# Thursday, 26 October 2006

Bashing hoshanos (and each other)

One of the more interesting parts of Succos (which has a notably large number of interesting parts) is the act of beating hoshanos on the last day of Chol Hamoed (known appropriately enough as Hoshano Rabbo). We have a healthy willow tree in our garden, which started out life as the arovos in my lulav a few years ago. After Succos, I planted it, and it has now grown big enough to provide me with fresh arovos part way through Succos, as well as enough hoshanos for the whole family.

Whilst most Jews take hoshanos of a modest length, there is a custom amongst certain Jews to take very long ones, presumably in remebrance of the ten amoh (Biblical cubit, between 18" and two feet) long ones that were taken in the Beis Hamikdosh every day of Succos. This year, Aryeh Yehuda decided he wanted long ones. This wasn't a problem as our tree grows quite tall and needs cutting back every year, so I cut three sets of long ones (about nine feet), and some more sets of a normal size.

Nechoma Bryna, Aryeh Yehuda and I used the long ones, the others used the smaller ones. In case you've never seen anyone bashing a large set of hoshanos before, here is a stop-frame action shot of Aryeh Yehuda in action...

And here is Nechoma Bryna looking a little more genteel with hers...

...and Shayna Brocho looking pleased as punch with hers (which actually weren't hers, but she picked them up and bashed them around after the previous owner had finished with them)...

A good time was had by all, except for those who had hundreds of willow leaves to pick up afterwards!!

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