Why in the past 150+ years did ashkenazim stop reciting the majority of selichot at shacharit, mussaf, and mincha of yom hakkipurim and only start selichot from the psukim before the chatanu or shma koleinu?

  • Hazanim don't like them.
    – paquda
    Sep 6, 2017 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


The Arukh haShulchan (OC 620:1) writes:

ומה שתמיהני: דהנה הרא"ש שלהי יומא, והטור בסימן זה הביאו בשם הגאונים לומר בשחרית חמש פעמים "ויעבור". ויש אומרים שלוש עשרה פעמים כנגד שלוש עשרה מדות. ויש אומרים שבע פעמים, ובמוסף שבע פעמים, וכן במנחה, עיין שם. ואנחנו אין מזכירין אפילו פעם אחת. ויש מנהגים שאין להם עיקר — ונזהרים בהם, וזה שהוא מהגאונים ובהזכרת שלוש עשרה מידות — ואין נזהרים בזה.‏

וזה נצמח הכל מאריכת הניגונים, עד שלא נשאר זמן לומר סליחות. ואמירת שלוש עשרה מדות – אי אפשר בלא אמירת סליחות. וכבר צווחו גאוני עולם על החזנים, אך אין כח בידינו למחות, וד' יכפר.‏

That which I wondered: the Rosh [] and the Tur here bring in the name of the Geonim to say [the 13 Attributes of Mercy] at Shacharit 5 times; and some say 13 times...; and some say 7 times, and 7 times at Musaf and also at Mincha... and we don't even say it one time. There are customs which have no basis which people are careful about, and this which is form the Geonim to recite the 13 Attributes of Mercy they are not careful about.

And this all derived from the lengthy tunes which don't leave time to say Selichot, and the saying of the 13 Attributes of Mercy is impossible without Selichot. And the great rabbis already yelled at the Chazzanim, but we don't have the strength to protest, and God should atone.

Recall the Arukh haShulchan is well known for being willing to go out on a limb in defending the customs of his community.

In recent years there has been a resurgence in some communities of reciting Selichot with the 13 Attributes of Mercy at all prayers. R. Joseph Soloveitchik for instance, and some communities that follow his rulings, insisted on adding in Selichot to all the prayers of the day.

  • Indeed, the minhag of yeshivat har etzion (the yeshiva i attend) is to recite the the yud gimmel midot once at shacharit, mussaf, and mincha to at lest say it once at each tefilla. At mussaf and mincha after the chatanu and at shacharit after the piyut רצה לך עם שחר. Sep 6, 2017 at 20:34

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