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The litany of the Selichot has a tradition of about one thousand years. The particular texts and tunes may vary. However, the basic ritual of selichot as well as even certain particular selections actually date back to the era of the Beit Hamikdash.

These supplications were traditionally let by the Chazzan and recited by the congregation in especially heart warming tunes. These traditional hymns are also nostalgic in nature as they bring us back to our ground-zero roots. Back to where every Jew’s faith is unencumbered by our misguided and inadvertent turns that we unfortunately took during the course of our miserable gallut. We regret our follies of succumbing to our weaknesses and truly reminisce our primal loving relationship with G-d.

We turn to our loving G-d and beseech His kindness. Though we erred in our observances, our loyalty and love for Him never wavered. In the Selichot we repeatedly plead for the reconciliation of His covenant with the seed of Abraham as we reaffirm our allegiance to Him. Through the prophet “Malachi,” G-d made this compact with us, “Shuva Elai Ve’eshuva.” G-d is still safeguarding our loving relationship with Him and is “Kivyechol” longing to renew it with us when we sincerely commit ourselves to Him.

These words woven together with the traditional warm tunes were sung for centuries by the Jews of Sephardic origins and were composed by the greatest spiritual soul masters in the likes of Rabbi Judah Halevy. Experiencing these stirring services helps in connecting to one’s soul even though he may have unfortunately neglected his neshama throughout the year. We can hear our souls calling out to us, “Please remember us.” Our spirit is eternal and timeless while our physical body is only temporary and for a relatively short while.

Judaism does not view this temporal world as purely mundane. Meditating over our temporal lives is not meant to depress our spirits and bring melancholy. On the contrary, our spirits are eternal. Time invested in Torah study and observance of mitzvot lives on and on to eternity. We become partners in G-d’s creation as our good deeds ‘come to life’. By the grace of G-d’s love for us He granted us a “Torat Chaim.” We plead “Lema’anach Elokim Chaim,” stipulating that we refocused. We will no longer forget our purpose in this world. On the contrary, becoming distracted by earthly pleasures leads to melancholy. However, by commiting to a “Torat Chaim,” we have the strength and meaning which is the key to the energy we need to fuel a life of spirituality. (Erez Yechiel)

Album: “Selichot” by Erez Yechiel
Genre: Jewish, Holidays, High Holidays, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Oriental, Pioutim
Price: $18.00 (Order now)

Listen to album samples (source: Torah Ohr)

Adon HaSelichot | Ben Adam | Anneinu | Ya Shema Evyonecha | Shir HaMaalot Mimaamakin | Shir HaMaalot Esa Eynai | Heberim Emanuel | Al Nora Alila

(more by Erez Yechiel – click here)

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