Rosh Hashanah is over.
It is back to work and school and routines
after three days of eating and praying for some,
and trips to state parks and nature reserves for others.
Now in Jerusalem, Israel,
it is time to prepare for Yom Kippur.
The late night Selihot are a major tourist attraction.
These special prayer services are now accompanied by music.
Most of the words are the same as boring recitations of old.
To get you in the mood, and save you hours of sleep,
here are a few short videos from recent years.
I was on my way home from the Kotel, the Western Wall,
going through the Old City late at night,
when I heard the beautiful sounds of these selihot.
I had to stop and listen to Chizki Sofer,
and share the beautiful service he led.
Another star is Yitzhak Meir,
who was invited to lead the services at Beit Hanasi,
the Israeli President’s Residence, two years ago.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin got up to participate.
Last year there was a different musical tradition
with Sephardi Chazan Chaim Israel.
Once again President Rivlin sang, this time
calling for “charity and good deeds.”
The traditional greeting this time of year
גמר חתימה טובה
May all be sealed for a good year
will again be displayed on Jerusalem buses.