Definitions for kol nidreˌkɔl niˈdreɪ, ˌkoʊl ˈnɪd rə, -reɪ
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Kol Ni•dreˌkɔl niˈdreɪ, ˌkoʊl ˈnɪd rə, -reɪ(n.)
a Jewish prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, asking that all unfulfilled vows to God be nullified.
Origin of Kol Nidre:
< Aramaic kōlnidhrē all vows
the opening prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur
Kol Nidre is an Aramaic declaration recited in the synagogue before the beginning of the evening service on every Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Though not a prayer, this dry legal formula and its ceremonial accompaniment have been charged with emotional undertones since the medieval period, creating a dramatic introduction to Yom Kippur on what is often dubbed "Kol Nidrei night". It is written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. Its name is taken from the opening words, meaning all vows. Kol Nidrei has had an eventful history, both in itself and in its influence on the legal status of the Jews. Introduced into the liturgy despite the opposition of some rabbinic authorities, it was attacked in the course of time by some rabbis and in the 19th century expunged from the prayer book by many communities of western Europe. The term Kol Nidrei refers not only to the actual declaration, but is also popularly used as a name for the entire Yom Kippur evening service.
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