A New ‘Al cheyt’ Prayer

 

Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash

Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash

Editor’s Note: The Al Cheyt is a longer confessional prayer used in Judaism, only on Yom Kippur. 

From Wikipedia: The elongated confession which includes the Al Cheyt (or Al Hayt) (“… עֵל חֵטְא“), (“For the sin …”), a double acrostic in the Ashkenaz liturgy (a single acrostic in Sefardic liturgy), is said only on Yom Kippur. Al Cheyt is the Ashkenazic Hebrew reading of Al Chet (על חא al ḥet).[11]

For a commentary on an interpretation of how to apply the Al Chet prayer in our lives today please read Exploring The Al Chet Prayer.

This version below was compiled by Leonard H. Berman and inspired by Dennis Praeger.

For the joy of being part of a religion that honors life and human dignity,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that gave the world its vision of peace and harmony.
For the joy of being part of a religion that teaches us that all are equal before the law,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that insists on everyone being educated.
For the Joy of being part of a religion that sees the family as the foundation of a stable society,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that requires us to be socially responsible.

For living all these joys, inscribe us in the Book of Life and grant us atonement.

For the joy of being part of a religion that fills us with moral passion and asks us to hate evil,
And for the joy of being part of a religion whose objective is to mend the world.
For the joy of being part of a religion that invites us to be preoccupied with our actions,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that expects us to critique ourselves in order to become better.
For the joy of being part of a religion that asks us to model correct behavior for others,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that structures our time through celebrations and rituals.

For living all these joys, inscribe us in the Book of Life and grant us atonement.

For the joy of being part of a religion that gave the world the concept of holiness,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that asks us to be a light unto the nations.
For the joy of being part of a religion that invites us to struggle with God,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that insists that I be grateful.
For the joy of being part of a religion that inculcates self control,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that gives me a community and distinctiveness.

For living all these joys, inscribe us in the Book of Life and grant us atonement.

For the joy of being part of a religion that provides me with a pathway to the transcendent,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that insists that I use my intellect.
For the joy of being part of a religion that insists that I focus on this world and not on the next,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that provides me with sacred time each week where I can refocus, replenish my resources, and rejoice in living.
For the joy of being part of a religion that inculcates feelings of justifiable pride in our people’s accomplishments,
And for the joy of being part of a religion that teaches that correct behavior, not correct faith is what
God desires of us.

FOR ALL LIVING ALL THESE BLESSINGS, GRANT US PEACE AND ATONEMENT.

About Len Berman
Len Berman’s professional career began as an English, drama, and humanities teacher in New York City in 1961. By 1969 he was the New Jersey State Consultant in Arts and Humanities. He continued his twenty-seven years with the New Jersey State Department of Education as a Schools Program Coordinator, retiring in 1996. His career continues as an educational consultant, as a teacher of Judaica, and as a writer. He lives with his wife, Toby, in Voorhees, New Jersey. He has nine brilliant grandchildren.

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