For the Sin of Racism: A Racial Justice Vidui

white jewish woman with both hands pressed over her heart
This is a racial justice addition to the Vidui prayer on Yom Kippur. It should be inserted before the Classification of Transgressions.

For the racism we allowed because we felt compelled by fears for our safety if we acted,
   and for the racism we allowed willingly, with no justification offered.
For the racist statements we said in private
   and for the coded language we said in public.
For the racism committed accidentally
   and for the racism committed intentionally.
For the racism that we allowed by failing to take proactive steps to end oppression
   and for the racism that we allowed by failing to speak up after violence was perpetrated.
For the racism we committed through our actions
   and for the racism we committed through our inaction.
For our racism of which we are conscious
   and for the racism that lives in our subconscious.
We have already told You of our racism that we have the awareness to recognize,
And you already know of our racism that we still cannot see.
As it is said, “Adonai our God knows all that is difficult for us to see,
and what is clear to us, and to our children forever.
To do all of these mitzvot in this Torah.” (Deut. 29: 28)
And David your servant said before You:
“I cannot understand all of my mistakes.
Please cleanse me of the sins in my subconscious.” (Ps. 19:13)
God, you are merciful and receive those seeking to become allies.
From the beginning, you have promised us that we could do teshuvah.
So we plead with you to accept our return—
That, for all the people who commit to justice
and to leaving their racism in the past,
you will forgive them 
so that they may keep turning 
inward and outward, and always toward truth.

Read Sarah's story behind the creation of this ritual on the Ritualwell blog.



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