Renew Us For A Good Year / Avinu Malkeinu
Avinu Malkeinu is a central prayer of the ten days of repentance which begin on Rosh Hashanah and conclude on Yom Kippur. Both the words and the melody evoke deep emotion as the congregation connects with God as a parent and monarch. The prayer has become so beloved that former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres asked Barbra Streisand to sing it at his 90th birthday celebration.
אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ חָטָֽאנוּ לְפָנֶֽיךָ:
אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ אֵין לָֽנוּ מֶֽלֶךְ אֶלָּא אָֽתָּה: אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ עֲשֵׂה עִמָּֽנוּ לְמַֽעַן שְׁמֶֽךָ: אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ חַדֵּשׁ עָלֵֽינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה:
Our Father, our King! we have sinned before You.
Our Father our King! we have no King except You.
Our Father, our King! deal with us [kindly] for the sake of Your Name.
Our Father, our King! renew for us a good year
The entire prayer can be found here.
  • ​​​​​​​Avinu Malkenu refers to God as our Father and our King. If you were writing the prayer, what role would you use to describe your relationship with God?
  • What are the attributes of a parent and the attributes of a ruler? How do they differ? Are there times when you are seeking one or the other?
  • Read the requests that are made of God in the prayer. Which requests are the most important to you? What requests would you add? Are there any you would remove?
  • The prayer asks to “renew for us a good year”. What would constitute for you a good year?