Kol Nidre Aramaic Declaration Recited | Kol Nidre Jewish Day Of Attonement | Background Information Concerning

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The opening words of the declaration, largely in Aramaic, at the beginning of the evening service on Yom Kippur in which all vows that will be uttered in the coming year are declared null and void. The declaration applies only to religious vows and has no effect on oaths taken in a court of law. If a person makes a vow, say, to deny himself wine for a certain period, perhaps as a, penance, he must keep his promise, which is thought of as a promise to God. But this applies only if the vow is uttered with full intent. A person's declaration beforehand that all vows he will take in the year ahead are null and void means that any vow he will make is held to be without sufficient intention and hence without binding power.

In the Middle Ages a number of rabbinic authorities were opposed to the Kol Nidre on the grounds that its effectiveness to nullify vows was very questionable. Yet the Kol Nidre is still recited in the majority of congregations, the night of Yom Kippur being referred to as 'Kol Nidre Night.' There is no doubt that it is the famous traditional melody, with its note of remorse, contrition, hope, and triumph, that has saved the Kol Nidre. The usual practice is for the reader to chant the formula three times, raising his voice each time.

An interpretation given to the Kol Nidre is that the congregation declares, by implication, at the beginning of Yom Kippur: "See, O Lord, what miserable sinners we are. We make promises to live better lives each year and yet always fall far short of keeping them. Therefore, help us, O Lord, and pardon us for our shortcomings.a special humiliating form of oath, was introduced when a Jew had to swear in court. Zechariah Frankel and others in 19th‑century Germany exposed the falsehood and explained the true meaning of Kol Nidre.

Kol Nidre has been the theme of many vocal and instrumental musical preparations by non-Jewish and Jewish composers. Previously, numerous vocalists have recorded Kol Nidre like opera singers Richard Tucker, Robert Merrill, and Jan Peerce along with popular music singers like Perry Como and Johnny Mathis.The Kol Nidrei service includes the opening of the Ark and taking out the Torah scrolls, reciting the Kol Nidrei and returning the Torah scrolls to the Ark.

From the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, the Yom Kippur Torah portions is read and chanted on Yom Kippur. Congregant Gerald Davis reads in Hebrew from the Torah scroll and provides a phrase by phrase English translation of Deuternomy 29:9-30:20. During the portion, Moses finishes his second farewell speech to the people (Israelites) reminding them of their promise with God. Moses expects that they will eventually stray from the covenant to again worship idols, which will bring on great punishment and suffering. However eventually the people will apologize and return to Adonai (God) who will believe them with love.

The newly appointed next president of Brandeis will lead the university’s conservative Kol Nidre service on the Brandeis campus this evening, something no president of the university has done before.Lawrence will lead the long, melodious service which begins Yom Kippur and which will be held at the Spingold Theater.Lawrence approached Brandeis Rabbi Elyse Winnick last month about participating in High Holiday services. telling her he was up for anything.I’m a layman, I’m not trained,” Lawrence said, “but it is a very powerful experience leading that particular service.

The room is usually filled, and it’s filled with people in the midst of very serious thoughts of their own. You, as the leader, get to help them through that.After first leading the service as a student at Williams College, Lawrence presided over Kol Nidre at synagogues in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Lawrence doesn’t know whether his leading the service will start a new Brandeis tradition, but he hopes it will be a sweet start to the new year.Each year is different, each year is special in its own way,” he said. “The fact that this is the first year at Brandeis makes it particularly special.


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