• Chodesh Elul

Chodesh Elul

1. We do not announce the new month the Shabbos before Rosh HaShana. Some say that the reason is because it is well known when the new month begins since it is Rosh HaShana.
2. Many recite the Yom Kippur Koton service for Elul even if they don’t observe this custom the rest of the year.
3. The custom of the Shulchan Aruch was to say Slichos the entire month.
4. The reason for this was the fact that Moshe Rabeinu ascended the mountain to receive the second Luchos and it is a time of favor from HaShem.
5. Our custom is to add the mizmor of “L’Dovid Hashem Ori” to our davening morning and evening.
6. There was a custom for the shamos to announce this month “Shuva Banim Shovavim” - it is a time for tshuva.
7. We blow the shofar the entire month until Erev Rosh HaShana. Some start from the first day of Rosh Chodesh, some from the second day.
8. There is a custom to recite ten paragraphs of tehilim each day with the tzibur.
9. Kaddish may be recited if ten people said tehilim together. If there were latecomers, wait and say at least one paragraph together.
10. We start saying Slichos the Sunday before Rosh HaShana unless Rosh HaShana is on Monday or Tuesday. In that case, we start saying Slichos on Sunday the week before.
11. One can say Slichos without a minyon, omitting the 13 midos and those passages that are written in Aramaic.
12. We begin each one of the Slichos With “Elokeinu”, etc. unless that paragraph already begins with one of the names of HaShem.
13. It is customary that the one who leads the Slichos also leads the other tefilos of that day. Some even say he takes precedence over one who is observing a yahrtzeit
14. Many have the custom to fast, at least for part of the day, on the first day of Slichos.
15. Some make “HaToras Nidorim”, rescinding of the vows, forty days before Rosh HaShana.
16. Some read the portions about the creation of the world, from 25 Elul until Rosh HaShana.
17. One should initiate serious introspection and confession during this month.
18. The Kaf HaChayim quotes sources that the people who will participate in leading the Rosh HaShana service should distance themselves from those items or conduct that could bring about “tuma”.