DAY OF ATONEMENT
Here we are again on the yearly day of reckoning - Yom Kippur. I would like to ask your forgiveness for my many transgressions. I will strive to cut their number down.
On this day Jews hope to open the gates of heaven with their prayes. They certainly open many a human heart. Here are a couple of true and tested ones:
We start by asking God to wipe the slate clean with Kol Nidrei
"All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths."
The leader and the congregation then say together three times"May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault." The Torah scrolls are then replaced, and the customary evening service begins.
Philip Birnbaum, in his classic edition of the Mahzor (High holy day prayer book) comments on this passage:"It refers to vows assumed by an individual for himself alone, where no other persons or interests are involved. Though the context makes it perfectly obvious that no vows or obligations towards others are implied, there have been many who were misled into believing that by means of this formula all their vows and oaths are annulled
Then, we acknowledge our failing and ask for mercy often"for Your Name" though not in this prayer:
-----Our father our king
------Be gracious unto us
------And answer us
------For we are wanting
------In good deeds
------Deal with us in charity
------And save us
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