It says, no deeds
not good-bad, not beautiful-ugly
no trace of the past in us to
constrain, condone, condemn
our forward path,
not regret, not mistakes, not strife, nor failure
ki ein banu ma’asim.
What-for-ever in us is the now, the aha
of one instant — just!
So here, bring your lovely-most self
to meet-greet the unladen year.
Clear the channel; become hollow
as a bone.
What you are
becoming now here, for the Source of Life:
a wellspring of tzedakahCharity. In Hebrew, the word tzedakah derives from the word for justice. Tzedakah is not seen as emanating from the kindness of one’s heart but, rather, as a communal obligation. and
hesedLit. Kindness It is said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that the world stands on three things: Torah (learning), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness)., of righteous love,
a fountain of blessing.
Peirush (based on this teaching):
The words of Avinu Malkeinu are a little different from the standard translation. It doesn’t say in Hebrew, “we have no good deeds” (ein lanu ma’asim tovimLit. Good deeds. The traditional prayer for a newborn infant at his or her brit milah or baby naming concludes, "May s/he grow to Torah, to Chuppah, and to ma'asim tovim."), but rather, “there are no deeds in us” (ein banu ma’asim). The p’shat (literal meaning) implies that whatever we have done in the past does not have to live inside of us – we can release our deeds and be released from them, fully, to start over, like a newborn, to become whoever we need to become.