As Elul ebbs, Jews the world over are readying themselves to
face the Y'mei Hadin of 5760, and, as each year, among their
preparations will be the recitation of Selichos,
beginning next Motzo'ei Shabbos.
Though the shul is where those special tefillos are chanted
each year, the days of Selichos at the advent of 5760
will be a time for an unusually specific focus on the
mikdosh me'at that lies at the center of Jewish
"Kedushas Beis Haknesses" will be the theme of this year's
Nationwide Yom Iyun. "Thousands of Jews across North America,
will gather in their communities over the y'mei
Selichos to gain a new appreciation of, and commitment
to, the sanctity of our shuls," said Rabbi Avrohom Nisan
Perl, director of Agudas Yisroel Torah Projects Division.
"While shuls are inherently places of kedushah," adds
Rabbi Labish Becker, Agudas Yisroel associate executive
director, "they are not, unfortunately, always treated as
such, and that is an issue that should command our
He noted that key issues likely to be addressed at the
gatherings include talking during davening, proper decorum
during the chazaras hashatz, adequate attention to
damaged and worn siddurim and seforim, and the
responsibility to enhance the physical dignity of our places
of Torah and tefillo.
This year's inaugural Yom Iyun event, which will be held on
Monday, September 6, at 8 P.M. at Brooklyn's Le Chateau hall,
will feature Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe and
Rosh Agudath Israel; and Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon, Mashgiach
of Beth Medrash Govoha (Lakewood).
And over ensuing days, across the United States and Canada,
over one hundred cities will host their own Yom Iyun events,
featuring local rabbonim or visiting guest lecturers.
Many thousands across the continent are expected to
participate in the program, not only in large Jewish
communities but smaller ones as well, in cities like Calgary,
Alberta; Austin, Texas; San Diego, California; Vancouver,
British Columbia; and Savannah, Georgia.
"These upcoming days are times when Jewish hearts are open
and people are seeking ways to improve," says Rabbi Perl.
"It's a golden and holy opportunity to bring much- needed
focus to a timely and important issue."