Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Kivnei Maron

    According to Unetaneh Tokef, the moving liturgical poem of the High Holy Days, we all pass before God, kivnei maron, as a shepherd examines his flock passing his sheep beneath his staff, so... every living soul...



    The Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 18b) offers three different meanings for kivnei maron: like sheep passing before their shepherd; like those who ascend the steep, mountain pass, Beit Maron and must climb single file; and like the troops of the house of David. All three explanations refer to being counted as individuals.



    Scholars have shown the etymology of kivnei maron is ki-numeron, like a numeron, which is Greek for a legion or cohort and that in early manuscripts of Unetaneh Tokef, kivinumeron appears.



    Each interpretation reveals a different aspect of our situation on Rosh Hashanah: We may be like lost, vulnerable sheep; like hardy spiritual mountaineers climbers, or like soldiers entrusted with a vital mission.

Jewish words

Darchei Shalom

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Darchei Shalom
Jewish words

Chizuk

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Chizuk
Jewish words

Harat Olam

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Harat Olam
Jewish words

Ga'agua

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Ga'agua
Jewish words

Nafka Mina

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Nafka Mina
Jewish words

Machzor

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Machzor
Jewish words

Geshmack

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Geshmack
Jewish words

Neilah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Neilah
Jewish words

Taharah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Taharah