Today’s episode is about the story behind the prayer we most usually associate with Rosh Hashanah, “Unetanneh Tokef.” We don’t know who wrote the poem, although it’s attributed to an 11th century sage who lived in Germany. Modern scholars say the prayer is much older than originally believed, perhaps as early as the 8th century. Host Marcela Sulak explains the legend behind this piece of liturgy from the high holiday services and reads the prayer for the new year.
Here is the beginning of the poem:
We shall ascribe holiness to this day.
For it is awesome and terrible.
Your kingship is exalted upon it.
Your throne is established in mercy.
You are enthroned upon it in truth.
“ונתנה תוקף” by סא”ל שי אברמסון & המקהלה והתזמורת הפילהרמונית אס.אף.ווי