Sunday, October 6, 2019

Kol Nidrei, version 2019

Before reciting this year's Kol Nidrei, say:
“By authority of the Heavenly yeshiva and the earthly yeshiva, we hereby grant permission to pray with the transgressors.”
Who are these “transgressors?”

They are none other than the errant rabbis who unjustly banned Jewish children from their “earthly yeshivas.”

Has there ever been a wrongdoing as shameful and woeful in the history of our people? An epic failure of rabbinic leadership without precedent, an unspeakably-appalling betrayal of our community’s holiest members. Transgressors indeed.

Not only have they personally transgressed, they caused others to sin by following their delinquent examples. Abusive administrators, board-members and lay leaders are all complicit in their grave offense. Worst of all, all their community members are now transgressing by living in a city that deserves harsh censure and excommunication[1] (since it neglects to provide Torah education to all its children). Shuls that unjustly ban Jewish families are likewise transgressors, as they have violated the prohibition of “לא תתגודדו – do not make them into differing factions.”[2] Whoever is davening tonight in such an exclusionary shul is likewise delinquent. Who wants to be party to such offenders? Yikes.

Nevertheless, on this awesome Yom Kippur eve, permission is granted to pray with them. (After Yom Kippur, though, if their abusive policies don’t change, it’s not recommended to be part of such an unsavory shul or community, sadly.  Seek greener pastures, shuls that welcome all Jews and schools that welcome all Jewish children.

Meanwhile, here we are tonight and it’s Yom Kippur, so let’s join them in their unique Kol Nidrei declaration for this year:

"All vows, prohibitions, bans, suppression, restrictions, betrayal, coercion, intimidation, interdictions, or an any expression of unjust bans… which we vowed, imposed, banned or decreed upon innocent, healthy, and holy Jewish children and their families, between last year’s Yom Kippur and this one…
"We regret them all. All are hereby absolved, remitted, cancelled, declared null and void, not in force or in effect. 
"Let our prohibitions not be considered prohibitions. 
"Let our discriminatory policies not be considered policies. 
"Let our bans no longer be bans."

And let the earthly yeshivas be whole once more. Then we may truly conclude:

"And may the entire congregation of the children of Israel be forgiven, for the people acted unwittingly. Pardon, I beseech You, the wrongdoing of this people by the greatness of Your kindness…

"And G-d says: 'I have forgiven you in accordance with your words.'

ברוך שההחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

[1] Shabbos 119b. Alter Rebbe’s Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:3.
[2] Yevamos 14a.

No comments: