Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Kol Nidrei alternative from the 1850s.

Are you still thinking about Kippur?

I forget to post Abraham Geiger's Kol Nidrei. Does anyone with a nice set of pipes (or even a not nice set) want to record a version of Kol Pishoai and post for us?


  1. The annulment of vows and promises was thought to be dishonest in 19th century Western Europe. Kol Nidrei seemed to reinforce the anti-semtic prejudice that Jews were perjurers.

    For the amount of time spent on the service, Geiger's Kol Pishoai seems much more meaningful.

  2. Granted, there was a perceived problem with Kol Nidrei at the time, and Geiger's substitute prayer is rather pretty, but in my view it doesn't really stand on its own or add anything significant to the larger Yom Kippur service, which is replete with such sentiments.

    A more forthright approach would have been to omit Kol Nidrei altogether, as R. S.R. Hirsch once did (see S.'s 2005 post on the subject). But quite apart from its actual meaning, Kol Nidrei has staying power if only for its emotional associations, which have a lot to do with its traditional melody. The Jewish audiences that heard it sung in "The Jazz Singer" (the 1927 original, not the dreadful remake with Neil Diamond) would have been moved to tears even if they had no idea what it was actually about.

  3. If you give me some time, I can make the recording. I'm rather busy right now, what with Yontev and my recent move back to chutz lo-oretz.

  4. Very good prayer for the sins of A. Geiger(no need of kol nidrei)

  5. i'm actually surprised that he was having any guilt feelings about his sins.
    does anyone know if the legend about the anusim and the kol nidrei song has any historical basis? and if not, what is the reason behind the emotionality when reciting this repetitive, dry prayer?

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