Kol Nidre

The Kol Nodre (“all vows”) refers to a series of Aramaic prayers that the Jewish people sing to commence services on the eve of Yom Kippur, just immediately prior to sunset.

This is a beautiful rendition of Kol Nidre. It is somewhat controversial in Jewish culture as some believe it to be more rabbinic tradition than Torah truth, and started at a time when the Jewish people were under much distress, facing death for not choosing Christianity or Islam. Sometimes it is even recited three times at services so that anyone who shows up to services late can still partake in the special annual prayer. One translation of the prayers is posted below:

אוֹר זָרוּעַ לַצַּדִּיק Ohr zaroo-ah latzadeek Light is sown for the righteous
וּלְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב שִׂמְחָה u-l’yishrei lave simchah and for the upright in heart—joy
The following declaration is made by the cantor and repeated three times:
עַל דַּֽעַת הַמָּקוֹם ahl da’at hamakom With the consent of the Almighty,
וְעַל דַּֽעַת הַקָּהָל vee-al da’at hakahal and consent of this congregation,
בִּישִׁיבָה שֶׁל מַֽעְלָה beesheevah shel ma’alah in a convocation of the heavenly court,
וּבִישִׁיבָה שֶׁל מַֽטָּה u-beesheevah shel matah and a convocation of the lower court,
אָֽנוּ מַתִּירִין ah-noo mahteereen we hereby grant permission
לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עִם הָעֲבַרְיָנִים l-hitpalel bayn ha-abaryaneem to pray with transgressors
כָּל נִדְרֵי kol nidrei All vows,
וֶאֱסָרֵי veh-essaray and things we have made forbidden on ourselves,
וּשְׁבוּעֵי u-sh’vooh-ay and oaths,
וַחֲרָמֵי vacharamay and items we have consecrated to the Temple,
וְקוֹנָמֵי vih-konamay and vows issued with the expression “konum,”
וְכִנּוּיֵי vih-cheenooyay and vows which are abbreviated,
וְקִנוּסֵי vih-keenoosay and vows issued with the expression “kanos,”
דִּנְדַֽרְנָא dindahrnah that we have vowed,
וּדְאִשְׁתַּבַּֽעְנָא u-d’eeshtahbahnah and sworn,
וּדְאַחֲרִימְנָא u-d’achareemnah and dedicated,
וּדְאָסַֽרְנָא עַל נַפְשָׁתָֽנָא u-d’ahsahrnah ahl nahfshatahnah and made forbidden upon ourselves;
מִיּוֹם כִּפּוּרִים זֶה meeyom keepooreem zeh from this Yom Kippur
עַד יוֹם כִּפּוּרִים ahd yom keepoorim until next Yom Kippur—
הַבָּא עָלֵֽינוּ לְטוֹבָה hahbah ahlaynoo l’tovah may it come to us at a good time—
בְּכֻלְּהוֹן אִחֲרַֽטְנָא בְהוֹן bihchoolhone eecharahtnah b’hone We regret having made them
כֻּלְּהוֹן יְהוֹן שָׁרָן coolhone y-hone shahrahn may they all be permitted
שְׁבִיקִין, שְׁבִיתִין sh’veekeen, sh’veeteen forgiven, eradicated
בְּטֵלִין וּמְבֻטָּלִין bihtayleen u-m’vootahleen and nullified,
לָא שְׁרִירִין lah sh’reereen and may they not be valid
וְלָא קַיָּמִין v’lah kayameen or exist any longer.
נִדְרָֽנָא לָא נִדְרֵי needranah lah nidrei Our vows shall no longer be vows,
וֶאֱסָרָֽנָא veh-ehsahrahnah and our prohibitions
לָא אֱסָרֵי. lah ehsarei shall no longer be prohibited,
וּשְׁבוּעָתָֽנָא לָא שְׁבוּעוֹת oosh’vooahtanah lah sh’voo’ote and our oaths are no longer oaths.
The cantor and congregation say three times:
וְנִסְלַח לְכָל עֲדַת v’nislach l’chol adaht Forgive the entire congregation
בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל b’nay yisrael of the children of Yisrael
וְלַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם v’lahgare hagahr b’tochahm and the stranger amongst them
כִּי לְכָל הָעָם בִּשְׁגָגָה: kee l’kole ha’ahm bishgahgah for the entire people sin unintentionally.
סְלַח נָא לַעֲוֹן הָעָם הַזֶּה s’lach nah la’avone ha’am hazeh Please pardon the sins of this nation
כְּגֹֽדֶל kih goh-dell in accordance with the greatness
חַסְדֶּֽךָ chas’dechah of Your lovingkindness;
וְכַאֲשֶׁר נָשָֽׂאתָה לָעָם הַזֶּה vih ka’ashare nahsahtah la’am hazeh and as You forgave this people
מִמִּצְרַֽיִם וְעַד הֵֽנָּה: mee-mitzrayim v’ad haynah from when it left Egypt until now.
וְשָׁם נֶאֱמַר v’shahm ne’emahr And there it is said:
Congregation says three times:
וַיֹּֽאמֶר יְהֹוָה vah-yoe-mare adonai And Adonai said
סָלַֽחְתִּי כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ sah-lach-tee kid’vorecha “I have pardoned [them] as you have asked”

Written by Erin Parfet

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