Sefirah and LagBaOmer Part III

To recap here is a general timeline of the development of the mourning customs during the days of Sefiras HaOmer: Some time during the first century CE Rabbi Akiva’s students all die during a period between Passover and Shavous Sixth Century The talmud records the story as an example of Rabbi Akiva’s teaching that if you taught students when you were young, you should teach…

Hoshana Rabbah – Why We Thrash – Part II

For those unfamiliar with the general practice of Hoshana Rabbah we will not get overly involved in the minutiae of the Jewish ritualistic law that surrounds it. Here is what you need to know: On all days of Sukkos all Jews circle the “bima” (place where the Torah is read from) once with the four species. On the last day this is done in a prolonged…