Selichos in Elul

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Selichos in Elul

A. On which days is Selichos recited?[1]

Ashkenazim:[2] Selichos is recited for a minimum of four days prior to Rosh Hashanah.[3] Selichos is said starting from the Sunday [Motzei Shabbos, immediately after midnight[4]], of the week of, or the week prior to Rosh Hashanah. Being we need to say at least four days of Selichos before Rosh Hashanah, and we always start on Motzei Shabbos[5], therefore when Rosh Hashanah falls on Monday or Tuesday[6] we begin saying Selichos from the Motzei Shabbos of the previous week. However when Rosh Hashanah falls between Thursday-Saturday we begin to saying it from the Motzei Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah.[7]

Sefardim:[8] Sefaradim begin saying Selichos from [the day after[9]] Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur.

Until when is Selichos said? Many have the custom to say Selichos daily until Yom Kippur.[10] However the Chabad custom is to only say Selichos before Rosh Hashanah, while during Aseres Yimei Teshuva Selichos is not said. This is with exception to Tzom Gedalia in which the typical fast day Selichos is recited.[11]

 

Q&A

Are even Torah scholars to diminish their learning in order to recite Selichos?[12]

Yes. Although in general it is better for Torah scholars to continue learning Torah than to increase in supplications[13], during these days it is better to increase in supplication. This was witnessed amongst great Rabbis who although spent their time in deep learning of Jewish law, when Elul arrived they would diminish in their learning in order to increase in supplication and prayer.[14]

 

Does one say Selichos if there is a Chasan present by the Minyan?[15]

If there is a Chasan present by the Minyan, Selichos is recited without the confession prayer [of Ashamnu] and without Nefilas Apayim.[16] However some Poskim[17] rule that when Selichos is recited prior to Davening one is to recite the confession prayer within it even in the presence of a Chasan. [Practically the Chasan is to be asked to leave the Shul in order to allow Ashamnu to be recited, although he himself is to omit it.[18]]

 

Does one say Selichos if there is a Baal Bris [i.e. Mohel; Sandek; Father] present by the Minyan?[19]

Prior to Alos: If Selichos is being recited prior to Alos and a Baal Bris is present, then the Selichos is recited regularly, together with the confession prayers.[20]

After Alos: If Selichos is being recited after the time of Alos then it is disputed[21] as to whether the confession prayer is recited, although the remainder of the Selichos is recited according to all. This dispute applies also when Selichos is being recited past sunrise.[22]

 

Is Selichos recited in the house of an Avel?

See I!

Sparks of Chassidus:

The meaning of Selichos:[23]

Every year Hashem grants one blessing in all matters of life as a loan which is to be paid throughout the year by the recipient in the form of Torah and Mitzvos. One who has not paid this debt is given throughout Elul to do so. One who has still not done so by the time Selichos has arrived then Hashem willingly forgives the debt upon seeing the true desire of the person towards change.

Niggun Daled Bavos:[24]

The days of Selichos were one of the auspicious times that Chassidim would sing the Niggun of Daled Bavos.

 

B. At what hour of the day is Selichos to be recited?  

The letter of the law:[25] Selichos is to be said by “Ashmuras Haboker” [which corresponds to the last three hours of nightfall[26]]. The reason for this is because the end of the night is a time when G-d discerns the matters of the world and thus this period of time is auspicious above.[27]

The custom:[28] Practically the custom today is to say Selichos before Shacharis, after Alos Hashachar.[29] [The custom of the Rebbe was to recite Selichos at in the morning much time after Ashmuros Haboker and sunrise. This is unlike the recorded custom in Sefer Haminhagim to recite Selichos by Ashmuros Haboker.[30]]

The first night-Motzei Shabbos:[31] On the first night of Selichos which is Motzei Shabbos the custom is to begin Selichos immediately after midnight.

C. The morning blessings:[32]

One is to say the blessing of Birchas Hatorah prior to Selichos.[33] This applies whether one is saying Selichos at night prior to Alos, or during the day.[34] On those days that one awakens to say Selichos before Alos the other morning blessings may only be recited if one received their corresponding benefit.[35] Thus if he did not hear the rooster crow, or did not change clothing or wear leather shoes or put on a belt or hat, then he may not say their corresponding blessing until Alos, even if he slept at night.[36] According to all the blessings of Shelo Asani Goy/Aved/Isha may be said immediately upon awakening, prior to Alos.[37]

 

Q&A

Does one wear Shabbos clothes for Selichos of Motzei Shabbos?[38]

On Motzei Shabbos, Selichos is said while still wearing one’s Shabbos clothing.

 

May one recite Selichos after midnight, before Ashmuros Haboker, on all the nights of Selichos?[39]

Yes. There are those which are accustomed to do so even initially.[40] Those which will be unable to recite Selichos by Ashmuros Haboker, it is proper to recite it after midnight rather than recite it in the morning.[41]

 

May Selichos be said at night prior to midnight?  

No. According to Kabala it is forbidden to recite Selichos at night [prior to midnight].[42] Some Poskim[43] however rule that Selichos may be recited starting from two hours prior to midnight. Practically one may be lenient to recite Selichos within these two hours in a scenario that otherwise the Selichos will not be able to be said together with a Minyan.[44] On Motzei Shabbos, if the Selichos is being recited prior to midnight, then one is to omit the confession prayer.[45]

 

Is one to do Nefilas Apayim when reciting Selichos at night prior to Alos?

One is not to perform Nefilas Apayim during the night, prior to Alos.[46] If however one reaches Nefilas Apayim near Alos then it is permitted to do Nefilas Apayim, although it is best to delay the Nefilas Apayim until after Alos.[47] However some Poskim[48] are lenient to perform Nefilas Apayim starting from after midnight. The Chabad custom is to never do Nefilas Apayim during Selichos, even when the Selichos is being said during the day.

If Selichos could not be said before Shacharis may it be said later on?[49]

If one could not say Selichos in the morning before Shacharis it may be said throughout the entire day, such as prior to Mincha.

 

Shabbos Selichos:[50]

The Chassidus of this Shabbos was heard with completely different concentration. On Friday night of Shabbos Selichos Chassidim would diminish their amount of sleep as they were unable to sleep. A person did not find his place. They would go to Mikveh prior to daytime. In the Mikveh they would meet many others hurrying on their way. It was recognizable that this Shabbos was different than every other Shabbos. In one’s mind passes the thought “To you Hashem is righteousness and to us is the face of shame”. One would immerse with a broken heart and question himself whether this is an immersion of true repentance or is he immersing with the rodent in his hand. When they would pass Binyamin’s Shtible they would hear the congregation saying Tehillim. The Tehillim of that Shabbos was also different then all the other Shabbasim.

 

Farbrengen:

It is customary to hold a Chassidic gathering on Motzei Shabbos in the hours prior to Selichos.

 

D. Concentration:  

Selichos must be recited slowly and with concentration. It is better to recite a lesser amount of supplications, but with proper concentration, then a larger amount without concentration.[51] Those that are accustomed to hastily recite the conclusion of Selichos are to nullify their custom.[52]

 

Is one who is accustomed to immerse in a Mikveh to do so before or after Selichos?[53]

One is to try to immerse in a Mikveh before Selichos. One who was unable to do so is [not to delay reciting Selichos with a Minyan and is rather] to immerse in a Mikveh after Selichos, before Davening.

 

E. The Thirteen attributes:

It is forbidden to recite the thirteen attributes without proper concentration.[54] [It is to be recited slowly and carefully.[55] It is to be recited aloud.[56] Some are accustomed to count the Middos with their fingers.[57] Some are accustomed to picture each letter of each word in their mind while reciting it.[58] One is to make a break between the words Vayikra Besheim and Hashem[59], and between the two names of Hashem Hashem.[60]]

Reciting with the Minyan: The 13 attributes may only be read together with the Minyan.[61] [Some write that this applies also for the entire paragraph of “Keil Melech Yosheiv”.] See D and Q&A!

 

Q&A

Must one stand when reciting the 13 attributes?[62]

The custom is to stand while reciting it. One is not to lean while reciting it unless he is old or sick.

Bending down:[63] One is to recite the 13 attributes with his back slightly arched forward.

 

If one is behind the Minyan and the congregation has reached the 13 attributes of mercy what is he to do?[64]

The custom is to stop and read the 13 attributes together with the congregation, as is the law by Kaddish and Kedusha.[65] This applies for everyone in the Shul, even if one is not part of the Minyan for Selichos.[66] Nevertheless if one is in the midst of prayer, and is in an area that he cannot make an interval, then he is not to say it.[67]

 

If one is Davening with a Minyan and the congregation has already recited the 13 attributes of mercy may he recite it when he reaches that point?[68]

No. The 13 attributes of mercy may only be recited together with the actual Minyan.[69]

 

Must one read each word of the 13 attributes together with the congregation or can he read it on his own pace?[70]

If one begins reading the 13 attributes together with the congregation, and the congregation is saying the words quickly, it is permitted for him to recite the words at his own pace.[71]

 

If the congregation is already in middle of reciting the 13 attributes may one begin to say it?

Some[72] write that as long as majority of the congregation has not yet completed the recitation, then he may recite it with them.

 

May one recite the 13 attributes of mercy to himself in the Torah reading tune?

It is permitted to recite the thirteen attributes in the Torah reading tune even if one is reciting it alone.[73] Nevertheless many are accustomed to avoid doing so and they thus completely omit it when a Minyan is not present.[74] Practically the recorded Chabad custom is not to say it.[75]

 

F. The Nussach:[76]

The Nussach and Seder of the Selichos according to Chabad custom was arraigned by the Rebbe based on a directive of the Rebbe Rayatz. The Chabad Nussach of Selichos follows the Nussach of the Machzor Kol Bo and in general is similar to the custom of Lita, Risan and Zamut. The order of Selichos is similar to the order of Davening. First one recites a psalm of praise [Ashreiy] which is followed by half Kaddish. The Selichos are then begun which corresponds to Shemoneh Esrei. The Chazan recites aloud the end of the first paragraph starting from the words “Haneshama Lach”.[77] At the conclusion one recites Kaddish Tiskabel which corresponds to the Kaddish recited after Shemoneh Esrei.

Viduiy-Ashamnu: One is to recite the confession prayer [i.e. Viduiy] three times [in Selichos] every day prior to dawn.[78] [Practically however the Chabad custom is to only recite the confession prayer of Ashamnu one time within the Selichos. [79]]

Nefilas Apayim:[80] It is not our custom to perform Nefilas Apayim during Selichos.

Shema Koleinu: The custom is to open the ark and stand for the recital of Shema Koleinu. It is recited verse after verse with the congregation repeating after the Chazan. It is said in this format until the verse of Al Taazveinu.[81]

Machnisei Rachamim: It is our custom to recite the hymn of Machnisei Rachamim.[82] Some[83] however have the custom to omit it.

Kaddish:[84] The Chazan recites the full Kaddish Tiskabel at the conclusion of Selichos. This applies even if the Minyan plans to Daven Shacharis immediately afterwards. [See Q&A!]

 

Directives of the Rebbe related to Selichos:[85]

Learning Torah: One is to learn Torah prior to saying Selichos. The content to be learned is matters which pertain to practical Halacha. Likewise one is to study the Mamar of “Lecha Havayah Hatzedaka” [printed in the beginning of the Selichos] or at the very least its beginning and end. On the first night of Selichos this to be learned prior to midnight.

Charity: One is to give charity prior to Selichos. On the 1st night of Selichos this is to be done only after midnight.[86]

The third day of Selichos:[87] The third day of Selichos is an auspicious occasion[88], and should be utilized appropriately.

 

Q&A

Must one stand during Selichos?[89]

The custom is to stand while reciting Selichos. This especially applies when the ark is open[90], when the thirteen attributes are recited [and upon saying Ashamnu[91]]. Nevertheless if it is difficult for one to stand he may be seated with exception to when the thirteen attributes [and Ashamnu] is recited.[92]

 

Is Kaddish Tiskabeil to be recited at the end of Selichos even if one plans to begin Shacharis right away?

Yes.[93] However there are opinions[94] that say in such a case only half Kaddish is to be recited.

 

G. A Minyan versus in private:

Importance of a Minyan:[95] The congregation is to delay beginning Ashreiy until a Minyan has gathered in order to be able to say the Kaddish before Selichos. If they cannot wait for a Minyan to arrive then they are to recite Ashreiy, omit Kaddish and begin Lecha Havaya Hatzedaka”.

May a person recite Selichos without a Minyan?[96] It is permitted to recite Selichos without a Minyan, although one is required to omit certain parts, as will be explained next.

What does one omit if he is saying Selichos without a minyan? If one is saying Selichos without a Minyan, he is to omit the 13 attributes of mercy.[97] [One is to omit the words starting from Vayaavor.[98] Some[99] write that one is to also omit the entire paragraph of “Keil Melech Yosheiv”. It is not our custom in such a case to recite the 13 attributes of mercy in the tune of the Torah reading-see Halacha D in Q&A!] He is likewise to omit the Aramaic parts said within Selichos.[100] One does not omit the verse of “Uzechor Hayom Bris Shlosh Esrei” upon saying Selichos without a Minyan.[101]

 

Q&A

If one began Selichos without a Minyan and a Minyan later arrived may Kaddish be recited?[102]

If a congregation did not have a minyan when Selichos began and later they achieved a Minyan, they are to stop to say Kaddish upon the arrival of the Minyan.[103]

 

If one began Selichos with a Minyan and concluded without a Minyan is Kaddish and the Aramaic parts to be recited?[104]

If the congregation began Selichos with a Minyan and upon finishing they no longer have a Minyan, they are nevertheless to say Kaddish with Tiskabel [so long as there are at least six people which have remained[105]]. Nevertheless it is forbidden for those that are part of the Minyan to leave the Minyan on this basis and one that leaves, on him it says the verse “And those that leave G-d…”.[106]

Aramaic parts:[107] They are to omit the Aramaic parts from the Selichos.

 

If one is saying Selichos with a Minyan, and the Minyan has already passed the Aramaic parts may he still recite them?[108]

So long as the congregation has not yet completed the Selichos it may be recited.

 

H. Donning a Tallis:

The chazan is to recite Selichos with a Tallis.[109] [This applies even if a Bochur is the Chazan for Selichos.[110]]

Borrowing a Tallis at night: If it is still before the allowable time to say a blessing over a Tallis[111] the Chazan should borrow a Tallis from another person and wear it without a blessing.[112] [Thus on the first night of Selichos, that it is recited at night, the Chazan should have another person bring a Tallis to Shul and borrow it. He should not use the Shul’s Tallis.[113] If the only Tallis available is the Tallis of the Shul or a Tallis that he owns then he is to wear it without a blessing.[114] Some Poskim[115] argue on the above and rule that a Chazan may even initially wear his own Tallis, or the Tallis of the Shul, at night without a blessing and there is no need to borrow the Tallis from another.]

If the time of Alos arrives in the midst of Selichos then the Chazan is to stop and recite a blessing over the Tallis, shaking the fringes of the Tallis prior to reciting the blessing.[116]

Is a blessing recited when wearing a Tallis for Selichos said during the day? When saying Selichos during the day the Chazan is to recite a blessing over the Tallis prior to wearing it.[117] If however the Chazan borrows the Tallis from another person he is not required to recite a blessing.[118] If however one borrows the Tallis of the Shul then a blessing is to be recited.[119]

 

I. Is an Avel within Shiva to go to Shul for Selichos?

An Avel that is within Shiva may not leave his home to recite Selichos with the Minyan.[120] The Avel is either to recite Selichos privately at home or arrange for a Minyan to come to his home.[121] [However some Poskim[122] rule that if a Minyan is not available in the home of the Avel then he may go to Shul for Selichos and Shacharis.]

Erev Rosh Hashanah and Erev Yom Kippur: The above however is with exception to Erev Rosh Hashanah [and Erev Yom Kippur[123]], in which case [in those areas that increase in Selichos[124] and hence] the Selichos are lengthy, the Avel may go to Shul.[125] [In such a case he may remain in Shul to Daven Shacharis with the congregation.[126]]  Nevertheless even on these days it is best to arrange for a Minyan in the house of the Avel rather than have the Avel go to Shul.[127]

 

Q&A

Does the Avel omit the confession prayer from Selichos?[128]

Yes. An Avel does not recite the confession prayer or Nefilas Apayim.

 

Is Selichos recited in the house of an Avel?[129]

At the house of an Avel, Selichos is recited without the confession prayer [of Ashamnu] and without Nefilas Apayim.[130] However some Poskim[131] rule that one is to recite the confession prayer within the Selichos recited prior to Davening. Some[132] suggest that the Minyan is to recite Selichos in a nearby home in which the person did not pass away, and they are then to recite the confession prayer within Selichos. According to all the Avel himself is to omit the confession prayers.[133]

 

Is the Avel to lead the Selichos prayer?

See next Halacha in Q&A!

 

J. Who should be the chazan for Selichos and the High Holidays?[134]

Ideally the chazan for Selichos and for the High Holidays should be the most upright of people that has greatness in both Torah knowledge and Mitzvos. He should be at least thirty[135] years of age and be married.[136] [However being learned and G-d fearing takes precedence over being married and of the right age.[137] Likewise being married takes precedence of being of the right age.[138]] Nevertheless, all Jews are considered to be Kosher and thus may serve as the chazan as long as they are appeasing to the congregation. However one who takes the position by force [or without being appointed[139]] the congregation should not answer Amen to his blessings. [This ruling only applied during times that the Chazan would fulfill the prayer obligation of the community. However today being that everyone Davens themselves in addition to the Chazan, one may answer Amen for his blessings even when the position is taken by force.[140]] He must also intend to fulfill the obligation of every member of the congregation. If however he has an enemy and he intends not to be Motzei him, then the other members of the congregation are likewise not Yotzei.[141] [If a potential Chazan sees that the choosing of the Chazan is leading to discord he should remove himself from the position even on the expense of having an unfit person become Chazan.[142] Likewise if he knows that he is not spiritually befitting then he is to remove himself from the position.[143]]

The Chazan for Selichos is to Daven all the prayers of that day: Some have a custom that the same person which serves as the chazan for Selichos also serves as the chazan for the remaining prayers of the day.[144] [Practically this is no longer accustomed today.[145] However there do remain communities even today that follow this custom.[146]]

Spiritual preparation:[147] Three days prior to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the Chazan must remove himself from all matters of impurity and he must add in all matters of holiness.[148] The Rashbi did not desire to hear a prayer from a Chazan that did not spiritually prepare himself three days beforehand. The Chazan should study the Kavanos of the prayers from the Zohar.[149]

 

Q&A

Can a single individual oppose the appointment of a Chazan?[150]

No. In today’s times we no longer allow the claim of an individual to refrain a Chazan from being appointed and rather one is to follow the majority opinion of those which pay the Chazan’s salary [i.e. the Shul’s members]. In some communities these decisions are given to the members of the board and they follow the majority opinion.

 

May a community appoint a different person as Chazan if there is already a Chazan that annually recites Selichos?[151]

The custom is to not remove a set Chazan from his position in the place of someone else.[152]

 

Can a set Chazan decide to no longer Daven for the Amud?

Some Poskim[153] rule that if a Chazan decides to quit his position then he is to perform Hataras Nedarim. This however only applies if he is still fit for the job and is thus able to be Chazan if he desired. If however he is old, or sick or moved to a different area then he is not required to do Hatara.

 

Is a set Chazan able to delegate the merit to another person in his place?

No. The ability to appoint a replacement Chazan is given only to the community members.[154] However he is able to appoint his son in his place so long as he has a normal voice.[155]

 

If the appointed Chazan passes away does his son automatically merit the position?[156]

Yes. A son inherits his father’s position even if he does not have as good of a voice as his father so long as he does not have a bizarre voice. However this only applies to a community that does not have a set custom in this regard. If however the custom of the community is known to be otherwise then the custom is to be respected and the son does not inherit the position. 

 

May an Avel be Chazan?

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: It is forbidden for an Avel[157] to Daven for the Amud on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.[158] This applies even for Pesukei Dezimra.[159] This applies even if he is the set Chazan of the Shul.[160] Some Poskim[161] however rule that if he is the set Chazan then if he is past Shiva but within thirty days of Aveilus for other relatives then he may be Chazan on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.[162] Some[163] rule that this allowance applies even if the set Chazan is within his year of Aveilus for one of his parents. Practically the Chabad custom is like this latter opinion that if he is the set Chazan from years prior then he is to continue to Daven for the Amud on the high holidays even if he is within his year of Aveilus.[164]

Days of Selichos-Aseres Yimei Teshuvah: An Avel may be Chazan during the days of Selichos, including Erev Rosh Hashanah and Erev Yom Kippur.[165] Nevertheless some are accustomed that an Avel[166] does not lead the prayers at all during the Aseres Yimei Teshuvah, neither for Selichos or for any of the prayers of the day.[167] Furthermore some places are accustomed that the Avel does not lead the prayers starting from the first day of Selichos before Rosh Hashanah and they only go up for Ashreiy and Uva Letziyon.[168] Some Poskim[169] however negate the validity of this practice and rule an Avel is to continue being Chazan during these days. [The Chabad custom is that the Avel leads the prayers on all of these days, including Erev Rosh Hashanah and Erev Yom Kippur.[170]]

During Shiva: Some Poskim[171] write that an Avel which is within Shiva is not to lead the prayers of Selichos or any of the prayers of the day during the days that Selichos is recited. [The Chabad custom is that the Avel leads the prayers on all of these days, as stated above.]

 

May an Avel be the Baal Korei on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur?[172]

It is permitted for an Avel to be a Baal Korei on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur even if he is within his seven days of Aveilus.[173]

 

K. Selichos on Erev R”H:

In the morning of Erev Rosh Hashanah a lengthy Selichos is recited[174] which incorporates Tachanun.[175] This applies even if one is reciting Selichos after Alos.[176] However by Shacharis of Erev Rosh Hashanah Tachanun is omitted.[177]


[1] 581/1

Background of the custom’s origin:

This custom to say Selichos before Rosh Hashanah seemingly began not before 800 years ago, as the Geonim, mentioned in the Tur, would only say Selichos during the Aseres Yimei Teshuvah, and not before Rosh Hashanah. [See Tur 582] So rules also Rambam. Nevertheless the custom became to begin saying Selichos before Rosh Hashanah as we are now on a lower level of spirituality and require the cleansing of Selichos prior to Rosh Hashanah. [Shaar Hamoadim Elul 75]

[2] Rama ibid

[3] Taz 581/2; M”A 581/3; Levush 581

The reason: The reason that we require that there be at least four days of Selichos:

  1. There is a custom to fast for the ten days of repentance. Since however four out of those ten days are forbidden in fasting [Two days of Rosh Hashanah; Shabbos Teshuvah; Erev Yom Kippur], therefore we make it up four days before Rosh Hashanah in which they would fast [and say Selichos. [Levush brought in Taz 581/2; M”A 581/3]
  2. A Karban must be separated four days prior to its slaughtering in order to verify that it is free from blemish. Similarly we must free ourselves from blemish four days prior to Rosh Hashanah as on Rosh Hashanah it is considered that we are the sacrifice as opposed to other holidays where the animal is the sacrifice. [Elya Raba 581/8; Ateres Zekeinim 581 based on Yerushalmi Rosh Hashanah 4/8 in expounding why by the sacrifices of Rosh Hashanah the verse states “Veasisem” as opposed to “Vehikravtem”.] For this reason it is proper for every person to increase in Teshuvah within the four days prior to Rosh Hashanah. [Kaf Hachaim 581/29]

[4] The Rama ibid writes that it begins on Sunday by Ashmuros. No mention is made of midnight. So writes also Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128/5. For the sources which mention midnight after Motzei Shabbos, see B.

[5] Meaning we do not establish Selichos to begin exactly 4 days before Rosh Hashanah. As for why the date was always set for Sunday, this is because the Sages desired that it have a set day, no matter when on the calendar Rosh Hashanah begins. [Levush brought in Taz 581/2; M”A 581/3]

[6] Rosh Hashanah however will never fall on Sunday or Wednesday, hence the above example is only relevant for Rosh Hashanah which falls on Mon-Tue. [Rama ibid]

[7] Fasting on first day of Selichos: Many have the custom to fast on the first day of Selichos. [Tur; M”A 581/8; M”E 591/36; M”B 581/15] However it is better to increase in Mitzvos and Teshuvah than to increase in fast days. [Birkeiy Yosef 581/8; Kaf Hachaim 581/9; See also 581/58] The Rebbe Rayatz instituted for the Temimim that that one who is healthy is to fast on the first day of Selichos and one who is weak is to fast until Mincha. [Hakeria Vehakedosha 1941; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 75]

Tehillim: The Rebbe Rayatz instituted for the Temimim that starting from the first day of Selichos one who is to recite the entire Tehillim every morning prior to daybreak. [Hakeria Vehakedosha 1941; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 75]

[8] Michaber 581/1; Kaf Hachaim 581/15 brings that practically this is the custom of the Sefaradim. This was the custom of the Arizal. The Arizal would recite word by word together with the congregation. [Shaar Hakavanos; Kaf Hachaim 581/16] This custom is mentioned in Likkutei Torah parshas Eikev p. 14, as it follows the custom mentioned in Kisvei Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos. Nevertheless it is not the Chabad custom to recite Selichos throughout Elul, and rather we follow the custom of the Ashkenazim. [Likkutei Sichos 9 p. 458]

The reason for saying Selichos the entire month of Elul: Admur there explains that the reason we begin saying Selichos in the beginning of Elul is because Elul is an auspicious time to reveal the 13 attributes of mercy and arouse mercy for the spark of one’s soul. Other reasons mentioned are: 1. The forty days before Yom Kippur are auspicious for forgiveness and repentance as Moshe went to bring the second Luchos and received forgiveness for Klal Yisrael. 2. It corresponds to the forty days of the journey of the Miraglim. The saying of Selichos in these forty days rectifies that sin. 3. It corresponds to the 40 days of conception. 4. It corresponds to the four Yuds of Sheim A”b. 5. It corresponds to the four worlds of Abiy”a which each incorporate ten Sefiros. [Kaf Hachaim 581/14]

[9] Selichos is not said on Rosh Chodesh Elul [Magen Avraham 581/2; Rameh 79; Elya Raba 581/6; Mateh Efraim 581/11; Kaf Hachaim 581/15] This applies even according to those which follow the custom to say Selichos throughout the month. [P”M A”A 581/2]

[10] As was the original custom mentioned in the Tur in name of the Geonim. [See Background ibid]; These Selichos are also mentioned in Rama 602/1; Admur 602/3 [regarding the three confession prayers recited in Selichos and Admur]; Admur 604/4 regarding Erev Yom Kippur “We are not accustomed to say such lengthy Selichos in contrast to the other days”; See also Siddur Admur regarding Kaparos of Erev Yom Kippur “by Ashmuros Haboker after Selichos

[11] Sefer Haminhagim p. 122. The reason behind this custom is because Aseres Yimei Teshuva is a time for doing action of Teshuvah, while the speech of Teshuvah pertained only up until Rosh Hashanah. [Rebbe Rayatz in the name of the Tzemach Tzedek brought by Rebbe in Sefer Hasichos 5750 vol. 1 p. 357 footnote 132]

[12] Birkeiy Yosef 581/6; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/1; Kaf Hachaim 581/7

[13] Admur Kama 1/9

[14] This negates those that are accustomed to only recite Selichos on the first day and on Erev Rosh Hashanah. [Alef Lamagen 581/24]

[15] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/4

[16] Pnei Meivin Yoreh Deah 319; Ketzei Hamateh 602/22

The reason: As Tachanun is never recited when a Chasan is present and why would this Tachanun be any different than any other Tachanun which is omitted when a Chasan is present. [ibid]

[17] Sheivet Halevi 4/54; Levushei Mordechai 226

The reason: As one only omits the confession within the regular set prayer of Shacharis or Mincha and not by the extra prayer of Selichos. [ibid]

[18] Directive of Rebbe to Rabbi Leibel Groner when he was a Chasan during Selichos, and so is the custom in 770. [Shulchan Menachem 3/83]

[19] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/4

[20] Pischeiy Teshuvah 581; Pnei Meivin 319; Alef Hamagen 581/38 in glosses

The reason: As the Mitzvah of Mila can only be performed during the day, and hence prior to Alos the Mitzvah has not yet arrived and he is not yet considered a Baal Bris. [ibid]

[21] Some Poskim rule the confession prayer is also to be recited within Selichos. [Pnei Meivin ibid; Glosses of Shoel Umeishiv on 602; Alef Hamagen 581/38 in gloss; Sheivet Halevi 4/54; Levushei Mordechai 226] This applies even for the Baal Bris himself. [Alef Hamagen ibid] Others rule that the confession prayer is to be omitted from Selichos as the time of the Bris has already arrived. [Mechzeh Avraham 154; Betzeil Hachochma 4/146] Others leave this matter in question. [Pischeiy Teshuvah 581]

[22] The Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/4 rules that according to many of the above Poskim they only apply their ruling if Selichos is being said prior to sunrise. However past sunrise they too would agree that the confession prayer is to be omitted. However this is not readily apparent from the above Poskim, and on the contrary from their reasoning it implies that there is no differentiation, and so rules that it applies even after sunrise the Sheivet Halevi ibid and Levushei Mordechai ibid and so understood the Betziel Hachochmah ibid to be the opinion of the other Poskim as well.

[23] Shaar Hamoadim Elul 75

[24] Sefer Hasichos 1941 p. 85-86; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 74; Sefer Haniggunim 1/1

[25] Michaber and Rama 581/1; Sefer Haminhagim p. 114 [English Edition; There they mistakenly translated Ashmuros Haboker as dawn, in truth Ashmuros Haboker is before dawn].

[26] Bach 581; Perisha 581; M”B Hakdama 581; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/2. Vetzaruch Iyun as from the M”B ibid it implies that it refers to the end of the last Asmurah, and so is also implied from Admur Kama 1/8 that it is best to say Tikkun Chatzos by the end of any of the three ashmuros as that time is auspicious above. [See Admur Kama 1/8 that there are 3 Ashmuros at night] Furthermore there is room to suggest that based on the ruling of Admur in the Mahadurah Basra regarding the auspiciousness of midnight over the time of Ashmuros, [this is the Kabalistic perspective which was not yet known in the times of the Shulchan Aruch] perhaps ideally Selichos is to be said every night by midnight and not by the last Ashmuros. Certainly one is allowed to say Selichos after midnight, before the last Ashmuros, if one is unable to say it by the last Ashmuros. [See Igros Moshe 2/105; Mishmeres Shalom 41/4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/2]

[27] G-d travels throughout 18000 worlds at night, and reaches this world by the [last] Ashmuros. [M”A 581/1 in name of Hagahos Maimanis brought in M”B in introduction to this chapter]

[28] Mateh Efraim 581/11; See Divrei Torah of Munkatch 1/76; Alef Hamagen 581/24

[29] Although by doing so one loses the auspicious time of Ashmuros Haboker, nevertheless since the entire period of Elul is auspicious there is a great advantage in saying Selichos even after Alos. This negates those that do not participate in Selichos under the claim that it is not taking place before Alos. [Alef Lamagen 581/24]

[30] This was the custom of the Rebbe Rayatz. See Otzer Minhagei Chabad Elul 55

[31] Sefer Haminhagim p. 114; This is the custom of majority of Ashkenazi Jewry [Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 15] This is a very old custom from earlier generations. [Igros Moshe 2/105] So was practiced by various Tzaddikim based on the Zohar. [Divrei Torah Munkatch 1/76]

The reason: It is our custom [Chabad] to say the Selichos immediately after midnight in living with the verse said in Selichos “Bemoitzaei Menucha”. [Sefer Haminhagim p. 114] This is done in order so one is able to say the Selichos with the happy mood that is still left over from Shabbos. [Leket Hayosher of student of Terumas Hadeshen brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 15] The Rebbe explains the reason for this is because in truth the purpose of the Selichos is not merely to be forgiven for sin but that the sins turn to merits, which is a joyous occasion. This is hinted to in the Gematria of the word “Selach” which is 98, corresponding to the 98 curses brought in Ki Savo which are in truth disguised blessings that can be turned over to revealed blessing. [Shaar Hamoadim Elul 73]

The auspiciousness of midnight: The auspiciousness of this time is elaborated in the Zohar. As well the Talmud says that this is a time of appeasement above and that anyone who learns Torah at night the Shechina resides opposite him, and a “string of kindness” is drawn upon him for that day. One who does so is also called a servant of G-d. [Basra 1/3] The auspiciousness of the time of midnight is applicable at all times and in all places. [Basra 1/8] In the Mahadurah Kama [1/8], regarding Tikkun Chatzos, the time of “midnight” is not mentioned, [1/8] At the times of the Shulchan Aruch they still did not know of the greatness and auspiciousness of the time of midnight which is based on mainly Kabalistic sources, and thus in the first edition of the Shulchan Aruch of Admur he does not make mention of midnight. However in the second edition which follows more the Kabalistic rulings it is mentioned that midnight is the proper time of awakening. [See Machatzis Hashekel 1/4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/2].

Other Customs: There are communities which are accustomed to say Selichos on Motzei Shabbos by Ashmuras Haboker and not immediately after midnight. Nevertheless even they are accustomed to say it at night, as opposed to the other days when it is said by Alos. [Mateh Efraim 581/11] This is because in the first Selichos there is a stanza that discusses the night prayer. [Alef Lamateh ibid; See Aruch Hashulchan 581/4]

[32] See our Sefer “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 8 Halacha 8 and chapter 9 Halacha 11 for a thorough treatise on this subject!

[33] 46/8

[34] 47/7; 47/8; Siddur; When however saying Selichos before Alos one is only to recite Birchas Hatorah if he slept a standard sleep that night. [ibid; See “Awaking like a Jew” ibid]

[35] Siddur; Ketzos Hashulchan 5/6; Sefer Haminhagim p. 5 [English]; Luach Kolel Chabad; Shevach Hamoadim 2/2; See our Sefer “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 8 Halacha 8

[36] Ketzos Hashulchan 5/6 based on the simple understanding of Admur in the Siddur and based on the ruling of Admur regarding the blessing of Hanosein Lasechvi Bina. This is unlike the ruling of Admur in the Shulchan Aruch 47/9 which does not require one to receive all the corresponding pleasures of the morning blessings, with exception to the rooster’s crow.

Other opinions: There are opinions that say one may recite all the morning blessings prior to Alos even if he did not receive their corresponding benefit. [See Kovetz Oholei Torah 777-780 for a discussion on this matter. Harav Asher Lemel Hakohen, Chabad Rav of Beitar, agrees to his opinion. Harav Yosef Simcha Ginzberg [through a personal correspondence] defended the opinion of the Ketzos Hashulchan in Admur, stating that there is no other way to interpret it.]

[37] Ketzos Hashulchan 5 footnote 15

[38] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Elul 54 as the custom of the Rebbe. The Rebbe Rashab however would switch his Shabbos clothes immediately after Shabbos as stated there.

[39] See Igros Moshe 2/105; Mishmeres Shalom 41/4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/2

[40] As the time midnight is equivalent in its auspiciousness to the time of Ashmuros Haboker. [Igros Moshe 2/105] See previous footnotes.

[41] Mishmeres Shalom 41/4

[42] M”A 565/5; Ramaz 30; Birkeiy Yosef 581/1; Kesher Gudal 11; Chesed Lealafim 581/9; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/1; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi 16/13; Kaf Hachaim 131/26; 581/2; M”B 565/12; M”E 581/20

The reason: The 13 attributes of mercy may only be said at an auspicious hour. One who says it at night causes an opposite effect and diminishes in the G-dly vitality [Kitzutz Benitios] [Birkeiy Yosef ibid] The only time we are lenient in this matter is on the night of Yom Kippur.

[43] Mishmeres Shalom 41/4 writes it may be said starting two hours before midnight, which is the beginning of the middle Ashmura, and so was done by certain Tzaddikim and Gedolim.

[44] Igros Moshe 2/105; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/2 writes that the Igros Moshe only allowed it as a “Horaas Shaah” and not as a permanent ruling.

[45] Ramaz 30; Birkeiy Yosef 581/1; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/1; Kaf Hachaim 131/26; M”E 581/20

[46] Michaber 131/3; Admur 131/4

[47] M”E 581/19

[48] Elya Raba brought in M”B 581/18

[49] Yechaveh Daas 1/46; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/2; See Mateh Efraiyim 581/11

[50] Likkutei Deburim Vol 1 page 151-158

[51] Admur Kama 1/9

[52] Birkeiy Yosef 581/5; Kaf Hachaim 581/6

[53] Reshimos Dvarim 1/326; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 4 [p.36]

[54] Birkeiy Yosef 581/4; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/1; Kaf Hachaim 131/21 and 581/5; Zechor Leavraham 131/6; Beis Oved 131/2; Chesed Lealafim 131/9

[55] Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Sisa 4

[56] Pirkei Direbbe Eliezer 46; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131/9

[57] Ben Ish Chaiy ibid [doing so helps for concentration]

[58] Ben Ish Chaiy ibid

[59] M”A 565/5 in name of Darkei Moshe and Abudarham; Kaf Hachaim 131/20

[60] Kaf Hachaim 131/20; Shalmei Tzibur p. 149; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 131/13

[61] Michaber 565/5; Mateh Efraim 581/21; Kaf Hachaim 565/26 [this applies even during the Aseres Yimei Teshuvah].

[62] Birkeiy Yosef 131/7-8; Kitzur Shlah Miseches R”H “It is proper to stand while saying Selichos, and one who is unable to stand is at the very least to stand while reciting Keil Melech Rachamim and Vayavor and the 13 Middos”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131/9

[63] Birkeiy Yosef in Shiyurei Bracha 131/19; Shalmei Tzibur p. 149; Beis Oved 131/3; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 131/13; Kaf Hachaim 131/19

[64] Sheivet Halevi 7/12; Igros Moshe 3/89; Yabia Omer 4/8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131/9; See Sheivet Halevy 9/1; Kinyan Torah 4/9

[65] This matter is disputed in Poskim regarding whether the 13 Midos have the same status as any Davar Bekedusha or not. See Halef Lecha Shlomo 44; Tehila Ledavid 66/7; Igros Moshe ibid; Yabia Omer ibid. Practically the age old custom is to treat it as a Davar Shebekidusha.

[66] Poskim ibid

[67] Sheivet Halevy 9/1; Kinyan Torah 4/9

[68] Sheivet Halevi 7/12; 9/24; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131/9; 581 footnote 78; However see Torah Leshma 96 that he writes if the Yachid began viduiy together with the congregation then he may continue and start the 13 attributes even after they finish.

[69] As it is considered a Davar Shebekedusha and is similar to Kaddish and Kedusha which may only be recited with ten people at the same time. [See M”B 565/11]

[70] Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Sisa 4 as explained in his Sefer Mikavtzel; Torah Leshma 96; Kaf Hachaim 131/24

[71] As since one began saying the words with a Minyan he may finish it off. [ibid]

[72] Piskeiy Teshuvos 131/9 [however the sources he provide are inaccurate] The Ben Ish Chaiy ibid only relates to a case that one began with the congregation. However in Torah Leshma 96 he writes that if the Yachid began viduiy together with the congregation then he may continue and start the 13 attributes even after they finish.

[73] Michaber 565/5; M”A 565/5 in name of Terumas Hadeshen; Seder Hayom [must finish the entire verse]; Machazik Bracha 131/6; Kesher Gudal 19/9; Ruach Chaim 131/1; Mateh Efraim 581/21 [however states that in such a case must omit the words Zechor Lanu Hayom Bris Shlosh Esrei]; Hisorerus Teshuvah 2/140; Minchas Elazar 4/22 [defends ruling of Mateh Efraim however in Darkei Chaim Veshalom 190 says not to say at all even in a way of Niggun. Vetzaruch Iyun.]; Grach Naah in Yagdil Torah Jerusalem 17 p. 26 [states that technically one is not even required to recite it with the tune]; Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 3/10; Kaf Hachaim 131/23 brings the dispute on this matter and rules it is only to be said with the Niggun by Tachanun and not by Selichos.

The reason: As there is no prohibition in reading it as a verse in scripture. The prohibition is only when reading it without a Minyan as a prayer and supplication

The tune: Rav Avraham Chaim Naah in Yagdil Torah ibid states that technically one is not even required to recite it with the tune, and it is only done to show that one does not mean to say it as a prayer. The Igros Moshe ibid similarly states that one may read the words in the usual tune he uses for reading words of Torah, even if it is not the actual Torah reading tunes [Taamim], so long as it does not sound like a supplication.

Finishing the verse: The Seder Hayom writes that one must finish the entire verse [until Vieal Riveim] and may not stop by the words Venakeh, as it is forbidden to end a verse in an area that Moshe did not end. [see Admur 494/11]  However some Poskim state it is not necessary to finish the verse. [Ben Ish Chaiy in Rav Poalim 1/11; Yechaveh Daas 1/47 based on Pesach Dvir 51] Practically the Kaf Hachaim ibid negates the opinion of the Seder Hayom and so rules Rav Avraham Chaim Naah in Yagdil Torah ibid; Igros Moshe ibid; Hisorerus Teshuvah 2/140; Piskeiy Teshuvos 565/5]

Reading in a Siddur: Some write that one must read the verse within a Sefer rather than from memory. [Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid in name of Peri Hasada 4/49]

[74] Beis Yosef 565; Taz 565/5; Birkeiy Yosef 488/5 in name of Maharam Zakusa in name of Arizal; Shalmei Tzibur p. 148; Zechor Leavraham 131/7; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 190 [However see Minchas Elazar 4/22 which defends ruling of Mateh Efraim ibid that it may be said so long as one skips the parts that mention the 13 Midos before and after reading it. Vetzaruch Iyun.]; Kaf Hachaim 131/23 rules that by Selichos one may not say it.

The reason: The reason is because since he is mentioning it at this time, seemingly his intent is as a request and not to read a verse in the Torah. [Taz ibid]

[75] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Elul 63; Hiskashrus 423 p. 18 footnote 17; Glosses of Rav Raskin on Siddur footnote 337; Heichal Menachem 3/265

Background:

Otzer Minhagei Chabad ibid records that an individual does not recite the 13 attributes even with the Torah reading tune. This is based on an answer of the Rebbe to this exact question of which the Rebbe answered that he has not heard of such a practice of reading it with the tune. In the first printings of the Siddur Tehilas Hashem it stated by Mincha that a Yachid does not recite the 13 attributes. It did not mention this by Shacharis or Selichos. The Rebbe was hence asked if there is a difference, to which the Rebbe replied in Igros Kodesh 3/138 that he never heard of such a differentiation as the ruling is clearly given in 565/5 without any difference regarding the type of prayer.

[76] Likkutei Taamim Umekoros of Selichos; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 58 for an exact list of all the differences in Nussach.

[77] M”E 581/18; Likkut Taamim of Rebbe

[78] 602/3 [regarding Selichos of Aseres Yomei Teshuvah]; Rama 602/1; Brought in Rokeiach; Levush 581; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 703

[79] Sefer Haminhagim p. 115 [English] based on Arizal in Peri Eitz Chaim 51; Peri Eitz Chaim 5/8; So rules also Ashel Avraham Butchach; Gr”a in Maaseh Rav; Kaf Hachaim 602/13; See Otzar Minhagei Chabad 66

The reason: As one who says Viduiy more than one time in a row is like an animal that is returning to sin. [Arizal ibid, brought in Kaf Hachaim 602/13]

[80] Sefer Haminhagim p. 115 [English]; So rules also: Kaf Hachaim 131/52 in name of Mamar Mordechai 131/10; and Shalmei Tzibur p. 151 “We are not accustomed at all to do Nefilas Apayim during Selichos” “In Yerushalayim and in all areas that I have passes I have never seen this done during Selichos”; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 68; See M”A 131/9; Admur 131/4 regarding Nefilas Apayim at night.

[81] Likkutei Taamim Umekoros; Mateh Efraim 581/18

[82] Sefer Haminhagim p. 137 [English], See footnote there [531] for an analysis of all the sources that defend its practice; So rules also: Chasam Sofer 166; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 69; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 81

[83] Maharal Nesivos Olam Avoda 12

The reason: As one may not use the angels as an intermediary between him and G-d.

[84] Likkutei Taamim Umekoros

[85] Shaar Hamoadim Elul 71-77; Sichos Kodesh 1974 2/435

[86] As charity is not given at night until midnight. [ibid]

[87] Shaar Hamoadim Elul 77; Hisvadyus 1982 4/4522;

[88] The number three in general holds auspicious meaning, as we see from the Talmud that matters relating to the Jewish people come in threes. [i.e. 3 levels of lineage; 3 parts of Torah etc.] The Rabbeim would therefore at times begin their Rosh Hashanah Mamarim on the 3rd day of Selichos.

[89] Mateh Efraim 581/18; Kitzur Shlah Miseches R”H “It is proper to stand while saying Selichos, and one who is unable to stand is at the very least to stand while reciting Keil Melech Rachamim and Vayavor and the 13 Midos”

[90] See Beir Moshe 1/23 regarding standing when the ark is open.

[91] See Admur 607/7 “One needs to confess standing and is hence not to lean in a way that it supports him from falling”.

[92] See Halacha D in Q&A!

[93] Rebbe in Likkutei Taamim [brought in Shulchan Menachem 3/83] that “so is the custom in all places that I saw”

[94] Ashel Avraham Butchach 581

[95] M”E 581/17

[96] Bach; M”A 565/6; Gr”a; M”B 565/13; Elya Raba; Birkeiy Yosef 131/11; Kesher Gudal 19/10; Shalmei Tzibur 149; Zechor Leavraham 131/6 Kaf Hachaim 131/25; Yalkut Yosef Moadim 13 footnote 17; Mateh Efraim 581/21 and Chesed Lealafim 131/9 and Kitzur SHU”A 128/9 rule it may be said although one must skip “Uzechor Hayom Bris..”.

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one may not recite Selichos without a Minyan. [Rama 565/5; Taz 565/5]

Background:

The Rama 565/5 rules [in name of Oar Zarua] that a Yachid may not say Selichos. The Taz 565/5 explains it is forbidden because one mentions in Selichos “Uzechor Hayom Bris Shlosh Esrei” which is forbidden to be said without a Minyan, just like the 13 attributes themselves. The Bach [brought in Taz ibid and M”A 565/6] however argues that Selichos may be recited, and so rules M”A 565/6 saying the intent of the Oar Zarua and Rama was to negate saying Selichos in middle of Shemoneh Esrei. [See Gr”a; Shaareiy Tziyon 565/10] Practically Mateh Efraim 581/21 brings not to say “Uzechor Hayom Bris..” as rules Taz ibid. So also rules Chesed Lealafim 131/9 and Kitzur SHU”A 128/9. However the M”B 565/13 sides like the M”A ibid that one recites Selichos as usual, omitting only the 13 attributes itself. So rules also Elya Raba; Birkeiy Yosef 131/11; Kesher Gudal 19/10; Shalmei Tzibur 149; Zechor Leavraham 131/6 [brought in Kaf Hachaim 131/25]; Yalkut Yosef Moadim 13 footnote 17 that so is the custom.

[97] Michaber 565/5; Mateh Efraim 581/21; Kaf Hachaim 565/26 [this applies even during the Aseres Yimei Teshuvah].

[98] Rama 565/5; Kitzur Shlah Miseches Taanis

[99] Kitzur Shlah Miseches Taanis “One needs to tell the masses that should not say Keil Melech Yosheiv and Vayaavor”

[100] Sefer Hatanya 72; Elya Raba 581/9; Kaf Hachaim 581/26; Mateh Efraim 581/21; M”B 581/4; See however Hiskashrus 60 p. 20

The reason: The reason for omitting the Aramaic parts is because the angels do not understand Aramaic and will hence be unable to elevate these prayers. [see Admur 101/5; Shabbos 12a; Sotah 33; Mefarshim in Shulchan Aruch 101] The Kaf Hachaim ibid questions this ruling as why do we need the angels to understand our prayers. The prayers can be said directly to Hashem. Likewise this matter of omitting Aramaic when reciting Selichos in private is not brought in any other Poskim.

[101] Bach; M”A 565/6; Gr”a; M”B 565/13; Elya Raba; Birkeiy Yosef 131/11; Kesher Gudal 19/10; Shalmei Tzibur 149; Zechor Leavraham 131/6 Kaf Hachaim 131/25; Yalkut Yosef Moadim 13 footnote 17

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to omit the words “Uzechor Hayom Bris Shlosh Esrei” upon saying Selichos without a Minyan. [Taz 565/5; Mateh Efraim 581/21; Chesed Lealafim 131/9 and Kitzur SHU”A 128/9 ]

[102] Mateh Efraim 581/17

[103] Alef Hamagen 581/33

[104] Mateh Efraim 581/17

[105] Alef Lamagen 581/35

[106] Alef Hamagen 581/34; See Admur 55/3

[107] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/12

[108] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/12

[109] Admur 18/4; Taz 581/2; M”A 18/1; 581/4 writes that one is to don a Tallis at the time of saying the 13 attributes. This implies that all the congregants are to wear a Tallis and not just the Chazan. This however is not the custom.

[110] Igros Kodesh 16/97 [printed in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 1/119; Shulchan Menachem 1/63] based on R”H 17a; Tana Dvei Eliyahu Zuta 23; See Koveitz Ohalei Torah 851 p. 5-26

[111] Such as when saying Selichos on Motzei Shabbos, or any night thereafter by Ashmuros Haboker.

[112] Taz 581/2; Mateh Efraim 581/14; M”B 581/6

The reason: There is a dispute as to whether one is to recite a blessing when wearing a Tallis at night. [This is based on the dispute in whether the Mitzvah of Tzitzis applies at night.] Thus in order to avoid a questionable blessing the Taz rules that one is to borrow a Tallis from another person as when one borrows a Tallis to Daven for the Amud one is not required to say a blessing. [Admur 14/8]

Other Opinions: The Levush [brought in Taz ibid] rules one is to wear a Tallis without a blessing and does not mention the need to borrow the Tallis from another. According to the M”A [14/6] which rules that even by a borrowed Tallis a blessing is said, there is no advantage in using another person’s Tallis. [Machatzis Hashekel 581 “Tzarich”] According to some Poskim one is never required to say a blessing when wearing a Tallis for Kavod purposes and therefore there is no need to borrow a Tallis from another. [Shaareiy Efraim 10/11; Biur Halacha 14/3 “Sheila”; brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 7 footnote 28; Shoel Umeishiv, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 14/8] It is evident however from the Poskim that they argue on this ruling. [See Ketzos Hashulchan ibid that negates the proofs of the Biur Halacha ibid; See also Admur 14/8; 18/3; 18/7; M”A 14/6; Taz 581/2; Mateh Efraim 581/14 from which it is proven they learn a blessing can be made when wearing a Tallis for Kavod. See also Igros Kodesh 19/249 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1/63] that the Rebbe mentions the dispute in whether a blessing is made when the Chazan wears a Tallis for Davening. The above clearly negates that which is written in Hiskashrus that according to Admur there is no need to borrow another person’s Tallis as Admur rules a blessing is not said over a Tallis when it is worn for Kavod.

Opinion of Admur: In the laws of Tzitzis 18/4 and 18/7 Admur rules one is to wear a Tallis at night for Kavod purposes [i.e. Maariv; Selichos] without a blessing. He does not mention that one is to borrow another person’s Tallis in order to avoid a questionable blessing. Likewise in the Siddur Admur writes there is no problem in removing a pair of Tzitzis at night and then wearing it again. The above rulings imply there is no need to borrow someone else’s Tallis when reciting Selichos before Alos. This follows the ruling of the Levush ibid. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[113] Mateh Efraim 581/14; See Ketzos Hashulchan 7/9 from Derech Hachaim; Kitzur SHU”A 9/11

The reason: As the Tallis of the Shul is not considered borrowed but rather of joint ownership and is hence similar to a Tallis that one owns.

[114] See Admur 18/7

[115] See “other opinions” and “opinion of Admur” mentioned in previous footnotes.

[116] Admur 18/7; See also Admur 8/20; 8/29; Rama 8/16 that the shaking is done prior to the blessing.

Must one rewrap himself with the Tallis? The Mateh Efraim 581/14 writes that one is to remove the Tallis from his head when Alos arrives, say the blessing of Lhisateif Betiztzis, and then replace the Tallis back on. This matter is omitted from Admur. The Alef Hamagen 581/30 comments on the Mateh Efraim ibid that according to the Poskim in 8/16 it is not necessary to remove the Tallis from the head. Vetzrauch Iyun according to this how simply shaking the Tzitzis suffices to be allowed to say the blessing of Lhisateif Betzitzis? 

[117] This applies even if the Chazan does not plan on Davening with the Tallis (such as when a Bochur is Chazan), as the main opinion is that a blessing may be said even when wearing a Tallis for the sake of Kavod. [see Poskim in previous footnotes] Vetzaruch Iyun if it is initially best for a Bochur to borrow the Tallis in order to avoid the dispute brought in previous footnotes regarding whether a blessing is recited over a Tallis that is worn for purposes of Kavod. Now although it is evident from Admur ibid that a blessing is recited nevertheless I did not see any Poskim which use the rulings of the Poskim in chapter 14 as a proof against the opinion that holds a blessing is not recited. Vetzaruch Iyun. Practically if one consciously wears the Tallis with intent to fulfill the Mitzvah, in addition to Kavod, then certainly a blessing may be recited even according to the Shaareiy Efraim, and thus it is proper to explicitly have this in mind when saying the blessing. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 14/8; Koveitz Mibeis Levi 6/58]

[118] Admur 14/8; See M”E 581/15

[119] Ketzos Hashulchan 7/9 from Derech Hachaim; Kitzur SHU”A 9/11; See previous footnotes for the dispute in Poskim regarding if one may say a blessing when wearing a Tallis for Kavod. It is clear from Admur that a blessing may be said as explained there.

[120] Rama 581/1

[121] Mateh Efraim 581/22; P”M in A”A 585 [end]

[122] Nehar Shalom 581/3; Kaf Hachaim 581/32 based on Pischeiy Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 393/3 ; See also Michaber/Rama 393/3; Chayeh Adam 167/3; Kitzur SH”A 214/2; Gesher Hachaim 21/6; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 112/7 which bring Poskim that allow going to Shul in order not to miss saying Kaddish, or hearing Kedusha. However other Poskim there argue that one may not go to Shul.

[123] Kneses Hagedola brought in Kaf Hachaim 581/35; See next footnote

[124] M”A 581/5; M”E 581/22; Kaf Hachaim 581/35. However in those areas that they do not increase in Selichos on these days then the Avel may not go to Shul. [ibid] See Admur 604/4 regarding Selichos on Erev Yom Kippur that some places lengthen in Selichos while others shorten the Selichos. Hence the ruling regarding Erev Yom Kippur would depend on the community. To note that the Chabad custom is not to recite any Selichos at all during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah and hence an Avel may not go to Shul on Erev Yom Kippur.

[125] Rama 581/1

The reason: As the lengthy Selichos is viewed with much importance in eyes of the public and if one were to miss it will cause him pain. For this reason they were lenient for the Avel. [Machatzis Hashekel 581/5]

[126] Mateh Efraim 581/22

[127] M”E 581/22; Kaf Hachaim 581/35

[128] Mahariy Asad 353; Alef Lamagen 581/44; See Taz 131/9; P”M 131 M”Z 9

The reason: As these days are days of judgment and it is thus improper to arouse extra judgment during mourning. [ibid]

[129] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/5

[130] Alef Lamagen 581/44; See P”M 131 M”Z 9

[131] Mahariy Asad 353

The reason: As one only omits the confession prayer within the regular set prayer of Shacharis or Mincha and not by the extra prayer of Selichos. [ibid]

[132] Alef Lamagen 581/44

[133] Mahariy Asad ibid

[134] Rama 581/1

Why are we lenient today in the criteria of appointing a Chazan? The Gilyonei Mahariy, [brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 39] writes that the Chasam Sofer stated that this only applied in times that the Chazan fulfilled the obligation for the public, however today that every person Davens his own prayer and the Chazan is not Motzei the public we are more lenient regarding the criteria.

[135] Rama ibid

The reason: As at thirty years old one’s heart is softer and more subjugated and humbled before G-d. [Elya Raba 581/15] This is the age that  Levi can serve before G-d in the Temple.

Other opinions: The Kol Bo 68 rules that he is to be 25 years old, and 30 years old is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar. [Elya Raba 581/15; Kaf Hachaim 581/41]

[136] The reason: This is similar to the Kohen Gadol which had to be married as being married saves one from sin. [Kol Bo ibid; Elya Raba ibid]

A widower: It has been witnessed that widowed Rabbanim served as Chazan for Musaf of Yom Kippur. [Birkeiy Yosef 581/11; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/7; M”E 581/27] Nevertheless initially a widower is not to be chosen as Chazan. [M”E ibid]

One who is married to two women: Some Poskim rule that if one is married to two women, such as in some Serfaradi community, or based on the Heter of 100 Rabbis, he is not to be Chazan on the High Holidays. [Shvus Yaakov 1/29; Shalmei Tzibur 303] Others however argue that they are valid to be Chazan. [Birkeiy Yosef 581/13] The Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/7 and Mateh Efraim 581/28 conclude that one is to be stringent, although if he is already the appointed Chazan then he is not to be removed from his position. See Kaf Hachaim 581/45

One whose wife is not in town: It makes no difference if the wife of the Chazan is in town or not. However if the person is separated from his wife then he is not to be appointed as Chazan. [M”E 1/29; Kaf Hachaim 51/46]

Other criteria mentioned in Poskim: He should be of upright lineage-Tzaddik Ben Tzaddik. [Alef Hamagen 581/52; Avnei Nezer 30] He should immerse in a Mikvah before Shacharis. [M”E 584/2] He should not be a Shochet, although many are lenient in this. [Sdei Chemed Rosh Hashanah 13/11; Alef Lamagen 581/55; See Tzur Yaakov 1/129] He should have a nice voice. [See 53/14-15; See Avnei Nezer 1/30] See chapter 53 for other conditions mentioned for a Chazan throughout the year; See Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim Rosh Hashanah 3/6 that by the Yamim Noraim the Chazan is to have the same criteria as the Chazan that leads a public fast day prayer that was established in light of tragedies, as explained in 579/1. See there for a list of criteria.

[137] M”B 581/13; Thus if one can choose a married thirty year old Chazan who is a simpleton, or a single young learned and G-d fearing Jew than the latter is to be chosen. [ibid]

[138] Sheivet Halevi 5/66

[139] Alef Lamateh 581/24

[140] Aruch Hashulchan 581/5, based on Magen Avraham 53/20. Vetzaruch Iyun if Admur agrees with this opinion, as no mention of this logic is made in chapter 53.

[141] The reason: The reason for this is because prayer is like a Karban Tzibbur, and a Chazan that hates a member of the congregation causes a blemish in the Karban. The Karban is thus invalid and the entire congregation is not Yotzei. [Beis Yosef in 53/19; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/9; See Derech Mitzvosecha Mitzvas Ahavas Yisrael]

[142] Machatzis Hashekel 581/6; Sefer Chassidim 758; Chayeh Adam 138/4; M”B 581/11; Kaf Hachaim 581/52

[143] Kol Bo 68; Kaf Hachaim 581/40

[144] Rama ibid;

The reason: As one who began a Mitzvah is told to complete it. [Levush; M”A ibid] Alternatively it is similar to the Kohen that received the honor of the Terumas Hadeshen also receives the honor of the Siddur Maracha. Or it is similar to the Gemara [Megillah 24a] that states that the person who gets Maftir should also Daven for the Amud for Musaf in order to give him a proper honor. [Binyan Shlomo 37] Or it is because it used to be that the person who recites Selichos also fasts on that day, and it is hence proper to have him Daven all the prayers. [Shearim Hametzuyanim Behalacha 188/6 [KU”A]

Which prayers does this refer to? This refers to [Shacharis, Mincha] and even Marriv. [M”A 581/7] This refers to the Maariv prior to that day’s Selichos. [Kol Bo; Darkei Moshe; Elya Raba 581/17; P”M 581 A”A 7; M”B 581/14] However from the M”A ibid it implies that it refers to the Maariv of that day of Selichos. [Elya Raba ibid brought in Machatzis Hashekel] The Mateh Efraim 581/31 concludes that he is to Daven the Maariv beforehand and all three prayers of that day; Shachris Mincha and Maariv. [See Kaf Hachaim 581/53]

Does the Chazan for Selichos receive precedence over an Avel and the like? Some Poskim rule that the Chazan for Selichos receives precedence over all others. [M”A 581/7] Other Poskim however rule that a person with a Yartzite has precedence. [Elya Raba 581/17; P”M 581 A”A 7; M”B 581/14] Practically the custom is to give precedence to both an Avel and a person with a Yartzite. [M”E 581/31; Kaf Hachaim 581/54]

[145] Aruch Hashulchan 581/6; Binyan Shlomo 37; Sdei Chemed Klalim Rosh Hashanah 1/3; Tefila Kehilchasa 23 footnote 8 in name of Rav Elyashiv that so is the custom in Jerusalem not to be particular in this matter; Sheraim Hametzuyanim Behalacha 188/6 [KU”A]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/10

The reason: As the custom mainly applied in times that the Chazan was Motzei the congregation in the Amidah. [Binyan Shlomo ibid]

[146] Alef Hamagen 581/64 that “in our communities many are accustomed to do this”; The custom of Belz is to be particular in this matter. [Luach Dvar Yom Beyomo]

[147] Shlah brought in M”A 581/9; Kaf Hachaim 581/39 based on Zohar

[148] See Gilyonei Mahariy, [brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 39] that the Chasam Sofer stated that this only applied in times that the Chazan fulfilled the obligation for the public, however today that every person Davens his own prayer therefore every person needs to separate himself for three days, as each person is his own Chazan.

[149] Shlah ibid; M”A ibid brought in M”B 581/11

[150] Admur 53/23; M”A 53/20

Background:

From the letter of the law prior to appointing a set Chazan even an individual can withhold his appointment if he has a valid complaint against him which is brought to the community leaders and validated. However this only applied in previous times that the individuals had holy intentions in their complaints. However today if we would validate the complaint of every individual no community would ever be able to appoint anyone, as each person places a blemish on the holy; this one complaining for this reason, the other complaining for that reason. Therefore it became accustomed to follow the majority opinion of the paying members of the Shul. Once the Chazan has already been appointed by the community then even from the letter of the law we no longer regard the opinion of the individual. [Admur ibid based on Levush] The M”A ibid however gives a different reason for why today we no longer follow the individual. This is because the Chazan no longer fulfills the obligation for the public and the individual is not fulfilling his prayer through the Chazan.

Other Opinions: The Kaf Hachaim 53/86 rules, based on the Arizal, that even today an individual may oppose the appointment of a Chazan. His reason is because based on Kabala the recital of Chazaras Hashatz benefits also the individual and hence he has the right to oppose a specific person from being his messenger of performing this matter. [This however only negates the reason of the M”A ibid, however according to the reason of Admur based on Levush we never pay attention today to the individual.]

[151] M”A 581/6; M”B 5871/11; Kaf Hachaim 581/37; Admur 588/8 regarding a Baal Tokeia

[152] How many years considers one the set annual Chazan? Even one time. [Sheials Yaavetz 2/69; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/7; M”B 581/11; Kaf Hachaim 581/50; However see Admur 588/8 regarding the Baal Tokeia “every year”. Vetzaruch iyun!]

[153] Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 581

[154] M”B 53/82

[155] Admur 53/33

[156] Admur 53/33

Other Opinions: There are opinions that rule a son never inherits the position of his father as Chazan. [See Beis Shearim 271; Sdei Chemed Rosh Hashanah 2/21]

[157] This refers to a person that is within 12 months of mourning for his father or mother [M”A 581/4], and a person that is within 30 days of mourning for other close relatives. [M”B 581/7; Kaf Hachaim 581/33]

What is the law during the 13th month of a leap year? If the year one’s parents passed away is a leap year then, nevertheless after 12 months the son may Daven for the Amud on Yom Tov even though it is still prior to the first Yartzite. [P”M 660 M”Z 2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 81]

[158] M”A 581/4 [in name of Mahril 136; Darkei Moshe; Meil Tzedaka; Hagahos Maimanis]; M”B 581/7; M”E 581/23; Kitzur SH”A 128/8; Kaf Hachaim 581/33

The reason: As the attribute of severity hovers over the Avel for the entire period of his Aveilus. [M”E 581/23;]

If there is no other Chazan available: If the only available Chazan is an Avel then he may be Chazan on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. [M”B 581/7] This applies even if the Avel is within Shiva. [Gilyon Maharsha 376/14; Piskeiy Teshuvos 6581/13-as the Yom Tov nullifies the Shiva.]

If there is no other Chazan that is as proper as the Avel: The above law likewise applies if there is no other Chazan that is as proper, or as pious, or that contains as sweet of a voice as the Avel, in which case he may be Chazan even on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. [M”E 581/24-25; Kitzur SHU”A 128/8] This applies even if there is mere doubt as to whether the congregation will be pleased with a different Chazan. [M”E ibid]

[159] Gesher Hachaim 23/4-1

[160] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 84 that the Poskim did not differentiate in this matter.

[161] M”E ibid; Kitzur SH”A ibid; Alef Hamagen 581/47

[162] The reason for this is because these Poskim are lenient to say that the festival nullifies the Shloshim also regarding prayer within 30 days. [ibid]

[163] Igros Kodesh 7/363 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3/94]; See M”E 581/25 that rules if the Avel is the set Chazan for a number of years and needs the money for his Parnasa and is liked by the congregation then he may be Chazan.

Other Opinions: It is implied from Kitzur SH”A ibid and M”E 581/24 that the above allowance only applies to one that is within Shloshim of other relatives and not one that is within the year of Aveilus. However the M”E in 581/25 extends the Heter also to an Avel within his year of Aveilus, although with a few conditions as stated above.

[164] Based on directive of Rebbe and Rebbe Rayatz in Igros Kodesh ibid that a certain Chazan of 25 years was in Aveilus and he was told by the Rebbe to continue being Chazan.

[165] Elya Raba 582 [end]; M”B 581/7; Kitzur SHU”A 128/8; Kaf Hachaim 581/33; See Bach Yoreh Deah 384 that only mentions Shabbos; Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh regarding the days an Avel avoids Davening for the Amud.

[166] This refers to any Avel, whether he is within Shloshim or within the year of his parents. [See M”E ibid]

[167] M”E 581/23

The reason: As the attribute of severity hovers over an Avel and it is thus not fitting to have him be the messenger of the public during these days that require G-d’s mercy. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 93] Others explain the reason is because the Rama rules that the person who leads the Selichos is to lead the prayers of the rest of the day. [Teshuros Shaiy 531] Accordingly today that this is no longer accustomed the Avel is to Daven for the Amud even according to this custom.

[168] M”E ibid; See previous footnote for reason.

[169] Noda Beyehuda 32; He writes that the public mistakenly compared these days to the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur which are Holidays, and this is incorrect.

[170] Igros Kodesh 2/324; 8/236; 11/3 [brought in Shulchan Menachem 5/303]; Sefer Haminhagim p. 178 [English]

[171] Kitzur SHU”A 128/8; M”E 581/23; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/14

[172] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/13

[173] As the Yom Tov nullifies the Shiva.

[174] Rama 581/1

[175] The reason Tachanun is recited in Selichos: The reason for this is because Selichos is completed prior to Alos. [Mahril] Now although at times it concludes after Alos, nevertheless since its main time of completion is before Alos therefore the Sages instituted to recite Tachanun even when it is concluded after Alos. [M”A 581/13; Elya Raba 581/33; Levush 581] This does not form a contradiction as in many instances we find there is a difference between morning and night. [P”M 581 A”A 13]

[176] Luach Kolel Chabad

Other Opinions: The Peri Megadim A”A 581/13 writes that the saying of Tachanun when reciting Selichos after Alos is slightly contradictory to the fact we do not say Selichos in Shacharis. However see M”A ibid that one says Tachanun even if the Selichos continue past Alos. Vetzaruch Iyun. 

[177] 581/3

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