The Kol Nidre
By J B Campbell
- The Kol Nidre is the holiest Jewish prayer and is recited several times on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It means "all vows" and is a flat statement that no promise of any kind will be kept for the coming year. It is also sung by the cantor in synagogue, accompanied on the violin and goes like this:
- "All vows, obligations, oaths or anathemas, pledges of all names, which we have vowed, sworn, devoted, or bound ourselves to, from this day of atonement, until the next day of atonement (whose arrival we hope for in happiness) we repent, aforehand, of them all, they shall all be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, void and made of no effect; they shall not be binding, nor have any power; the vows shall not be reckoned as vows, the obligations shall not be obligatory, nor the oaths considered as oaths."
- "The Jazz Singer," the first talkie with Al Jolsen, describes the great devotion that Jews have for this "prayer." Jolsen plays a cantor's son who tries to break away from Jewish tradition but who in the end is drawn back to it, finally agreeing to sing the Kol Nidre on the great day. It is ironic that Hollywood's first motion picture with sound should have dealt with this explosive subject, even if the words were sung in Hebrew.
- Can any person or people with this mentality be trusted? The Kol Nidre mentality is the underlying cause for all the anti-Jewish reaction by normal people down through the ages.