Rosh Hashanah

Full Text of U’Netaneh Tokef

June 28, 2006

The Full Text

(Scanned from the ArtScroll Rosh HaShanah Machzor)

The following is the full translated text of the great prayer, “U’Netaneh Tokef,” attributed to Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, as related to Rabbi Klonimus ben Meshullam

THE ARK BEING OPEN:

Congregation and chazzan:

So now, the Kedushah prayer shall ascend to You, for You, our God, are King.

Congregation and chazzan:

Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth. It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who writes and seats, (counts and calculates); Who remembers all that was forgotten. You will open the Book of Chronicles – it will read itself, and everyone’s signature is in it. The great shofar will be sounded and a still, thin sound will be heard. Angels will hasten, a trembling and terror will seize them – and they will say, ‘Behold, it is the Day of Judgment, to muster the heavenly host for judgment!’- for they cannot be vindicated in Your eyes in judgment.

Chazzan:

All mankind will pass before You like members of the flock. Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the fixed needs of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict.

Congregation then chazzan [in some congregations this is recited only by the chazzan]:

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquillity and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

Congregation aloud, then chazzan:

But REPENTANCE, PRAYER and CHARITY

Remove the Evil of the Decree!

Congregation and chazzan:

For Your Name signifies Your praise: hard to anger and easy to appease, for You do not wish the death of one deserving death, but that he repent from his way and live. Until the day of his death You await him; if he repents You will accept him immediately.

Chazzan:

It is true that You are their Creator and You know their inclination, for they are flesh and blood. A man’s origin is from dust and his destiny is back to dust, at risk of his life he earns his bread; he is likened to a broken shard, withering grass, a fading flower, a passing shade, a dissipating cloud, a blowing wind, flying dust, and a fleeting dream.

Congregation aloud, then chazzan:

But You are the King, the Living and Enduring G-d.

THE ARK IS CLOSED

Congregation then chazzan:

There is no set span to Your years and there is no end to the length of Your days. It is impossible to estimate the angelic chariots of Your glory and to elucidate Your Name’s inscrutability. Your Name is worthy of You and You are worthy of Your Name, and You have included Your Name in our name.