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Al Chet

An Intentional Al Chet

Al Chet is a confession of wrongdoings recited on Yom Kippur. The list recounts times we have missed the mark, and communally we take responsibility. 

As the great Chassidic Master Zusya lay crying on his deathbed, his students and admirers came to him and asked, “Rebbe, why are you so sad?  After all that you’ve accomplished, after all the mitzvahs and good deeds you have done, you will surely get a nice place in Heaven!” 

        “I’m afraid!” said Zusya. 
        “Of what, Rebbe?” they asked. 

“When I get to heaven, I know God’s not going to ask me, ‘Why weren’t you more like Moses, or King David or Solomon?’ I’m afraid that God will ask ‘Zusya, ‘Why weren’t you more like Zusya,’ and I won’t have anything to say!”

As the High Holidays approach, we are reminded that life is a process of becoming fully ourselves. Throughout the Days of Awe, we may ask ourselves if we have been true to that process, and if not, where did we make less than life-affirming choices for ourselves and in our interpersonal relationships.   

Between now and Kol Nidre, gently consider the ways in which you have sometimes chosen to do the wrong thing and then complete each card as described below.  To communally join in expressing theses acts, place your cards in the designated pot from which they will be drawn and read throughout  Yom Kippur.  Finally, as we each seek forgiveness for these acts, let us remember the words of the Mishna: 

Yom Kippur atones for sins against God.  Yom Kippur does not atone for sins against another human being until one has sought out the person offended.

Submit your Al Chet confessions online here or print a .pdf paper form HERE, scan/photograph it, and email it to


Fri, September 22 2023 7 Tishrei 5784