This article is an excerpt from our Sefer
Chapter 13: Hoshana Rabbah
The Hoshana Rabbah greetings:
Some are accustomed to greeting each other with Gut Yom Tov on Hoshana Rabbah. Likewise, on Hoshana Rabbah, some are accustomed to greeting each other with the blessing of Piska Tava, or a Gutten Kevittle. The Chabad custom, however, is not to do so.
1. The meaning of Hoshana Rabbah:
Hoshana Rabbah is a day of Judgment. During Sukkos we are judged regarding water [i.e. rain]. On Hoshana Rabbah, the judgment of the water is sealed. This is of significant importance to human life, as human life is dependent on water.
2. Blood test and bloodletting:
One is to beware not to let blood on Hoshana Rabbah. [Thus, one is not to have a blood test done on Hoshana Rabbah, and is certainly to avoid giving a blood donation, or having other form of blood work done, unless it involves a case of danger.]
3. The Aravos for Hoshanos:
On Hoshana Rabbah, an Arava is taken in addition to the Aravos that are bound with the Lulav. It is taken in commemoration of the Hakafos that were performed with the Aravos in the Temple, in which the Mizbeiach was encircled with the Arava branch. These Aravos are also referred to as Hoshanos.
Blessing: A blessing is not recited upon fulfilling the Mitzvah of Aravos for Hoshanos.
Who sells the Aravos for Hoshanos? The custom is for the Shamash of the Shul to sell the Aravos, just as was the custom during Temple times.
How many Aravos are taken: From the letter of the law it suffices to take a single willow branch for the Aravos of Hoshanos. Some were accustomed to take two Aravos. Others would take 17 Aravos attached to one branch. Nonetheless, according to Kabbalah one is to take five Aravos and so is the widespread custom of all Jewry. [The Chabad custom is to purchase a set of Hashanos for each family member, including one’s wife and children.]
Binding the Aravos: Some Poskim rule one is not to bind the Aravos together and they are rather to remain loose. Other Poskim rule one is to bind them together, and so is the Chabad custom. They are not to be bound together with any other item [i.e. another species]. Accordingly, some are particular to not bind them together using Lulav leaves [and rather they use another Arava for the binding]. Practically, it is permitted to bind them together using Lulav leaves, [and so is the Chabad custom and so is the custom of the world]. Nonetheless, it is proper to leave space by the bottom of the Aravos for them to be held by the hand without holding onto the Lulav leaf.
Is one to buy a set of Hashanos for each family member?
From the letter of the law, there is no requirement for every family member to perform Hoshanos. However, the widespread custom, as well as the Chabad custom, is to purchase a set of Hashanos for each family member, including one’s wife and even small children. If the child is an infant and cannot hit the Aravos themselves, then the parent is to hit it on the floor on their behalf.
May one pluck leaves from a Lulav that is no longer being used [i.e. after Hallel on Hoshana Rabbah] for the sake of binding the Hoshanos, as accustomed? 
If the spine of the Lulav is very short or has exactly 4 Tefach of spine, then leaves may not be plucked from it. If it is longer, then it is disputed amongst Poskim as to whether one may peel off leaves from the Lulav, even if 4 Tefachim of Lulav spine will remain, and practically, it is best to make a Tnaiy before Yom Tov that he may remove leaves from the Lulav for the sake of making knots.
How many leaves must the Arava have? From the letter of the law, it suffices for the Arava used for Hoshanos to contain even a single leaf throughout its entire branch. [Meaning, that even if all the leaves fell off, aside for a single leaf, it remains Kosher.] Nevertheless, it is degrading to use an Arava with one leaf on one branch, and therefore the custom is to make beautiful Hoshanos, as the verse states “Zeh Keili Veanveihu.”
Its length: The Arava for Hoshanos must contain the same minimum length as the Aravos used for the Lulav [i.e. 24 cm].
Other invalidations: The Kashrus status of the Arava for Hoshanos follows the same laws as the Aravos used for the Lulav [with exception to if majority of its leaves have fallen off]. [Thus, it may not be stolen, must contain at least one leaf that is not dry, cannot be cut on its top. See Chapter 9 for all details.]
Using the Aravos from the Lulav for Hoshanos? One does not fulfill his obligation with using the Aravos from his Lulav. This applies even if he lifts it twice, one time for Daled Minim, and the second for Hoshanos. However, some Poskim rule that one does fulfill his obligation [upon lifting it a second time]. [The above dispute is only if the Aravos are still bound to the Lulav. If, however, one removes the Aravos from the Lulav then it is valid according to all to use them for the Arava of Hoshanos. The above is according to Halacha, however, according to Kabbalah, one must be very careful to not use the Aravos of the Lulav for Hoshanos.]
Aravos of gentiles: Some Poskim rule that a Jew may not cut Aravos from the field of a gentile even if he received permission from the gentile. If, however, one plans to sell it or give it to another, then he may pick it. Likewise, a gentile may pick it on behalf of the Jew.
Aravos picked on Shabbos by gentiles: If gentiles [or non-religious Jews] cut the Aravos on Shabbos, as may occur when Hoshana Rabbah falls on Sunday, it is nevertheless permitted to be used. Nevertheless, a Jew may not instruct a gentile to cut them on Shabbos, or instruct him to have it ready by Motzei Shabbos. If one did so, then the Aravos should not be used if the matter is public knowledge and another Arava is available.
May one use Aravos from another person’s used Hoshana for his own Hoshanos?
If there are no other Aravos available for him to buy, one may use another person’s Aravos for his Hoshanos, so long as at least one leaf remains on the branch.
May one use Aravos from a used Hoshana for his Lulav?
Holding the Lulav with the Aravos: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden for one to join the Aravos of Hoshanos to the Daled Minim at the time that he is fulfilling the Mitzvah of Daled Minim. Other Poskim, however negate this prohibition. Practically, it is proper to suspect of their opinion. Once the Mitzvah of Daled Minim is fulfilled by saying the blessing and shaking the Lulav and Esrog even one time, it may be joined. It may certainly be joined during the Hakafos, [as explained next regarding the widespread custom]. However, upon performing the hitting ritual of the Aravos of Hoshanos, one is to only have the Aravos in his hands [and not the Lulav]. There is, however no invalidation to be holding onto other items during this time. [The above is according to Halacha, however, according to Kabalah, one must be very careful to never join the Aravos to the Lulav anytime, and so is the practical directive. So is the widespread custom today in all places.]
Hakafos with the Aravos: Some Poskim rule that one is not to perform the Hakafos around the Bimah using the Aravos and is rather to circle it with the Lulav just as was performed on the previous days. Practically, so is the proper directive. However, the widespread custom [in the times of the Shulchan Aruch] is to encircle the Bimah also with the Aravos of Hoshanos, aside for holding the Lulav. Those who do so should let go of the Lulav after finishing the Hakafos, and remain only with the Aravos in his hands throughout the reading of the Hoshanos for water. [Practically, as stated above, according to Kabalah one is to never join the Aravos with the Lulav, and so is the custom today of world Jewry to perform the Hakafos only with the Lulav and without the Aravos. Likewise, even one who does not own a Lulav, is not to perform the Hakafos with the Aravos of Hoshanos, and he is rather not to perform the Hakafos at all, as explained in Chapter 11 Halacha 13.]
The recital of Hoshanos with the Aravos: Some are accustomed to put down the Lulav and lift the Aravos for the recital of Hoshanos over water. One is to shake the Aravos upon reciting these Hoshanos. According to the Arzial, however, it is only to be lifted after the entire Hoshanos is complete and Kaddish is recited, and hence there are no Hakafos performed with the Aravos of Hoshanos. Practically, the Chabad custom is to do the entire Hakafos and recital of Hoshanos only with the Lulav, and to pick up the Aravos only after it is completed, and Kaddish is recited, when it is time for them to be hit.
Hitting the Aravos: After finishing all the Hakafos and reciting the additional prayer of Hoshanos over water [and the recital of the full Kaddish by the Chazan] one hits the Aravos on the floor or on a vessel two or three times. [According to Kabala, one is to hit it specifically on the floor and is to hit it five times to sweeten the five Gevuros. Some Poskim rule the Aravos must be hit hard enough for leaves to fall off. Many are thus accustomed to hit it on a chair and the like, in addition to hitting it on the ground, in order to make the leaves fall off. Others, however, negate this stating there is no need to remove any of the leaves, and on the contrary, the leaves are to remain intact throughout the five hits on the ground. Practically, the Chabad custom is to hit the Aravos five times only on the ground. After the hitting, the Yehi Ratzon printed in the Siddur is recited.]
Shaking the Aravos: Some Poskim rule one is also required to shake the Aravos. Practically, the Ashkenazi custom is to do both, to shake it and then to hit it. [Some are accustomed to shake it in all 6 directions like the Lulav. However, some Poskim rule that today this custom is no longer followed, and the Aravos are simply hit and not shaken. Practically, the witnessed Chabad custom is not to do so, and is to hit it without being shaken beforehand.]
What to do with the Aravos after hitting them: Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden to benefit from the Aravos after it is used for the Mitzvah [for that entire day] unless one made a stipulation beforehand. It is, however, permitted to discard the Hoshanos of the Lulav [to the garbage] although some Poskim rule that the Hoshanos may not be stepped on. Some have the custom to save the Aravos which were hit on Hoshana Rabbah and use them as fuel to burn the Chametz on Erev Pesach. Others are accustomed to save them for use of fuel to bake the Matzos. [Others are accustomed to throw the Aravos on top of the Aron. Others negate this custom. The Rebbe was not accustomed to throw the Aravos on top of the Aron. Others are particular to save the Aravos as a good omen and Segula as explained next. Based on this it is proper not to burn all the Aravos on Erev Pesach in order so some are saved for the Segula.] See Chapter 7 Halacha 5C!
Hitting the children with the Aravos:
The custom of the Chabad Rabbeim [as well as that of Tunisian and Morrocan Jewry] was to gently “whip” their sons with the Hoshanah branches. This included even their adult children. Children above age 18 received three light hits. Those below age 18 received one more “whip” than their age. Possibly, this custom is relevant to be followed also by the public, although was not traditionally followed by Chabad Chassidim [other than the Rabbeim]. One blesses the children upon doing so that they should know of no more pain throughout the year, and they should have both physical and spiritual joy.
3. The night of Hoshana Rabbah:
A. The omen of the moon on the night of Hoshana Rabbah:
The Rishonim record that on the night of Hoshana Rabbah there is an omen in the shadow of the moon regarding all that will occur to oneself, or to one’s relatives, during that year. Some write that one is not to pay any attention to this matter in order not to worsen one’s Mazal. Likewise, many do not understand the matter properly and it is hence better to act with simple faith and not look into the future.
One is to slightly increase in candles on Hoshana Rabbah just as is done on Yom Kippur.
C. Remaining awake throughout the night:
It is a custom of Jewry to remain awake throughout the entire night of Hoshanah Rabbah.
The Tikkun: One is to read the Tikun Leil Hoshana Rabbah during the night of Hoshana Rabbah. The Tikun of Hoshanah Rabbah consists of reading the entire Sefer Devarim [prior to midnight], followed by reading the entire Sefer Tehilim [after midnight], and passages from the Zohar selected in the Tikun. When reading Sefer Devarim before midnight one is to read Parshas Vizos Habracha as usual. It is only to be read Shnayim Mikra Echad Targum on the day prior to Simchas Torah.
Tehillim: After midnight the entire Tehillim is read with a Minyan while wearing a gartel. The reading is customarily not lengthy. The Yehi Ratzon for Hoshanah Rabbah, and for the rising of the moon is said after the reading of each of the five Sefarim, however, not the Yehi Ratzon of Yom Tov. [However, some also read the Yehi Ratzon for Yom Tov.]
Apple dipped in honey: After the conclusion of Tehilim it is customary for the Gabai to distribute apples which are to be dipped in honey and subsequently eaten in the Sukkah. This custom is applicable as well for Shuls which don’t have a Sukkah as each one can eat the apple in his Sukkah at home. Before eating the apple one should wash his hands in the same ay one washes for bread. This applies to any food dipped in one of the 7 liquids.
Immersing in a Mikveh: Those who are meticulous immerse in a Mikvah before dawn, just as is done on Erev Yom Kippur. [This was the custom of the Rebbe Rashab and was also followed by the Chasidim. However many are not careful in this.]
Some Poskim rule that one is to refrain from marital relations on the night of Hoshana Rabbah [until after Simchas Torah]. From other sources however it is evident that it is not necessary to abstain from marital relations on the night of Hoshana Rabbah.
Mikveh Night: If the night of Hoshana Rabbah is the night of Mikvah then one is obligated to have intercourse that night. [One who refrains from doing so is considered as if he is performing a Mitzvah as a result of an Aveira.]
Strong desire: Those who feel a strong desire or are troubled by forbidden thoughts are better to have intercourse than to come to doing a sin.
The day of Hoshana Rabbah
4. The dress code-Wearing a kittle:
5. Shaking the Lulav:
It is customary to remove the knots of the Lulav on Hoshana Rabbah. The knots are removed only from the top part of the Lulav [by the spine]. [Some are accustomed to do so prior to Hallel, to remove the two upper rings which are bound on the Lulav, and so is the Chabad custom. Others, however, are accustomed to remove the rings only after Hallel, prior to the Hakafos of Hoshanos. On Hoshana Rabbah one is to increase in the shaking of the Lulav and do so with great joy.]
What to do with the Daled Minim after their last shaking: See Chapter 16 Halacha 5B!
6. Abstaining from mundane activity:
It is customary on Hoshana Rabbah to abstain from performing mundane activities until after leaving Shul [after Shacharis]. Some are accustomed to not even carry a wallet with them [until after leaving Shul]. Now, however the custom in some communities is to even collect money in Shul [during Shacharis] and doing so is improper.
It is proper to increase in charity on Hoshana Rabbah in order to sweeten the Gevuros.
8. The morning prayers on Hoshana Rabbah:
A. Adding parts to Davening:
On the seventh day which is Hoshana Rabbah, it is customary [of many communities] to increase in Psalms as is done on Yom Tov. [The Chabad custom on Hoshana Rabbah is not to change from the regular order of a weekday Davening.] It is customary to increase in prayer and supplication on behalf of water. [These supplications are recited in the lengthy Hoshana prayers said on Hoshana Rabbah.]
Hoshanos: On Hoshana Rabbah all the Sifrei Torah are removed from the Aron for Hoshanos [and brought to the Bimah]. The Sifrei Torah are held by different people around the Bimah [as opposed to being placed on the Bimah]. One circles the Bimah seven times [with the 4 minim] each time saying the appropriate paragraph as printed in the Siddur. The circling is done in memory of the encircling of the Mizbeiach that took place in the times of the Mikdash. The Nusach of Hoshanos includes an increase of supplications regarding rainwater. One does not circle the Bimah holding the Aravos for Hoshanos, as explained in Halacha 3.
One who does not have a Lulav: One without a Lulav does not encircle the Bimah for Hoshanos. This applies even by Hoshanah Rabbah, as explained in Halacha 3C.
Hitting the Aravos: After finishing all the Hakafos and reciting the additional prayer of Hoshanos over water, one hits the Aravos five times on the ground. See Halacha 3C!
Kaddish: It is customary to recite the Kaddish that follows Musaf in a Yom Tov tune. [This is not the witnessed Chabad practice.]
9. Shnayim Mikra:
Outside of Israel one reads Shenaim Mikrah Viechad Targum of Parshas Vezos Habracha on Shemini Atzeres, while in Israel it is read on Hoshanah Rabbah. See Chapter 14 Halacha 9!
10. The Hoshana Rabbah meal:
It is customary to hold a festive meal on Hoshanah Rabbah [abiding by the limitations to be explained], after the conclusion of the prayers. Customarily one dips one’s bread in honey for the meal. As well the custom is to eat kreplach during the meal.
11. Meal limitations on Hoshanah Rabbah due to it being Erev Shemini Atzeres:
* These laws follow the same laws as Erev Shabbos. For the full details of this subject-See our Sefer “The Laws & Customs of Erev Shabbos” Chapter 5
A large feast: It is forbidden for one to establish a large feast on Erev Yom Tov, which one is not accustomed to eating during the week, if the feast involves drinking alcoholic beverages. It is forbidden to eat such a feast even in the morning of Erev Yom Tov.
A regular meal: It is a Mitzvah to abstain from starting a regular meal past the 10th hour [i.e. three Zmaniyos/fluctuating hours before sunset] of Erev Yom Tov, just as is the law regarding Erev Shabbos. [However, on Erev Sukkos and Erev Pesach it is not merely a Mitzvah to refrain from eating but is an actual prohibition to eat a meal past the 10th hour of the day. It is however permitted to eat a meal prior to the 10th hour of the day, even on Erev Sukkos.]
Eating a snack: The above is only with regards to a set meal [i.e. 55 grams of bread], however it is permitted to eat a mere snack up until sunset, and there is no need to refrain from doing so.
May one eat a meal past the 10th hour if he did not eat prior? If one transgressed or forgot and did not eat a meal prior to the 10th hour of the day, then he may eat a meal past the 10th hour [with exception to Erev Pesach and Erev Sukkos].
May one eat past the 10th hour on the first day of Yom Tov: On the first day of a two-day Yom Tov, as occurs by all Yomim Tovim in the Diaspora, and on Rosh Hashana in Israel, one is to eat the first day Yom Tov meal prior to the 10th hour of the day. However, if one has not done so, then he is to eat the meal even past the 10th hour.
A Seudas Mitzvah: The above prohibition only applies with regards to an optional feast, or a Seudas Mitzvah which is optional in terms of the date in which one must set it for, and it is thus possible for one to delay it to a later date. However, a Seudas Mitzvah which has fallen out to be eaten specifically on Erev Yom Tov may be set on Erev Yom Tov. Nevertheless, even when the date of a Seudas Mitzvah falls on Erev Yom Tov one is to initially begin the meal prior to the 10th hour of the day and he should only invite ten people besides for close relatives and the Baalei Hasimcha. The following is the list of Seudas Mitzvah occasions which may be celebrated on Erev Yom Tov: Bris Mila [whether it being the 8th day after birth or past the 8th day after birth]; Wedding feast; Pidyon Haben [if it is taking place on its proper time which is the 31st day after birth].
On Erev Yom Tov one is to refrain from beginning a meal past the 10th hour of the day, which is three Zmaniyos/fluctuating hours before sunset. Snacks may be eaten throughout the day, even past the 10th hour. If one transgressed or forgot and did not eat prior to the 10th hour, then he may not eat a meal.
Seudas Mitzvah: It is forbidden to eat a large meal any time on Yom Tov unless it is a Seudas Mitzvah which its date has fallen on Erev Yom Tov. In such a case, one is to initially begin the meal prior to the 10th hour of the day and should only invite ten people besides for close relatives and the Baalei Hasimcha.
12. Taking down the Sukkah:
Diaspora: In the Diaspora, it is an obligation to eat in the Sukkah even on Shemini Atzeres, as explained next, and hence the Sukkah must remain in its erect state.
Eretz Yisrael: Even in Eretz Yisrael that the Mitzvah of Sukkah culminates with the start of the Holiday, one is not to take down the Sukkah until after Shemini Atzeres. There is also no need to make any changes to its structure before Shemini Atzeres, unless one plans to eat in it on Simchas Torah as explained in Chapter 15 Halacha 2. Nevertheless, one may remove the furniture from the Sukkah starting from midday of Erev Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah in order to set up his home for the holiday. [Furthermore, it is implied that one is to specifically remove the furniture from his Sukkah before Simchas Torah, even if he does not need to use it at home, and so was the custom of some Gedolei Yisrael to remove the chairs and tables from the Sukkah to show that its Mitzvah has culminated.]
Benefiting from the Sukkah and its decorations: The Sukkah and all its decorations are forbidden in benefit throughout the entire holiday of Sukkos including Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. This applies whether the decorations are attached to the Sechach or the walls of the Sukkah. Thus, if one hung fruits and other delicacies in his Sukkah for the sake of decorations, then they are forbidden in benefit and may not be eaten throughout all the days of the festival until after the 8th day in Eretz Yisrael, and after the ninth day in the Diaspora. This applies even if the decoration fell off the Sukkos. See Chapter 1 Halacha 14C for the full details of this subject!
13. Entering Sukkah for last time:
In Eretz Yisrael [with the approach of sunset on the afternoon of Hoshana Rabbah] some are accustomed to [enter the Sukkah and stay there for some time, and] prior to leaving the Sukkah they recite “Yehi Ratzon Shenizkeh Leishev Basukkah Shel Levyason.” [The Chabad custom is for one to enter the sukkah (and eat or drinks something there) to bid it farewell, but one does not recite the prayer that of Yehi Ratzon.]
14. Shehechiyanu by candle lighting:
The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited during candle lighting of Shemini Atzeres.
The psalm of Ledavid is recited daily until Hoshana Rabbah, including Hoshana Rabbah. [It is not recited starting from Shemini Atzeres.]
 See Aruch Hashulchan 664:13
 Sefer Haminhagim [p. 146 English edition] from the Friediker Rebbe [Sefer Hasichos 1948 Sichas Hoshanah Raba] that we do not say Gmar Chasima Tovah or Piska Tova on Hoshana Rabba.
 Taz 664:1
 Admur 468:23; M”A 468:15
 Michaber 664:1; Mishneh Rosh Hashanah 16a
 Admur 468:23; M”A 468:15 in name of Maharil
 The reason: As Hoshanah Raba is a time of judgment. [Admur ibid]
 See Nitei Gavriel 8:3 regarding Erev Shavuos based on Admur 468:23
 Siddur Admur
 Michbaer 664:2; Sukkah 44b
 Taz 664:2
 See Michaber 664:8 and Rama 664:9
 Michaber 664:2
 Rama 664:2; Ran
 Michaber 664:4 “Bad Echad”; Rav Sheshes in Sukkah 44b
 M”A 664:7 in name of Migdal Oz
 M”A 664:7 in name of Gaon
 Beir Heiytiv 664:5; Kaf Hachaim 664:33; Likkutei Maharich 105
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 334-336 and that so was custom of Rebbe Rashab and Rebbe Rayatz; The Rebbe prepared Hoshanos for the Rebbetzin
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:4
 M”A 664:7 in name of Migdal Oz and Asara Mamaros; Opinion in M”B 664:4
 M”B ibid in name of Ramaz and that so is our custom; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 334
 Michaber 664:5; However, see Orchos Rabbeinu 2:304 that he would bind the Aravos using a rubber band or string
 P”M 664 A”A 4
 Makpidim brought in M”A 664:4; See Machatzis Hashekel 664:4
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 334 and that so was custom of Rebbe Rashab
 M”A 664:4 and 7; Kaf Hachaim 664:35; Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:4
Other opinions: See Kaf Hachaim 664:35
 Bikureiy Yaakov 664:11
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:3
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 334-336 and that so was custom of Rebbe Rashab and Rebbe Rayatz; The Rebbe prepared Hoshanos for the Rebbetzin; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 10 that so is the custom to prepare Hoshanos even for newborn children and it is based on an old custom found in Minhagei Wormz, and is similar to the custom today of Machatzis Hashekel and Kaparos
 See Michaber 665:1; Admur 649:20; M”A 649:19 and Machatzis Hashekel there; Tosafos Sukkah 46b; Daas Torah 651:4; Eitz Hasadeh 650 7; Luach Eretz Yisrael Tukichinsky; Nitei Gavriel 40:24; However, see Kinyan Torah 5:70 who argues that it is forbidden to be done even past the four Tefach mark; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:4 and footnote 16
 The reason: The Daled Minim are considered designated for their Mitzvah for the entire seven-day period of Sukkos [and even Shemini Atzeres in the Diaspora due to Sfeika Deyoma] and thus ideally may not be used for other purposes until after Yom Tov Achron. However, some Poskim rule that this is only true regarding the minimum Shiur of the Daled Minim, as past the minimum Shiur it was never designated for a Mitzvah and therefore may be used as one wishes. [Poskim ibid]
 Luach Eretz Yisrael and Nitzei Gavriel ibid rule leniently based on M”A and Machatzis Hahsekel ibid, however Kinyan Torah and Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid argue and rule it should not be used
 Michaber 664:4
 Rama ibid; Tur in name of Rav Haiy Gaon
 Michaber 664:4
 Rama 664:4
 M”A 664:5
 See Michaber 664:10; Taz 664:6; P”M 664 A”A 5
 P”M 664 A”A 5
 Michaber 664:6
 Stam opinion in Michaber ibid; Tur 664 in name of Rambam
 Yeish Omrim in Michaber ibid; Tur 664 in name of Rosh and Avi Ezri
 M”B 664:21
 M”B 664:21
 Kaf Hachaim 664:42
The reason: As the Aravos of the Lulav represents Chesed, while the Arava of Hoshanos represents Gevura. [See Kaf Hachaim 664:32]
 Michaber 664:10 in name of Yeish Mi Sheomer; Admur 649:8 regarding all Daled Minim
 Adamur ibid
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:8
 Michaber 664:11
 Rama ibid
 M”A 664:11
 Rama ibid
 Zekan Aron 1:30; Devar Yehoshua 4:74; Shevet Halevi 2:58; Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:3
 Michaber 664:7
 Yeish Mi Sheomer in Michaber 664:7; Rashba; Shlomo the son of Rashbatz in name of Geonim
 The reason: This is forbidden due to Baal Tosif. [Michaber ibid]
 Michaber ibid “The attributing of a Baal Tosif prohibition to one who does so in my opinion is a mistake”; Rama ibid that so is the widespread custom to join the Aravos to the Lulav during the Nanuim
 Michaber ibid “Although the attributing of a Baal Tosif prohibition to one who does so in my opinion is a mistake, nevertheless there is no loss to suspect for their opinion.”
 Michaber ibid “The above opinion writes, that after the taking and shaking [of the Lulav] one must take the Aravos alone in order to it is recognizable that it is being done for the obligation. While hitting it, it must be taken alone, and he then fulfills his obligation”
 Michaber 664:5
 M”A 664:8 in name of Arizal; Shlah brought in Machatzis Hashekel ibid; M”B 664:26; Kaf Hachaim 664:32; Shaar Hakolel 48:9 based on Admur in Siddur; Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:6; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 338
The reason: As the Lulav represents Chesed, while the Arava represents Gevura. [See Kaf Hachaim 664:32]
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:6
 Michaber and Rama 664:3 and 7
 Yeish Mi Shemoner in Michaber 664:3; Ran; Rashi; Rambam
 Rama 664:7 “It is better not to take it with the Lulav at all”
 Michaber 664:3 that so is custom; 664:7 “certainly during the Hakafos”; Rama 660:2 “On the 7th day one takes the Arava with the Lulav for Hakafos”; Rama 664:7 “The widespread custom is to join the Aravos to the Lulav during the Nanuim of Shacharis and during the Hakafos, until the hitting”
 Rama ibid
 Opinion in Rama 660:2 and that so is custom; Tur 660 in name of Rashi and Ran; Opinion of Mekubalim brought in Kaf Hachaim 660:13-14 and 664:32 in name of Chida regarding Hoshana Raba; Ikareiy Hadaat 33
 Shalah ibid; Bikureiy Yaakov 664:21; M”B 660:8; See Rama ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 663:6 that so is the custom of the world
 Rama ibid
 Bikurei Yaakov 664:21; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:6
 Implication of Siddur Admur which writes to take the Aravos only after the Hoshanos recital; Shaar Hakolel 48:9; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 338
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:5
 Rama 664:7
 Siddur Admur
 Michaber 664:4
 M”A 664:5 in name of Mekubalim; Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Halulav 6; M”B 664:19 in name of Arizal; Poskim in next footnote
 Siddur Admur; Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Halulav 6; P”M 664 A”A 5; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 793; M”B 664:19
 Bikureiy Yosef 664 in name of Maharit
 P”M 664 A”A 5 first chair and then leaves; M”B 664:19 writes to hit it first 5 times on the ground and then on the chair
 Kaf Hachaim 664:37; See Kitzur SHU”A 138:3; See Chayeh Adam 153:3 and Makor Chaim 664 that the hitting until the leaves fall off is child’s play; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:5 and footnote 18
 Siddur Admur; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 340
 Opinion in Rama ibid; Tur 664 in name of Rashi
 Rama ibid; Aruch Hashulchan 663:3 concludes to be stringent like the Rama
 Sefer Divrei Yechezkal of Shinov
 See Aruch Hashulchan ibid
 Omitted from Otzer Minhagei Chabad and so is the widespread custom as can be witnessed. Vetzaruch Iyun
 Michaber 664:9 in name of Yeish Mi Sheomer; Hagahos Maimanis in name of Yireim
The reason: As it has been designated for the Mitzvah for that entire day. [Michaber ibid]
 Michaber 664:8
 Michaber 664:8 in name of Yeish Mi Sheomer; Hagahos Ashri in name of Or Zarua
 Admur 445:12; Or Zarua p. 84; Rokeaich 19; Maharil Erev Pesach p. 48; Mahrashal; 87; Chok Yaakov 445:3
The reason: The reason for this is because anything used to do one mitzvah it is proper to do with it another Mitzvah. [Admur ibid; 21:1]
 Rama 664:9 that so is custom in order to add a Mitzvah; Maharil; Rav Yaakov Viyaal
 Maharsham 4:53; Malbushei Yom Tov [on Levush] 664:1; Bikurei Yaakov 664:16; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664 footnote 24
 Darkei Chaim Veshalom 793 as the Aravos end up being discarded in a belittling manner after the Holiday when they are cleaned from the Aron.
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 340 “At times he placed them in his Siddur, at times he placed them on the chair, and at times he simply left them on the floor.”
The Rebbe’s custom: The custom of Beis Harav is to burn the Hoshanos in close proximity to the festival. [See Reshimos Hayoman p. 266; Ohalei Lubavitch p. 166; Hiskashrus Simchas Torah]
 Tanya [Kadmon] 86 “It is an old custom that each person takes the Aravos used for Hoshanos to his house and places it near his bed out of dearness for the Mitzvah.”; Menoras Hamaor 3:4 “The Aravos of Hoshanos have a special Segula for safety during travel”
 See Alef Lamagen 660:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 664 footnote 27
 Sefer Hasichos 5705 p. 52; Igros Kodesh Rayatz [in letter to his daughters and son in-law] 15:67 “B”H, Hoshanah Raba 5690, My daughter Chanah, Chayah Mushkah, Shayna, and my son in-law Menachem Mendel, my grandson Shalom Dovber, Today is Hoshanah Raba and the custom is that the father hits the children with the Aravos, and blesses them that they should not know of any more smites throughout the year, and be happy spiritually and physically. I am now after Davening, and I did in my room as if you my children were standing next to me”; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 238; Reshimos Hayoman p. 266; Source for custom in non-Chabad literature: Nahagu Yisrael end of last chapter; Alei Hadas [Minhagei Algeria] p. 543; Or Shivas Hayamim p. 54 as custom of Morrocan Jewry; Sefer Moadim Lesimcha p. 446; Source of Minhagei Simcha on Hoshanah Raba: Sukkah 4:7
 See Alei Hadas [Minhagei Algeria] p. 543; Or Shivas Hayamim p. 54
 Sefer Hasichos ibid
 Implication of Rebbe Rayatz in letter to Rebbe where he writes “Today Hoshanah Raba the custom is that the father hits the children with the Hoshanos.”; Now, in general, when a Chabad Rebbe states that the custom is to do such and such, it becomes a public directive, or at least a custom followed by the public, although there are exceptions to this rule. One could however potentially argue, that the above letter was referring to the Rebbe Rayatz’s personal custom and not that of all general fathers, and hence explain why in the public talk he specified it as a custom of the Beis Harav [even though on this latter point one can argue he was referring to all the details of the custom and not the general custom]. It also remains to be understood why none of this was mentioned in Sefer Haminhagim, not even as a custom of Beis Harav, and perhaps the reason for this is because it is not specifically a Chabad practice. Indeed, we find in the customs of Algerian and Moroccan Jewry, that the fathers would bring home their Aravos and likely hit their family members with it, wishing them a good year. Whatever the case, I see nothing wrong with people adapting this custom, and it is similar to many other customs that were followed on the last day of Sukkos for the sake of joy, as brought in the Mishnah in Sukkos.
Does this custom apply to both sons and daughters? It is unclear from the wording found in the above sources if the Hebrew term sons and children is intended to be exclusive or inclusive of daughters. Certainly, however, the concept applies to children of both genders, and indeed in the letter of the Rebbe Rayatz, he includes his daughters, son in-law, and grandson.
 Reply of Rav Eli Landa in correspondence that he had never witnessed or even heard of this custom being followed by us, that the father whips his child with the Aravos. [As can likely be assumed, his father, Rav Yaakov Landau OBM, did not follow this custom at home, despite having possibly witnessed it by the Rebbe Rashab who did so to his son the Rebbe Rayatz. This further emphasizes the idea that the above matter was a select custom of the Rabbeim and not a directive to the public. Although, once again, the wording in the letter speaks to the contrary.]
 Igros Kodesh ibid
 Rama 664:1; See Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Halulav 5
 The Rama ibid concludes “so it appears to me”
 Michaber 664:1
 The reason: As on Sukkos one is judged on the water. [Michaber ibid]
 M”A 664:1; Shivlei Haleket; Peri Eitz Chaim 29; M”B 664:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:1
 M”A 664:1; M”B 664:1; Hayom Yom
 Some are accustomed to read it from a Sefer Torah [Mishmeres Shalom Kudinav 45; Nimukei Orach Chaim 669; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 145
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 68
 See Hisvadyus 5743 1:249; 5749 1:189; 5750 1:193 footnote 33; Hiskashrus
 Sichas Leil Hoshanah Raba 5745 and 5747; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 333
 Shaar Halacha Uminhag
 So brings also Hiskashrus; See end of seder netilas yadayim in sidur; Kovetz haaros ubiurim 5764
 Rama 664:1
 Oatzer p. 333; Hiskashrus 637
 Hiskashrus 950
 Or Tzadikim 27:11 “It is customary to abstain”; Shiyurei Kneses Hagedola 240:1 and 664:1 “it is proper to abstain”, brought in Elya Raba 240:1 and Kaf Hachaim 664:21; Beir Heiytiv 664:4 “It has the same status as the night of Shavuos”; Bikureiy Yaakov 664:4 based on Kisvei Arizal “Is forbidden”; Taharas Yisrael 240:6; M”B 664:8 “It has the same status as the night of Shavuos”
 The reason: As it is the night of the Chasima. [Kneses Hagedola ibid]
 No mention of abstinence on the night of Hoshana Raba is mentioned in the writings of the Arizal, or the Poskim in which the ruling of the Arizal is brought down. [See following Poskim who all omit Hoshana Raba: M”A 240:3; Beir Heiytiv 240:4; M”B 240:7; Kaf Hachaim 240:5]. Some Poskim thus concludes that there is no need to suspect for the above opinions, and one may thus have marital relations. [Olas Tamid 240:4; Kaf Hachaim 240:5; Elya Raba ibid records the ruling of the Kneses Hagedola, although then brings the ruling of the Olas Tamid]
 Shlah p. 213 brought in Kaf Hachaim 581:86 regarding the night of Rosh Hashanah
 M”B 240:7; 581:26; Kaf Hachaim 240:5; See Seder Hayom brought in Kaf Hachaim 581:86; Machazik Bracha 581:4; Ben Ish Chai Netzavim 9; Chayeh Adam 139:7; Kaf Hachaim 581:88.
 Rama 664:1
 The reason: As on Sukkos one is judged on the water. [Michaber ibid]
 Oatzer Minhagei Chabad p. 336; Shevach Hamoadim p.89
 Michaber 664:1; Tur 664; Mordechai Sukkah 3
The reason: This is done in order to increase in shaking, as the shaking banishes the bad winds and rains. [Bach 664 in name of Mordechai] Alternatively, this is done in order to increase in joy, as the more the Lulav shakes the more joyous it is. [Levush 664] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:2
 Beir Hagoleh 664
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 68; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 793; See end of 664:1 in Beir Hagolah; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Siddur Yaavetz; Likkutei Maharich
 Likkutei Sichos 4:1368
 Rama 664:1
 M”A 664:1; Levush 664
 M”A ibid
 Hisvadyos 1984 1:294
 Michaber 664:1; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 664:1
 Some are accustomed on Hoshana Rabba to add to Davening the sections said on Shabbos/Yom Tov before Baruch Sheamar. They say Ein Kamocha and Shema Yisrael as is done on every Yom Tov. Kaddish after Mussaf in the Yom Tov tune and are accustomed to wear a kittle. [Rama 664:1] Some also say Mizmor Shir Leyom Hashabbos after Baruch Sheamar. [P”M 664 A”A 1; Hagahos Chochmas Shlomo 664; See Ashel Avraham Butchach 664 that it is said before Baruch Sheamar]
Nishmas: Nishmas is not recited within Davening. [Rama ibid] However, some communities are accustomed to reciting it. [Likkutei Maharich; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]
Mizmor Lesoda: Mizmor Lesoda is recited on Hoshanah Rabba as usual. [Rama ibid]
Shir Hamalos Mimamakim: Some communities are accustomed to reciting Shir Hamalos Mimamakim after Yishtabach, just like on Aseres Yimei Teshuvah. [Minhagei Maryu 683; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]
Leila Ulieila: Some communities are accustomed to reciting Leila Uleiela in Kaddish, just like on Aseres Yimei Teshuvah. [Taamei Haminhagim p. 355; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]
Hamelech Hakadosh and Hamelech Hamishpat: Some communities are accustomed to reciting Hamelech Hakadosh and Hamelech Hamishpat, just like on Aseres Yimei Teshuvah. [Tiferes Yisrael on Rosh end of Brachos in name of Maharam Merothenberg; Daas Torah 664; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]
 Oatzer Minhagei Chabad p. 336; Shevach hamoadim p.89
 Sefer Haminhagim; see end 664:1 Beir Hagolah
 Likkutei Sichos 4:1368
 Rama 660:1 in name of Minhagim that so is custom in some places, and so is the custom in these provinces; Sefer Haminhagim p. 68; Sefer Hasichos 1948 Hoshanah Raba
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that on Hoshana Raba one is to remove seven Sifrei Torah from the Aron and place it by the Bima. [Rama 660:1 in name of Mahril]
 Gloss of Rebbe on Luach Kolel Chabad; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 338
 Michaber 660:1; 664:1; Siddur Admur
 Michaber 660:1; See Taz 660:1
 Michaber 664:1
 Opinion in Rama 660:2 and that so is custom; Tur 660 in name of Rashi and Ran
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the custom is to encircle the Bima even if one does not have a Lulav. [Michaber 660:2; Orchos Chaim]
 Rama 664:1
 See Aruch Hashulchan 664:13
 Sefer Haminhagim, brought in Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 341
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 342; Likkutei Maharich
 Admur 249:6 regarding Erev Shabbos
 Admur 529:2; 249:6 regarding Erev Shabbos; 639:20 regarding Sukkos; Rama 529:1
 The Rama 529:1 however states that it is forbidden just like on Erev Shabbos. Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as by Erev Shabbos itself it is only a Mitzvah and not an obligation. The Mishneh Berurah [529:5] thus concludes that this wording is inaccurate, and it really intends to say “a Mitzvah”. To note however that also the Magen Avraham [668:1] rules that it is forbidden to eat past Mincha of Erev Shemini Atzeres. Vetzaruch Iyun
 The reason: This is in order so one be able to eat the Yom Tov meal with an appetite, as this is included within the Mitzvah of Kavod. [Admur ibid]
 471:1-2 regarding Erev Pesach; 639:20 regarding Erev Sukkos
The reason: This is due to juxtaposition made from Sukkos to Pesach in which we learn that just like on Pesach one may not eat a meal past the 10th hour, similarly, on Sukkos one may not eat a meal past the 10th hour. [639:20]
 Admur 639:20 writes “Min Hamincha Ulimalah”; This seemingly means the 10th hour, as rules Admur 249:9 regarding Erev Shabbos; 471:1-2 regarding Erev Pesach and 529:2 regarding Erev Yom Tov, and there is no reason in Admur to assume that Erev Sukkos is any different, since he makes no explicit differentiation and so rules Kaf Hachaim 639:60 in opinion of Admur ibid. So also rule regarding Erev Sukkos: Implication of M”A 639:12 who questions Rama and so concludes Kaf Hachaim ibid that so is ruling of Admur and M”A ibid; Gr”a 639; Mishneh Berurah 639:27; See background and other opinions
Background of ruling of Admur regarding Erev Sukkos: Regarding Erev Sukkos, Admur 639:20 writes one is to abstain from eating “Min Hamincha Ulimalah.” This seemingly refers to Mincha Ketana or “Samuch Limincha” which refers to the 10th hour of the day. This explanation that “Min Hamincha” refers to 10th hour is found in Rama 529 who rules that it is forbidden to eat Erev Yom Tov from “Hamincha Ulimala” and the Magen Avraham 529:1 explains this to refer to the 10th hour of the day, and so rules Admur in 529:2. However, Tzaruch Iyun as for why Admur here did not also just simply state the 10th hour, as he wrote in 529:2, and especially in light of fact that in all the Halachas mentioned of not eating on Erev Chag/Shabbos Admur mentions specifically the 10th hour. [249:9 regarding Erev Shabbos; 471:1-2 regarding Erev Pesach, and 529:2 regarding Erev Yom Tov] As well, the question intensifies over the fact that the Rama 639:3 rules it is forbidden to eat a meal on Erev Sukkos from Chatzos and seemingly if Admur were trying to argue on the Rama he should have stated clearly without doubt of its meaning that he holds it’s from the 10th hour. Thus, although we find a source for ruling that Min Hamincha refers to 10th hour, it is puzzling why Admur did not just state this explicitly. Vetzaruch Iyun.
Other opinions regarding Erev Sukkos: Some Poskim rules it is forbidden to eat a meal from midday of Erev Sukkos just as is the law on Erev Pesach. [Rama 639:3] Some Poskim question this ruling of the Rama. [M”A 639:12; Gr”a] Other Poskim rule that bread may not be eaten from midday of Erev Sukkos while other foods are to be abstained from 10th hour. [Chayeh Adam 147:17; P”M 639 A”A 12; Kitzur SHU”A; Kaf Hachaim ibid] Other Poskim rule one is to eat his meal prior to midday, although if one did not yet eat he may nevertheless eat a meal until the 10th hour. [Mateh Efraim 625:7]
Question on ruling of Rama ibid: The M”A 639:12 questions the Rama ibid that on Erev Pesach it is only forbidden to start a meal from the 10th hour. He answers that bread [which one cannot eat on Erev Pesach] is more filling than other foods, and thus bread which can be eaten on Erev Sukkos we are more stringent and forbid it from midday. However, he concludes with asking a) what is the source for such a differentiation, and b) why does the Rama conclude as explained in the laws of Pesach. He thus concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun. Some Poskim learn the Magen Avraham’s final stance is to be arguing on the Rama that even bread is only forbidden from after the 10th hour. [Kaf Hachaim ibid] Other Poskim learn him to accept the differentiation that he made between bread and other foods. [Chayeh Adam ibid; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch] The Gr”a explains that the Rama holds like the Rishonim who forbid eating form midday, but that is not how we rule as explained in Hilchos Pesach that we rule it may be eaten until 10th. The Chok Yaakov argues on differentiation of Magen Avraham and rather explains that Rama always holds even by Pesach that the prohibition to eat Mezonos or Hamotzi foods begin from midday, and it is just because that eating Mezonos/Hamoitzi on Erev Pesach is not done being that we do not eat Matza Ashira anymore, that the Rama did not say so in Hilchos Pesach. [Based on this explanation it is evident that Admur clearly does not rule like Rama being that he clearly states in 471:1-2 that Matzah Ashirah may be eaten on Erev Pesach until the 10th hour, which according to the Chok Yaakov’s explanation of the Rama is incorrect.]
 Admur 249:9 regarding Erev Shabbos
 Ketzos Hashulchan 69 footnote 11; See Shiureiy Torah p. 177: 57.6 grams
 Admur 529:2
 Admur 529:2
 Admur 249:6 regarding Erev Shabbos; M”A 581:11 regarding a Bris Mila on Erev Rosh Hashanah.
 Admur ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan 69 footnote 8
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that the meal should be eaten in the morning [prior to midday]. [Mishneh Berurah 249:13; Kaf Hachaim 249:14; 581:66] This is based on the ruling of the Rama 695:2 that when Purim falls on Erev Shabbos one is to start the meal prior to midday. The Ketzos Hashulchan 69 footnote 8 however argues that one cannot learn from the Purim feast laws that all meals of a Seudas Mitzvah are to be eaten prior to midday as there is much greater of a chance of becoming drunk by a Purim meal, and hence it was initially set to be eaten before midday. However, other feasts of a Seudas Mitzvah can be eaten even initially up to the 10th hour.
 Michaber 666:1; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 666:1
 The reason: As one has an obligation to eat, drink, and dwell in it until the start of Shemini Atzeres. [M”B 666:1]
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 666:1, however there he writes that from the letter of the law there is no need, unlike the implication of Michaber ibid
 Admur ibid; Michaber 638:2; Rambam 6:16; Sukkah 10a
The reason: The reason for this is because using for other purposes the decorations that were designated for the Mitzvah is a belittlement of the Mitzvah. [Admur ibid; Shabbos 22a]
 Rama 667:1; Kol Bo; See Kaf Hachaim 667:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 667 footnote 4
 See Kaf Hachaim 667:7
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 147 [English Edition]
 Michaber 669:1
 The reason: As Shemini Atzeres is considered a separate festival than Sukkos 
 Siddur Admur; Chida in Moreh Baetzba ibid; See Shaar Hakolel 11:28; 45:6 that the Segula of Ledavid applies only until Hoshana Raba as on Hoshana Raba the judgment is complete, and we no longer need to ask Hashem to prevent the Kelipos from nurturing from holiness.
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is said until Shemini Atzeres, including Shemini Atzeres. [Siddur Reb Shabsi; M”B 581:2; Sheim Tov Katan; Siddur Beis Yaavetz-additions of the editor] Some rule it is said only until Yom Kippur. [brought in M”B ibid; See Shaar Hakolel 11:28]