ISRAEL (VINnews) — Several Gedolim in Israel, led by Hagaon Harav Gershon Edelstein shlit”a, released a statement effectively banning musical Selichos events which have become prevalent in recent years on the first night of Selichos. The letter essentially says that what is supposed to be a sacred gathering has become an entertainment event.
Here is a translation of the sharply-worded text:
“Regarding those who “breach boundaries” to change and overturn the sacred gatherings of the Selichos prayer, [by transforming it] into a recreation event by holding “Selichos evenings” with the participation of singers and orchestras, both in synagogues and [outside] in the streets, who, rather than fulfilling “shaking and trembling from the day of your coming (before Hashem for judgment)”, replace the prayers and pleas [being practiced] in all communities of Israel to prepare and approach the Days of Judgment, with a musical performance, while destroying the tradition of ‘Yisrael Saba’.”
“We hereby call on the organizers, Baalei Tefila, and singers, to cease their activities, and [we call upon] the public not to break any barriers in the “Kerem Beis Yisrael”. And in the merit of the firm stand to protect the sanctity of Israel, may they all be blessed with a “kesiva v’chasima tova” for all good and happiness for all days.”
The letter is signed by Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, as well as Rabbi Zvi Weber, Rabbi Yehuda Silman, Rabbi Sariel Rosenberg, and Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai HaCohen Rubin.