Selichot Prayers

 

Selichot

The word Selichot is the plural of the word Seliha meaning ‘amnesty’, ‘forgiveness’ or ‘appeal’, and are prayers of pleading for God’s forgiveness,. Approaching the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) when everyone will be judged and everyone’s fate for the following year will be determined, Jewish people begin to evaluate themselves and review their faults. They pray God and Selichot prayers are recited for forgiveness during the month of Elul. What’s important here is that the confession is not made in the singular form ‘I’, but in plural as ‘we’.

Repeating aloud the Thirteen Attributes of God, mentioned in the Torah, over and over is the essence of Selichot prayers. These prayers are recited during the latter part of the night, right before dawn. Because, according to the Jewish mysticism, the moments when God’s presence and proximity is the most intense is the timeframe right before dawn.

Sukkot Prayers

The Feast of Tabernacles

Mısır Celebrated to remember the Israelites who lived in the desert, in hunger after being liberated from the Egyptian enslavement, Sukkot begins on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. The feast lasts for eight days. It is a tradition to start building the sukkahs the night after Yom Kippur, as a reminder of the huts of our ancestors. A sukkah is made of wood and topped with branches and greeneries matching certain rules and measurements. The practice here is that the sukkah should be wide enough to allow a large part of human body and a table to fit in (ideally, it should enable all family to sit under the same sukkah). Its roof should not be fully covered and one should be able to see the sky and stars at night through the branches and greenery. The Torah teaches us to eat all our meals and sleep in the sukkah for seven consecutive days. Sukkot is one of our most joyful feasts and is enthusiastically celebrated at the Neve Shalom’s Sukkah.

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