We talk to Selichot ("Days of forgiveness" before the New Year), "Hear our voice, Creator, Gd our (Ad-tion Elokeynu), spare and have mercy upon us, and accept graciously and with the desire of our prayer." In prayer, "Tahanun" (Prayer) on Mondays and Thursdays, we say, "Have mercy on us, Hell-tion, by your mercy and give us a cruel hand. Why do the nations say: Where is their Gd? ... Hear Our Voice and have mercy, and not leave us in the hands of our enemies, to erase our name ... But with all this, thy name we have not forgotten - and also do not forget us. "
Chief Rabbi of Russia Preface p. Berel Lazar
Among the many prayers that we turn to God, prayer, Selichot occupy a special place. Indicates their importance, even while casting: Selichot as if specially assigned to the most inconvenient time for the person. First Selichot prayers uttered in the night from Saturday to Sunday and begins after midnight - no other prayer, for which you need to come to the synagogue after midnight. In the following days, up to the fa-Rosh Hashanah, we read Selichot in the early morning: that is to wake up at an unusually early hour, we go to the synagogue still in the dark and on an empty stomach.
To understand the meaning of Selichot, we must remember the entire context of historical events, through which there were these prayers. Those were the days of the Exodus, when the Jews went out of Egypt, were in the wilderness of Sinai. In the first day of Shavuot, God has given us His commandments. After 40 days of Moses was on Mount Sinai, where he studied at the Supreme Oral Torah. However, the day before Moses came down from there, the Jews sinned and began to worship the golden calf. Seeing this, Moses smashed the Tablets of the Law, and then 40 days prayed to God to forgive his people. Finally Moses went up the mountain again and remained there for another 40 days, and in the Yom Kippur came down with the second Tablets, which have been re-inscribed the Ten Commandments.
These last 40 days each year are given to us to prepare for forgiveness, we must ask God for our sins. This is the time when He is near to us - as a king, going out to the people of his palace. This is the time when each of us can come close to God and ask for forgiveness for their sins.
A crucial point in preparation for the forty-day period of atonement are the last days of the calendar year when we added to the daily prayers of Selichot read. "Selichot", literally translated, means "asking for forgiveness." In these prayers regularly repeated phrase, which God Himself taught Moses, passing in front of his face, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by without punishment, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and the children's children unto the third and fourth generation "(Exodus 34:6-7).
Here's how this place is explained in the Talmud: "Rabbi Yochanan said: if it was not written, it would be impossible to say it. From this we draw the conclusion that God clothed AS "SHLIAH-Tsibur" MOSHE AND SHOWED THE ORDER OF PRAYER. And he said to him, each time when the Jews sinned, let them do so before me, in that order, and then receive forgiveness from Me "(Rosh Hashanah, 176).
In other words, the Selichot prayers are for us not just by asking for forgiveness from God, but by the detail shown by God Himself!
However, this raises the question: why in the comments Talmud says "let them do so before me," and not "say so?" You have to understand: Selichot prayers, which God Himself has taught us, should not be limited to words. Pronouncing Selichot, every time we have to "do" - to cultivate those qualities that are pleasing to Him. We need to practice to prove to God and myself that really repented of their sins, - to perform charitable deeds, to help the poor ... It is the "doing" rather than simply "talking", we are making genuine repentance is rewarded with redemption and forgiveness from God.
According to Jewish tradition, "the repentant sinner is above the perfect righteous." This has a profound meaning: only through repentance our righteousness becomes fully conscious - if you like, "endured." After all this happened even with Moses - a perfect saint of our people. Twice he was confronted by God on Mount Sinai - the first time for 40 days and the second time, after repentance, also for 40 days. Twice he listened to the Oral Torah from God, twice received the Tablets of the Law. But only the second time - when he stood before the Almighty, repent - he came down from the mountain transfigured, "his face was shining rays of the fact that God spoke to him" (Exodus 34:29).
This is the main value of Selichot. We confess our sins, ask for them forgiveness of God - and thus become higher, closer to God. No wonder the Selichot are read in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah - until the moment when the Creator of the sentence to each of our coming year. The sincerity of our repentance directly affect our own destiny.
The Torah specifies that all depends on us, because "the Lord said - I forgive thee according to thy word" (Numbers, 14:20). Even if during the year we have made are not pleasing to God, He gives us one last chance before the sentencing. If we say the Selichot from the heart, if we "do not just say," - He will open the gates of mercy for us and make our names in the Book of Life.