Moshe Kempinski
Moshe Kempinski Courtesy

Standing before the Master of the world can be a daunting , awesome and most definitely an intensely humbling experience.

Who are we to stand before our Creator filled with our misguided actions and thoughts, our failures or our lack of trying, our imperfection and our humanity?

Yet that is the open invitation Hashem has given us.

So then how does one enter into that Throne room? With which words and which thoughts?

The brilliance of the Siddur (the Jewish Prayerbook) and the Machzor( the prayer book for the holiday) is that it enables any one of us to enter into that encounter equipped with words.

Words that are there only to help us “BEGIN” to develop our own very personal conversation with Avinu Malkeinu ( our Father and our King).

Throughout the ages, Piyutim or Spiritual poems have been added to the Prayer text .These “songs” using metaphor and images help us sense, relate to and experience the spiritual reality of our Encounter.

One such Piyut called “Ki Anu Amecha, For We are Your People” has been amongst the most beloved. I believe that this is so because our relationship with the Infinite One as finite beings is so multilayered, intense and sometimes seemingly not consistent.

The words of this Piyut are asking Hashem to forgive us due to some of the segments of our relationship with Hashem and at the same time to do so in spite of other segments.

Translation of the Hebrew Spiritual text is a very frustrating experience.

The Hebrew is so much richer and made up of so many levels of understanding. Yet in preparation for Yom Kippur please accept this sincere attempt in the hope that it will be an aid in the upcoming awesome day.

Ki Anu Amecha (ttranslation)

Pardon us Forgive us and grant us atonement ..


We are Your people and You are our G-d

We are Your children, and You are our Father

We are Your servants and You are our Master

We are Your congregation, and You are our Portion

We are Your Portion and You are our Destiny

We are the flock and You are our Shepherd

We are Your vineyards, and you are our Caretaker

We are Your formation, and You are the Artist

We are Your loved ones and You are the Beloved

We are Your treasure and You are our G-d

We are Your people and You are the Ruler

We are Your selection and we have selected You

We are disrespectful and You are merciful and compassionate

We are stubborn, while you are patient

We are filed with our failures and You are filled with Mercy

For we, our days are like a fleeting shadow but You are Eternal

May it be so for all of us who truly yearn.

Gmar Chatima Tova VeBsorot tovot.

Lerefuat Yehudit Bat Golda Yocheved VeKol Hacholim