Gedolim BLAST Those Who Turn Selichos Into “Evening of Entertainment”

HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein (Shuki Lehrer)

Senior Ashkenazic rabbanim in Eretz Yisroel have signed onto a letter decrying the recent practice of shuls making “musical selichos” with singers and instruments.

Led by the Ponavez Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Hagaon Rav Gershon Edelstein, the signers of the kol koreh wrote that those who engage in musical selichos are being “poretz geder” and turn selichos from a serious reflective moment into an “evening of entertainment.”

Besides for Rav Edelstein, the letter was signed by Rav Tzvi Weber, Rav Yehuda Silman, Rav Yitzchok Mordechai Rubin, and Rav Shariel Rosenberg.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. I am a baby boomer, I grew up with mostly adults that were survivors. The shaking, the pure fear and awe is what Slichos began. It was not meant as a night of enjoyment.

  2. Sure. Let’s turn some more people away from HaShem and His Torah!! People who, obviously, do not respond to the usual way of Selichos but still yearn to come close to Avinu Shebashomayim need to have their needs met. Forcing people to bend themselves to a pre-set way of doing things will either comply and be hurt in the process or just turn away altogether.

  3. Ask your local Orthodox Rabbi. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Not everyone is the same. Some people won’t participate without it. Is it better to discontinue this practice? I would think every person has different needs and it can be best addressed by each person’s personal Rabbi.

  4. it seems the only way to get this message across is to do what was done to lipa and cancel the concerts immediately. the most serious time has become a concert of fun and living it up.

  5. From Harav Ovadyah Yosef Ztโ€l:

    ื•ืืœื” ืฉืื•ื ืกื™ื ืขืฆืžื ืžืŸ ื”ืฉื™ื ื” ื•ื‘ืื™ื ืœื‘ื™ืช ื”ื›ื ืกืช ืœื”ืฉืžื™ืข ื‘ืžืจื•ื ืงื•ืœื, ื‘ืงื•ืœ ืจื ื”, ื•ืื•ืžืจื™ื ื”ืกืœื™ื—ื•ืช ื‘ืงื•ืœ ืจื ื•ื ืฉื ื›ื“ืจืš ืฉืฉืจื™ื ืคื™ื•ื˜ื™ื ื•ื ื’ื™ื ื•ืช, ื”ืจื™ ื”ื ื™ื•ืจืฉื™ื ืชืจืชื™ ื’ื™ื”ื ื, ื•ืื“ืจื‘ื ื™ื•ืฆื ืฉื›ืจื ื‘ื”ืคืกื“ื. ื›ื™ ื”ืœื ื–ื” ืฉืžื ”ืกืœื™ื—ื•ืช” ื•ืœื ”ืฆืขืงื•ืช”. ื•ื”ื—ื™ ื™ืชืŸ ืืœ ืœื‘ื• ื‘ืขืช ืืžื™ืจืช ื”ื•ื™ื“ื•ื™ ื•ื”ืกืœื™ื—ื•ืช, ืœืคืฉืคืฉ ื‘ืžืขืฉื™ื• ื•ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื‘ืชืฉื•ื‘ื” ืฉืœื™ืžื” ื•ืœื”ื•ืกื™ืฃ ืžืฆื•ืช ื•ืžืขืฉื™ื ื˜ื•ื‘ื™ื, ื‘ื”ืชืงืจื‘ื• ืœื™ื•ื ื”ื“ื™ืŸ ืฉืื– ืฉื•ืงืœื™ื ื–ื›ื™ื•ืชื™ื• ื•ืขื•ื•ื ื•ืชื™ื• ืฉืœ ื›ืœ ืื“ื.

    [ื™ืœืงื•ื˜ ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื•ืขื“ื™ื ืขืžื•ื“ ื™ื’. ื—ื–ื•ืŸ ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื” ื™ืžื™ื ื ื•ืจืื™ื ืขืžื•ื“ ื›, ื›ื”]

  6. They’re 100% right….. from their perspective

    Tachlis, each person has to know what works for them spiritually. many people find Selichos a grim drab affair. If it brightens it up to have guitars and singing maybe it works better for them

  7. How about also canceling all the festivities of ืจืืฉ-ื”ืฉื ื” such as dressing nice suit & festive ื™ื•ื-ื˜ื•ื‘ meals on ืจืืฉ-ื”ืฉื ื” very day of Judgement?
    Very telling that this directive wasn’t issued during era of the Saintly Rav ื—ื™ื™ื Kanievsky ื–ืฆืงืœืœื””ื”.
    I stay away from entertainment venues all year to sit & learn, but this is the 1 nite I look forward the entire year, to utilize ื—ื–ืžื•ืช ืœืฉื ืฉืžื™ื to get inspired for ื™ืžื™ื ื ื•ืจืื™ื

  8. Pfizer internal documents released this month raise concern that recently vaxed may be shedding. If you really want to make the book of life this year and are unvaxed, consider davening in a minyan only of the unvaxed. If you cannot locate a minyan only of the unvaxed, consider davening alone.

  9. Very interesting to come out with such letter, when these Slichos bring such achdus that you see jews of all different types come together, and many that would not go to slichos at all, but here they feel comfortable. ืžื™ ื›ืขืžืš ื™ืฉืจืืœ. Which begs the question when you see these big machlokas with chasidish Rebbes and litvish Rosh Hayeshivas, which is the biggest chillel hashem, family’s broken apart physical fights, sinas Chinam from what the ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืžืงื“ืฉ was destroyed, and not one letter from these Rabanim, what a shame. So everyone just ignore these letters and go to these slichas, daven and dance to have a Gut Gebencht Yar.

  10. i think this site has hit an all time low. how do you still call yourselves yeshiva world news which sounds and implies that you represent and stand for and respect the yeshiva world? how do you post a story saying how the gidolim, our gidolim, the yeshiva world gidolim, BLAST musical silechos and then have an ad blinking for all to see that is publicizing and encouraging musical selichos????? its so two faced!! its so “money talk”!! where are the morals of YWN??!!

  11. Kuvult: This is exactly what the Rabbonim said about the Chasidic movement in its early days. In the long run who won that battle?

    Since King Moshiach is the Lubavitcher Rebbeh shlita, it is obvious who won.

  12. Chazan Reb Yossele Rosenblatt zatzal from Rava Russka was able to retain the spirit and decorum of selichos. ืืฉืจื™ ืœืื–ื ื™ื™ื ืฉืฉืžืขื• ืœืงื•ืœื• ื‘ืžื•ืฆืื™ ืžื ื•ื—ื”

  13. The irony of all this is that itโ€™s being posted in the very weekly parsha that says we need to serve Hashem OUT OF SIMCHA. YES! We should enjoy Slichos! We should enjoy Teshuva! TESHUVA AND SLICHOS SHOULD BE WITH AWE BUT ALSO ENJOYABLE AND DONE WITH SIMCHA. Gehennom awaits those who do not serve Hashem out of simcha.



  14. Donโ€™t care at ALL, I will still proudly attend these events, and Iโ€™m so happy to see Ashkenazim partaking in them as well.

    ๐ŸŽถโ€ื—ื˜ืื ื• ืœืคื ื™ืš ืจื—ื ืขืœื™ื ื•๐ŸŽถ

  15. There may be a need and therefore a Heter for some people who would otherwise not go, to have these Slichos “concerts”. It may be a form of Kiruv. What I believe the Gedolim are saying is that regular people who would go to normal Slichos should not be schlepped into these concerts. That makes a lot of sense IMHO!

  16. @lbj


    I asked my rebbe , who is the greatest of the great that i know, first before i posted. And he CAN argue with the greatest and he emphatically stated that it is MUTTAR and ENCOURAGED.

    He explained that the rabbis that put out this Kol Koreh was really meant for bochurim learning all day, who might be led away from their intense learning.

    Meaning it was not meant to assur it all. It was targeted to certain yeshiva bochurim.

    Either way, many greats have been wrong in the past. A great (not to be mentioned by name) told my friends grandparents โ€œdonโ€™t leave germanyโ€ before ww2 and the whole family died in the chambers. The greats are human , and we have many greats , with 70 faces to torah.

    SERVE HASHEM WITH SIMCHA, INCLUDING ON TISHA BAV AND INCLUDING SLICHOS. There is not one exception to the rule of serving Hashem and doing Teshuva with simcha. If others chose to do it out of fear and not love and simcha, thatโ€™s their choice

  17. You guys all missed the boat, if you want to connect to your god through music then make a kumzitz after selichot or at a different time โ€ฆ. Why do you feel the need to replace the custom of hundreds of years that was based of halachic source ! Is it because people feel like they need to convince themselves that they are attending selichot and feel good about themselves? ! Is that serving god truthfully? Is that what he wants from us ? The concept of selichot is teshuva not simcha! Itโ€™s not halel and if you canโ€™t do it then donโ€™t do it but donโ€™t corrupt it from what it was meant to be! Itโ€™s a different service period !

  18. Emphasis on the word custom.

    Serving Hashem with simcha, in all aspects of life is obligatory, a Torah obligation.

    Going to selichot, let alone stylistic differences to selichot that one prefers is not even Rabbinic, it is a custom. And the custom varies drastically between jews of all walks of life.

    My custom for decades has been musical selichot.

    Hagaon Hatzadik Rav Gershon Edelstien was directing his talmidim to continue their rigid custom which is certainly befitting students accustomed to such custom.

    It is NOT directed to the millions of others jews who have ื“ื‘ืงื•ืช with the
    ืจื‘ื•ื ื• ืฉืœ ืขื•ืœื in more musical ways.

  19. 1. I agree with posters that gedolim didn’t blast.
    2. Haskala began movement of prayer with music. It is our mesorah to pray without it. If people will go to a non Orthodox environment if we don’t provide them with alternative types of davening… That is a question for gedolim.

  20. There is definitely a beauty to musical Selihot. It creates an ambiance of Ahavat Chinam and thus, many Jews from various backgrounds unify to pray to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

    If you canโ€™t differentiate between a concert and musical Selihot, that is your personal problem that we shall not take into consideration when we attend these events.

    If entertainment was the only motive, people would go to actual concerts, perhaps even non-Jewish ones. Assuming that people are going to these events only because they seek entertainment is wrong.

    We arenโ€™t Muslim and we donโ€™t just ban things just because people enjoy them. We donโ€™t need to make our holy Minhagim distasteful in order to reach closeness to Hashem. Find actual problems in Klal Yisrael. Deal with the millions of Jews who donโ€™t keep Yom Kippur. Leave us alone & bug off

  21. To Sfardi Gamur:
    Imagine that you are a top lawyer and you are in the process to bring an important lawsuit to the Supreme Court of USA.
    While you are preparing your case, would you accept as evidence for your client that a person said something or signed something based on an article that you saw on the web?
    Here too, you threw a sharp comment “bug off”, based on the web. Maybe the Rabbis never said that. Maybe the Rabbis never signed that. Maybe the Gabbaim of the Rabbis did not give over an accurate picture and understanding to their Rabbis, maybe important details were left out, when the Gabbaim spoke to their Rabbis.
    There is a beautiful book called “The Other Side of the Story”.———–
    Giving people the benefit of the doubt—————
    “Bug off” is a very sharp comment, just like you want people to really investigate the real truth before that comment is thrown at you, so please treat other people the same way.
    Thank you——
    ื›ืชื™ื‘ื” ื•ื—ืชื™ืžื” ื˜ื•ื‘ื”
    for the entire Klal Yisroel regardless what type of Kipa you wear-or what size–or what color—
    All the Jewish people should merit a great year with happiness, success and good health
    ื›ืชื™ื‘ื” ื•ื—ืชื™ืžื” ื˜ื•ื‘ื”

  22. Bsd

    ืืœ ื”ืžืงื•ื ืืฉืจ…

    The musical Selichot are not entertainment. Music is a medium to become close to Hashem. Dovid Hamelech refers to many instruments in Tehillim. The Leviim, musicians used instruments in the Beit Hamikdash to arouse the soul to come close to Hashem. With musical Selichot we get a taste of that. Our souls collectively yearn for Hashem’s forgiveness for our sins as was the case when the Beis HaMikdash stood and we brought Korbanot. Perhaps these Gedoilim had reports from Askanim who missed the point of musical selichot and projected their own experience. Every person tasted the Manna differently. May we all be zoche to have our Neshomas soar to the heavens pleading with Hashem for collective Rachamim in Judgement and Bless us with a ื›ืชื™ื‘ื” ื•ื—ืชื™ืžื” ื˜ื•ื‘ื”!