• Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD

Kol Nidre - "Hungry?" (Isaiah 57)

The wonderful Hasidic Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev had a custom every night of taking a personal inventory of the things he had vowed to do that day but had failed to do. He would confess these to G-d and then carry over the undone matters to the next day, meanwhile vowing to do better.

Kol Nidrei services are of course the time when our tradition especially reminds us of our unfulfilled vows. One year, after Kol Nidrei, Levi Yitzchak returned home, and as was his habit, reviewed his list of commitments. As usual, he took special note of what he had left undone. He confessed these to G-d, and, as was his habit, vowed to do better the following day. But this time, as he made his confession and vow, he heard a voice saying, “You told me that yesterday.”

Levi Yitchak replied, “Ah, but this time I really mean it!”

Of all times in the year, more than any other, Yom Kippur is a time when we Jews at least attempt to “really mean it”...

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