'AL ḤEṬ ():
By: Francis L. Cohen
The longer confession of sin (Widdui), each sentence of which begins with the formula, "Forgive us for the sin we have committed before Thee in . . ." the particular sins then being enumerated in alphabetical order. In the Sephardic usage, only one sin is mentioned for each letter, but among the Ashkenazim two sins are enumerated under each, the formula for the second being, "And for the sin," etc. This confession is inserted in each "'Amidah" of the Day of Atonement and its repetition, with the exception of the closing prayer, "Ne'ilah." Among the Sephardim an abbreviated form is used in the repetition. According to northern custom the confession is chanted at length in a minor key, and is broken into four sections by the prayer, "For all these, O God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, grant us remission!" The interruption is marked by the employment of a special chant for the preceding couplet, the same strain being elsewhere used in the penitential prayers, and, singularly enough, also for the responsive formula inviting the company at table to join in the grace after meals. The music is as above.