Jewish Calendar - TISHREI - Yom Kippur

"All our vows, renunciations, promises, obligations, oaths,
taken rashly from this Day of Atonement until the next,
may we be attain it in peace, we regret them in advance...."
(from the Yom Kippur liturgy)

All the vows on our lips,
The burdens in our hearts,
The pent-up regrets
About which we brooded and spoke
Through prayers without end
On last Atonement Day,
Did not change our way of life,
Did not bring deliverance
In the year that has gone.
From mountain peaks of fervor
We fell to common ways
At the close of the fast.
Will You hear our regret?
Will You open our prison,
Release us from shackles of habit?
Will You answer our prayers,
Forgive our wrongs,
Though we sin again and again?
In moments of weakness
We do not remember
Promises of Atonement Day.
Look past forgetfulness,
Take only from our hearts;
Forgive us, pardon us.

Poem translated by Stanley Schachter
From Yearnings: Prayer and Meditation for the Days of Awe,
ed. Jules Harlow
Rabbinical Assembly, New York, 1968



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