For many Jews, the High Holy Day season begins with Rosh Hashanah and the start of the new month of Tishrei. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that the preceding month of Elul is a time of soul-searching and reflection to prepare oneself for the magnitude of the Days of Awe. It is during this time that we observe Selichot (also spelled s'lichot).
In the broadest definition, selichot are penitential prayers said before and during the High Holy Days and other fast days throughout the year. But the term first appears as a reference to the biblical verses that were added to the Yom Kippur liturgy. Eventually, the holiday prayers were combined with general prayers of repentance.
In Hebrew, selichot translates to “forgiveness,” and indeed there is an emphasis in these prayers on the merciful attributes with which God is said to govern the world. In many ways, the prayers which make up the Selichot service mirror what we find on the Day of Atonement which follows soon after. The language of these qualities should sound familiar to anyone who has recited the liturgy throughout Yom Kippur when we speak about God’s ability to forgive “transgression, iniquity, and sin.” We begin and end the season of repentance with the same words, calling out to the compassionate God who we hope will accept our prayers. Learn more>
Saturday, September 16
Movie (The Other Son) & Nosh - 7:45 pm
Complex repercussions face two families -- one Israeli, one Palestinian -- after learning that their sons were accidentally switched at birth.
Selichot Service - 10:00 pm
Begin a spiritual journey as we "work" to prepare ourselves to enter into the season of awe and renewal. In preparation for the Days of Awe, we gather for Selichot to look inward and focus on personal growth and reflection.