Mussaf Prayer of Rosh Hashanah in English

Zichronot - Remembrances:

We recognize that Hashem is above Time, and the idea of "forgetting" does not apply to Him, nor is He limited in "understanding" the inner thoughts of His creatures. Nevertheless, we ask that He "remember" only the "good" in our behalf when He Judges us. For all of humanity, for the whole world is Judged today, we ask that He "remember" the faith of Noach who endured taunts and threats for 120 years while he built the Ark, and tried to explain its purpose to his wayward generation. For the Jewish People in particular, we ask that He "remember" the early loyalty of our People, who followed Him as a bride, as He said "I remember your youthful devotion, the love of your bridal days, how you followed Me through the desert, in a barren land" (Yirmiyahu 2:2) and later as a precious child, "Is it because Ephraim is my favorite son, my beloved child? As often as I speak of him, I remember him fondly. My heart yearns for him, I will have pity on him, says the L-rd." (Yirmiyahu 31:19) Most of all, we ask that He "remember" the supreme act of devotion performed by our fathers Avraham and Yitzchak, where Avraham suppressed his natural feelings of mercy towards his son, and was prepared to sacrifice him at the command of G-d, and Yitzchak was prepared to be sacrificed, thereby suppressing his natural feelings of self-preservation, in fulfillment of G-d's command. So should Hashem suppress, so to speak, His Midat HaDin , His Attribute of Strict Justice, which would require that we be punished for our misdeeds, in favor of His Midat HaRachamim, His Attribute of Mercy.

Shofarot - Blasts of the Shofar:

We recall the time that Hashem revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai and gave us the Torah. "The whole world trembled at Your Presence, Creation shook in awe before You, when You, our King, did reveal Yourself on Mt. Sinai to give to Your People the Torah and its Commandments, letting them hear your majestic voice, your holy words out of flashes of fire. Amid thunder and lightening did You reveal Yourself to them, amid the sound of the Shofar did you appear to them."

Malchiyot - Kingliness:

Hashem, the G-d is the incomparable King of The Universe. The destiny of humanity is to come to this realization. Whereas human kings rule in accordance with the principle of:"might makes right," Hashem is the Holy King, Who is, at the same time, beyond comparison in His power, "Vas er vil, Tut er" - "Whatever He wills, He can do," yet He is also the Father of the orphan and the Judge of the widow, Who is always on the side of the powerless. He is the Incorruptible and Righteous Judge of the World, Who favors no one, and cannot be bribed. He is the true G-d and His word, the Torah, is true and eternal.

Unetanneh Tokef

Probably the most moving prayer of the Rosh Hashanah Mussaf is Unetanneh Tokef, composed by Rabbi Amnon, a scholar, poet, and leader of the Jewish community of Mainz, in the eleventh century. The text reads as follows:


"The great shofar is sounded... A still small voice is heard...
Even the angels are frightened... the Day of Judgment is here...

Who shall live? And who shall die?
Who shall find rest? And who shall be restless?
Who shall be raised up? And who shall be humbled?
Who shall be rich? And who shall be poor?
But - Atonement, Prayer and Good Deeds deflect the harsh decree!
As for Man, he comes from dust
And to dust he shall return..."

Man is like...
Grass that withers... A flower that fades... A shadow that passes..."

 Rosh Hashanah

Sign our Guest Book

Holiday Index


Contact us

Refer This Site