In the Artscroll prayer, the point at which the shaliach tzibbir begins reading aloud is marked by little dots. During the year, the Ashrei prayer has little dots before "tehillat hashem". But in the Selichot book, the dots are before "tzadik hashem b'chol d'rachav".

Is there a different selichot-relevant meaning or purpose to having the chazzan begin reading out loud at the earlier point?

  • I've never seen a chazzan actually do this but I have seen it in Artscroll
    – Heshy
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:00
  • 2
    I assumed it's for Chazzanim who like to sing to have fancier introductions. There's obviously no Halakhic difference or need to say any of it aloud. @Heshy I've seen it with fancier Chazzanim
    – Double AA
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:04
  • Ashrei during Shlichos???? Sep 4, 2018 at 12:07
  • Ashrei before selichos. Sep 4, 2018 at 13:54
  • @Danny If I'm correct, the Yekke don't say Ashrei Sep 4, 2018 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


I'm vaguely recalling what I had heard many years ago when I studied Nusach at the Belz School of Jewish music (part of Yeshiva University.)

Cantor Beer taught the course on Selichot and he was (and still is) a maven on Tefillah history. He explained that beginning at Tzaddik Hashem bechol Derachav is a "recurring" theme for Selichot as well as the High holiday season. One of the fundamentals of Teshuva is admitting the concept that "G-d is correct and righteous and mankind is sinful." There are similar phrases scattered throughout various Selichot and other Tefillot, esp. on Yom Kippur.

Similarly, the next verse, Karov Hashem Lechol Kor'av - "G-d is near to all those that call to him" - is likewise an appropriate Selichot / High Holiday theme. We pray and hope that G-d listens to our prayers and pleas at this time of year and forgives us for our sins and helps us perform better to serve Him.

  • So wouldn't Ashrei during the aseret yemei t'shuva start with "malchutcha malchut..."?
    – rosends
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:44
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    @rosends One can speculate just about anything when it comes to chazzanut. Keep in mind that the original function of the chazzan is as Shat"z, which meant, originally, for Amidah, Torah reading, Kaddish, and a few other items. The idea of using him for ending paragraphs, I gather, was much later. As such, there is no "formality" on where that begins. Re - Selichot - I assume that some "standard" was established and kept. Malchut is not a prominent theme of Selichot. Not on the level as teshuva is. Also, Malchut is prominent on RH, far less prominent during 10 days Teshuva.
    – DanF
    Sep 4, 2018 at 17:59

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