Slihot prayers at Western Wall intensify as Rosh Hashana nears

The word "slihot" is derived from the Hebrew word "forgiveness," and refers to penitential prayers traditionally recited in the days leading up to the Jewish New Year.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
September 6, 2018 18:24
Slihot at Western Wall, September 4, 2018

Slihot at Western Wall, September 4, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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The Western Wall, famed as as the last standing architectural element of the ancient Second Temple, is the gathering place for Jews from around the world who have come to Jerusalem to pray and ask for forgiveness in the days leading up to the High Holy Days.

Slihot prayers, a word derived from the Hebrew word  "forgiveness," are said by Ashkenazi European Jews during the week before Rosh Hashana until the day before Yom Kippur, and by Sefardi Jews from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul until Yom Kippur.


The prayers elaborate on God's 13 attributes of mercy, which were revealed to Moses after the People of Israel sinned by worshiping the Golden Calf. Slihot prayers ask for God's mercy as the Jewish People enter the season of repentance.

While the prayers are most often said around midnight, worshipers can be seen praying around the clock in the holiday season.

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