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Hoshana Raba

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanTishrei 21, 5778
236
Question
I’ve been celebrating Sukkot for 55 years now and my Baal Teshuva wife tells me Hoshana Raba is a Yom Tov like Shabbat, no driving etc. When did this begin? I’m Sephardic Halabi. I’ve not learned this in the 20 years I spent in yeshiva. She gets info from everywhere like facebook and every other weird source. I’m concerned because what she does is what the kids learn. Please advise.
Answer
ב"ה Shalom Hoshana Raba, as far as doing Melacha is concerned, is like any other day of Chol Hamoed. Anything which is permitted on Chol Hamoed may be done on Hoshana Raba. This applies to all Jews Sefardim and Askenazim. Therefore, you are permitted to drive, use electricity and your computer, otherwise, you wouldn’t be allowed to ask this question, not would I be allowed to answer. Having a Ba'al Teshuva wife you need to have more patience to explain things in a pleasant manner so that what you say will be accepted. However, I should make it clear that Halacha= Jewish law is not to be learned from hearsay, from the newspaper, whattsap, facebook or the like. Halacha is learned from books, or better yet from learned Rabbis. Though we Rabbis are more than happy to answer questions on this website, nothing beats the real thing. You and your wife should find yourself a learned Rabbi who is acceptable to you both, who is available to answer your questions, someone with whom you both feel comfortable with in asking all your questions and are able to receive guidance from. Until you've found the Rabbi of your choice, please continue to send your questions and of course you may continue to do so even after you've found your Rabbi. Chag Same'ach
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