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S’lichot 

2020 S'lichot Programming  |  Online S'lichot Resources  |  2020 High Holiday Programming

 

What are S’lichot?

S'lichot are prayers for forgiveness, the mention of which date back to as early as the 9th century, when King David instituted a special service for atonement upon realizing the Temple would fall. He called upon the Lord for guidance, and God showed him that the people would recite the order of S’lichot, including a recitation of the 13 Attributes of Mercy (the words God taught Moses whenever the people needed to beg for divine compassion; a passage from Exodus). As true for us now as it was in the time of King David, the ability to appeal to God’s mercy acts as reassurance for the Jewish people that repentance is always possible, and He always welcomes our return.

The S’lichot were originated as prayers for fast days, so it was a natural progression that they became part of the ritual during the six days of fasting prior to Rosh Hashanah. Sephardic communities begin saying the S’lichot at the start of Elul, allowing for 40 days, a period similar to that of Moses’ time on Mount Sinai, devoted to prayers for forgiveness. Ashkenazi Jews’ practice is generally to begin reciting the prayers on the Saturday night prior to Rosh Hashanah, marking the beginning of a new week, before the start of a new year.

 

The Significance of S’lichot

The importance of ending one year and beginning anew by asking for forgiveness should not be understated. It is a time for reflection of and learning from the past year that can lead to restoration and reconciliation in the new year. It is an act of putting faith in the love of God, relishing His ability to forgive and be merciful, and, in turn, incorporating that same love, forgiveness and mercy into your own approach to the new year. It is a chance to let go of past mistakes and proactively head into a future filled with better choices, compassion and happiness.

 

2020 Programming

PJTC is joining with Jewish communities around us to observe the ancient tradition of asking for forgiveness before the start of the new year. We welcome and encourage you to participate in the engaging virtual programming we have created to provide you with a true S’lichot experience, safe at home.

Click here to register (registration required)

To add the event to your digital calendar, click here

 

Online Resources

Prayers

  • Click here to access a booklet containing the S’lichot prayers we recite during the month of Elul.

A Taste of S'lichot Music From Around the World:

Wed, July 28 2021 19 Av 5781