Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why I don't observe Hoshanah Rabbah

[The series continues.]

In theory I do. (Yes, it's pagan, but it's cool.) But it's not easy for working people.

Any way you slice it, it's a long service. On paper, it's as long as a Shabbat / Yom Tov service, or longer. Disregarding the special Hoshanah Rabbah stuff, you have everything in a Shabbat service (including full pesukei d'zimrah and full Torah service), except there's no haftarah, and the Torah reading is much shorter, but then there's hallel, and the shacharit Amidah is longer, and some add Psalm 130. And then add in 7 rounds of hoshanot, and extra piyyutim (the Koren machzor lists 5 with the lulav and etrog, and 3 with the willows), and beating the willows on the ground.

And I'm not complaining about the length. But this service doesn't really lend itself to being done before work. Back in college (when we had all the time in the world) it took about 2 hours.

I couldn't find any egalitarian service for tomorrow morning that is likely to get done before 8:00 (when I have to get on the subway for work). So I'll either go to the 6:15 minyan at OZ, or skip Hoshanah Rabbah once again this year.

Both BJ and the Carlebach Shul recognize that it's futile to do justice to the Hoshanah Rabbah service and be done in time for work, so they make no attempt to do so; their services last all morning. And I can't say I blame them -- it's probably better to do something totally rocking for a limited set of people than to do something quick and half-assed that is theoretically accessible to more people but most of those people (such as, quite possibly, myself tomorrow morning) won't actually make it out of bed.

Meanwhile, I look forward to a rocking all-day service, wherever I am, on October 7, 2012, the next time Hoshanah Rabbah falls on a Sunday.

UPDATE: Who was I fooling??? Of course I wasn't going to get up for any 6:15 minyan. But I did get up in time to shake the lulav one last time and beat my willows.

Also, Hoshanah Rabbah would have been on Sunday this year were it not for BeTUTeKaPoT.

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