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☞   Rosh haShanah (l’Maaseh Bereshit)

This is an archive of prayers and songs written for, or relevant to, the New Year’s Day for All of Creation — marking the beginning of the seventh month and its ensemble of festival days leading towards the commencement of the rainy season. (Rosh haShanah l’Maaseh Bereshit coincides with Rosh Ḥodesh Tishrei.)

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written or selected for Rosh haShanah l’Maaseh Bereshit.


Looking for something else?

For maḥzorim (festival prayerbooks) for Rosh haShanah, visit here.

For the Seder Akhilat haSimanim (seder of symbolic foods) on Rosh haShanah, visit here.

For Tashlikh ritual prayers (that may be offered anytime between Rosh haShanah and Hoshana Rabbah), visit here.

For public readings on Rosh haShanah, visit here.

For prayers composed for Rosh Ḥodesh Tishrei, visit here.

For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah la-Ilanot (a/k/a Tu biShvat), go here.

For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah la-Melakhim, go here.

For prayers composed for Rosh haShanah la’Behemah, go here.

עֵת שַׁעֲרֵי רָצוֹן | Eit Shaarei Ratson, a piyyut by Rabbi Yehuda ben Shmuel ibn Abbas (ca. 12 c.)

This is the piyyut, עֵת שַׁעֲרֵי רָצוֹן (Eit Shaarei Ratson) by Rabbi Yehuda ben Shmuel ibn Abbas (12th century Aleppo, Syria (born in Fez, Morocco)). The English translation presented here is by Rabbi Stephen Belsky. . . .

A Prayer before Candle-lighting, by Chaya Kaplan-Lester

Please God Let me light More than flame tonight. More than wax and wick and sliver stick of wood. More than shallow stream of words recited from a pocket book. . . .

Between the Fires: A Kavvanah for Lighting Candles of Commitment, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center)

“Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” was composed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, drawing on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. . . .

Blessing for Rosh Ḥodesh Tishrei, by Kohenet Ilana Joy Streit

A soulful, playful, embodied, grounded poem for announcing the new moon of Tishrei, for Rosh Ḥodesh Tishrei (otherwise known as Rosh HaShanah) and for the whole month. . . .

אחות קטנה במאה ה -21 | A 21st century “Aḥot Ḳetanah” (Little Sister), by Rabbi Dr. Raysh Weiss

A 21st century recasting of the iconic 13th century Spanish mystical Rosh haShanah piyyut. . . .

תפלה לשליח ציבור | Hineni: The Prayer of the Shaliaḥ Tsibur, interpretive translation by Rabbi Oren Steinitz

Hineni – the leader’s prayer that opens the High Holy Days Mussaf has always been a challenge for me. While a dramatic moment in the service, it always seemed a little *too* grand to represent a prayer of humility. This is a version of it I wrote in an attempt to make myself more comfortable at that moment. –Rabbi Oren Steinitz . . .

אוֹחִילָה לָאֵל | Oḥilah la’El, a reshut and a personal prayer offered by the shaliaḥ tsibbur, Yosef Goldman

“The personal prayer of this shaliaḥ tsibbur” with a translation of the piyyut “Oḥilah la’El” was first published on Facebook by Yosef Goldman and shared through the Open Siddur Project via its Facebook discussion group. . . .

רַחֲמָנָא | Raḥamana di N’shaya — Aramaic Seliḥoth Piyyut for Biblical Women, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The Raḥamana piyyut is a litany beloved in Sephardic and Mizraḥi communities, a standard part of their Seliḥoth services throughout the month of Elul and the days of repentance. Traditionally it cites a list of Biblical men (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Pinhas, David, and Solomon) and asks to be remembered for their merit and their covenants, for the sake of “Va-yaŋabor” — the first word of Exodus 34:6, the introduction to the verses of the Thirteen Attributes recited in Seliḥoth services. This text instead uses Biblical women (Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, Serach, Miriam, Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, and Esther). . . .

ודוי | Vidui meditation, by Danny Cohen

Vidui means acknowledgment. It is not about self-flagellation or blame, but about honesty, coming into contact with our lives, our patterns and experiences, and ultimately about teshuva and learning. In contacting the pain and suffering which our modes of being have given rise to, our regret can help us to willfully divest ourselves of them and awaken the yearning for those modes of being which are life-affirming, supportive of wholeness, connection, integrity, and flourishing. With each one we tap on our heart, touching the pain and closed-heartedness we have caused, and simultaneously knocking on the door that it may open again. . . .

A Mini-Seliḥot, by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

One small request to accompany the seliḥot service. . . .

A Prayer for the New Year (5781), by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

“A Prayer for the New Year (5781)” was first published by Rabbi Menachem Creditor online at his Facebook Page and shared with the Open Siddur Project through our Facebook discussion group. . . .

An Intention for the New Year (5779), by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

“An Intention for the New Year (5779)” was first published by Rabbi Menachem Creditor online at his blog and shared with the Open Siddur Project through our Facebook discussion group. . . .

בַּשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה | baShanah haBa’ah (Next Year), an elegy by Ehud Manor for his brother killed during the War of Attrition (1968)

“baShanah haBa’ah” (Next Year) by Ehud Manor written in 1968 in memory of his brother Yehudah. . . .

פסוקים לשנת תשע”ט | Biblical Phrases for 5779, by Daniel Matt

As many of you know, there is a custom to indicate the Hebrew year with a verse (or part of a verse) that is equal to that year in gematria. Such words or phrases are called chronograms. The practice of indicating the year by a biblical phrase was often followed in traditional sefarim, on tombstones, and more recently has appeared in written correspondence and email. It’s a nice way to give added meaning to the current year. Here are some biblical phrases that equal תשע”ט 779. . . .

ודוי חיובית | Positive Vidui, by Rabbi Avi Weiss

Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez writes, “Rav Avi spoke to us a few times as he was working through [composing] this [vidui] and I am truly moved by it. Let us not only remember and confess our wrong doings, but also what we did right this year.” . . .

עשרת ימי תשובה | My Ten Days of Repentance Writing Exercise, by David Wolkin

David Wolkin writes, “I’ve been pushing this writing exercise for a while now, but I taught a class with it in my home on Sunday and it proved to be powerful and connecting for all of us in the room. If you’re reflecting/repenting this season, you might benefit from this.” . . .

The Offering: A Tashlikh Prayer, by Rabbi Jill Hammer

Today I turned my heart toward the new year and wrote a prayer-poem for Tashlikh, the Rosh haShanah ritual of casting bread or stones into the water to cast off one’s past wrongdoings. . . .

A Prayer for the Earth, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

God of all spirit, all directions, all winds You have placed in our hands power unlike any since the world began to overturn the orders of creation. . . .

Prayer for the Earth, Air, Water, Fire of our Planet in Memory of Barry Commoner, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

May the words we are with Your help sharing today, Speak deeply –- with Your help — to our nation and the world. Help us all to know that the sharing of our breath with all of life Is the very proof, the very truth, that we are One. . . .

A Ten-Step, Four-Worlds, One-Earth Tashlikh, by Avi Dolgin

Avi Dolgin shares his mindful practice for maintaining “tashlikh consciousness” in the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah. . . .

Additions to Piyyutim on the High Holidays for the Shemitah Year, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

Two suggestions for ḥazanim (cantors) and shliḥei tzibur on the High Holidays. . . .

המלך הקדוש | From Uman to the Olam: Clapping upon the Coronation of the Holy Majesty during the Days of Awe (neohasid.org)

In Uman, Ukraine (and in [the Breslov [community] in general) during the repetition of Rosh Hashanah Musaf, when when the ḥazan gets to the special brokha in the Amidah for Yamim Nora’im [the Days of Awe]: . . .

A Rosh haShanah Amidah, by Trisha Arlin

A paraliturgical Amidah (standing mediation) for Rosh haShanah. . . .

Peas on Earth, a song by the Jewish environmental educators of the Teva Learning Center (Fall 2010)

A pun filled ditty by the Fall 2010 Jewish environmental educators of the Teva Learning Center. . . .

עָלֵינוּ לְשַׁבֵּחַ (ספרד)‏ | Aleinu, translated by Rabbi David de Sola Pool (1937)

The prayer, Aleinu, as read by Sepharadim, with an English translation by Rabbi David de Sola Pool. . . .

[Prayer] for the Eve of the New Year, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

A prayer for a woman preparing herself on Erev Rosh haShanah. . . .

Am Tage vor dem neuen Jahre oder dem Versöhnungsfeste, wenn man die Gräber besucht | [Prayer] for when you visit the graves on Erev Rosh haShanah or Yom Kippur before the Seudah Mafseket, by Fanny Neuda (1855)

A prayer offered on erev Rosh haShanah or Yom Kippur to visit the local Jewish cemetery. . . .

Betrachtung am Neujahrsund Versöhnungstage | Meditation on Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur, by Fanny Neuda (1855)

A meditation on Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippurim. . . .

א דוּדעלע (אַיֵּה אֶמְצָאֶךָּ)‏ | A Dudele (Where shall I seek you?), by Rabbi Levi Yitsḥaq of Berditchev (ca. 18th c.)

A profound song invoking divine presence. . . .

תחנה אמהות מן ראש חדש תשרי | Prayer for the New Moon of Tishrei, from the Tkhine of the Matriarchs by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Tishrei [Rosh Hashanah]” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. . . .

תחנה אמהות | Prayer for the Torah Reading on Rosh Hashanah (Genesis 21:1–34), from the Tkhine of the Matriarchs by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the Torah Reading on Rosh Hashanah” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

תחנה אמהות | Prayer for the Blowing of the Shofar, from the Tkhine of the Matriarchs by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the Blowing of the Shofar” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

תחנה אמהות | Prayer for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim, from the Tkhine of the Matriarchs by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

זֶה יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן [א׳]‏ | Zeh Yom Rishon [a], a song for Yom T’ruah by Ḥakham Zeraḥ ben Nathan of Troki (early 17th c.)

An early 17th century song for Yom T’ruah (Rosh haShanah) by Karaite Ḥakham, Zeraḥ ben Nathan of Troki. . . .

זֶה יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן [ב׳]‏ | Zeh Yom Rishon [b], a song for Yom T’ruah by Ḥakham Zeraḥ ben Nathan of Troki (early 17th c.)

An early 17th century song for Yom T’ruah (Rosh haShanah) by Karaite Ḥakham, Zeraḥ ben Nathan of Troki. . . .

כֹּל נְדָרִים | Kol N’darim, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The Italian Jewish community is one of the oldest continuous Jewish communities on the planet, dating back to the Roman empire at the latest.The Italian Jewish nusaḥ preserves several archaic practices that Ashkenazi and Sephardi rites no longer follow, many of which were found in gaonic siddurim and preserved only among the Italians. One fascinating custom of the Italian Jews is the recitation of what Ashkenazim and Sephardim call “Kol Nidrei” not in Aramaic, but in Hebrew, under the name “Kol N’darim.” This custom, also found among the Romaniotes of Greece, is elsewhere only found in the siddur of Rav Amram Gaon. The text included here is transcribed, niqqud and all, directly from a 1469 Italian-rite siddur found in the British Library. The scribe uses several non-standard vocalizations, which have been marked in editors’ notes. . . .

הַיּוֹם תְּאַמְּצֵנוּ | haYom T’amtseinu, a piyyut for the end of musaf on Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur

The full text of the alphabetic mesostic piyyut, Hayom, according to the Italian nusaḥ. . . .

The Sweeping Story of Rosh haShanah Musaf — in Color! by Rabbi Barry Kornblau

The major themes of the Rosh haShanah musaf liturgy, color coded with the three central blessings of the service presented comparatively in parallel columns. . . .

התרת נדרים | Hatarat Nedarim: The Release of Vows, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Almost everyone who is Jewish knows that Kol Nidre is about releasing vows and has participated in the ceremony. Few know the parallel ritual done in small groups before Rosh Hashanah. Traditionally, right before Rosh Hashanah one performs this simple ritual with three friends, each in turn becoming the petitioner, while the other three act as the beit din, the judges in a court. The ritual is a wonderful way to enter the holidays as well as to prepare oneself for what will happen on Yom Kippur. . . .

פֶּרֶק שִׁירָה | Pereq Shirah, a litany of verses spoken by the creatures & works of Creation (after the arrangement of Natan Slifkin)

Talmudic and midrashic sources contain hymns of the creation usually based on homiletic expansions of metaphorical descriptions and personifications of the created world in the Bible. The explicitly homiletic background of some of the hymns in Perek Shira indicates a possible connection between the other hymns and Tannaitic and Amoraic homiletics, and suggests a hymnal index to well-known, but mostly unpreserved, homiletics. The origin of this work, the period of its composition and its significance may be deduced from literary parallels. A Tannaitic source in the tractate Hagiga of the Jerusalem (Hag. 2:1,77a—b) and Babylonian Talmud (Hag. 14b), in hymns of nature associated with apocalyptic visions and with the teaching of ma’aseh merkaba serves as a key to Perek Shira’s close spiritual relationship with this literature. Parallels to it can be found in apocalyptic literature, in mystic layers in Talmudic literature, in Jewish mystical prayers surviving in fourth-century Greek Christian composition, in Heikhalot literature, and in Merkaba mysticism. The affinity of Perek Shira with Heikhalot literature, which abounds in hymns, can be noted in the explicitly mystic introduction to the seven crowings of the cock — the only non-hymnal text in the collection — and the striking resemblance between the language of the additions and that of Shi’ur Koma and other examples of this literature. In Seder Rabba de-Bereshit, a Heikhalot tract, in conjunction with the description of ma’aseh bereshit, there is a clear parallel to Perek Shira’s praise of creation and to the structure of its hymns. The concept reflected in this source is based on a belief in the existence of angelic archetypes of created beings who mediate between God and His creation, and express their role through singing hymns. As the first interpretations of Perek Shira also bear witness to its mystic character and angelologic significance, it would appear to be a mystical chapter of Heikhalot literature, dating from late Tannaitic — early Amoraic period, or early Middle Ages. . . .