[Avodah] Slichos without a minyan before midnight

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Fri Sep 7 09:44:02 PDT 2018

On Fri, Sep 07, 2018 at 11:04:34AM -0400, Prof. Levine via Avodah wrote:
: I belive that I claimed that my father-in-law told me that where he 
: came from they said selichos on the first day at 4 am and based on 
: this I wondered where the custom to say the first selichos at 1 am came from.

... and now you know. An over millennium old piyut named Bemotza'ei
Menuchah reflects saying selichos closer to the end of Shabbos.

To the extent that your minyan had to alter it for the situation in which
you said it; your minyan was atypical, compared to historical Ashkenazi
norms. As were Selichos at whereever your father-in-law came from.

As for a source... the Birkei Yoseif (OC 581) says it's from the Ari,
so as to still utilize the Qedushas Shabbos of Melaveh Malka time.

Whereas the Shaarei Teshuvah (s"q 1*) says in the name of the Maharam
that we wait until chatzos because qedushas Shabbos before chatzos
makes it inappropriate to say Vidui.

It is also implied by the Rama's discussion of early Selichos that
historically, more were saying Selichos too early than saying them at
the end of the ashmores.

Which is also why this is only done the first night (Or leYom Rishon),
even by people who have no problem staying up half the night.
No "BeMotza'ei Menuchah", not call for midnight selichos.

Well, not really "no call". As the proper time is from chatzos to alos,
and zerizim maqdimin lemotzvos... And the usually source for Tiqun
Chatzos, to show that Chatzos is an eis ratzon, apply -- Yevamos 72a,
b. Let me leave it with "insufficient reason" to stay up.

Although many Sepharadim, who don't say BeMotza'ei Menuchah in any case,
do make a point of saying Selichos at chatzos. (In my 2nd-hand experience,
before Alot is more common.)


Micha Berger             It's never too late
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Fax: (270) 514-1507                      - George Eliot

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