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Selichot Study Session

Saturday, September 12, 2020 23 Elul 5780

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

"A Time to Embrace in a Time of Refraining from Embracing" (Ecclesiastes 3:5)

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. The holiday itself occurs early in the month of Elul in Sephardic tradition, but on the Saturday evening just before Rosh HaShanah in Ashkenazi communities. Either way, prayers are read and meditations considered as individuals are encouraged to reflect on the past year and the changes they wish to make in the upcoming one.

Reform congregations have developed beautiful and meaningful programs for the observance of Selichot on the Saturday evening prior to Rosh HaShanah. This often includes a study program about the themes of repentance and forgiveness.

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Mon, September 28 2020 10 Tishrei 5781