On Yom Kippur the questions of who we are and what we might become collide, as do the questions of what we’ve done with our lives and how much time we have left. The path of righteousness is paved with questions. This prayer echoes the themes in the Un’tanneh Tokef, an amazing and powerful prayer recited on both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.
The Path of Righteousness
G-d of what was and what will be,
Of what might have been and might still be.
G-d of past and future,
Of memories and beginnings.
G-d of the finite and the infinite,
Of moments and possibilities.
What is my life?
And what of my death?
What of my choices?
And what of my future?
What of this distance?
And what of the endless sky?
What of the darkness?
And what of the light?
G-d of the seen and unseen,
Of the known and unknowable.
Teach me patience and understanding
As the mysteries of my life unfold.
Teach me to live gently, love generously,
And to walk with strength and confidence.
Teach me to give and to receive,
Sharing Your blessings in joy and sorrow.
Teach me to see others through Your eyes,
As children of G-d.
And teach me to see myself and my life as You do,
Blessed are You, Adonai,
Source of life,
Guardian and Shelter,
You set Your people on the path of righteousness,
Holiness and charity,
Kindness and grace,
To return to You in service.
Blessed is Your Holy Name.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Here’s a link to prayers and stories for the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days, listed by topic.
Photo Source: Photo by Martin Kozák, Wikimedia Commons