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הַוִּדּוּי הַמַּשְׁלִים | HaVidui haMashlim (Complementary Confession), by Rabbi Binyamin Holtzman

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Source (Hebrew)Transliteration (Romanization)Translation (English)
…עַל כֵּן, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁיֵּשׁ תּוֹעֶלֶת גְּדוֹלָה
לְתִקּוּן הַנֶּפֶשׁ בְּוִדּוּי הָעֲווֹנוֹת…
גַּם כֵּן בְּוִדּוּי הַמִּצְווֹת,
לְמַעַן יִשְׂמַח בָּהֶם בִּלְבָבוֹ,
וִיחַזֵּק אָרְחוֹת חַיָּיו בְּדֶרֶךְ ה׳.
(הרב קוק, עין אי״ה, מסכת מעשר שני ז:י‏)
Al ken, k’shem she’yesh to’elet g’dolah
l’tiqun hanefesh b’vidui ha’avonot
gam ken b’vidui hamitsvot
l’ma’an yismaḥ bahem bilvavo
viḥazeq arḥot ḥayyav b’derekh hashem.
…Therefore, just as there is great value
to the confession of sins…
there is also great value to the confession of mitsvot,
which gladdens the heart
and strengthens the holy paths of life!
(Rav Avraham Yitsḥaq haKohen Ḳooq Ayn Aya, Maaser sheni 7.10).[1] This passage of Rav Ḳooq translated by Rabbi Sue Mauer Morningstar  
הַוִּדּוּי הַמַּשְׁלִים
HaVidui haMashlim
the Complementary Confession
אָהַבְנוּ,
בָּכִינוּ,
גָּמַלְנוּ,
דִּבַּרְנוּ יֹפִי.
Ahavnu  
Bakhinu  
Gamalnu  
Dibarnu yofi  
We have loved,  
we have cried,  
we have given back,  
we have spoken great things!  
הֶאֱמַנּוּ,
וְהִשְׁתַּדַּלְנוּ,
זָכַרְנוּ,
חִבַּקְנוּ,
טָעַמְנוּ סֵפֶר.
He’emanu  
v’Hish’tadalnu  
Zakharnu  
Ḥibaqnu  
Ta’amnu Sefer  
We have believed,  
and we tried to give our best effort,  
we have remembered,  
we have embraced,  
we have chanted Your book!  
יָצַרְנוּ,
כָּמַהֲנוּ,
לָחַמְנוּ עֲבוּר הַצֶּדֶק,
מִצִּינוּ אֶת הַטּוֺב.
Yatsarnu  
Kamahanu  
Laḥamnu avur haTsedeq  
Mitsinu et haTov  
We have created,  
we have yearned,  
we have fought for justice!  
We have exhausted all the good we could do.  
נִסִּינוּ,
סַרְנוּ לִרְאוֹת,
עָשִׂינוּ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָנוּ.
Nisinu  
Sarnu lir’ōt  
Asinu asher tsivitanu  
We have tried,  
we have turned aside to see,  
we have done as You have commanded us!  
פֵּרַשְׁנוּ,
צָדַקְנוּ לִפְעָמִים,
קָרָאנוּ בְּשִׁמְךָ.
Perashnu  
Tsadaqnu lifamim  
Ḳaranu b’shimkha  
We have expounded Torah,  
we have been righteous, sometimes,  
we have called out in Your Name!  
רָצִינוּ,
שָׂמַחְנוּ,
תָּמַכְנוּ.
Ratsinu  
Samaḥnu  
Tamakhnu  
We have been steadfast in our will,  
we have rejoiced,  
we have supported one another.  

Translated by Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler. The prayer is inspired by Rav Kook, but unfortunately many are misattributing it. Many thanks to Dr. Joyce Gottlieb for her edits and for connecting us with the original author, Rabbi Binyamin Holtzman, of Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa, Israel. Rabbi Holtzman composed this prayer after shabbat on September 22, 2012. Also see the PDF and JPG prepared by Rabbi Riqi Kosovske. — Aharon Varady

Source

Click to access Ahavnu-ViduiHaMashlimYK-Binyamin-Holtzman.pdf

 

Notes

Notes
1This passage of Rav Ḳooq translated by Rabbi Sue Mauer Morningstar

 

 

6 comments to הַוִּדּוּי הַמַּשְׁלִים | HaVidui haMashlim (Complementary Confession), by Rabbi Binyamin Holtzman

  • Also note Shoshana Michael-Zucker’s adaptation of Rav Holtzman’s prayer from 2013. (H/T Joyce Gottlieb)


    אָהַבְנוּ, בֵּרַכְנוּ, גָּמָלְנוּ חֶסֶד, דִּבַּרְנוּ יוֹפִי, הֶאֱזַנוּ והִשְׁתַּדַּלְנוּ, זָכַרְנוּ, חִבַּקְנוּ, ‏ טִיפַחנוּ, יָצַרְנוּ, כִּבַּדְנוּ, לַמַדְנוּ, מִצִּינוּ אֶת הַטּוֹב, נִסִּינוּ, סַרְנוּ לִרְאוֹת, עָשִׂינוּ ‏אֶת הַמוּטַל עָלֵינוּ, פָּעַלְנוּ לְמַעַן הַצֶּדֶק, צַדָקְנוּ לִפְעָמִים, קָרַאנוּ בְּשִׁמְךָ, רָיצִינוּ, ‏שָׂמַחְנוּ, תָּמַכְנוּ.‏
  • I was just about to post my version here when I saw that someone beat me to it. Thank you.

  • Thank you! Some artwork based on this text forthcoming perhaps next week or near end of year.

  • […] brought to my attention that Rabbi Binyamin Holtzman wrote another Ahavnu in 2012. It can be seen here. In the same vein, years earlier, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin suggested a reading for Yom Kippur which […]


  • (JTA) — Every year during the High Holidays, Jews recite a litany of ways we have fallen short in a confessional prayer. Known as a viddui, the prayer is a centerpiece of our Yom Kippur liturgy.
    This year, we again will reflect on our shortcomings. But one takeaway from the past year is that even when we do our best, it may not be enough.
    So many of us joyously awaited the return to in-person High Holiday services, only to have our plans undermined by the threat posed by the Delta variant of COVID-19. Our congregation, Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, is planning only a handful of in-person services, all outdoors — and we know this may not be the final arrangement.
    Against this backdrop, we recognized that our community would benefit from a communal expression of encouragement, comfort and balance. We saw that the work of preparing our hearts, minds and souls for the holiday season — as well as dealing with our disappointment in the unpredictability and uncertainty of this pandemic — required intentional efforts to create space for optimism.
    So together we crafted a positive viddui for our congregation that we are sharing here. In our version, worshippers praise themselves — perhaps giving themselves a pat on the back rather than a beating on the breastbone — for inspiring, for maturing, for trying.
    We are not the first to craft a viddui that inverts the traditional liturgy. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of what would become Israel, once said that Jews should celebrate our good deeds as much as lament our sins. Inspired by that, Rabbi Binyamin Holtzman wrote a wonderful complementary confession in 2014 that is available on OpenSiddur (translated from Hebrew to English by Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler). And five years ago Avi Weiss, a Modern Orthodox rabbi, shared his “opposite recitation” with Jewish Telegraphic Agency readers.
    Our version adds to that tradition. Ours is different because we composed it in English, so it functions as an alphabetical acrostic in English the way its traditional counterpart does in Hebrew. It also references the pandemic era in its last line, when we confess that we have “zoomed and zoomed in.”
    With much turbulence and trauma still unfolding, let us be reminded that it’s OK to give ourselves a break and also focus on the helpful ways that we are navigating these unprecedented times. Despite a global pandemic, an unstable world and a planet hurting because of human choices, by acknowledging the good in addition to all the ways we missed the mark, we aim to remind ourselves of all the things that not just keep us afloat but lift us up, allow us to keep going and offer hope. We hope you find this meaningful.

    We’ve acted authenticallyWe’ve blessedWe’ve cultivated compassionWe’ve delightedWe’ve engaged empathicallyWe’ve favored fairnessWe’ve galvanizedWe’ve harmonizedWe’ve inspiredWe’ve joinedWe’ve kindled kindnessWe’ve laughedWe’ve maturedWe’ve nurturedWe’ve offered optimismWe’ve perseveredWe’ve questionedWe’ve releasedWe’ve sympathizedWe’ve triedWe’ve upliftedWe’ve vivifiedWe’ve welcomedWe’ve x’d out excessWe’ve yearnedWe’ve zoomed and zoomed in
    For all these, Source of Lifeinspire us, encourage us,Sustain our hope.

    is rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim, a Reform synagogue in Los Angeles.

    is cantor at Beth Chayim Chadashim, a Reform synagogue in Los Angeles. He was the first cantor to be trained in Germany since World War II.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.

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