Teshuvah and Kapparah in Tefillah Zakkah, By Rabbi Jeremy Wieder

Tefillah Zakkah, the prayer recited by many before Kol Nidrei, is comprised of three parts.  The first section consists of a confession of a myriad of sins committed through the agency of the various body parts a person possesses.  The final, and overwhelmingly largest, section consists of a plea for mercy and forgiveness, while acknowledging that by right we should have to suffer much to atone for our sins; we cast ourselves at God’s mercy because that suffering would be overwhelming.  In between is a short paragraph in which we state that we have likely have harmed others and repentance for those sins cannot lead to atonement until we have appeased the victims of our actions.  Thus, we hereby forgive all others for (virtually) all that they have done to us and ask God to cause us to be viewed favorably in the eyes of others so that they will grant us the same forgiveness for any harm that we have done them.

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