We shake our lulavs for 7 days straight and then we bang our hoshanas for 3 seconds. I thought of that while I was banging my hoshanos this morning and thought it to be pretty damn sexual, that the climax of the holiday lasts a full of 3-7 seconds depending on your age. Pretty sick- I know!
I went to the 10am minyan over at the Tzemach Tzedek shul in Monsey and forked over my 5 bucks for hoshanos. Its a racket I tell ya, I remember when it was 3 bunches for 5 bucks, global warming and the clearing of willow crops for corn for ethanol production was the sellers excuse- I didn’t believe him.
Hoshana Rabba is one of those few times that I get completely lost in the siddur. The other time is during kinos and slichos. Hoshana rabba takes the cake for siddur frustration, nor did it help that was in an ashkenazic artscroll while everyone else had Tehilas Hashems. But nevertheless I decided to do my own thing,
I walked around like chassidim walk on the street. head down, ignoring everyone around me in a push for the finish line, or 7 times around the bima. I did look up several times to notice a few things. This was my first time attending a weekday shachris in Monsey since I moved in 8 months ago. Lubavitchers have the hugest esrogim I have ever seen, but they don’t use those spice holders so they are able to hold them with their lulavim.
I also noticed several regular looking folks with no lulav at all. These weren’t your run of the mill brightly colored satin yarmulke “what the hell is that palm branch” types. Nope, these were regular guys that just didn’t have a lulav- I assumed they poked the guy in front of them a little too hard on the first days and broke their tip (that just sounds wrong) and now they had no kosher lulav for themselves.
I also noticed that the most unorganized thing in orthodox Judaism are the hakafos on hoshana rabba. Not only is everyone lost, but people stop and cut shortcuts around tables and screw the whole fluidity up. Its quite insane to watch and can only imagine the women drinking tea and pointing down from the balcony at the hilarity that we call hoshana rabba.