This prayer is said in the plural. this means that we say We have sinned etc. This is because even if we did not do a specific mistake someone in our nation may have and if they did it is as if we did. Learn this well!
This prayer is said in the order of the Aleph Bet to help us provide order out of the chaos of our creation.
Vesarnu MeMitzvotecha UMiMishpatecha Hatovim Velo Shavah Lanu. VeAtah Tzadik Al Cal Habah Alaynu Ci Emet Asitah VaAnachnu Hirshanu.
transliteration of the Hebrew is next to the Hebrew
Viddui [Rabbi Avraham Sutton translation]
We beseech You, Hashem our Gd and Gd of our ancestors! Let our prayers come before You. Our King, do not ignore our supplications, for, Hashem our Gd and Gd of our ancestors, we are not so arrogant and stiff-necked as to think that we are completely righteous and have not erred. On the contrary [we want to admit to You and to ourselves that] we have erred (chet), we have sinned intentionally [in order to satisfy our lust] (avon), and we have rebelliously committed crimes [which have caused us to become coarse and insensitive, and therefore unworthy of Your forgiveness] (pesha).
This goes for us, our parents, and the members of our families [whether now or in previous lifetimes].
We wish to admit our guilt [but not to fall into excessive guilt which actually prevents us from doing teshuvah]. We have been ungrateful [for all the good done to us and even repaid bad for good]. We have robbed. We have been two-faced and spoken slander [behind others’ backs]. We have caused others to deviate [from the right path]. We have caused others to do wrong. We have acted maliciously. We have acted violently [and fraudulently to get what we want]. We have framed lies and been deceitful [in order to save ourselves and get others in trouble]. We have advised others to do things that were harmful to them. We have spoken falsely and not kept our word. We let our anger get the best of us. We have scoffed [and made light of serious matters]. We have rebelled [against You]. We have compromised Your truth for our own convenience. We have shown contempt [and thereby provoked Your displeasure]. We have committed adultery [and other sexual offenses]. We have been stubborn [and turned our hearts away from You]. We have sinned intentionally [in order to satisfy our lust, and have gotten caught in the web of our own rationalizations]. We have rebelliously committed crimes [which have caused us to become coarse and insensitive, and therefore unworthy of Your forgiveness]. We have damaged [the very things which are most sacred and precious to us]. We have oppressed and harassed. We have caused our parents grief and anguish. We have been stiff-necked [and obstinately ignored all of Your reminders to repent and better our ways]. We have acted wickedly [and become twisted inside]. We have corrupted [and destroyed our innate sense of right and wrong]. We have lost our human dignity [and stooped to the level of animals]. We have completely gone astray [and lost our way in life]. We have misled others to go astray as well.
[In sum] we have turned away from Your good commandments and ethical laws—all to no avail. But You are just with regard to any punishment that befalls us, for You have acted truthfully while we have just hardened our hearts and become more enmeshed in our sins.
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