Jewish people will file into synagogues all around the world shortly after midnight on Sunday, Sept. 6, for Selichot, a service of supplication in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Selichot services are held for a minimum of four days before Rosh Hashanah, which begins this year on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 13.

The first Selichot service is held very early Sunday morning, approximately an hour after midnight. The subsequent ones are held around dawn before morning services on the days that follow. (Sephardic Jews begin saying Selichot three weeks earlier, at the start of the Hebrew month of Elul.)


In many Chabad centers, the first Selichot services will be preceded by a farbrengen, an inspirational gathering featuring Torah thoughts, stories, stirring melodies and light refreshments. While the services themselves are recited in Hebrew, many congregations offer bilingual books so that novices can participate alongside seasoned worshippers.

The Selichot service lasts approximately one hour, and is regarded as the opener of the deeply soulful High Holiday season.

To find a Selichot service near you, visit the international directory of Chabad centers.