Kol Nidre

September 25th, 2009 by Ivy

In this episode I talk about the Kol Nidre prayer, which has had a contentious history.  I explain where it applies and what it means.

I have photos of my new washcloth set here.  The Woven Checker Laptop bag that I test knit is here.

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8 Responses to “Kol Nidre”

  1. Fr. Jim Tucker Says:

    Catholic moral theology takes into account the fact that each person is created in the image and likeness of God, and that sins against a particular person also affect God because that person is made in His image and likeness.

    It is true that asking for forgiveness from God, while not making restitution to one’s neighbor renders the reconciliation incomplete, nonetheless, God is involved in all of our relationships. The Christian conviction of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ contributes a great deal in understanding this concept, since we believe that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

    Thanks for helping me exercise my “theological muscles”.

    Fr. Jim

  2. Natalie Says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love listening to your podcast! it’s one of my favorites. :) Keep up the great work!!

    Natalie aka Barknknit.

  3. Cricket Says:

    That quote about Jews getting absolved from all vows, and therefore being unsuitable for a position of responsibility reminds me of Catholic confession: I can sin as much as I like, trespass against anyone, and as long as I confess it, I’m good. The Lutheran Church I used to attend went one better: The entire congregation read a passage in which we confessed to having sinned (I think there’s a quick list of general categories) and then the pastor reassured us, en mass, that we were forgiven. Even better, if I understood you correctly, Christians can go straight to God, skipping the inconvenient step of restitution to the people they harmed. Yep, Christians are soooo much more suitable.

  4. Ivy Says:

    No, Cricket, Christians can’t go straight to G-d and skip restitution; if restitution is at all possible it must be made. As I understand it (and I’m sure of this for Catholics) Christians can confess their sins in the first person, in private, and at any time.

  5. Cricket Says:

    My point was that misunderstanding based on literal interpretations of snippets taken out of context can happen in all directions.

    1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” It is in the name of Christ that we are forgiven.

    Not a word about restitution.

    Elsewhere, the Bible says, “Pay it back 10-fold.”

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that all major modern religions include personal responsibility and restitution, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to trust their own members.

    The old Lutheran Book of Worship (full version, not the hymnal for the pews) included instructions for private confession and absolution, but says it’s not commonly used. I know Jews can ask their Rabbi for private help, too, although, again if I understand it correctly, he’s is more of a consultant than an intermediary.

    I suspect all major religions include the option of private consultation. One purpose of a faith is to help you find inner peace, and that sometimes requires one-on-one with a mentor. If the faith is big on rituals, there will be a ritual.

  6. Christine Says:

    I don’t remember ever learning that Christians cannot sin unknowingly. In fact, I can think of a few biblical passages against that. Where did idea come from, if I may ask?

  7. Ivy Says:


    “The evil act adequately considered has for its cause the free-will defectively electing some mutable good in place of the eternal good, God, and thus deviating from its true last end.”

    That implies knowledge and intent. More directly “a sin must be a voluntary act”. An error isn’t voluntary, it’s outside of our control.

  8. Christine Says:

    Thanks for the link. It was interesting. That link does say that: “…The sinner intends here and now to act in some determined matter, inordinately electing that particular good in defiance of God’s law and the dictates of right reason.” However, I think Matthew 5:28 speaks against that: 27″You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[a] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This sounds like Jesus is telling his listeners that if they have looked at a woman lustfully they have sinned, even though they didn’t know until he told them. Maybe it’s nitpicky. I always got the message that forgiveness is needed for sins that you might not have realized were sins. In general, everything on that site you linked to can’t be taken as “generic Christian” theology. Catholic theology can be different from the theology of different Christian denominations, although we all agree on the basics. (Well, most of the time, but that’s a story for another day.)

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