al het

Alternative Spellings

al chet, al-chet, al-het, al khet, al-khet, al cheit, al-cheit, al heit, al-heit, al kheit, al-kheit, al cheyt, al-cheyt, al heyt, al kheyt, al chayt, al hayt, al khayt, al chait, al hait, al khait, al-chayt, al-hayt, al-khayt, al-chait, al-hait, al-khait

Definitions

  • "A Yom Kippur prayer that asks forgiveness for a multitude of sins committed during the previous year" (JPS).

Example Sentences

  • "The traditional "Al Het" confessional prayer on Yom Kippur is a chance for the community to confess their sins together. This ritual, which can be performed during the month of Elul or during the high holidays, asks participants to think differently about guilt, to think about guilt that is placed on us by outside forces." (https://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/deconstructed-al-het)
  • "A new Al Het is inserted a few pages after the Martyrology during the Musaf with particular reference to the Holocaust." (https://opensiddur.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Conservative_Payerbooks_(Eric_L._Friedland,_1976).pdf)
  • "Al Ḥet contains a list of sins in alphabetical order, two sins being allotted to every letter." (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/al-het)
  • "A custom associated with Al Chet is to beat the heart while saying the words al chet." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

על חטא al chet 'and due to the sin [of...]'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

Notes

"The congregation says the Al Het aloud as well as silently because Jews are responsible not only for themselves but also for their entire community" (JPS).

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