… is the recitation of sins and the asking for forgiveness. You don’t have to even be religious or a believer to appreciate it. I particularly like the Shma Koleinu part of the Selichot which I can find only in Hebrew, and don’t have a good translation of. But that part goes something like this:
Listen to our voices O God and have pity on us and receive our prayers with mercy.
Restore us to you God, and we will return.
Make our lives new again like they were before.
Don’t turn us away from in front of you.
Don’t take your spirit of holiness from us
Don’t abandon us in the time of our old age and don’t leave us when our strength declines.
I particularly like the “Make our lives new (or fresh) again as they were in the past.”
I noticed something I hadn’t before in the prayer service. Whereas God in the Old Testament and in prayers is sometimes referred to as Adonai, which is a euphemism or placeholder for his actual name, the supposedly unutterable Tetragrammaton, and sometimes as Elohim, which is a sort of plural Lord, in the Kaddish he isn’t directly referred to at all, neither by name nor by honorific title, except as he. Very subtle.