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Last Days Succos Halachic Digest 5777

Last Days Succos Halachic Digest 5777





הושענא רבה, שמיני עצרת, שמחת תורה ה'תשע"ז

Compiled by Rabbi Yoseph Vigler and Rabbi Mendel Zirkind

Edited by Rabbi Sholom Zirkind

For a Printable PDF Version Click HERE 

לעלוי נשמת הרב יצחק ז"ל בן הרב אליעזר צבי זאב צירקינד


Motzei Shabbos: Hoshana Rabba


Hoshana Rabba is like a Yom Tov. On Succos is the judgment on water, the source of human life. On Hoshana Rabba that judgment is completed.  It is also the final sealing of the judgment of every person for a good sweet year. This is the reason for the numerous minhagim in this 24 hour period.

  1. There is a custom to remain awake the entire night learning Torah.

  2. The minhag is for men to go through Mishneh Torah (Chumash Devorim) before Chatzos (midnight). Some read from a Sefer Torah, others from a Chumash. Some also say parts of the  Zohar was printed in the Tikun.

  3. Some immerse in the Mikvah before learning.

  4. There are various minhogim when to be  maavir sedra of Vezos haBracha (shnayim mikra ve’echad targum): Hoshana Rabba by night (as part of the Tikkun); Hoshana rabba by day;  Shmini Atseres or Simchas Torah

  5. We say the entire Tehillimpreferablyafter chatzos, 12:41am (in NYC) - the  time of G‑d’s compassion.

  • We say  three “יהי רצון”s after each Sefer Tehillim - (a) the יהי רצון that is said after each Sefer, (some say the one for the weekday, others say the one for Shabbos and Yom Tov) (b) a special "יהי רצון" for Hoshana Rabba, (c) the "יהי רצון" when saying Tehillim at night .

  1. In some shuls the Gabai gives out sweet apples that are eaten dipped in honey on Hoshana Rabba night, to seal our judgment for a sweet year.

  2. Some wish each other “A gut kvitel”.

  3. If you were awake all night without sleeping even half an hour, you wash Neggel vasser after  Alos hashachar, and say Brachos of the morning . However you don’t bentch “Al Netilas Yadaim”. The brochos of “Elokai Neshomo” and “Hamaavir Sheina”, are best to hear it from one who slept. Otherwise say it quietly.

Hallel and Hoshanos

  1. We rise early for Davening.

  2. Some add in davening some Mizmorim said on  Yom Tov , and use the Yom Tov (or Yamim Noraim) melody.

  3. Some have the Minhag that the chazzan wears a Kittel. Others wear Yom Tov clothing.   

  4. We remove the top rings of the Lulav (but not the rings on the bottom binding the lulav with the Hadasim and Aravos), enabling the Lulav to be shaken better - because extra shaking enhances the Simcha. Someremove the rings before bentching on the Lulav; some do so before Hallel; others do so before Hoshanos.

  5. The rest of Succos we only circle the Bima once during Hoshanos. On Hoshana Rabba we circle seven times (during the seven Hashanos) just like they circled the Mizbeach in the Beis Hamikdash seven times. There are extra pesukim and Tefilos added, each according to their custom.

  6. The minhag is to take at all the Sifrei Torah and have them held around the Bimah.

  • If someone doesn’t have a Lulav he can hold a Sefer Torah. Or place the Seforim down on the Bima.

  1. We don't hold the five aravos together with the Lulav. . There are various customs when we hold the five Aravos:  before  Kaddish; after Kaddish; some hold it earlier when saying the Piyut “תענה אמונים” since this particular piyut mentions water, and the arava grows on water.

  2. The mekubalim explain that banging Aravos sweetens the judgment for us to have a good year . One should prepare Hoshanos for every member of the household, women too - and newborns. The parent bangs them on the ground on behalf of the infant. (Some go even further and add a set for a pregnant woman).

  3. מעיקר הדין, one Arava is sufficient. Its best to take at least three. According to the Arizal, we take five Aravos. (Some take seven Aravos).

  4. The five aravos should be tied together with a leaf of a lulav. Others tie them with an Arava twig.

  5. The same requirements for the Aravos of the Lulav, apply to the Aravos of Hoshana Rabbah, with one exception:  the Aravos of Hoshana Rabbah are  kosher even if only one leaf remains, although for hiddur mitzvahan abundance of leaves is preferable.

  6. Some shake the Aravos before banging them, but most people don't.

  7. The Aravos should be banged directly on the ground or floor.  

  8. You do not necessarily need any leaves to fall off from the banging. Some do try bang till leaves fall off

  9. One could bedieved use a pre-used Arava.

  10. The custom is to hit them 5 times on the ground

  11. After finishing with the Aravos , some leave them in Shul, (on top of the Aron kodesh to replicate the act in the beis hamikdash); others save them for another mitzvah and burn them in the oven of matzos for Pesach, or with the Chometz. There are various minhagim and segulos as to what to do with the Hoshanos after their use

  12. One should not discard the Aravos in the garbage, or leave them on the floor where they will be stepped on .

  13. We are extra careful not to do any business dealings until after davening, even what is normally permitted on Chol hamo’ed. Some don't carry their wallet (besides money for Tzedaka), until after they leave Shul.

  14. There are various customs until when לדוד ה’ אורי is said: until after Mincha of either: Hoshana Rabba; Shemini Atzeres; or Simchas Torah.


  1. We eat a Seudas Yom Tov on Hoshana Rabba preferably before chatzos (12:40pm in NYC), and definitely try before 3:20pm (NYC) (the beginning of the 10th hour, half hour before Mincha ketana).  

  2. We eat kreplach to symbolize the Arava banging which is to reveal the good of Hashem’s judgment.

  3. We dip the Hamotzi in honey; some also dip in salt.

  4. Drink a cup of wine during the day Lekovod Yom Tov (the same goes for all of Chol Hamo’ed).


Candle lighting

  1. Before lighting candles, a double amount of Tzedaka is given, for two days of Yom Tov.

  2. Candles are lit before sunset (or 18 minutes prior) like on Erev Shabbos. The benefit of lighting before Yom Tov is to enter Yom Tov with light. If for whatever reason, you did not light then, they should be lit before the Seudah at night from a pre existing flame.  If you remembered during the Seudah, light candles when you remember and be sure to derive benefit from the light of the candles and eat something next to them.

  3. If one missed lighting Yom Tov candles:

  • If she remembered after the meal at night she should light then with a bracha. Make sure to get benefit from the light  in the dark .

  • If she remembered only the next day, then the candle can no longer be lit. Because a candle does not light up by day, therefore you may not light it on Yom Tov as it is unnecessary light.

  • There are varying opinionsas to whether, if she missed lighting on Yom Tov, chachamim instituted to light an extra candle (more than what she usually lights) for the rest of her life. Ask a Shailah.

  1. Two brachos are said when lighting candles: להדליק נר של יום טוב and שהחיינו. A woman who is making her own Kiddush, should not repeat שהחיינו again in Kiddush.

  2. Remember to leave a fire to be able to light candles the second night of Yom Tov – gas or 24-hour candle.

  3. You may not pre plan to have a Goy turn on a fire for you on Yom Tov (except from a pre existing flame). If however, you had a candle prepared, but it went out on Yom Tov and you cannot obtain a light from a neighbor, then you may request a Goy to turn on a light for you on Yom Tov.


Shmini Atseres & Simchas Torah  - “One must treasure the 48  hours of Shemini Atzeres & Simchas Torah. Each moment you can collect buckets and barrels B’Gashmius & B’Ruchnius -  through dancing.” - The Rebbe Rash”ab

Davening and Kiddush

  1. In davening and Kiddush we no longer mention Chag HaSuccos Hazeh; we mention Shmini Atseres instead.

  2. If you mistakenly mentioned Chag HaSuccos

    • If you realized before completing Shmone Esreh or the brocho, go back to Atah V’chartnu.

    • If you finished the brocho already, there are numerous opinions. Since safek brachos lehakel, you would not repeat the Shmone Esrei or kiddush. The best option, where possible, are:

  • For Kiddush, listen to someone else and be yotzeh.

  • For Shmone Esreh, listen closely to the entire chazoras hashatz and be yotzeh fom him.

  • (Note - You can only be yotzeh Shmone Esreh from the Shliach Tzibbur, so this would not work in Maariv i.e. you cannot hear a private Mispallel daven out loud and be motzi you)

  1. The above applies if you mistakenly mentioned Succos on Shmini Atseres. However, if one forgot on Simchas Torah, then all agree,  Shmoneh Esrei must be repeated (Because Simchas Torah definitely has no connection at all to Succos, unlike Shmini Atseres that has a partial connection).

  2. Some do Hakafos before עלינו the night of Shmini Atseres. Minhag Ashkenaz is only on Simchas Torah.


  1. We prefer making Kiddush and Seudah after nightfall, so there is no question of bentching leishev basuccah.

  2. If one did make Kiddush earlier they still don’t make a  leishev basuccah.

  3. There are various minhagim in sitting in the Succah on Shmini Atseres. Either way, we do not bentch leishev basuccah nor in bentching Harachman…Succas Dovid….

  4. We bentch Shehecheyonu.

Mussaf & Geshem


  1. By Musaf we begin saying “משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם”.

  2. Until the Gabbai announces משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם you cannot start saying it even if davening Mussaf ahead of the Minyan.

  3. Those who are davening at home should assume the time when the Shul is davening Musaf, and then daven and say משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם.

  4. If one started Davening after the Chazan’s announcement, he says משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם even if he is behind and still davening Shacharis (if he is not davening Shacharis with another Minyan) .

  5. If you accidentally said "מוריד הטל" ,

  • If you remembered before you said Baruch Atah Hashem, say it there (at the end of a phrase) . If you remembered after ונאמן אתה להחיות מתים before Baruch Atah Hashem, say משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם there, and then say again ונאמן אתה להחיות מתים.

  • If you remembered only after you said Hashem’s Name in the bracha, you do not have to go back.

  • According to the Shulchan Aruch Harav, even if you remembered before you said Hashem’s name, you don’t have to say it there.

  1. Nusach Ashkenaz does not say the words “Morid hatal” during the summer months. Therefore, in Nusach Ashkenaz, if you forgot to say משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם"”(i.e. you did not say Morid HaTal either, as you are accustomed to do during the Summer months)

  • If you remembered before saying Hashem’s name in the bracha, you say it there (as explained above)

  • If you remembered after saying Hashem’s name but before you finished the Beracha, some say you should end למדני חוקיך, and then go back to משיב הרוח. Others hold that you finish the Beracha, and then say משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם.

  • If you remembered right before you started “Atah Kadosh” you say it there 

  • If you remembered only after you started  “Atah Kadosh” you would be required to repeat Shmone Esreh. (The same applies if you are in doubt if they said it or not during the first 30 days).

  1. Some have the custom that the chazan for Mussaf wears a Kittel.

  2. It is a good idea to arrange that children be in Shul for Birchas Kohanim towards the end of Musaf because being there is being an active participant in doing the mitzvah.

  3. Yizkor is said before Musaf.

  4. Those who cannot come to Shul for Yizkor can say it at home


During the Day

  1. No preparations may be made on the first day of Yom Tov for the second day until nightfall, tzeis.

  2. Licht bentchen is after tzeis.

  3. If one needs the tables or chairs from the succah to be brought into the house for the night meal etc. they are allowed to be brought in after (eating is finished and after) mincha Ketana (3:48pm)  but not allowed to be set up for use until after nightfall, (unless one needs to set them up for daytime use in the house, or so that the house should look presentable).

  4. Before the day is over we go into the Succah (for those who eat in the Succah) to eat something in order to            bid the Succah farewell.

Ma’ariv Simchas Torah

  1. Before Aleinu ( after nightfall) we break for Kiddush  and Hakafos.

  2. It is a big Zchus to dance with all one’s might and to be filled with simcha, (as the Mishnah Brura quotes that the Vilna Goan would dance in front of the Sifrei Torah with all his Koyach).   

Candle lighting

  1. Make sure all the women light candles before Kiddush.

  2. Only light from a pre-lit flame.

  3. The two Brochos said are: של יום טוב and שהחיינו.



  • In Birchas Hamazon we add: יעלה ויבוא and Harachaman for Yom Tov.

  • If one forgot יעלה ויבוא and already began the next Bracha, return to the beginning of Birchas Hamazon. (If one remembered right before starting the next beracha, there is a short Beracha recited, as printed in the Siddur).

Simchas Torah — 22 Tishrei

  1. Those sending children to Shul for Birchas Kohanim should remember it’s in Shacharis today, not in Mussaf.

  2. After Shacharis we do Hakafos and then Kriah (including Chosson Torah and Chosson Bereishis) and Musaf. And keep the Simcha going throughout the year!

  3. There is a minhag to make Kiddush before Hakafos. One needs to make Kiddush and have mokom Seudah but try to minimize the amount of eating and drinking for one still needs to hear Kriah and daven Mussaf.

  4. Today everyone gets an aliyah, even children if they know how to read the bracha.

  5. More than one person may be called up together to any aliya on Simchas Torah.

    1. A group of Kohanim or Leviyim, for example, may receive an aliya together.

    2. Preferably (but not necessarily) only one person should make a bracha on behalf of all and they are yotze getting the Aliya by answering Amen

  6. We read the Torah again and again as needed.

  7. We make a special Aliya for all children under the age of six, or those who did not receive an aliya, called “Kol Hane’arim”. We spread a Tallis over the children and some say afterwards המלאך הגואל

  8. It’s a special mitzvah to purchase Chosson Torah & Chosson Bereishis over other kibudim -f or a lot of money

  9. We make a havdala without בשמים ונר. Some begin ברכת הגפן, while others include the pesukim הנה קל ישועתי וגו’.


Shabbos Bereishis

  • This Shabbos is special in that “the way we act on this Shabbos has its influence on the rest of the year”

  • משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם (If you forgot you don’t go back. See above for Nusach Ashkenaz)


Motzei Shabbos

  • By Ma’ariv we say אתה חוננתנו and ויהי נועם

  • We do not begin Vesein tal umatar livrocho till Maariv of the night between December 4 and 5  in Chutz la’aretz (or 7 Cheshvan in Eretz Yisroel). Continue with Vesein brocho.


After Succos

  • The S’chach, like the Arba Minim, may not be disposed of in regular garbage but rather be burned or disposed of in another respectful way. Often, there is a special pick up arranged with the sanitation department for S'chach. If you must put them in regular garbage, bag them separately in a non-see-through bag and dispose. Some gather the Lulavim in shul and burn them when baking Matzos, or with the burning of the chametz while the Esrogim are made into jam after Yom Tov.


ויעקב הלך לדרכו

Yaakov sets out on his journey to bring the inspiration of Tishrei into the rest of the year! Bon Voyage!