Using contextual analysis, it is possible to elucidate positive messages from the uplifting Tefila, uNetane Tokef (even if it seems to be depressing on the surface). For example, in the written account which describes of Rabbi Amnon of Magentza to whom this prayer is attributed, we learn of our great ancestor, Yosef in Egypt, a paradigm of faithfulness in the Exile. Seeing the similar phrases in the Tanakh and Tefila, also show us how uNetane Tokef encourages us to live life fully in order to bring holiness into the world. This understanding surely enriches our prayer experience during the High Holy days.
We recommend printing out slide 13 for the lecture from the source sheet format that you plan on using:
U-N’TANEH TOKEF AS A MIDRASHIC POEM - Reuven Kimelman
Reprinted from "The Experience of Jewish Liturgy" with permission from the author.