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    The 7th day sealing

    Hoshana Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot, is the solemn conclusion to the month of judgment. Like Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, it appeals to the Almighty to forgive us our transgressions.

    Some versions of the High Holyday prayer Un’tanneh Tokef spell it out in detail when they say, “On Rosh HaShanah everyone is judged, on Yom Kippur they are inscribed in God’s book, on Hoshana Rabbah their fate is sealed”.

    In the Zohar the patriarchs are each linked with the process of pardon. Isaac is regarded as the symbol of judgment whilst Abraham and Jacob represent truth.

    For these reasons it is customary on Hoshana Rabbah for the melodies we use in the service to remind us of Ne’ilah, and the officiant wears his Yom Kippur white kittel.

    What a pity it is that the Hoshana Rabbah services are generally so poorly attended.

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