Wednesday, August 28, 2013

r' chaim kanievsky on women saying slichos

There is no special reason for my posting this picture other than the fact that I think it is beautiful.  My wife took it using a very plain and simple digital camera, and I was surprised at just how clear the image came out.  The location is about 2 hours or so from NY.  My batcave is just behind the waterfall  : )

There is a parsha sheet called Divrei Si'ach with divrei torah and piskei halacha from R' Chaim Kanievsky that is available in a few places.  I tend to take what I read published in parsha sheets in the name of contemporary gedolim with a grain of salt because I have no way of ascertaining the reliability of what is quoted.  With that caveat in mind, here's what they cite in R' Chaim Kaneivsky's name regarding women saying slichos:

1) He recommended that women do try to say slichos;
2) He said women can say slichos even before chatzos (without the 13 midos) since they need their sleep to have the energy to care for the children;
3) He said that women should omit tachanum after slichos because it is not "derech kavod" for women to do nefilas apayim.

Taking them in order:

1) I checked the Halichos Beisa and he simply says women are exempt from slichos because it is only a minhag, not a real chiyuv.  I assume what he means is that women never accepted this custom.  My daughters go to a school that affiliates with Beis Ya'akov and there is no extra davening time alloted for them to say slichos (and there is no encouragement to say it the night before, so I don't think that's what they have in mind).  Is the same true in other Beis Ya'akovs?  Except for those who stay up the first night where shuls make a big thing of it, do most women say slichos during the week?  I think not, but would be thrilled to hear I'm wrong.

2) Why is this kula limited to women?  If m'ikar hadin you can say the slichos before chatzos, then the same should apply to men as well.  I need my sleep too (seriously - I have to be at work pretty early and am usually going on as little sleep as I can handle without getting up earlier for slichos.  Don't tell me I'm the only one?)  Is it specifically the 13 midos that are said with a minyan that necessitates waiting until after chatzos?  If so, why the need for women to omit the 13 midos -- since they have no minyan, it is simply reading pesukim? 

3) What's special about tachanun after slichos and what does he mean that it's not "derech kavod"?  Does R' Chaim Kanievsky hold that women should never do nefilas apayim? 

This was just one point on the sheet.  These type things are interesting, but I always walk away with more questions than answers.  If the summer coming to an end and talking about slichos makes you feel down, here's a butterfly picture (also taken by my wife with the same camera) to brighten your day:


  1. Thank you for posting the pictures. They are marchiv daas.
    In case you don't know, that's a Pipevine Swallowtail on a Buddleia, a honey-scented flower I have poor luck keeping from year to year.

    Re Nefilas Apayim, so it should be a kal vachomer not to do the bowing on the floor on RH and YK.

  2. You would think so, right? Maybe someone who has some of those likutim of R C"K's teshuvos has a mareh makom (I don't own any).

    I'm impressed with your ability to name the butterfly and the flower. Way beyond my skills.

  3. Men take care of children too.