The selichot in the Moroccan rite

A selection of selichot performed by Jo Amar, Ouriel Amar, Ouria Bensoussan, Ouriel Elbilia, Lior Elmaliah’, Haim Louk and Avraham 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 Moroccan rites (Casablanca, Meknes, Marrakesh…). The first one of these selichot, “Anenou” (Answer me), performed by the Israeli cantor Avraham Toledano is sung on a typical melody of Meknes. We recognize the Meknassi rite for its mix of Andalusian sounds and irregular rhythms coming from the Berber folklore in the surrounding mountains of Meknes.
The sixth selicha, “Hatanou Lefaneicha”, performed by Lior Elmaliah’, follows a tune from Marrakesh. the seventh seliha, “Elecha Hashem”, performed by the world known cantor, Haim Louk, follows a tune from Casablanca.


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