Aramaic) “Pitka Tava” or in Yiddish, “A Guten Kvitel,” -- a good note.

Beginning at 10:45am, we'll greet Hoshana Rabbah, known as the last day of the season of teshuva – repentance – which began on Rosh Hashanah.

We will process around the sanctuary with Torah scrolls and lulav and etrog, musically expressing our wishes for a year of abundance. The Hoshana Rabbah service ends with the opportunity to beat willow branches on the floor, symbolizing a final shedding of sin.

We will follow by acknowledging Shemini Atzeret. With the shift of the season, we now pray for rain instead of praying for dew. This shift is announced with a dramatic and beautiful prayer, Geshem (rain), sung before the open ark.

This special service will be held during Religious School and the children will participate in the procession and the beating of the willows. We hope many congregants will come, too.
Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Time: 10:45am EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:36pm GMT