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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Judaism The opening prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, declaring the annulment of all personal vows made to God in the preceding year.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The opening words of the most solemn prayer of the Jewish ritual for the eve of the atonement fast.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the opening prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur


Aramaic kol nidrê, all vows (the opening words of the prayer) : kol, all; see kll in Semitic roots + nidrê, pl. bound form of nidrā, vow (from nədar, to vow; see nḏr in Semitic roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Johnny Mathis was no stranger to Jewish music when he recorded "Kol Nidre," the soul-stirring Aramaic prayer sung at the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • Mathis grew up listening to Jewish melodies in synagogues, and it was his 1958 recording of "Kol Nidre," the Aramaic prayer intoned at the beginning of Yom Kippur, which inspired the exhibition.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • (Soundbite of song, "Kol Nidre") Mr. JOHNNY MATHIS (Singer): (Singing) Kol Nidre veesore vacharome.

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  • As the service begins, Cantor Erin Frankel stands behind a wooden podium adorned with an elaborate bouquet of white lilies, and intones the opening strains of the Kol Nidre, a hauntingly beautiful prayer sung in operatically styled Aramaic, accompanied by a professional cellist and choir.

    American Grace

  • Standing on an outcrop of rock I chanted Kol Nidre.

    Rabbi Yael Levy: Yom Kippur In The Canyon: A Fast Of Presence

  • Composed by a holy master during one of the many Inquisitions where Jews were forced to renounce their Maker or die, Kol Nidre declares the opening of heaven's gates to the cries of the Jewish people; its sacred stanzas calling for the penitent to renounce prior renunciations and return to the Holy One as clean and white as newborn lambs.

    Cheryl Pearl Sucher: Life Is Prayer During The Days Of Awe

  • For the last years of his life, my father, as a former president of his Long Island congregation, was granted the supreme honor of carrying the Torah during the recitation of the Kol Nidre.

    Cheryl Pearl Sucher: Life Is Prayer During The Days Of Awe

  • Several hundred people showed up in front of downtown New York's Brown Brothers Harriman building for a candlelit, social justice-oriented Kol Nidre service Friday night.

    Yom Kippur Service Taking Place At Occupy Wall Street

  • They said, every morning, every night, the prayers, and the night of Kol Nidre [Yom Kippur], one girl who had a beautiful whistle knew the melody and she was whistling, and these girls were praying the Kol Nidre.

    Magda Altman Schaloum: Weaving Women's Words: Seattle Stories

  • Ray Frank who in 1890, one hundred and ten years ago, addressed a Kol Nidre service in Spokane Washington.

    New Words for a New Year—Karla Goldman's Sermon


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