With Thanks: Rachel A
Here is Yaniv Ben Mashiah Pticha singing a Selichot prayer entitled : “I got up at an early hour: why are you sleeping, Man? ”
Selichot are penitential prayers said before and during the High Holy Days and other fast days throughout the year. But the term first appears as a reference to the biblical verses that were added to the Yom Kippur liturgy.
Eventually, the holiday prayers were combined with general prayers of repentance. The prayer book of Rav Amram Gaon, from the 9th century, for example, includes a collection of these poetic writings and meditations.
While these prayers were initially only recited during the days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the custom developed to use them in the days beforehand as well.
In Hebrew, selichot translates to “forgiveness,” and indeed there is an emphasis in these prayers on the merciful attributes with which God is said to govern the world. In many ways, the prayers which make up the Selichot service mirror what we find on the Day of Atonement which follows soon after.
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