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Prayer on the Day of Atonement

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G-d of awe
G-d of might
Grant us pardon in this hour
As Your gates are closed this night.

Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Today is probably the most widely observed and holiest Jewish holiday, and, therefore, this is a scheduled post. While I do not spend the whole day at the synagoge like many do, my family strictly observes both the fast and the mitzvot, or commandments associated with Yom Kippur.

Pouring out our soul we pray
That the sentence You will write
Shall be one of pardoned sin
As Your gates are closed this night

Yom Kippur is probably my absolute favorite holiday. It is the Day of Atonement and this day gives us a yearly chance to make up with HaShem and with our fellow man and start again, clean.

Our refuge strong and sure
Rescue us from dreadful plight
Seal our destiny for joy
As Your gates are closed this night

The piyut (hymn) in this post is a traditional Sephardic piyut sung on Yom Kippur. We (as in both my family and the synagogue I attend) are Ashkenazi Jews, so this piyut is not part of our Yom Kippur services, but it is very close to my heart. Please take the cca. 4 minutes to listen to it while you read the words.

G-d of awe
G-d of might
Grant us pardon in this hour
As Your gates are closed this night

We, who are few in merits,
Raise our eyes to Heaven’s height
Trembling fearful in our prayer
As Your gates are closed this night

Pouring out our soul we pray
That the sentence You will write
Shall be one of pardoned sin
As Your gates are closed this night

Our refuge strong and sure
Rescue us from dreadful plight
Seal our destiny for joy
As Your gates are closed this night

Grant us favour, show us grace,
But those who deny our right
And oppress, be You the judge
As Your gates are closed this night

Generations of our sires
Strong in faith walked in Your light.
As of old, renew our days.
As Your gates are closed this night

Gather Judah’s scattered flock,
Unto Zion’s rebuilt site
Bless this year with grace divine
As Your gates are closed this night

May we all, both old and young,
Look for gladness and delight
In the many years to come
As Your gates are closed this night

Michael, prince of Israel,
Gabriel, your angels bright
With Elijah, come, redeem,
As Your gates are closed this night

G-d of awe
G-d of might
Grant us pardon in this hour
As Your gates are closed this night

2 Responses to “Prayer on the Day of Atonement”

  1. i loved reading this post. the prayers brought back so many memories. when i was a child, my family observed judeo-christian holy days. among them was the day of atonement. i vaguely remember the traditions, but one outstanding practice that i do remember was the sense that i had truly experienced a cleansing. it was as though a weight had been lifted off of me. thank you for sharing.

  2. Michal Ann says:

    Beautiful video and music. Thank you. I will seek a fresh touch of “at-one-ment” tonight. Psalm 25: 4-7 “Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk. Lead me; teach me; for you are the God who gives me salvation. I have no hope except in you. Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness.”

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