Friday, September 19, 2008

Halocho #176 - When do Selichot start?

This year Selichot start on Sunday (21 Elul/September), 10 days before Rosh Hashana.

Selichot should be said before Shacharit, towards the end of the night. The end of the night is an "Et Ratzon"; an auspicious time when Hashem is more receptive to listening to ones prayers.

When arising for Selichot one should wash ones hands even if it's still night, and make the Bracha "Al Netilat Yadayim".

One should say the 2 Brachot of Birkat haTorah before saying Selichot.

After Selichot one should wash ones hands again (if the first washing was pre-dawn), but one does not repeat the Bracha.

One should preferably stand during Selichot; during the "Kel Melech Yoshev", 13 Middos and the Viddui one must stand.

The Chazzan for Selichot should preferably be a Torah Scholar, well liked and if possible married with children and over 30 years of age. However, any Jew can be a Chazzan as long as the community approves. The same applies to the Chazzan for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippour as well as the person blowing the Shofar.

Selichot are not said on Shabbat.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:5, 6, 7

[Sefardim say Selichot the entire month of Elul.]

Ktiva Vechatima Tova; may all your prayers be answered,

Shabbat Shalom,

- Danny Friday, 19 Elul 5768

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