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Yud-Gimmel Middot & Selichot

The Daily Halacha Moment - Yud-Gimmel Middot & Selichot 🗣️

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

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What's the proper way to recite The Yud-Gimmel Middot during Selichot?


The phrase Vayaavor Hashem al panav vayikra which is called the Yud-Gimmel Middot should be recited quietly along with the chazzan. [1]

When reciting the Thirteen Middot, it is customary to bow slightly when reciting vayaavor, and lift one’s heels (as done during Kedushah) each time when reciting the Name of Hashem (in Hashem Hashem Kel Rachum veChanun ). [2]

Some people have the custom to count the Thirteen Middot with their fingers. However, since the poskim dispute over which of the words refer to which attribute, it is preferable not to count them out. [3] It's good to note, When reciting Selichot without a minyan, one may recite the Thirteen Middot, provided that he recites them with the tune from the Torah reading. [ See Footnote 4]


[1]. See Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 32 and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 45, citing Shaar HaKavanot. See also Rav Pe’alim, vol. 3, 3:3 and Od Yosef Chai, Ki Tisa 1:7, which state that those who rule that only the chazzan should recite this phrase are incorrect. See also Kaf HaChaim (Sofer) 131:20, which is unlike Palagi, Kaf HaChaim 16:13.

[2]. See Birkei Yosef 131:6 and Ben Ish Chai, Ki Tisa 1:10. See also Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 32 and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 44, which state that one does not have to do so. Orchot Maran, vol. 1, p. 360 states that Chacham Ovadia Yosef would do this when reciting the Thirteen Middot.

[3]. The Ben Ish Chai in Ki Tisa 1:4 writes that one should count the Thirteen Middot with his fingers. However, Chacham Ovadia Yosef writes in Halichot Olam, vol. 1, p. 242; Maor Yisrael, vol. 1, Rosh HaShanah 18b, p. 185; and Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 33, 7 that one should not do so since it is unclear which words are counted as a separate middah. See also Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 45, 27; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, 131:8; Rambam, Responsa, Pe’er HaDor, siman 90, in the footnotes; and Orchot Maran, vol. 1, p. 360.

[4]. This is the view of the Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 565:5, which states that one may not recite the Thirteen Middot unless they are recited with derech keriah be’alma, with the tune and cantillations of the Torah reading. See Palagi, Ruach Chaim 131:1; Ben Ish Chai, Ki Tisa 1:9; Rav Pe’alim 1:11; and Kaf HaChaim 131:23. See also Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 27; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 33; and Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 8. This is unlike Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 1:2, which states that one should omit the Thirteen Middot entirely.

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