Monday, October 04, 2010

When do we do Hoshanot?

Housekeeping post

Last week, a few of us were trying to determine which of the two Hoshanas customs was the older one. I wrote that I assumed (with no evidence) that the original custom had been to say Hoshanas after musaf. I speculated (also with no evidence) that the early hasidim moved the prayer to right after hallel as a convenience for those who wanted or needed to leave early.

Rob replied
I was always under the impression that until recently everyone did Hoshanos after hallel and that only in the last century did Ashkenazim switch it to after mussaf to accomodate the late arriving women. Not sure where I ever heard that.
Over Yom Tov I checked the Shulchan Orech/Rama and Mishna Brurah; neither seem to specify a time for saying Hoshanas, though based on the order of the chapters, I could argue that all assumed the Hoshanas were being said after musaf. (The chapter which provides the instructions for saying Hoshanas is after the chapters on Halel, Torah reading and musaf.) Meanwhile, E-Fink was checking a 16th century machzor. Here is what he found:
According to my Italian Machzor from 1550, Hoshanos were........ (drum roll please...)

...after Mussaf.
Still no evidence to support my supposition about the early hasidim, though. It's also possible, I suppose, that the Ari or early Hasidic leaders changed the order of Tefillah for "mystical" reasons.

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