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Monday, July 02, 2007

Call for Extra Selihot on 17 Tamuz

Israel's 2 chief rabbis have called for extra selihot to be recited on the 17th of Tamuz. Here's the quote from Arutz Sheva:
It is a time of trouble for Israel: Israel's enemies sound off and lift their heads in arrogance and conceit, opening their mouths wide with threats and terrorization. They boast of their desire to destroy the Jews; "they have consulted together with one another and made a pact against G-d... saying, Let us cut off Israel" (Psalms 83), and wish to war with us even as we are geared for peace.

We are in dire need of G-d's mercy and salvation; we have none on whom to lean except for our Father in Heaven. We must redouble our Torah study and observance of the Torah's commandments, with even greater strength and greater devotion - for "they come with chariots and horses, but we come calling in the Name of G-d" (Psalms 20).

We therefore hereby call upon the Nation of G-d to gather in synagogues on Tuesday, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, an hour and a half before the afternoon Mincha prayer, for the recitation of selichot [penitential prayers] and Psalms. Let us cry out with all our strength, and call to our G-d and the G-d of our fathers from the depths of our heart - for "G-d is close to all who call upon Him in truth" (Psalms 145).

May our cries arise before Him, and may G-d arise from His chair of strict justice and sit upon the chair of mercy. May He guide and lead us with compassion and kindness, for G-d's salvation can come in the blink of an eye. And may we see the fulfillment of this verse: "I will give peace in the Land, and you will lie down to sleep without fear... and no sword will pass through your Land." May this occur speedily in our days, Amen.

Signed and sealed:
Shlomo Moshe Amar, the Rishon LeTzion, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel
Yona Metzger, the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel

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