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In Chabad-Lubavitch synagogues, it is customary that anyone who would not wear a talis normally does not do so just because he's leading/representing the congregation. The only exception of which I'm aware is the first day of s'lichos before Rosh Hashana: then (in the middle of the night), the shaliach tzibur wears a talis even though no one else does (and so he wouldn't, either, were he not leading the services). Why is that exception made?


(Note that I'm not asking the following: "Lubavitchers are careful for reasons of kabala not to wear a talis at night. Why is an exception made by the shaliach tzibur on the first night of s'lichos?" That's also an interesting question, but is not mine here.)

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1 - To confirm that your question is accurate - see Shaarei Halacha U'Minhag - page 226 - at the top which mentions that for Selichos the Chabad Minhag is to wear a Tallis.

2 - The main reason for this is based on Rosh Hashana 17b where it says Hashem put on a Talis and said the Shelosh Esrei Midos. Therefore we emulate this by the Chazan putting on the Talis and saying the Shelosh Esrei Midos. אמר רבי יוחנן: אלמלא מקרא כתוב אי אפשר לאמרו: " מלמד שנתעטף הקב"ה כשליח צבור והראה לו למשה סדר תפילה. אמר לו: כל זמן שישראל חוטאין יעשו לפני כסדר הזה ואני מוחל להם" ראש השנה י"ז:

see: אהלי תורה' גיליון תתנ"א עמ' 50 ואילך, ובפרט בעמ' 62

  • Is ר״ה Chabad's source? I mean, Chabad says the 13 midos daily. – msh210 Feb 15 '15 at 19:26
  • That is what it says in Oholai Torah. Not available online. – Gershon Gold Feb 15 '15 at 19:27

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