Tzomet okays virtual participation in Selichot prayers

Ruling is limited to live broadcasts, does not include satellite link or recordings.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Selichot prayers at the Kotel
Selichot prayers at the Kotel
Western Wall Heritage Foundation

The director of the Tzomet Institute, Rabbi Menachem Perl, has issued a halachic ruling that people may participate in the Selichot prayers at the Kotel via a live broadcast, including answering "Amen" to Kaddish and reciting the Thirteen Middot (Attributes of Mercy) that are usually only said in the presence of a quorum of ten adult men.

The ruling was sought in the wake of the government's order that Selichot prayers at the Kotel be limited to a maximum of 8000 people.

According to Rabbi Perl, "Since the law regarding the recital of the Thirteen Middot of Mercy is not mentioned in the Gemara but only in the later authorities (Gaonim), one may conduct oneself according to the opinion of Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, and recite the Thirteen Middot and answer 'Amen' if one is praying with a tzibbur [community] either via live broadcast, over the radio, or over the internet. This does not apply to listening to a recording once the prayer service is over, nor does it apply to a satellite broadcast when there is a lapse of several seconds before one hears what is being transmitted," he clarified.

"Therefore, anyone who is unable to join a quorum for Selichot prayers may - and it is good to - join a live event via Zoom or by listening to a live broadcast, and he may also recite the Thirteen Middot and answer 'Amen' to Kaddish."