Kol Nidrei

Question

I’ve heard the first prayer on Yom Kippur is Kol Nidrei. Why is it important?

, 14 years

Answers

  1. Yom Kippur begins with the Kol Nidrei prayer, recited by the cantor and the congregation. In this prayer, we solemnly ask God to release us from any vows that we may have forgotten, made inappropriately, or been unable to fulfill in the previous year. It is essential to begin Yom Kippur this way because the sin of violating an oath is so serious that it may prevent one from achieving atonement. Kol Nidrei also symbolizes the idea of Yom Kippur as an opportunity to free ourselves from our past. The text of Kol Nidrei and the haunting tune with which it is chanted are both of great antiquity, but unknown authorship. The poignant melody and the inspiring words set the tone for the rest of Yom Kippur.

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