Our community will gather together with other congregations for our annual communal observance of Selichot on Saturday evening September 1 (yes—Memorial Day Weekend) beginning at 8:15 with a desert nosh.
Beth Am Israel, 1301 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley is our host for this year.
The schedule for the evening is below:
8:15 pm Reception and nosh
8:30 pm Havdalah
8:45 pm Concurrent Learning led by our community’s rabbis,
educators and cantors
9:45 pm Concurrent Worship
(Reform with community choir, meditative with chanting,
and traditional Conservative. This year, we will be using
the new Reform liturgy for Selichot, Mishkan Halev.
10:45 pm Evening Concludes with blowing of Shofar
What is Selichot?
Selichot are prayers of forgiveness. Selichot are prayers that help us prepare for the High Holy Days. The themes and opportunities of these days are both joyful and serious: new beginnings, repentance, return, change, examining where we are in life; asking forgiveness of those we have hurt and of ourselves. Our tradition wisely understands that one cannot just “jump into” these opportunities without preparation, and without the company of others who are on a similar journey. That is why we begin before Rosh Hashanah with prayers, meditations and spiritual exercise called Selichot. In some Jewish traditions, Selichot prayers and meditations are said for the full month before Rosh Hashanah; in others, a few days before Rosh Hashanah. Either way, the intent is the same: it takes time and preparation to truly effect personal and communal growth, change and transformation. That’s why we have Selichot, and that’s also why we participate as a community in Selichot: it is a way to emphasize that before we return to our own community, or our own work of transformation, we join together as community, linking hearts and intentions with one another, strengthening one another.