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Selihoth

[Sephardic Hebrew suh-lee-khawt, slee-; Ashkenazic Hebrew suh-lee-khohs, slee-khuh s] /Sephardic Hebrew sə liˈxɔt, sli-; Ashkenazic Hebrew sə liˈxoʊs, ˈsli xəs/
noun, Hebrew.
1.
(used with a plural verb) liturgical prayers serving as expressions of repentance and pleas for God's forgiveness, recited by Jews during the period, usually beginning the preceding week, before Rosh Hashanah, during the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and on fast days.
2.
(used with a singular verb) a religious service at which such prayers are recited.
Also, Selihot, Selichoth, Selihos.
Origin
səlīḥōth literally, pardons
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for selihot

selichot

("pardons"), in Jewish liturgy, penitential prayers originally composed for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and for fast days but subsequently incorporated into other services. Selihoth have become an indispensable part of the Jewish liturgical services that precede Rosh Hashana (New Year), continue through the Ten Days of Penitence ('aseret yeme teshuva), and terminate on Yom Kippur.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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