Are Students Obligated In Selichot

The Daily Halacha Moment - Selichot And A Yeshiva Bachur 📖


‎״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


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Question:

Is a Yeshiva Bachur obligated in Selichot?

How should a Sefardic Yeshiva bachur go about reciting selichot in an Ashkenaz Yeshiva when they start reciting selichot later?


Answer:

Great question.

Even one who is learning or teaching Torah all day should set aside time to recite Selichot. [1] However, if one will miss tefillah with a minyan, or will not have enough strength to learn Torah the next day, he should either recite Selichot before Minchah, or he should recite Selichot on some days in Elul, such as on Mondays and Thursdays. If Mondays and Thursdays are too difficult, then one should at least try to recite Selichot when the Ashkenazim begin to recite them (from the week of or before Rosh HaShanah) and at the very least, during the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah. [See Footnote 2]


Sources:

[1]. See Shaarei Teshuvah §1 and the Birkei Yosef §6, which say that there were many great talmidei chachamim who interrupted their nightly learning to recite Selichot with a minyan, since Elul is a special time for prayer and teshuvah. See also Ishei Yisrael 45:4, footnote 14 and Tefillah KeHilchatah, ch. 23, footnote 6.

[2]. The Chida writes in Birkei Yosef §6 and in Moreh BaEtzba §245 that one should not miss minyan or even come to sleep wearing tefillin from staying up late the night before reciting Selichot. Therefore, Chacham Ovadia Yosef writes in his Yabia Omer, vol. 2, O.C. 28:8–9; ibid., vol. 4, Y.D. §19; Yechaveh Daat 3:44; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 8, and Yalkut Yosef on Yamim Nora’im, p. 19 that if one does not have enough strength, one should try to say Selichot on Mondays and Thursdays, and at the very least, Rabbi Ben Tzion Abba Shaul, as brought in Kuntres Halichot Olam, p. 3; Ner Tzion, p. 71; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 1:3, says that one should say it on Fridays, when there isn’t as much bittul Torah, or

begin to recite Selichot along with the Ashkenazim (from the week of or before Rosh HaShanah), or, as Chacham Ovadia Yosef states, from Aseret Yemei Teshuvah. It must be stressed, however, that Rabbi Shalom Messas writes in Shemesh U’Magen, vol. 3, O.C. §57 that when he was a young student, he would go every night to pray Selichot with a minyan, and the deep impression of those tefillot lasted him a lifetime, and inspired him yearly to truly feel the feelings of awe and repentance during the Yamim Nora’im. He adds that even though those Selichot did minimize his time for learning, it was a worthwhile investment because of the yirat Shamayim he gained from them. It seems that every person must employ his own judgment regarding how and when to recite Selichot. No person is the same, and not everyone will be so inspired. Most importantly, one must be honest with himself; if he knows that he will be too tired to learn Torah properly the next day, he may even recite Selichot in the afternoon.

See Laws Of The Holidays - Nacson


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