וְהוּא רַחוּם יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית, וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ, וְלֹא יָעִיר כָּל חֲמָתוֹ.
“The Merciful One That Covers Over Iniquity“
(from the evening prayers)
It is evening, and notwithstanding all our diligent efforts and worthy intentions, the books are still unbalanced. Debts remain unpaid, some of which may weigh upon us, but we lack the means, or the will, to discharge them, whereas of others we remain either oblivious or only vaguely cognizant.
It is not our way simply to incant, “I forgive myself” (whatever that means): real damage has been done and restitution can never be complete. True, we are good people, and will persist in our worldly work on the morrow, but the stain remains, and Yom Kippur is half a year away.
Have mercy, H’, and on this night, as on every night, forgive our sins before we lay down our heads in rest.
הַמֶּֽלֶךְ יַעֲנֵֽנוּ בְיוֹם קָרְאֵֽנוּ
@2012 Jonathan Omer-Man