Commentary Magazine

Yom Kippur Lamentation

Knowing not the quantity nor precise degree of my sinning,
And advised to abandon all antiquated notions of guilt,
I atone for the sin of omission:

   That I know not where my Lord resides
   Nor in whose house I dwell,
   That I know not, all else besides,
   The dimensions of Heaven, the volume of Hell.

   That I rear in wanton heresies
   One younger than I, less innocent,
   Whose perception of oracular verities
   Is unmoved by pragmatic cant.

   Atone, further, that between myself and His green world
   Cataracting walls obscure bright earth from me,
   Separate you from me, and Him, and cleave from the furled
   Banner of my former self, my very atonement on this Day.



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