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From Selicha to Avodah: An Introduction to the Liturgical Poetry of Elul and the Yamim Noraim

Yitz Landes / September 2, 2021

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What do we pray for when we pray that God forgives us? What does repentance look like? What does it mean to be atoned? In this three-part series, we will attempt to answer these questions by looking closely at the liturgical poetry recited over the course of Elul and the Yamim Noraim, namely the selichot and the piyyutim specific to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. In each class, we will first address the history of each of these poetic genres before reading from the poems together, focusing on those still in use in contemporary liturgy.

  1.  Selihot
  2. The Piyyutim of Rosh Hashana
  3. The Seder ha-Avodah of Yom Kippur.


Session 1 - 08/26/2021


Session 2 - 09/02/2021



Posted: 08/26/2021

Posted: 09/02/2021

Source Sheets

  Session 1 Posted: 08/26/2021
  Session 2 Posted: 09/02/2021

Yitz Landes

Yitz Landes is a PhD Candidate in Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity at Princeton University and a Lecturer in Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He received his BA in Talmud and Religion and his MA in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on Jewish liturgy and on the history of Rabbinic Judaism. His first book, Studies in the Development of Birkat ha-Avodah, was published in 2018.


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