Why do we repeat out loud the verses of Avinu Malkeinu - from Hachzireinu B'Teshuva until Kosveinu B'Sefer Slicha U'Mechila? Why only these verses? Why not others?

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    This Minhag is mentioned in Artscroll Sidurim amongst others, however there is no reason given. Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 16:06
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    My local shull does it too, and when I asked I was told it's a minhag of this shull and has no reason.
    – Ariel
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 8:33
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    Many shuls and minyanim I've been to do it this way. Always wondered why. Thanks for asking! Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 14:54
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    The yekkishe shul I attended repeated every line out loud! But only said OM during aseres yemei teshuvo. Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 17:01
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    Gershon Gold, you just edited "Why these" to "Why only these" (which duplicates the last question "Why not others"). Do you no longer want to know why we do repeat the ones we do repeat?
    – msh210
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


The custom of reciting Avinu Malkeinu repetitively by the chazzan and congregation is brought in Mateh Efrayim (תרב סי"ג), without any explanation. [The Mateh Efrayim himself writes to begin from א"מ קרע, however the Ktzey Hamateh at the bottom brings the custom to start from א"מ החזירנו בתשובה]. The only reason I could find is mentioned in שער יששכר מאמר מאזנים למשפט אות צא: During עשרת ימי תשובה we say א"מ כתבנו, whereas on a fast day we say א"מ זכרנו and during נעילה we say א"מ חתמינו. This could lead to confusion and therefore the chazzan says these verses loudly. (The שער יששכר himself writes that this is an unsatisfactory explanation, and in fact is of the opinion not the recite any verses repetitively).

However this does not explain why to begin from א"מ החזירנו בתשובה. The מועדים וזמנים ח"ו ס"ב explains that if we would begin from א"מ כתבנו לחיים it would appear as if all we are interested in is our own needs (as the Zohar says: "These dogs that say 'Give us life', 'Give us food'), and so we instead begin aloud by requesting that Hashem help us do Teshuva.

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