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Monday, February 11, 2013

Hineni Heoni Mimaas - The Hazzan's Prayer

During the High Holy Days, the Hazzan begins the Musaf service with the Hineni prayer (here I am), which is a private prayer.  Serving as the Shaliach Tzibbur (emissary of the congregation), the Hazzan, a man of great humility, pleads with the Almighty that he be worthy to represent the people of his congregation and all the people of Israel.

This prayer is extremely powerful.  Listen closely as the Hazzan prays for the congregation on these Days of Judgment.  The introduction is by Rabbi Irving J. Rosenbaum of the Chicago Loop Synagogue. 

Hineni Heoni Mimaas

Below is a translation of the prayer:

Here I stand, impoverished of deeds, trembling and frightened with the dread of He Who is enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

I have come to stand and supplicate before You for Your people Israel, who have sent me although I am unworthy and unqualified to do so.

Therefore, I beg of you, O G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac, and G-d of Jacob, HaShem, HaShem, G-d, Compassionate and Gracious, G-d of Israel, Frightening and Awesome One, grant success to the way upon which I travel, standing to plead for mercy upon myself and upon those who sent me.

Please do not hold them to blame for my sins and do not find them guilty of my iniquities, for I am a careless and willful sinner. Let them not feel humiliated by my willful sins. Let them not be ashamed of me and let me not be ashamed of them. Accept my prayer like the prayers of an experienced elder whose lifetime has been well spent, whose beard is fully grown, whose voice is sweet, and who is friendly with other people.

May you denounce the Satan, that he not impede me. May You regard our omissions with love, and obscure our willful sins with love. May You transform all travail and evil to joy and gladness, to life and peace, for us and for all Israel, who love truth and peace. And may there be no stumbling block in my prayer.

May it be Your will, HaShem, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the great, mighty, and awesome G-d, “I Am That I Am,” that all the angels who bring up prayers may present my prayer before Your Throne of Glory; may they spread it out before You for the sake of all the righteous, devout, wholesome, and upright people, and for the sake of the glory of Your great and awesome Name, for You hear the prayer of Your people Israel with compassion.

Blessed are You, who hears prayer.

Thank you to Elisson for the translation []

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