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Rabbi’s Blog: Avinu Malkeini - Update

03/11/2024 03:59:03 PM


Dear OZ family,


We have been adding Avinu Malkeinu to our daily liturgy since Oct. 9th. Avinu Malkeinu relates to God as a beloved father who wants to forgive us for all the messes we make, and it also relates to God as our King who wants to pardon us for all our iniquities. We refer to God in these terms in our daily Amidah specifically in the blessings that refer to forgiveness and repentance. In fact, the Avinu Malkeinu prayer is associated with the time of year punctuated by our repentance and forgiveness.


It is for this reason that some rabbis balked at reciting this prayer all this time, and never started to say it. They felt that it would dilute the feelings of remorse and repentance that we elicit on a fast day and during the Aseret Y’mei Teshuva. Others continue to say it, even on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, through Chanukah, at a Bris, and in the presence of a Chattan the week of his wedding. They felt that the emergency was so great as to warrant a continual recitation of this powerful prayer.


We fell somewhere in the middle, reciting it daily, whenever Tachanun is said. I am writing this now, because, in consultation with our Religious Committee, I have decided that the time has come to step back from this prayer, and that for the month of Adar Bet, we will only recite it on the Y’mei Ratzon, of Monday and Thursday. They are considered Y’mei Ratzon for longer Tachanun, because Moshe ascended Har Sinai on a Monday and descended on a Thursday. We will re-evaluate this for Chodesh Nissan, since we don’t say Tachanun the entire month.


May we have reason to celebrate peace and prosperity in Israel.

Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz



Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street

New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 




Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784