This letter was addressed to a ritual slaughterer.

The first day of Chol HaMoed Sukkos, 5708

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your question regarding the recitation of Selichos during the Ten Days of Repentance: I am citing the notes from my journal from Tishrei, 5691 (1931), from Riga, and 5708 (1948), in New York.

Tishrei 5691:

The conduct of [my father-in-law, the Rebbe]: After Rosh HaShanah, we do not recite Selichos.

[From] the talks [delivered by [my father-in-law, the Rebbe] on Rosh HaShanah: [R. Yisrael of] Ruzhin would not perform the custom of Tashlich on Rosh HaShanah, but on the day of Yud-Gimmel Middos (the fourth of the Ten Days of Repentance).1 When I was in America — New York — last year, I performed the custom of Tashlich before Rosh HaShanah, on the night following Rosh HaShanah, and on the day of Yud-Gimmel Middos.

The Tzemach Tzedek would recite [the Selichos] of Yud-Gimmel Middos. The Rebbitzin [Rivkah], the wife of the Rebbe Maharash, would also recite [the Selichos (of that day)]. A special minyan was made for her, for the Rebbe Rashab would not come to this minyan to recite [these prayers]. (It is not clear whether or not he would recite them alone, but — between the lines — it appears that even alone he would not recite Selichos after Rosh HaShanah.)

[From] the talks [delivered by my father-in-law, the Rebbe], Tishrei, 5708: The wife of the Rebbe Maharash, her mother-in-law the wife of the Tzemach Tzedek, and similarly, the wife of the Mitteler Rebbe would recite Selichos during the Ten Days of Teshuvah, but the men would not.

My grandfather (the Maharash) told my father that once he saw his mother going to Selichos during the Ten Days of Teshuvah while his father (the Tzemach Tzedek) was sitting and studying. He asked him about this and the Tzemach Tzedek answered him: “There’s a time when we must say and there is a time when we must do.”

When I noted to my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, that it is written that we should say Selichos on the Fast of Gedaliah, he answered that the Fast of Gedaliah is one of the four fasts [instituted in commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Beis HaMikdash].

With good wishes to all who seek our welfare.

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

Because [of the sanctity] of the holiday, I did not sign.