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“Avinu Malkeinu,” dvar tefillah by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)
The words of Avinu Malkeinu are a little different from the standard translation. It doesn’t say in Hebrew, “we have no good deeds” (ein lanu ma’asim tovim), but rather, “there are no deeds in us” (ein banu ma’asim). The p’shat (literal meaning) implies that whatever we have done in the past does not have to live inside of us — we can release our deeds and be released from them, fully, to start over, like a newborn, to become whoever we need to become. . . .