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The Text of Al Chet

The Text of Al Chet

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(The "Al Chet" confession of sins is said ten times in the course of the Yom Kippur services: Following the Amidah of the afternoon prayers of the day before Yom Kippur; just before sunset on Yom Kippur Eve; and twice during each of the following services--the evening service of yom Kippur eve, and the morning service, the Musaf service and the afternoon service of Yom Kippur day--once at the end of the Silent Amidah, and once during the cantor's repitition of the Amidah.)

For the sin which we have committed before You under duress or willingly.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by hard-heartedness.

For the sin which we have committed before You inadvertently.

And for the sin which we have committed before You with an utterance of the lips.

For the sin which we have committed before You with immorality.

And for the sin which we have committed before You openly or secretly.

For the sin which we have committed before You with knowledge and with deceit.

And for the sin which we have committed before You through speech.

For the sin which we have committed before You by deceiving a fellowman.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by improper thoughts.

For the sin which we have committed before You by a gathering of lewdness.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by verbal [insincere] confession.

For the sin which we have committed before You by disrespect for parents and teachers.

And for the sin which we have committed before You intentionally or unintentionally.

For the sin which we have committed before You by using coercion.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by  desecrating the Divine Name.

For the sin which we have committed before You by impurity of  speech.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by foolish  talk.

For the sin which we have committed before You with the evil  inclination.

And for the sin which we have committed before You knowingly or unknowingly.

For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 

For the sin which we have committed before You by false denial and lying.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a bribe-taking or a bribe-giving hand.

For the sin which we have committed before You by scoffing.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by evil talk  [about another].

For the sin which we have committed before You in business  dealings. 

And for the sin which we have committed before You by eating  and drinking.

For the sin which we have committed before You by [taking or  giving] interest and by usury.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a haughty demeanor. 

For the sin which we have committed before You by the prattle of our lips. 

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a glance of the eye.

For the sin which we have committed before You with proud looks.

And for the sin which we have committed before You with impudence.

 For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 

For the sin which we have committed before You by casting off the yoke [of Heaven].

And for the sin which we have committed before You in passing judgment.

For the sin which we have committed before You by scheming against a fellowman. 

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a begrudging eye. 

For the sin which we have committed before You by frivolity.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by obduracy.

For the sin which we have committed before You by running to do evil.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by tale-bearing.

For the sin which we have committed before You by swearing in vain. 

And for the sin which we have committed before You by causeless hatred.

For the sin which we have committed before You by embezzlement.

And for the sin which we have committed before You by a confused heart.

 For all these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. 

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a burnt-offering. 

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a sin-offering.

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a varying offering [according to one's means].

And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a guilt-offering for a certain or doubtful trespass. 

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of lashing for rebelliousness. 

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of forty lashes.

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of death by the hand of Heaven. 

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of excision and childlessness. 

And for the sins for which we incur the penalty of the four forms of capital punishment executed by the Court: stoning, burning, decapitation and strangulation. 

For [transgressing] positive and prohibitory mitzvot, whether [the prohibitions] can be rectified by a specifically prescribed act or not, those of which we are aware and those of which we are not aware; those of which we are aware, we have already declared them before You and confessed them to You, and those of which we are not aware --- before You they are revealed and known, as it is stated:The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we may carry out all the words of this Torah. ForYou are the Pardoner of Israel and the Forgiver of the tribes of Yeshurun in every generation, and aside from You we have no King who forgives and pardons.

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Discussion (28)
September 13, 2013
We vs I
Like many confessions, the "we" is a public declaration of the truth that all have sinned. Within the "we", there is still the implicit declaration that "I" have sinned. Upon further reflection you may find out "when did I embezzle?" and find you need look no further than the "office pen" that made its way home but never returned.
Olaf Schroeder
September 7, 2013
Thanks for knowledge of...
Extremely grateful for this document. Will remember it forever.
Barbara Jackson
September 26, 2012
Beautiful
To my Jewish brothers, have a great and holy Yom Kippur! I am Catholic, but worship the One true Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I will now use this wonderful prayer as I examine my own conscience as I seek God's forgiveness. A humble and contrite heart give me, O Lord. Amen.
Ken Crawford
Mayfield, KY
September 25, 2012
Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
Poli
Garanhuns, Pernambuco
September 24, 2012
Thank you
Thank you for sending me this. Thank you for all you do.
Anonymous
Walnut Creek, CA
September 19, 2012
al chet
IAl Chet is my favorite religious document. It demands the most of us, to make us change. It makes us confront our weakness most. Socrates would have loved it because it makes us examine our lves more than anything.0% theory 100% practice. As Moses said today I give you a blessing and a curse. It's entirely up to you.
Irwin Mann
Irvington, NJ
September 8, 2012
To the poster: re" "forgiven for generalities"
The prayer is a communal prayer said aloud on the day of Yom Kippur.

There is also a time for personal silent prayer. The public prayer is supposed to cover many areas and is a communal prayer for repentence. You may not have done all of the things in the list but surely you have done one of them.

We ask for attonement as a community, in a way we are asking our neighbor to be forgiven as well.
Anonymous
North HIlls, CA
August 15, 2012
Sins . . . in general
I am just reading the prayer above and I am sorry, but I do not understand how a person can be forgiven for generalities as these are stated and with the pronoun "we". A person can't say they are sorry for a generality, but only for a specific . . "I" am sorry for having done ___ or having said ____ or one of neglect. Even King David confessed "his" sin and took ownership of it. I am not Jewish, so I assume I am missing something with this and would appreciate if someone would explain.
Anonymous
Pittsburgh, PA/USA
October 9, 2011
Re: Anonymous from Sao Paulo
The exact text of the Al Chet is not found in the Bible, it was composed by the rabbis of later generations. It can be found in the Yom Kippur prayerbook.
Anonymous
NYC
October 8, 2011
JUST TO SAY THANK YOU
Just to say thanks for such a broad spectrum prayer, covering virtually all possible areas of our daily failings, in our duties to GOD and our fellow being. I find it very soul searching, and edifying too.
Thanks
Toluhi Michael
Lagos, Nigeria
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