he rarefied atmosphere of the Yamim Noraim, a blend of awe and longing and intense prayer, is closely tied to the solemn tunes and the stirring words. The power of a niggun to awaken our hearts is a blessing which comes into its own at this auspicious time of year.
Which song or niggun creates that special Yamim Noraim feeling for you?
Mishpacha’s US editor Rabbi Eytan Kobre
For me, it’s the strains of Eitan Katz’s emotion-packed niggun “Lemaancha” that signals the arrival of the Yamim Noraim period. Can it really be that an entire year has gone by? Wasn’t it yesterday that I stood right here before the Creator acknowledging my utter emptiness of deeds and merits, pleading for His embrace, for His sake if not for mine?
As Selichos begins, we say, “Kedalim uke’rashim dafaknu delasecha — we knock on Your door as paupers bereft of all merit.” We continue doing so through the days of Selichos and the intense days of reflection and return that follow.
Then, the culmination, the awesome day that European Jews called simply the Yom HaKadosh. And on that night, we say “Asei v’lo lanu, r’ei amidaseinu k’dalim uke’reikim.” After all we’ve said and done in these last days, we’re still just empty-handed beggars at the door of the palace. Our bodies, our souls, they’re all Yours; please let us have them for another year.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 726)