The prayer AL CHEYT SHECHETANU LIFANECHA (for the missing-of-the-mark that I have missed before You/in the Presence of Your Face) is a communal recitation of the various ways that all of us miss-the-mark of our best intentions.  Below is a description of an alternative way that we will can to make the words more meaningful for us.  

In the private AMIDAH recitation, we’ll use the traditional words of the AL CHEYT prayer as they appear in the Machzor.  

For the three recitations of AL CHEYT, which will occur on:

  1. Kol Nidre (Sunday evening),
  2. Monday Shacharit (morning) services
  3. Monday Mincha (afternoon) services

        We will use the anonymous words of our gathered prayer community.

  • Each attendee can take 4 different colour cards: green, pink, blue, and yellow.
  • Write one sentence on each card (instructions below).
  • Do not sign the cards so that they remain anonymous. 
  • Write clearly enough that others can read your cards without difficulty or distortion.  

For the PINK CARD, write one way that you have missed-the-mark in relation to your Close-in Relationships with family, friends, and/or community.

For the GREEN CARD, write one way that you have missed-the-mark in relation to the Earth and the rest of the natural world.

For the BLUE CARD, write one way that you have missed-the-mark in relation to Yourself (body, heart, mind, spirit).

(For all these ways we have missed-the-mark, G!D of Forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and return us to a state of at-one-ment)

For the YELLOW CARD, write one way that you have HIT-the-mark, doing something you’re proud of, in the best way you intended.

Place your PINK, GREEN and BLUE cards with others of the same colour to be used throughout the day’s services.  

During the public recitations of AL CHEYT, we will pass around the cards of the same colour so that each group will be read out loud at one of the services.  

At the end of the day, after the blowing of the shofar and havdalah, these cards representing our missing-of-the-mark can be burned or otherwise sent out of the community like the goats of old.

Hold on to your own YELLOW card to remind yourself throughout the day that, along with human flaws, we each are human miracles.  

During the Ne’ilah service, just as the gates are closing, each of us will have an opportunity – if we wish — to share out loud what we have written on our yellow card. Those are for us to keep!