Return on Yom Kippur: Ashamnu אָשַמנוּ (We Have Transgressed) and Al Cheit עֵל חֵטְא (For Our Sins)
by Bob Schwartz
Return again, return again, return to the land of your soul.
Return to who you are.
Return to what you are.
Return to where you are born and reborn.
Ashamnu אָשַמנוּ (We Have Transgressed)
We abuse, we betray, we are cruel, we destroy,
We embitter, we falsify, we gossip, we hate,
We insult, we jeer, we kill, we lie, we mock,
We neglect, we oppress, we pervert, we quarrel,
We rebel, we steal, we transgress, we are unkind,
We are violent, we are wicked, we are extremists,
We yearn to do evil, we are zealous for bad causes.
For all of these sins, O God of mercy, forgive us, pardon us,
and grant us atonement.
Al Cheit עֵל חֵטְא (For Our Sins)
For the sins we have committed through arrogance and selfishness:
For being obsessed with our own concerns,
For choosing rudeness over common courtesy,
For loving our egos.
For the sins we have committed by defrauding others:
For using people in pursuit of our ambitions,
For manipulating the love of others,
For the sins we have committed through denial and deceit:
For creating theories to rationalize our behavior,
For faking emotions for our own benefit,
For using the sins of others to excuse our own,
For claiming that ends justify the means.
For the sins we have committed through greed and overindulgence:
For using force to maintain our power,
For poisoning our planet,
For remembering the price of things but forgetting their value.
For the sins we have committed through hardening our hearts:
For accepting poverty as inevitable,
For staying silent when we should speak out,
For resenting the young and ignoring the elderly,
For abandoning proper outrage.
For the sins we have committed through hypocrisy:
For condemning in our children the faults we tolerate in ourselves,
For condemning in our parents the faults we tolerate in ourselves,
For neglecting our promises.
For the sins we have committed by narrow-mindedness:
For passing judgment without knowledge,
For denying our baseless hatreds.
For the sins we have committed against You through sex and love:
For confusing love with lust,
For pursuing fleeting pleasure while disregarding lasting hurt,
For withholding affection to control the ones we love.
For all these sins, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.