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As Death Approaches (Vidui)

Since ancient days, it has been part of Jewish tradition that one would want to return to God in the same state of ritual purity and innocence as when one is born. In order to accomplish this, it became traditional for an individual to offer a final confession shortly before death, the Hebrew term for which is Vidui (you may recognize this term from the Yom Kippur liturgy). In most cases, Vidui is offered by a rabbi on behalf of the person as death approaches but it can be offered by individual themselves (if they are so inclined) or a family member.


Elohai vElohei avotai v'imotai

My God and God of all who have gone before me, Author of life and death, I turn to You in trust. Although I pray for life and health, I know that I am mortal. If my life must soon come to an end, let me die, I pray, at peace.

If only my hands were clean and my heart pure! I confess that I have committed sins and left much undone, yet I know also the good that I did or tried to do. May my acts of goodness give meaning to my life, and may my errors be forgiven.

Protector of the bereaved and the helpless, watch over my loved ones. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; redeem it, O God of mercy and truth.

(As the end approaches, the following is said with or for the dying person:)

Adonai melech, Adonai malach, Adonai yimloch l'olam va-ed.

God reigns; God has reigned; God will reign forever and ever.


Baruch shem k'vod malchuto l'olam va'ed.

Blessed be God's name whose glorious dominion is forever and ever.


Adonai Hu ha-Elohim.

Adonai is God.


Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad!

Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.



Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad!

Hear, O Israel: Adonai is our God, Adonai is one.

(After the moment of death:)


Adonai natan vAdonailakach. Y'hi shem Adonai m'vorach.

God gave and God has taken away; blessed be the name of God.


Baruch Dayan haemet.

Blessed be the Judge of truth.

Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784