digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Selichot prayer leaf (c. 8th-9th century) discovered in the famous Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, Gansu province, China in 1908 by Paul Pelliot.

Selichot or slichot (Hebrew: סליחות‎) are Jewish penitential poems and prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holidays, and on Fast Days. God's Thirteen Attributes of Mercy are a central theme throughout these prayers.

Selichot of the High Holidays[edit]

In the Sephardic tradition, recital of Selichot in preparation for the High Holidays begins on the second day of the Hebrew month of Elul. In the Ashkenazic tradition, it begins on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah. If, however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Monday or Tuesday, Selichot are said beginning the Saturday night prior to ensure that Selichot are recited at least four times. This may be because originally the pious would fast for ten days during the season of repentance, and four days before Rosh Hashanah were added to compensate for the four of the Ten days of Repentance on which fasting is forbidden - the two days of Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat Shuvah, and the day preceding Yom Kippur - and, while the fasts have since been abandoned, the Selichot that accompanied them have been retained. Alternatively, the Rosh Hashanah liturgy includes the Biblical phrase, “you shall observe a burnt offering”, and like an offering which needs to be scrutinised for defects for four days, so too four days of self-searching are needed before the day of judgment.[1]

Selichot refers to both the poetic piyyutim that compose the service as well as to the service itself. Sephardic Selichot services are identical each day. In the Ashkenazic tradition, although the text and length of specific prayers varies from day to day, the overall format remains the same and is prefaced by Ashrei (Psalm 145) and the Half-Kaddish.

Selichot are usually recited between midnight and dawn. Some recite it at night after the 'Arvit service or in the morning before the Shacharit service due to the convenience of synagogue attendance at these times.

Arguably the most important and certainly most popular night of Selichot in the Ashkenazi tradition is the first night, when many women and girls as well as men and boys attend the late-night service on Saturday night. The hazzan wears a kittel and sings elaborate melodies. In some congregations, it is not unusual for a choir to participate in this first night's service. This night also has more Selichot than any other night prior to Rosh Hashanah eve. The other nights are more sparsely attended and those services are often led by a layperson, rather than a trained musician, and with melodies that are less elaborate than the first night.

Categories of Selichot[edit]

Categories of Selichot in the Ashkenazic tradition may include:

  • Selichah (סליחה) — Hebrew for "forgiveness." This is the default Selichah and comprises the vast majority of the Selichot service.
  • Pizmon (פזמון) — Hebrew for "chorus." These central Selichot vary according to the day and contain a chorus which is repeated after each stanza.
  • Akeidah (עקידה) — Hebrew for "binding", a word which specifically refers to the Binding of Isaac. This Selichah contains the theme of the Akeidah as a merit for God answering our prayers. It begins to appear on Rosh Hashanah eve and is placed immediately before the Pizmon.
  • Chatanu (חטאנו) — Hebrew for "we have sinned." Starting on the evening before Rosh Hashanah and continuing through Yom Kippur, this Selichah is said after the final recitation of the Thirteen Attributes and before the Vidui confessional. It contains as its refrain, "חטאנו צורנו סלח לנו יוצרנו", "We have sinned, our Rock, forgive us, our Creator". Perhaps the most famous Chatanu Selichah is the Eleh Ezkera Martyrology recited during Musaf on Yom Kippur, though the recitation of the aforementioned refrain is not always followed in this particular Chatanu.
  • Techinah (תחינה) — Hebrew for "petition." This Selichah begins to appear on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in the Tachanun section, at the very end of the Selichot service.

Selichot of Fast Days[edit]

On minor fast days (besides the Fast of Gedaliah, whose Selichot are preempted by the Selichot of the High Holidays), some communities recite Selichot after the conclusion of the Shacharit Amidah.[2][3] The content of these prayers is related to the specific fast day. Western Ashkenazic communities insert the recitation of the Selichot of minor fast days in the middle of the blessing for forgiveness (סלח לנו כי חטאנו) in the repetition of the Shacharit Amidah.

Selichot are not recited on the major fast day of Tisha B'Av.


  1. ^ Rabbi Raymond Apple. "Soul Searching in the Selichot". oztorah.com. 
  2. ^ Rabbi Naftali Silberberg. "What are "Selichot" and when are they recited?". AskMoses.com. 
  3. ^ ""Selichot", Basic Questions & Answers". ou.org. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selichot — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
13100 videos foundNext > 

Selichot at Petah Tikva (Sephardic) - Anshe Castilla (2009)

Rabbi Yoseph Oziel of the Toronto synagogue congregation - Petah Tikva, Anshe Castilla, leading the selichot prayers. Selichah (סליחה) — Hebrew for "forgiven...

Sephardic Selichot/סליחות מלא

In the Sephardic tradition, recital of Selichot in preparation for the High Holidays begins on the second day of the Hebrew month of Elul. In the Ashkenazic ...

Selihot avec Le Rav Ovadia Yossef Au Kottel.Hazan:Moche Haboucha

Selihot avec Le Rav Ovadia Yossef Au Kottel.Hazan:Moche Haboucha.

Selichot Ahi Ezer

VIN News Exclusive: Yitzchak Meir Helfgot Selichot 2011

VIN News - New York NY - For thousands of years Jews around the world have gathered together at midnight preceding Rosh Hashona to Daven and cry to Hashem to...

SELICHOT - BEN ADAM, HAZZAN RABBI HAGAY BATZRI סליחות, בן אדם, החזן הרב חגי בצרי

החזן והפייטן הרב חגי בצרי שר את הפיוט הראשון ב סליחות "בן אדם" מה לך נרדם..." בסגנון משולב ספרדי ירושלמי וסורי חלבי (ארם צובא) hazzan paytan Rabbi Hagay Batz...

סליחות השלם -רבי שלמה קרליבך Full Selichot -Rabbi shlomo carlebach

סליחות השלם -רבי שלמה קרליבך Full Selichot -Rabbi shlomo carlebach Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rabbishlomoyoutube.

Kotel Israel Jerusalem Sephardic Selichot HD Video 1080p

Kotel Israel Jerusalem Sephardic Selichot.

SHEMA ISRAEL - SELICHOT, RABBI BATZRI hbatzri@gmail.com שמע ישראל - סליחות

Hazzan Rabbi Hagay Batzri perform Shema Israel of sephardic yerushalmi selichot הפייטן החזן הרב חגי בצרי מתפלל שמע ישראל מתוך סליחות בניגון ספרדי ירושלמי, על...

Cantor Netanel Hershtik Selichot 2012/5772

A series of selected pieces from The Hampton Synagogue Selichot Service. Cantor Netanel Hershtik the Hampton Synagogue Choir Yitzhak Haimov - Conductor Westh...

13100 videos foundNext > 

2 news items

Jerusalem Post
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Thousands also participate in AYE's early fall “Selichot Tours” of Jerusalem's Old City and the Western Wall. And yes, the NGO has an educational unit on “Him and Her” in Jewish tradition. But unlike the raw and explicit “how to” sex education offered ...
Jüdische Allgemeine
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Juden, die im Monat Elul vor den Hohen Feiertagen die Selichot sprechen, sind ebenfalls beeinträchtigt, da sich die Gebetszeiten dadurch noch weiter nach hinten schieben. Der religiöse jüdische Mensch hat, wenn man es so sagen darf, zwei Uhren, die ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Selichot

You can talk about Selichot with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!