Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Halocho #878 - When do Selichot start?

This morning - Rosh Chodesh Elul - we started blowing the Shofar.

Starting tomorrow - Thursday - Sefardim say Selichot before Shacharit and continue doing so the entire month of Elul until Erev Yom Kippour.

This year Selichot - for Ashkenazim - start on Sunday (26 Elul / 25 September), 4 days before Rosh Hashana.

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

When arising for Selichot one should wash one's 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 Middot 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: Shulchan Aruch 581, 1

Ktiva Vechatima Tova; may all your prayers be answered,

Chodesh Tov

- Danny
Wednesday, 2nd day Rosh Chodesh Elul 5771

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