Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #9

[adapted by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

In Birkot Ha-Shachar we bless Hashem "who has provided me with all my needs." This blessing speaks about the individual. But what if I, or some other individual, don’t have all our needs? What if we are poor, or sick, or depressed or struggling in some other way? This blessing reminds us that Hashem has made His world in such a way that everyone CAN have everything they need. He has made the world perfectly. But it is up to people to make sure that everyone has their individual needs meet. So the world has enough food. The world has enough caring people and friends. We have to make sure that everyone we meet feels cared about. Hashem has done His part, and we thank Him for it. Now we have to do our part.


Selichot/Vidui
When we say the Vidui- the confessions- we verbally confess ours sins. This is part of our taking responsibility for our actions. We list sins in Alef-Bet order. Many have the custom to confess even more sins for each letter.
Notice, though, that we say these sins in the plural. "WE sinned. WE rebelled. WE stole..." This is because all Jews are responsible for one another. We are as one body, so the sins of one impacts us all. Therefore, we are confessing not only our sins, but the sins of all of the Nation of Israel.
Finally, it is interesting to note that we confess sins against other people, as well those against Hashem. Sometimes they are the same sin. For example, we say "Bagadnu- We rebelled." This means we rebelled against Hashem. He has done so much for us yet we didn't repay Him properly. But it also means we rebelled against other people, too. People did good things for us and we didn't treat them properly. We say "Gazalnu- We stole." It means that we stole from Hashem. We didn't say blessings. Or we didn't use the talents He gave us properly. But it also means that we stole from others- their money, their time, or their feelings.