Serene Sunday: Kol Nidre

Because Yom Kippur begins this Friday, I’ve selected Kol Nidre for this installment.  I’ve been a fan of Johnny Mathis since childhood mainly because of his beautiful voice but partly because he enunciates so clearly.  (You will notice time and again I’ve gone back to the old time singers because of their elocution.)  I purchased a CD of his, Good Night, Dear Lord, containing religions songs and Kol Nidre was one of them. This song gives me chills every time I hear it. Servetus can probably give a better explanation, but Kol Nidre is the evening service that begins Yom Kippur and means “all vows.”  Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.  This holiday follows the week after Rosh Hashanah, New Year’s, which heralded in the year 5772 last week.

Happy belated New Year to Servetus and all who practice the faith.  Shalom.

Translation: “All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths.”

5 thoughts on “Serene Sunday: Kol Nidre

  1. Thanks! No doubt I’ll post on the holiday later. We say “tzom kal” (Hebrew for “have an easy fast”) for Yom Kippur, or Gut Yontiff (Yiddish for “have a good holiday”) on Yom Kippur.

    I have to say that it freaked me out the first time I heard Johnny Mathis singing this — but he’s great at it. I also love his “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” He’s probably my parents’ favorite male vocalist.

    • I assume he did a credible job since he wasn’t vilified for singing it. The song showcases what a beautiful voice he had at the time.

      Your *parents’* favorite? Told you I had an old soul. 😀

      • I would guess that there was a similar effect as when Marilyn Monroe converted to Judaism to marry Arthur Miller. Officially, Judaism discourages converts but people are flattered that such a celebrity considers it worthwhile. (And she did it in a charming way.) On the one hand people wonder, why would Johnny Mathis want to sing this, but on the other, they think, “see, it’s proof that we have beautiful things in Judaism if even a non-Jew wants to sing our prayers.”

        • It also afforded exposure to the faith. Up until I got this CD I’d never heard any Jewish prayer sung. Christianity dominates everything in the US.

  2. Pingback: Is not this the fast I have chosen? … to let the oppressed go free « Me + Richard Armitage

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