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Drew_J 01-14-2006 05:17 PM

Benjamin Freedman on Kol Nidre
Freedman was a jew. When I showed it to some liberals they want nuts. One liberal jew in particular. This person disputed with how Freedman defined Kol Nidre.


Do you know what Jews do on the Day of Atonement, that you think is so sacred to them? I was one of them. This is not hearsay. I'm not here to be a rabble-rouser. I'm here to give you facts. When, on the Day of Atonement, you walk into a synagogue, you stand up for the very first prayer that you recite. It is the only prayer for which you stand. You repeat three times a short prayer called the Kol Nidre. In that prayer, you enter into an agreement with God Almighty that any oath, vow, or pledge that you may make during the next twelve months shall be null and void. The oath shall not be an oath; the vow shall not be a vow; the pledge shall not be a pledge. They shall have no force or effect. And further, the Talmud teaches that whenever you take an oath, vow, or pledge, you are to remember the Kol Nidre prayer that you recited on the Day of Atonement, and you are exempted from fulfilling them.* How much can you depend on their loyalty? You can depend upon their loyalty as much as the Germans depended upon it in 1916. We are going to suffer the same fate as Germany suffered, and for the same reason.
And here is what someone passed to me, another jew, when they read Freedman.


Though Kol Nidrei forms the centerpiece of, and lends its name to, the Erev-Yom Kippur service, it is not really a prayer, beseeching God for guidance, assistance or salvation. Rather, it is a highly specialized and specific proclamation that serves to nullify all (and only) personal vows, that is, those made to oneself, in front of God, and to God. It expresses our desire, and indeed, need, to purify ourselves of unfulfilled commitments, vows and oaths before we can enter the sphere of Yom Kippur and its service of repentance and renewal. At the same time, this brief ceremony ushers in Yom Kippur, and, with its undertones of regret, expectation, and promise of personal betterment, helps to set the emotional and spiritual stage for 25 hours of fasting, tefillot and introspection; the beginning of the culmination of the Yomim Noraim (Days of Awe).

But the issue of most fundamental political and historical import involves the common misconception among some Jews and non-Jews that Kol Nidrei serves to void all vows, whether between man and his fellow, man and civil society, or man and God. This unfortunate fallacy has led to accusations against Jews of deceitfulness and lack of trustworthiness, and sadly, has become another justification for anti-Semitism. Over the centuries some communities even required Jews to make an extra, special vow in court to ensure that their testimony was truthful, while other judges refused to allow Jews to make any warrantees at all, considering them useless. Evidence of this perverse rationale can still be found on anti-Semitic web sites. To this day, because of concern for such misapprehension, the traditional Kol Nidrei is not recited by all congregations (many Reform and some Sephardic services exclude it).

Thoughts anyone?

Drew_J 02-13-2006 12:47 AM

Re: Benjamin Freedman on Kol Nidre
Did some digging on Kol Nidre.

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