Guide to Selijot

Guide to Selijot


Here we bring you a guide to Tefilot.

In the Sephardic tradition, the Selijot start from the second day of the month of Elul. According to the Ashkenazi tradition, one begins to pray Selichot from the end of the Shabbat (Motzaei Shabbat) before Rosh Hashanah, except that Rosh Hashanah begins on a Tuesday or earlier in the week (so that it can be completed a minimum of four times). In that case, we pray Selijot from Motzaei Shabbat the week before.

It is customary for the Shlijei Tzibur (officiants) to use tallit (only the officiant, and without pronouncing the corresponding blessing), in reference to a midrash according to which Gd himself taught Moshe, dressed in a tallit, how to pronounce the 13 Attributes of Mercy when the people need to repent.

The text that we know as Shlosh Esré Midot (Thirteen Attributes), which we find in Shemot (Exodus) 34: 6-10 and which begins with “Ad-nai, Ad-nai, El Rajum Vejanun…”, constitutes, together with the Vidui (the confession), the central part of the Selijot.


We will find the Tefillah of Selijot at the beginning of the Machzor, on the pages indicated with Roman numerals.


  • Pages XII / XIV: We pray Ashrei and Tehilá LeDavid
  • Page XIV: If we have Minyan, we recite Jatzí Kadish.
  • Page XIV / XVI / XVIII: we pray the selected psukim (verses). We can pray aloud the beginning and end of the page and the rest, in silence.
  • Page XX: We pray Lejú Neranená and the subsequent verses. We pray the piut Haneshama Laj and, in the middle of the page, Eij Niftach Pé (up to the middle of page XXII)
  • Page XXII: We pray from “Ki El Rajameja Harabim…”, we can pray the beginning and the end aloud.
  • Page XXIV: Counting on minyan, we pray for the first time the 13 Attributes of Mercy (Midot Rachamim), along with the accompanying texts, from «El Erech Apaim …»
  • If we do not have minyan, there are those who establish that we can pray them if, instead of doing it with the traditional nusaj, we read them with the song they have in the Torah.
  • Page XXVI: We pray from “Kerajem Av Al Banim”, “Slaj Na Laavon Haam Hazé” (answering “Vaiomer Ad-nai Salajti Kidvareja” and the paragraph, at the bottom, of “Até Elohai Ozneja ..”
  • Page XXVIII: From «El Melech Yoshev», we pray the texts prior to the 13 Attributes of Mercy, for which, as we explained before, we need to pray with a minyan (or pray them with the cantilation of the Torah. This applies to all repetitions of this text throughout Selijot’s tefillah.
  • Page XXX: We pray from “Kerajem Av Al Banim”, just like on page XXVI.
  • Page XXXII: We pray the piut «Tabo Lefaneja»
  • Page XXXIV: We recite again the Shlosh Esre Midot (the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy) and their previous and later texts. (See previous clarifications on this text).
  • Page XXXVI: We pray the piut Bemotzaei Menujá / Lishmoa El HaRina. We can pray the paragraphs silently or aloud, in ivrit or in english and answering in ivrit at the end of each one «Lishmoa El HaRiná veEl HaTefilá».
  • Page XXXVIII: We pray again the 13 Attributes.
  • Pág. XL / XLII: We pray Zjor Rajameja, we can pray the first and last verses of each paragraph aloud and the rest, in silence.
  • Page XLIV: We begin the Vidui, the confession, with Shema Koleinu. We pray the paragraphs below and, at the bottom of the page, we pray the heart of the Vidui, Ashamnu. We pray it standing up and we are used to touching or gently tapping our hearts when naming each of the transgressions.
  • Page XLVI: We pray silently the paragraphs after Ashamnu.
  • Page XLVIII: We pray Asé Lemaan (Do it for…), in ivrit or in Spanish
  • Page XLVIII (footnote) and L: We pray Anenu (Answer us) and Hu Iaanenu (He will answer us), in ivrit or in Spanish (we can pray the paragraphs in Spanish and answer “Hu Iaanenu”, in ivrit).
  • Page LIV: We pray the piut Shomer Israel and, in the middle of the page, standing, Avinu Malkenu. We silently pray the last paragraph (Vaanajnu Lo Nedá …)
  • Page LVI: With minyan, we recite Kadish Titkabel.
  • Page LVIII: We conclude Selijot singing Igdal.



Agradecemos la colaboración de Alejandro Bloch, Mónica Bloch, Evelyn “Ms. Eve” Goldfinger, Gastón Bogomolni, Saúl Borowsky, Ari Burstein, Norman Cohen Falah, Aliza Eskenazi, Pablo Gabe, Leandro Galanternik, Alejandro Giudice, Sebastián Grimberg, Marcela Guralnik, Jonathan Kohan, Fernando Lapiduz, Tomás Münzer, Judith Nowominski, Joaquín Mirkin, Ana Metallino, Giselle Odiz, Claudio Pincus, Patricia Plesel, Claudio Pszemiarower, Eliana Mizrahi, Elías Rosemberg, Jonathan Sacks, Ariel Stofenmacher, Federico Surijón, Meir Szames, Dafna Telezón, Fernanda Tomchinsky, Roberto Volpe, Horacio Sherem, Diego Vovchuk, Ernesto Yattah y Nicole Zelerkraut.

También agradecemos a las siguientes organizaciones: Pincus Centre for Innovation in Education, Rabbinical Assembly, Jewish Theological Seminary, Hartman Institute, Proyecto 929, Comunidad Nueva Bnei Israel, Tali y Hadar Institute.

Con el apoyo de Masorti AmLat y Masorti Olami.