Selichot Over Zoom

The Daily Halacha Moment - Selichot On Zoom 📱


‎״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:

May one partake in selichot on zoom?


Answer:

One may recite the entire Selichot through technological means (such as a live hookup, the radio, or telephone.) However, if one merely listens to a recording of the Selichot, he may not recite it. [1]


It is better to recite Selichot along with a larger minyan through a live hookup than to recite it along with a smaller minyan. This is common in Eretz Yisrael, where there are large Selichot minyanim, and many people follow along with a screen projecting the Selichot live. In such a case, it is better to recite it along with the screen than to form a separate and smaller minyan. [2] When I was learning in Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael we would go to Yeshivat Ohr HaChaim where they had a beautiful minyan for selichot which had the top chazanim, and thousands of Jews were under one roof reciting selichot together, singing their hearts out to our father in heaven. It was a beautiful sight. They also had other rooms where other people can watch the selichot live since there wasn't enough room in the main Bet Midrash.


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 21; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 17; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 10, 9. This is unlike the Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 1:4. See also Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 17, which brings in the name of Chacham Ovadia Yosef that even if there is a few-second delay, one may still answer and take part in the Selichot. However, this ruling may not be applied to listening to the Megillah on Purim, in which one may not fulfill his obligation even through a live hookup.

[2]. See Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 18, 10.


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