The traditional confessional prayer, the Vidui, is composed of two parts, the Ashamnu and the Al Chet, that we read aloud on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The Ashamnu (translated as “we have trespassed” or “we are guilty”) is an abbreviated confession, an alphabetic acrostic, and written in first person plural. We recite this confessional in the plural to represent our shared responsibility and culpability in all of our lives and missteps. We also share this confessional as a reminder that forgiveness is also shared. 

Use the modern interpretation of the Ashamnu below using the English alphabet and add in your missteps for each letter of the alphabet: 

We have behaved arrogantly, _____________________________________

We have betrayed ourselves and our families, _____________________________________

We have acted out of contempt, _____________________________________

We have been dishonest, _____________________________________

We have erred out of ignorance, _____________________________________

We have forgotten who we are, _____________________________________

We have gossiped, _____________________________________

We have been hypocritical, _____________________________________

We have been insensitive, _____________________________________

We have justified bad decisions, _____________________________________

We have killed our impulse to do good, _____________________________________

We have looked the other way, _____________________________________

We have been mean, _____________________________________

We have been neglectful, _____________________________________

We have acted out of fear instead of love, _____________________________________

We have pushed too much, _____________________________________

We have been quiet when we should have spoken up, _____________________________________

We have been rageful, _____________________________________

We have stolen, _____________________________________

We have tried to teach when we should have tried to learn, _____________________________________

We have been untrue, _____________________________________

We have behaved violently, _____________________________________

We have withheld that which could have been given freely, _____________________________________

We have held others to unrealistic expectations, _____________________________________

We have yielded instead of moving forward, _____________________________________

We have zoomed too narrowly into challenges, _____________________________________

Booklet Section: Seeking Forgiveness