The Meaning of Kol Nidrei

The extraordinary history and lesson of this moving prayer.

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Comments (13)

(13) Mike, September 28, 2017 1:43 AM

An inspiring message

Thank you Rabbi Sacks for those eloquent words about the struggles of generations past. i feel fortunate to live a life of freedom. Your observations have given me much to think about as I prepare for Yom Kippur.

(12) Eleanor, September 26, 2012 2:29 PM


What a beautiful explanation by a man that is so articulate and joyful to listen to - thank you!

(11) Anonymous, September 17, 2010 11:16 AM

Thank you for providing the historical context for the origins of Kol Nidrei. How wonderful that conversos were provided with an avenue for connection to Judaism in spite of their conversions. I am perplexed, however, about how this legalistic formulation pertains to me? I find the melody haunting; its deeply plaintive qualities express a heartfelt yearning that helps me connect with a deep yearning within myself, and for that I am profoundly appreciative and grateful. However, I have never found the words to be meaningful. Would you please convey how the content of Kol Nidrei could be meaningful to someone with no individual or familial history of conversion, for whom Judaism is deeply meaningful?

(10) Geoff, September 17, 2010 10:38 AM


Yet again the Chief privileges and honours us with his inspiring words as we approach Yom Kippur. Gmar chasima tova

(9) , September 16, 2010 10:37 PM

WoW! Live and learn! Thanx

(8) BJ, September 16, 2010 5:10 PM

Heartfelt thanks

It is not only Rabbi Sacks's heartfelt words but also his tone that speaks to me so urgently and warmly. Thank you, Rabbi, for enriching my Ten Days.

(7) Anonymous, September 16, 2010 1:53 AM

Thank you for these words of wisdom and advice, Rabbi Sachs. This is a very special year for me and I hope for everyone. A time to come back to Judaism or, as in my case, conversion. I pray that all of the people that are Jewish and live more secular lives have a wonderful epiphany and Teshuva to Judaism. L Shana Tova.

(6) Guita, September 15, 2010 10:16 PM

I am very grateful to what Icould understand about Kol Nidrei. Inspite that I am brazilian I could understand about everything that was spoken. It was a miracle ! Thank you. Shana Tová !

(5) julio kubiliun, September 15, 2010 4:53 PM

Thank you Rabbi Sachs

On a day like Kol Nidre I didnt know it was possible to hear these wonderful things. I remember that I used to go to shul with my father in Cuba and then in New York, I have as G-D is my witness have always gone to shul even when I was in a Yeshiva in Brooklyn. I would like to thank you for your transalation and also say Shona Tovah

(4) william shackelford, September 14, 2010 4:48 PM

Toda rabah! Refreshing!

Much new strength comes from hearing again the truth of Kol Nidrei. Be blessed!

(3) David S. Levine, September 14, 2010 3:12 PM


What a marvelous all encompassing message on the meaning of Yom Kippur and the Kol Nidre prayer. How all of us need the final words about how sad it is that in these times of prosperity and security we are less loyal to our traditions than in times of pogroms and depression. So sad, indeed.

(2) elizabeth kosmerl, September 13, 2010 12:35 PM

A great gift

Thank-you Rabbi Sacks for the moving story of the Kol Nidrei prayers, and thank-you also for the gift of the e-book, Letters to the Next Generation. It is a blessing, I will be sure to pass it on. My conversion to Judaism has been the greatest gift of all. May you and your family be inscribed in the Book of Life and may you have a sweet New Year filled with HaShem's blessings. Elisheva Amaris

(1) Sachs, September 13, 2010 12:20 PM

What comes from the heart is felt

These are not just words of wisdom but words from the heart and I can feel it. Thanks great Rabbi and I wish you all the best for now and the future


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