The High Priest's "Short" Prayer

Standing alone in the Sanctuary, the High Priest has successfully entered and exited the holiest place on earth - the center of creation and of God's glory. He has made atonement for his people in the manner which God has prescribed for this holy day. Thus it would be most natural for him to reflect upon this rarefied moment of Divine communion by offering his own heartfelt prayer.

Yet this prayer, recorded by the Talmud, is remarkably short and concise:

"May it be Your will, Lord our God, that if this coming year be hot, that it also be rainy; and may the scepter not depart from the house of Judah (see Gen. 49:10); and may Your people Israel not be dependent on each other for their livlihood; and do not pay heed to the prayers of wayfarers (who pray that it should not rain, so that they will not be inconvenienced in their journey)."



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