Hoshana Raba: An All-Night Learning and Cultural Event on Ammunition Hill
About 110 young Russian-speaking Israelis from across Israel attended an all-night study event in honor of Sukkot and Hoshana Raba, organized by Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli, Ha Midrasha HaTzionit and Masa Melamedia. As this year commemorates 40 years since the Yom Kippur War, the evening opened with a riveting presentation by Dr. Yitzchak Arad – Partisan from the Vilna Ghetto, IDF Brigadier General, former Director of Yad Vashem, historian and author. At 87, Dr. Arad is a walking encapsulation of modern Jewish history. He received a standing ovation from his very engaged young audience and was visibly moved by their response.
The evening continued with parallel presentations on various themes of Sukkot, symbols of light in Jewish art, modern Israeli poetry and other sessions such as “Coaching and Kabbala” by well-known lecturers. At around 3 a.m. there was a professional musical workshop on the topic of traditional and contemporary “niggunim” (wordless melodies). The event concluded with a walking tour from Ammunition Hill to the Old City in time for sunrise and Hoshana Raba festivities at the Western Wall.