The Mystery Tucked Inside a Powerful High Holy Day Prayer

Apart from Kol Nidrei, no High Holy Day prayer is better known than Un’taneh Tokef. But there’s a puzzle at its heart.

Orthodox Jews praying on the last day of Rosh Hashanah on the bank of the San river in Dynow, Poland on Sunday, September 20, 2020. Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Orthodox Jews praying on the last day of Rosh Hashanah on the bank of the San river in Dynow, Poland on Sunday, September 20, 2020. Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

COLUMN
Sept. 14 2021
About Philologos

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.

Got a question for Philologos? Ask him directly at [email protected].

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: High Holidays, Religion & Holidays, Yom Kippur