Selichot

The Daily Halacha Moment - Selichot 🗣


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


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

When do we start reciting Selichot?


Answer:

The month of Elul is the month most auspicious for achieving forgiveness and atonement. It is for this reason that we all customarily repent during these days and utilize this time for prayers and supplication before Hashem. The Sepharadic custom is to recite Selichot the entire month of Elul, starting from the day after Rosh Chodesh Elul.[1] The Ashkenazic custom is to recite Selichot starting from the week of or before Rosh HaShanah. [2]


The best time to recite Selichot is after the nighttime chatzot. [3]


Sources:

[1]. There are different customs brought in the Rishonim. The Rambam, as he writes in Hilchot Teshuvah 3:4; the Rosh, as he writes in Rosh HaShanah, ch. 4, in the name of Rav Cohen Tzedek; Rav Hai Gaon; Rav Amram Gaon; Sefer HaManhig; and others only recited Selichot from after Rosh HaShanah until Yom Kippur. The Rosh also cites the view of the Ritz Giat in Sefer HaManhig, Hilchot Rosh HaShanah §25 and the Ran in Rosh HaShanah 16a, who write that in many places, the custom is to recite Selichot beginning from Rosh Chodesh Elul. This is also the view of the Shulchan Aruch §1 and the Arizal, as brought in Shaar HaKavanot, in the beginning to the introduction to Derush Rosh HaShanah (see Kaf HaChaim §16, which brings this view). See Kaf HaChaim §14 for various reasons why one should recite Selichot for a total of forty days. See also Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 1; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 1:3, in the footnotes; and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 1. The Mishnah Berurah §1; Kaf HaChaim §15; and Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 2, in the footnotes state that even Sepharadim do not recite Selichot on Rosh Chodesh.

[2]. Rama 581:1. See also Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 4.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 2, in the names of the Arizal and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 1:1. See also Igrot Moshe, O.C. 2:105.


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