Rosh ha-Shanah - Day of Remembering

As well as being the New Year and the Day of Blowing the shofar (yom t'ru'ah) Rosh ha-Shanah is also known as the Day of Remembering (yom ha-zikkaron).  One section of the service includes a section called Zichronot (remembering) - ten verses (biblical) mentioning how God remembered our ancestors. Here's an alternative - ten verses (non-biblical) on the same theme:




God who remembered Noah and Rebekah,

Who took Abraham and Sarah from their home;

Made promises from heaven's gate to Jacob

As he slept upon a pillow made of stone. 


God who realised Joseph's dreams of power in Egypt,

Who changed Moses’ path with  silent tongues of flame

Which bade him to return and challenge Pharaoh

With the awesome might and power of Your Name.


God who promised to redeem us from oppression,

Who led us out, and safely through the sea.

Who gave Miriam words to sing in joyful triumph,

As the women's timbrels told us we were free.


Who guided us through desert, parched and starving,

To bring us to the borders of our land,

And revealed laws of equity and justice

To encourage us to implement Your plan.


God who gave us kings and judges in our weakness,

And our failure to establish what was just,

Who pervaded prophets' visions, words and voices

As they told us how we'd broken faith and trust.


Who accompanied us into painful exile

As Your Temple burned, consumed by hate and flame,

God who gave us sages, prophets, priests and rabbis

To ensure that we would not forget Your name.


Who was present in our synagogues and houses

In our thoughts and in our hearts throughout the years

Across lands and cities of our long dispersion

In our prayers, our hopes, our words, our acts, our fears.


God who watched in pain as those whom You remembered

Suffered bitterly through ignorance and hate.

Who, when we implored You tearfully to save us,

Wept with us, knowing this, too, was our fate.


God who joins us as we kindle Sabbath candles

God who’s present in our yearnings and our prayers

And in countless homes where Judaism happens

In our joys and sorrows is our God who shares.


God to whom we speak with symbol and with ritual,

Which reminds us of the truth we always knew;

As we call You on this sacred day of memory:

Remember us, as we remember You.


PT July 2010