Slichos 1


לְךָ אֲדֹנָי הַצְּדָקָה וְלָנוּ בֹּשֶׁת הַפָּנִים, to You, O Lord, is the righteousness, and to us is the shamefacedness. The Yerushalmi (Orla 1:3) writes about the concept of נהמא דכיסופא, bread of shame. This refers to one who receives sustenance without deserving it. The Ramchal (Daas Tevunos) writes that HaShem chose to do good to man, and so that the good should be complete, HaShem gave man the opportunity to deserve His beneficence. Here, at the onset of Slichos, we declare, based on the verse in Daniel (9:7) that HaShem is righteous and we are full of shame, as we have not even been deserving of HaShem’s kindness. We therefore continue to declare מַה נִּתְאוֹנֵן, וּמַה נֹּאמַר, מַה נְּדַבֵּר, וּמַה נִּצְטַדָּק. נַחְפְּשָׂה דְרָכֵֽינוּ וְנַחְקֹֽרָה, וְנָשֽׁוּבָה אֵלֶֽיךָ, כִּי יְמִינְךָ פְשׁוּטָה לְקַבֵּל שָׁבִים, What complaint can we make? What can we say? What can we declare? What justification can we offer? Let us examine our ways and analyze – and return to You, for Your right hand is extended to accept penitents. We ask HaShem that He allow us to return to Him, so we can continue receiving His goodness without being ashamed from our sins. 

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