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Ari Storch

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Get Ready for Selichos!

The chazan saying the Selichot  should wrap himself in a fringed tallit  before beginning the Ashrei prayer.  Because there is a doubt  whether one should say a blessing on his tallit  when putting it on at night or not to bless.1  Therefore, he should not use his own  nor the congregational tallit,2  but rather borrow a tallit from another.3  If there is not found any (other) tallit at all,  one can say Selichot,  and the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy,  also without a tallit.  There are (certain) communities with the custom that the one saying Selichot  also says the morning and afternoon services and the previous (days) evening service.  He (also) has precedence over a mourner, a mohel,4 and a yahrzeit.5  It is best to stand while saying Selichot.6  If it is difficult for him,  he should stand at least while saying ''Almighty King, who sits on the throne of mercy...''  and (during) the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.7 (KSA 128:6)
 1) Because according to one view, one is exempt from wearing tzitzit at night (Mishna Berurah 581:6)
 2) Which is considered like one's own, because it was purchased by the congregation as a whole, with the intent that whoever wears it, will be considered like its owner (Ibid).
 3) In such an instance, one is not required to say a blessing, because one is required to say a blessing only on one's own tallit. When borrowing the tallit, one should have in mind that he is taking it only for the sake of honor (that is appropriate for one leading the Selichot), and not to acquire it as a temporary gift which will be returned (Ibid.). If one's own tallit is the only one available, one should put it on for Selichot without a blessing, and then, when it gets light, one should hold the tzitzit in one's hand, and say the blessing (Sha'ar Ha'Tziyun 581:5).}
 4) Who has a circumcision on that day.
 5) One saying kaddish for the anniversary of a death on that day.
 6) The Mishna Berurah doesn't mention this halacha.
 7) The laws governing the confessional prayer (''Vidui'') are discussed in Chapter 131, Law 9.