These Vows – A Covid Kol Nidre

Finished in the hours before Yom Kippur, 5781…
And a year has come and gone…
Now, Yom Kippur 5782…

These Vows – A Covid Kol Nidre
You have been summoned
To wander,
In search of God,
In a Yom Kippur wilderness
Of heartbreak and isolation,
Of fire and ash,
Of lurking plague,
Of fears unknown,
Of fears too real,
Where the shofar blast
Is a faint echo,
And the still small voice
Waits in stillness.

This vow, this oath,
This pledge, this duty,
This commitment, this honor,
To love and seek G-d,
To love and support our people,
We will never
Rescind or revoke,
Revise or renege,
Abandon or discard,
Not last year,
Not this year,
Not next year,

אוֹר זרע לצדיק, ולישרי-לב שמחה.
Or zarua latzadik. ul’yishrei leiv simchah.
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

Return to us, Holy One,
As we return to You.
How I wish to sing in the key of Lamentations.
How I wish to demand an accounting from You.
Without an answer,
We will still sing tonight in the key of El Rachum,
The key of the God of Mercy,
When we defiantly declare…

ברוך אתה ה’ אלקינו מלך העולם
שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה.
Baruch ata adonai elohenu melech ha olam,
shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe
Who has given us life, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this day.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and

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Postscript: My other prayers for Yom Kippur can be found here.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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