Hinenu / Ochila la’El – from student hazzan Randall Miller

The traditional high holiday prayer of the hazzan, “Hineni,” is often offered in a way that highlights the hazzan’s musical skills but may or may not move the assembled community. To use in its place, student hazzan Randall Miller offers this reworking of another high holiday classic, “Ochila la’El,” beginning with a call-and-response of the plural form of “hineni,” hinenu — “here we are.”

Randall writes:

As we approach the Yamim Nora’im
Each one of us is often humbled facing our frailties and our blessings
Yet we approach these sacred days as community.
Hineni, “Here I am” often rings more clearly as Hinenu, “ Here we are”

And the classic meaning of the Hineni prayer, the prayer of the Shaliach Tzibbur
may be more clearly heard in our time as we chant together
the ancient words of Ochila La’el.

“Lord, open my lips that I may tell thy praise. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to thee, O God, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

His setting is here: ochila-lael-call-answer [pdf]