All of these curses
Should we fear the punishments?
They seem so severe

G-d has compassion
Turning, reflection, justice*
Make it less severe

*A part of Unetaneh Tokef is traditionally translated as “Repentence, prayer and charity remove the evil of the decree” At a recent study session about the Rosh Hashana prayer, Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell of the Center for Jewish Mindfullness suggested the above translation of “Teshuva, T’filah, Tzedakah” The last line is my own, modified from the “original” to fit in haiku and create a parallel to the first stanza. Call it poetic license.


Image by Mac Mitchell via Flickr