The selichot in the Eastern Ashkenazi rite

A selection of selichot performed by Benzion Miller, Kwartin Zawel, Moshe Stern, Moshe Koussevitzky, Binyamin Unger and Avi Toledano


The selichot are penitential prayers in which the worshipper implores forgiveness to God for the sins committed. This tradition is based on the thirteen attributes of mercy which have been, according to the tradition, passed on from God to Moses. (Exodus 34, 6-7).
In the beginning, the selichot were read during Yom Kippur service and for fasts. Then this tradition took place during the 10 days (yamim noraïm) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Ashkenazi communities and the Chasidim start reciting the selichot on saturday evening preceding (for at least four days) Rosh Hashanah service. The Sefardi communities read it at dawn before the morning prayer for forty days, starting on the first of Elul.

The following playlist features a selection of selichot in various rites of Eastern Europe. The cantorial art, supported by famous voices such as Moshe Koussevitzky, Kwartin Zawel, Benzion Miller, Moshe Stern, etc., travel along with the mystical interpretation, or more modern, of the selihot in the chassidic spirit.

Read the feature article on Selihot

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