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.