10 Kislev 5781 / Thursday, November 26, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
 
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Unesaneh Tokef    

Unesaneh Tokef



Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted...

 



Unesaneh Tokef . . .
 
Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening.  On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth.  It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who writes and seals, (counts and calculates); Who remembers all that was forgotten. You will open the Book of Chronicles – it will read itself, and everyone’s signature is in it.  The great Shofar will be sounded and a still, thin sound will be heard.  Angels will hasten, a trembling and terror will seize them – and they will say, “Behold, it is the Day of Judgment, to muster the heavenly host for judgment!” – for they cannot be vindicated in Your eyes in judgment. 
 
All mankind will pass before You like members of the flock.  Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the fixed needs of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdicts.
 
On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, who by stoning.  Who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.
 
But repentance, prayer and charity remove the evil of the decree!
 
Your Name signifies Your praise: hard to anger and easy to appease, for Your do not wish the death of one deserving death, but that he repent from is way and live.  Until the day of his death You await him; if he repents You will accept him immediately.
 
It is true that You are their Creator and You know their inclination, for they are flesh and blood.  A man’s origin is from dust and his destiny is back to dust, at risk of his life he earns his bread, he is likened to a broken shard, withering grass, a fading flower, a passing shade, a dissipating cloud, a blowing wind, flying dust, and a fleeting dream.
 
But You are the King, the living and enduring God.
  
 (the ArtScroll machzor)




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