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Together with You

סליחות בבנייני האומה
בנייני האומה, הלילה. צילום: ישי ירושלמי

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Beginning last night, Ashkenazim joined Sephardim in recitation of Selichot prayers. Together with 3,000 people, I participated in last night's Selichot at the Binyanei HaUma Convention Center in Jerusalem, led by my brother-in-law Yitzchak Meir. The main auditorium was transformed into a giant synagogue.

But while we came to ask forgiveness for our misdeeds over the past year, there was no sadness. Saying Selichot is about renewal of hope. It is an annual get together of optimistic people who believe that it's possible to change.

"The Soul is Yours," "Angels of Mercy," "Answer Us," "Lord of Forgiveness" -- all of these piyutim (liturgical poems) are said with joy, with faith, with a kind of gratitude for this opportunity to stop and reconsider once again our path in life.

Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik said that there is unique power in the words "Chatanu lefanecha," Chatanu (we have sinned), but we have done so lefanecha (before You). The main thing is that we are before You, together with You, and therefore can tell You everything that's in our hearts and ask for the chance to begin anew.

Shavua tov and may our Selichot prayers bring the changes we seek.


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