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Hin’ni – Here I Am

Posted on August 27, 2017 by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein

At the very beginning of the erev (evening) Rosh Hashanah service we recite a prayer called Hin’ni (meaning “here I am”).  Traditionally, this prayer is chanted by the Cantor on behalf of the Congregation.  It is a prayer expressing the deep sense of humility needed to engage in the work of cheshbon hanefesh, or self-examination, that is required by these High Holy Days.

Our new machzor (High Holiday Prayer book) contains a traditional Hin’ni for the service leaders.  It also contains a Hin’ni that can be recited by each individual worshipper.  An excerpt from this individual Hin’ni reads:

“During the next … days, let me face the truth about myself and listen to Your still, small voice. Taking comfort in Your promise that I am always free to change, released from staleness and routine, let me know the joy of beginning again” (Mishkan HaNefesh for Rosh Hashanah, p. 16).

This prayer reminds us that we need humility to recognize the places where we have missed the mark and courage to know that we can change.  May these be our blessings this year.


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