With the blasts of the shofar, we announce that today the world is born. And our natural optimism, for our loved ones, for the people of Israel, and for the wider world, bursts forth from deep within each one of us.
As Rosh Hashana approaches Jews throughout the world begin soul searching. We have time to reflect, to repent, and to prepare spiritually for the Days of Judgement. This is the period of Selichot. The Ashkenazic Jewish world begins its recitation of selichot – on the Saturday night preceeding Rosh Hashana, whilst the Sephardic Jewish world have already been reciting selichot for the whole month preceeding Rosh Hashana. The custom of reciting selichot prayers is an ancient one, dating back at least to the sixth century in Jewish Babylonia.