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Selichot offers time to reflect and seek forgiveness.
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
f Rosh Hashanah is our day in
court, how can we show up
without proper preparation?"
asks Rabbi Elimelech Silberberg
of Sara Tugman Bais Chabad Torah
That preparation, he said, begins
with the Selichot service, a set of
prayers of forgiveness recited on the
weekdays leading up to, and includ-
ing, Yom Kippur. In Ashkenazic syna-
gogues, Selichot begins with a late-
night service on Saturday, Sept. 20. In
the Sephardic tradition, Selichot is
said beginning at the start of the
Hebrew month of Elul, which this
year began the evening of Aug. 28.
"Often, people think they can go to
shul Rosh Hashanah morning and beg
God for a good year and hope His
answer is affirmative," Rabbi
"But we don't go to Rosh Hashanah
services — our day in court — with-
out spending many days preparing.
Selichot services constitute that prepa-
ration, and sensitize us to what Rosh
Hashanah should be: coronation day."
The rabbi describes the days when
Selichot is said as "a time of medita-
tion, pondering and reflection of what
it means to be a servant of a king. The
theme of judgment is secondary." Fl
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Many of the area synagogues holding Selichot services on Saturday night, Sept.
20, will complement the service with concerts, films and meditation. Contact
individual synagogues for information. Among the Selichot programs are
• Adat Shalom Synagogue: At 9 p.m., Dr. John Merkle, professor of theol-
ogy at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John's 1.iniversity in
Minnesota, will speak on "Christian Repentance for Anti-Semifism," fol-
lowed by Selichot services at 11 p.m.
Grab a little "me time.
(30 minutes, to be exact.)
• Temple Beth El: An 8:15 p.m. Selichot family concert will feature the
temple's new religious school song leader and youth
choir director, Caitlin Kiaper, along -with her father,
musician-composer Steve Klaper. A 9:30 oneg and a
10 p.m. Selichot healing service follow, with music by
Cantor David Montefiore and the temple's High
Holy Day Choir.
• Congregation Beth Shalom: A 9 p.m. viewing of
the film The Outside Chance ofMaximilian Glick will
be followed by Selichot services, including healing
prayers and reflection focusing on the theme, "Can
we forgive and who should we forgive?" Donations
Get One Week
Congregation Chaye Olam: The Interlochen
Academy Jazz Ensemble will be featured in a free con-
cert beginning at 7:30 p.rn, followed by the Selichot
service, led by Cantor Stephen Dubov, at 9:15 p.m.
Limited seating. No charge.
• Machon UTorah: Jewish Awareness America: The
College Kiruv Network will sponsor a pre-Selichot pro-
gram beginning at 11:45 p.m., "Charting Our Path to
Teshuva, a filmed conversation with Rabbi Moshe
'Weinberger of Congregation Aish Kodesh in
Woodmere, N.Y., follovved by a video presentation of
"Flashein Calls: Flow Should We Respond?" featuring
lecturer and author, Rabbi Paysach Krohn. Selichot services will follow the
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