Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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Kol Nidre
(1,628 words)

The prayer formula Kol Nidre (Aram. kol nidre, “all vows”) contains the annulment of vows. Since the Middle Ages its recitation has introduced the day of atonement Yom Kippur in Ashkenazic congregations. Due to the danger of misinterpretation as a general release from obligations the Kol Nidre was an object of internal Jewish criticism and served as a welcome exhibition for antisemites. Due to its incisive melody it has been the subject of numerous modern musical settings.

1. Origins and history


Cite this page
Marsha Bryan Edelman, “Kol Nidre”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0413>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20200106

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