We ashkenaz start selichot on a Sunday. Sunday is a day of the week. Usually we start events on a given day of a given month (e.g., rosh hodesh, rosh hashanna), or after a given number of days (e.g., we count 49 days to shavuot). Why, and by what logic, does the selichot custom differ from this usual approach to specifying a date?

  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/56948
    – msh210
    Aug 19, 2015 at 21:24
  • 1
    First, you mean the Ashkenazi selichos custom. Sepharadim start Elul 1. On the flip-side, while Ashkenazim have customs for the entire 3 weeks, Sepharadim start their mourning the Sunday of or before the Tish'a be'Av observance (whether the 9th or just the one Sunday if the fast was postponed from Shabbos to the 10th). However, WRT selichos, I assumed it was linked to the week of creation -- there is significance to the idea of the Sunday before Rosh haShanah. Aug 19, 2015 at 21:36
  • @MichaBerger The second word of my question is "ashkenaz" so telling me I am referring to ashkenazi custom is not necessary.
    – Yehuda W
    Aug 20, 2015 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


this article cites a reason given by Leket Yosher Orach Chaim, p. 118 par. 1


Simce people have more free time on SHabbat, they spend their time learning Torah and enjoying (Oneg) Shabbat. So,Yom Rishon is a good time to begin Selichot since people are still happy from Shabbat. And we also learn in Talmud Shabbat p 32b that the shechina (G-d's "presence") exists not because of laziness or sadness, but rather because of the joy in fulfilling a mitzvah.


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