Question:

I recently have seen on many frum websites “Carlebach-style” Selichos. The tzibbur sings songs whose words don’t even come from the Selichos. They jump up and down and get very lebedik. Often, the singing is accompanied by a guitar. Is this appropriate for Selichos? Is there anything halachically problematic with it? I’m sure most of the Selichos are said in the normal fashion, but should even part of them be sung with such gusto?

Answer:

When ever a Rabbi is faced with a halachic question he has to take two things into consideration . What is the correct psak based on the Shulchan Aruch and who is the person asking the question.Of course if a yeshiva bohur wants to daven a Carlebach-style” Selichos. we would discourage him. But for someone who is just becoming religious could be that the “Carlebach-style”  is just the thing for him. It might infuse him with much enthusiasm, keenness and eagerness to grow in yiddishkeit.

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