Entries tagged with “Yom Kippur”.

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.”

I found the English version of the declaration that opens the service in the synagogue on Yom Kippur at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kol_Nidre.


source http://www.diabetesdaily.com/voices/tag/yom-kippur/


On the eve of the holiday I looked (again) on some of the beautiful musical works that were inspired by Kol Nidre along the time and some of the special interpretations.


(video source TheCantorsVEVO)


I will start with a synagogue version recorded live in Amsterdam’s historic, 17th Century, Portuguese Synagogue, with three of the world’s greatest cantors.  Performing with a 46 piece orchestra and 16 voice choir are Alberto Mizrahi of the renowned Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago, Naftali Herstik of Great Synagogue Jerusalem and Benzion Miller of Young Israel Beth-El of Borough Park, New York.


(video source cdbpdx)


Here is the version sung by sung in Hebrew by cantor Joseph Rosenblatt in 1912 – 100 years ago. It appears on the flip side of his EL MOLE RACHMIN tribute to the sinking of the Titanic.


(video source israelyeshivaguy)


Rabbi, singer and composer Shlomo Carlebach left this version.


(video source 7654328)


The opening of the Adagio of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 131 is inspired by the tune of Kol Nidre as it was sung at the beginning of the 19th century. If it sounds familiar to you despite the fact that Beethoven’s quartet are not that familiar it may be because the theme was used by the ‘Band of Brothers’ TV series.


(video source kidneykutter)


Beethoven may have heard this version put on notes by Ahron Beer in Berlin in 1765, here performed by René Schiffer & Mime Yamahiro-Brinkmann.



(video source Andrey Granko)


Max Bruch’s ‘Kol Nidrei’ for Cello and Orchestra is op. 47 is probably the most famous piece of classical music inspired by the tune. Here is a variant I heard first time this year and especially liked – it belongs to Misch Maisky and was played at one of the concerts at the 300 years anniversary of Sankt Petersburg.


(video source Jew Man Group)


If (Jewish) humor risks to offend you skip this one and please forgive me, it’s Yom Kippur. If not, you are invited to watch the Jew Man Group in a rap “Kosher” remix of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”!


Judaism is alive, and in today’s world it does not belong only to synagogues of one flavor or another, it belongs to all Jews and is expressed in all forms that remind, preserve, enrich and transmit further our tradition.

Gmar Hatima Tova!

It’s the eve of Yom Kippur and the Jewish world prepares for the fasting and the prayers. As I start to build a tradition also for the Jewish holidays on ‘The Catcher in the Sand’ here are a few works of art and pieces of music inspired by The Day of Atonement, as well as youTube clips related to the way Yom Kippur is happening in Israel.



(source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gottlieb-Jews_Praying_in_the_Synagogue_on_Yom_Kippur.jpg)


One of the most famous paintings inspired by Yom Kippur is ‘Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur’ by the Jewish Galician painter Maurycy Gottlieb. The gathering of the Jews in the synagogue, their passion to prayer, the overall atmosphere has both historical accuracy as well as a timeliness that crosses the centuries.


(source http://www.judaicaposters.com/pages/jp303.html)

Here is another work inspired by Yom Kippur painted by the Hungarian-born painter Isidor Kaufmann.


(video source rebezra)


Today in Israel the traditions differ from the different communities that returned from exile. In Jerusalem Sephardic community a month of Slikhot (Forgiveness) prayers culminate in the eve on Yom Kippur (by the time I am writing this blog entry) with a huge gathering and a community prayer at the Western Wall.


(video source damcenenroe)


You may know one of the famous songs of Leonard Cohen  ‘Who by Fire’. Here is a version recorded with the great jazz saxophonist Sony Rollins in 1989.


(video source jordannnnnn)


The song is actually an adaptation of a Yom Kippur prayer. Here it is in another version sang by Leonard Cohen, with the Hebrew and English words.


(video source Bigratus)


The most famous text related to Yom Kippur is Kol Nidre, the declaration of repentance and the pledge taken at the opening of the service in the synagogue. In the traditional service the text is in Aramaic. It inspired a number of musical pieces. A traditional variant is featured in the first spoken (and sang) film The Jazz Singer (1927) by Al Jolson (Asa Yoelon). The story of the song in the famous film is described in a New York Times article.


(video source lynnharrell)


The Kol Nidrei for cello & orchestra, Op. 47, Composed by Max Bruch is the most famous classical music variant. Last year I brought here the splendid interpretation of Jacqueline du Pres, here is another exquisite rendering by Lynn Harrell at the Papal Concert to commemorate the Holocaust as the Vatican in Rome on April 7, 1994.


(video source rapunzelrow)


On a lighter note, not everybody fasts and prays on Yom Kippur in Israel.  As traffic completely stops kids on bicycles (and not only kids) take control of the streets for one full day.


Gmar Hatima Tova – May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good

Tomorrow at sunset Yom Kippur begins. The service in the synagogues opens with Kol Nidre. Here is what wikipedia tels about this dramatic opening of the Day of Atonement:

Before sunset on the eve of Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”), the congregation gathers in the synagogue. The Ark is opened and two people take from it two Torah scrolls. Then they take their places, one on each side of the cantor, and the three (symbolizing a Beth Din or rabbinical court.) recite:

In the tribunal of Heaven and the tribunal of earth, by the permission of God — praised be He — and by the permission of this holy congregation, we hold it lawful to pray with transgressors.”

The cantor then chants the passage beginning with the words Kol Nidrei with its touching melodic phrases, and, in varying intensities from pianissimo (quiet) to fortissimo (loud), repeats twice (for a total of three iterations) (lest a latecomer not hear them) the following words (Nusach Ashkenaz):

“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.”

The leader and the congregation then say together three times “May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault.” The Torah scrolls are then replaced, and the customary evening service begins.

(source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kol_Nidre)

(video source KlezmerGuy)

Beautiful music accompanies the declaration. Here is one variant filmed in a Reform synagogue in Texas, the name of the cantor is Stephen Saxon.


(video source fivnten)

Here we have the variant sung by the famous cantor Moishe Oysher in the 1939 Yiddish film “Overture To Glory”

(video source mariadelamor21)

The most famous instrumental variant belongs to Max Bruch – a cello composition here in the interpretation of Jacqueline du Pres.

(video source MooliX)

For folks who may bot know how Yom Kippur is celebrated in Israel, here is a fast-forward version of a crowded street corner in this unique day of the year. The whole life of the country stops, no planes come in or out, no cars (excepting emergency services) can be seen in the Jewish areas of the country.

Gmar Hatima Tova – May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good