Selichot Services, Saturday Night, 10pm (yep, 10pm)

Selichot marks the beginning of the High Holy Day cycle.  Also, known as the The Prayers of Repentance service, in the Ashkenazi tradition it usually begins on the Saturday night before Rosh HaShanah. In the Sephardic tradition, Selichot begins on the second day of Elul and continues throughout the month.

BCC’s Selichot service will take place on August 31, from 10pm-Midnight.

It’s the first time we recite the Al Cheyt penitential prayer, the set of lines that starts “for the sin which we’ve committed before you by ________ and for the sin which we’ve committed before you by ________.”

Also, the repeated recitation of The Thirteen Attributes of God is a fundamental part of the Selichot service.

Israel’s most famous women religious rights group The Women of the Wall will hold this year their first ever Selichot service.  Here’s an article about it that appeared in the Huffington Post:

Women of the Wall have been fighting a 25-year long battle “to achieve the social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall.”

For the first time since their inception in 1988, the women’s prayer group will be holding a Selichot service at the Western Wall, which is unrelated to their regular Rosh Hodesh gathering at the start of each month. Selichot are the penitential prayers and liturgy recited each night beginning in the month of Elul and continuing until the High Holy Days, and Women of the Wall will be holding a nighttime gathering on September 1.

Shira Pruce, director of public relations for Women of the Wall, told the Huffington Post about the decision to hold the Selichot service, explaining, “It felt very appropriate because this is the time of year where we take stock. Jews of every denomination take stock of the past year and reflect on successes and mistakes. We think about how we can be better, kinder, people, and leave the world a better place.”

Women of the Wall achieved an important milestone in April when a District Court ruled that women were not banned from praying at the Kotel, and on May 10 hundreds of women prayed freely at the Western Wall, many with tallitot and tefillin with police protection from the thousands of ultra-Orthodox men and womenprotesting their worship.

However, Pruce hasn’t heard anything in terms of backlash against the planned service on September 1st. “We aren’t taking any measures,” she said to the Huffington Post. “This is a time of year when thousands of people gather at the Western Wall to pray, and I don’t see why Women of the Wall should be considered any differently. Maybe this will be an opportunity to show that we don’t need police protection and that we can all pray peacefully as Jews.”

Read the full story on the Huffington Post

To watch Selichot Services live Please click here (Stream will start 10:30 pm- LA time).You can go to our UStream channel, in order to interact with members of the congregation during the service. More info

This service and other BCC recordings can be found on our Ustream channel.

Written by Yanir Dekel on Aug 29, 2013 in Worship - One Comment

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