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Selichot

What is Selichot?

The beginning of the High Holy Days season is marked by the observance of Selichot.  Selichot is held on the Saturday night preceding Rosh Hashanah.  Traditionally, if Rosh Hashanah starts the following Monday or Tuesday, then Selichot is observed the preceding Saturday so that there are at least three days between Selichot and Rosh Hashanah.  This service is designed to help worshippers direct their hearts and minds to the process of teshuvah, meaning "return", as in, turning away from sin. A fundamental part of the Selichot service is the recitation of the "Thirteen Attributes" of God's mercy that were revealed to Moses after the sin of the golden calf (Exodus 34:6-7).  The service is quite moving, as we search introspectively within ourselves and recite pleas for mercy.  The melodies for the Selichot service are evocative, while offering hope for change and a better life. 

Temple Emanu-El traditionally observes Selichot by showing a thought-provoking film followed by a discussion with the rabbi, and ending the evening with the Selichot service, enhanced by music from the High Holy Day Choir. 

Rosh Hashanah

What does Rosh Hashanah mean?

Rosh Hashanah is Hebrew for "head of the year" (literally), or "beginning of the year" (figuratively).  In the Torah, we read, "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, there shall be a sacred assembly, a cessation from work, a day of commemoration proclaimed by the sound of the shofar" (Numbers 29:1).  Therefore, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the first and second days of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar.

Temple Emanu-El holds Erev Rosh Hashanah as well as First and Second Day Rosh Hashanah services, along with providing childcare and youth programming for Erev Rosh Hashanah and First Day Rosh Hashanah.

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah

Fri, September 25 2020 7 Tishrei 5781