The order of the lines in [Ovinu Malkeinu] is troubling. It starts with a confession אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ חָטָאנוּ לְפָנֶיךָ (and אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּא אָתָּה) and follows with a number of requests. Then it asks אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמָחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ and אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ מְחֵה וְהַעֲבֵר פְּשָׁעֵינוּ וְחַטֹּאתֵינוּ מִנֶּגֶד עֵינֶיךָ and only then asks for help with repentance אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ הַחֲזִירֵנוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה שְׁלֵמָה לְפָנֶיךָ.

Would it not have been more logical to start with the request for repentance and then have the confession and only then move on to the requests?

That would fit with the structure of the intermediate blessings of the Amidah:

Binah ("understanding")

Teshuvah ("return", "repentance")

Selichah, this asks for forgiveness for all sins,

Geulah ("redemption") this praises God as a rescuer of the people Israel.

Refuah ("healing")

Birkat HaShanim ("blessing for years [of good]")


  • Your definition of tshuva seems to be repentance,however the word means return which means the soul should return back to our original state of purity,so if you translate it like that we first ask for forgiveness then asked to be returned to a completeness,think I saw this On the Rambam – sam Jul 17 '14 at 3:17
  • @sam Please see my added comparison to the Amidah. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 21 '14 at 8:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .