What's All the Praying About?

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur many families go to services. Whatever your practice is, PJ Library offers two helpful tools:

  • Tips on talking with your kids about God (no matter what you believe)
  • An audio taste of five High Holiday prayers, shortened and translated to be family-friendly.  For more explanations and reflections, download and print.

Reflections on 5 High Holiday Prayers

For more songs and prayers, visit Listen.


5 High Holiday Prayers:

Our Parent, Our Support

Avinu Malkeinu, please answer us, though we may not deserve it, and treat us generously and kindly and help us to improve.

Avinu Malkeinu, haneinu va’aneinu ki ein banu ma'asim. Asei imanu tzedakah vachesed vehoshi'einu.


Because We Are Your People

Ki anu amecha ve’ata Eloheinu – Because we are your people, and you are our God

Anu vanecha ve’ata avinu – We are your children, and you are our parent

Anu karmecha ve’ata notreinu – We are your crops, and you are our farmer

Anu tzonecha ve’ata ro’einu – We are your flock, and you are our shepherd

Anu k’shei oref ve’ata erech apayim – We are stubborn, while you are patient

Anu fe’ulatecha ve’ata yotzreinu – We are a piece of artwork, and you are the artist

We Take Responsibility

We take responsibility (ashamnu) for times when…

We hid things from others – bagadnu

We took something that wasn’t ours – gazalnu

We said something bad about others – dibarnu dofi

We got someone else into trouble – hirshanu

We told a lie – tafalnu shaker

We made fun of someone – latznu

We disobeyed our parents – maradnu

We were not good friends – tzararnu

We refused to admit that we were wrong – kishinu oref

We hit or hurt someone – rashanu

We did something we knew we shouldn’t – shihatnu

We weren’t thinking and just messed up – ta’inu

As we start a new year, forgive us for our mistakes and give us a chance to be better.

Slach lanu. Mechal lanu. Kaper lanu. Clean our slate, wipe away the bad, help us learn and grow.

We Tune Into the Power of This Day

On Rosh Hashanah the judgment is written down, and on the fast of Yom Kippur it is sealed.

BeRosh Hashana yikateivun uveYom tzom Kippur yeihateimun.

We Are Called to Praise

With our unique story and special values, we are called as the Jewish people to praise the Creator of all things. So we bend our knees, bow to the ground, and say out loud how grateful we are. And we hope, Source of Unity, that you will help us fix the world and make it whole. 

Aleinu leshabei'ach la'adon hakol, lateit gedula leyotzer bereishit, shelo asanu kegoyei ha'aratzot velo samanu kemishpechot ha'adama, shelo sam chelkeinu kahem vegoraleinu kechol hamonam. Va'anachnu kor'im umishtachavim umodim lifnei melech malchei hamelachim haKadosh Baruch Hu. Al ken nekaveh lecha Adonai Eloheinu letakein olam bemalchut shadai.