KOL NIDRE: JUDAISM'S LICENSE TO LIE
By Rev. Ted Pike
21 Sep 10 (republished)
Last June tens of millions of evangelicals unquestioningly accepted
Israel’s account of its attack on the Free Gaza flotilla. The “ Israel
can do no wrong” mentality is so ingrained in the religious right
that Christians reflexively believe that, in any dispute with the Arabs,
doubting Israel is out of the question.
Yet Orthodox Judaism, the official position of the State of Israel,
makes an astounding provision for observant Jews: They may, by reciting
the Kol Nidre prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur, receive pre-forgiveness
for all the lies, deceit, broken contracts, etc. they may indulge in
for the next year.
Is Israel telling the truth when it claims its commandoes were innocently
surprised by knife and baton-wielding resisters, forcing Israeli soldiers
to shoot more than 50 activists, some with up to four gunshot wounds
International investigations are attempting to answer that. Meanwhile,
Israel’s leaders, including Netanyahu, have clear consciences.
As Orthodox Jews, a little over a year ago they undoubtedly prayed
the Kol Nidre prayer, absolving them from having to tell the truth
about the flotilla affair.
Read this reprint of my November 2008 article which reveals an ominous
reality: The group Christian Americans should least trust
is a nation led by Orthodox Jews.
KOL NIDRE: JUDAISM'S LICENSE TO LIE
By Rev. Ted Pike
(17 Nov 08)
Seventy-eight percent of American Jews voted for Obama and there
are now a record 46 Jews in Congress (nearly six times their proportion
to Jews in the American population). As never before, Americans can
expect Jewish influence in government. During the Clinton and Bush
administrations, Jews attained saturation-level presence in government
and cabinet positions.1 Undoubtedly Obama will be surrounded by
powerful Jews; he already appointed an Orthodox Jew as his chief
of staff. Will these powerful Jews legislate and judge justly? Will
they reflect what is regarded as a common Judeo-Christian tradition
of high moral values?
It's highly unlikely. In fact, the more religiously observant a
Jewish congressman, federal judge, or attorney general is, the more
at variance he will probably be with Christian values. Let me explain.
Every year through the fall session of Congress, relatively little is accomplished
because of lengthy interruptions from Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Today, though Jews constitute only 1.5 percent of the US population, Congress
also frequently shuts down so Jewish members may debark, some flying home,
for the Jewish holidays. First comes Rosh Hashanah, then Yom Kippur, and finally
Sukkoth. (See, "Does
Congress Always Take Off for Rosh Hashanah?", "Congress
quiet on Jewish New Year") The more religious a Jewish legislator,
the more important he attends synagogue on the eve of the Day of Atonement,
Yom Kippur. This highest Jewish holiday is preceded with
rites and collective recitation of the Kol Nidre prayer.
The Kol Nidre says, "All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas [curses]…which
we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day
of Atonement until the next…we do repent. May they be deemed absolved,
forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect: they shall not bind us
nor have any power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations
shall not be obligations; nor the oaths be oaths." 2
What is the meaning of this strange and disturbing prayer recited by millions
of Jews every fall? Surely, you may say, it cannot literally mean what it says:
that Jews invalidate all their promises, contracts, agreements, and even curses
throughout the coming year? If that were true, the word of a religious Jew
would be meaningless. No rational person could trust anything he said, not
to mention elect him to high office.
Overturning God's Law
To understand the Kol Nidre prayer, let’s first consider the opposite:
God’s ancient command to His chosen people to fulfill all their oaths
and promises. "When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt
not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee...that which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform…" (Deuteronomy
Yet the Jewish Encyclopedia tells us God’s requirement of promise-keeping
ultimately became so burdensome to Jews that, as a result of "their longing
for a clear conscience," compassionate rabbinic authorities overturned
God's law around the 8th century AD. They collectively absolved entire congregations,
instructing them to recite what has became known as the Kol Nidre prayer. 3
At first, the prayer allowed forgiveness for broken promises and curses of
the previous year; later, in the twelfth century, it granted pre-forgiveness
for sins of unfaithfulness for the following year. Both forms are observed
Kol Nidre, from its beginnings, was controversial and "aroused bitter
controversy" among rabbinical authorities. 4 Dissident, non-Talmudic Karaites
also proclaimed it a sham and said it made the word of a Jew worthless. Christian
critics leveled the same charge (but are now called "anti-Semitic" for
doing so). Such criticism provoked more than a millennium of suspicion, persecution
and discrimination against Jews (i.e. much of the "senseless anti-Semitism" with
which historical Christianity has been charged).
Yet the Jewish people were willing to suffer unspeakable persecutions rather
than give up the intoxicating moral release of Kol Nidre. It "became the
most beloved ritual of the Day of Atonement." 5 Today synagogues are packed
worldwide on the eve of Yom Kippur as millions of Jews, deeply moved by the
high drama, pageantry and haunting melodies of Kol Nidre, affirm that their "vows,
obligations, and oaths" or curses are forgiven and forgotten by God.
All Jewish encyclopedias and authoritative works on Kol Nidre include a powerful
disclaimer. They say Gentiles should not feel threatened by Kol Nidre!
The prayer's Kol Nidre, we are told, applies only to breaking vows to oneself
or to God. It may not be employed to justify breaches of confidence, curses
of Gentiles, or lies under oath in civil courts.
Testimony from a Christian Jew
I posed the question to a Christian Jew, Milton (Brother Nathaniel) Kapner.
"What is the reason behind the mass appeal of Kol Nidre," I asked. "Do
millions of Jews seek absolution from Kol Nidre because they are tormented with
guilt for violating oaths to themselves and God?"
Until age 21, Kapner, now 57, was a convinced Jew involved in conservative,
Orthodox, and ultra-Orthodox Judaism. At 21, even after finding Christ, he
spent a year of intense study with ultra-Orthodox Lubavitcher rabbis and scholars.
"Kol Nidre," he said, "is a big show. The Jews get worked up
by the high drama and cantor singing the haunting Kol Nidre melody. They persuade
themselves that every lie they have told over the past year is forgiven. They’re
off the hook!"
"Are they repenting of lies to God, or also to the Gentiles?" I asked.
"All lies and broken vows to everyone are covered," he replied, "except
for legal contracts that are enforced by law." He said most Jews consider
Gentiles inferior. Most ultra-Orthodox consider them sub-human. Kapner said just
as promises made to animals are worthless, so the Talmud (even without Kol Nidre)
teaches that promises to the goyim are meaningless.
The Talmud frequently says Gentiles may be deceived and defrauded. Jews are
above "barbaric" Gentile laws and courts. 6 Also the Jewish
Zohar (Kabbalah) repeatedly describes Gentiles as beasts and even demons. (This
is substantiated in detail in my 354-page book, Israel: Our Duty…Our
Dilemma, available at www.truthtellers.org.) (See, "Have
You Read the Talmud Lately?", "The
Jewish Kabbalah: Root of Mideast Violence")
What about the testimony of Jewish authorities that Kol Nidre does not apply
to contracts between Jews and Gentiles? "That’s all for Gentile
consumption," Kapner said.
Can You Trust Your Jewish Congressman?
Of course, especially in the US, many Jews are so assimilated and secularized
that, though usually liberal, they have shed any high regard for Kol Nidre
or the Talmud. Yet according to Kapner's personal experience, a religious,
Kol Nidre-reciting, Jewish businessman can cheat you without guilt for the
next year. Henry Ford, a businessman who dealt with many Jews, comments: "It
requires no argument to show that if this prayer be really the rule of faith
and conduct for the Jews who utter it, ordinary social and business relations
are impossible to maintain with them." (The Dearborn Independent,
Nov. 5, 1921)
We should also keep in mind Kol Nidre's permission to Jewish survivors of the
Holocaust to lie under oath (as in the Nuremberg trials). Can we continue to
accept as fact their testimony of seeing countless Jews destroyed in gas chambers
It also means an observant Jew in Congress can renege on any promises he makes
his constituents in the past or coming year. Gone also is any duty of federal
or Supreme Court justices to be loyal to their oath to the Constitution and
the United States of America.
Do I have this wrong? Incredibly, I don’t. Despite the suspicion and
revenge Kol Nidre has aroused, modern Judaism still considers its recitation
one of the most sacred duties of Jewish life, liturgy, and tradition. It is
so important that as Congress evolves into the "American Knesset," congressional
leaders, under control of the all-powerful Zionist lobby, are eager to please
Jewish members by sending them home to take advantage of this moral loophole
Perhaps, with Jewish activists flooding Congress as never before, promoting
perverse Jewish "hate crime laws" and "workplace bias" legislation,
as well as bills that persecute Christian/conservative activism, (See, Lobby
Reform Bill Cripples Free Speech) we can understand why many Jewish members
of Congress need the moral absolution provided by Kol Nidre. There will be
a lot of lies to constituents and breaking oaths to uphold the constitution
by First Amendment-destroying Jews this session of Congress. Such treachery
could really strain anyone’s conscience. But Jewish members of Congress
return after reciting Kol Nidre with consciences cleansed. After all, who cares
about governing according to the will of the lowly goyim?
For them, ruling according to Kol Nidre is the will of God.
- Michael Collins Piper's books such as The New Jerusalem extensively
document the preponderance of Jews in the highest echelons of American
government. They are available www.americanfreepress.com.
- Article on "Kol Nidre," The Jewish Encyclopedia,
New York, London : Funk & Wagnalls, 1906.
- Article on "Kol Nidre," The Encyclopedia Judaica,
Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem, LTD. Israel, 1996.
- The Talmud says Gentiles can be deprived of justice (Baba Kama,
113a), can be cheated (BK, 113b), are animals (Iore Deah 148, 12
Hagah), may be killed (Sanhedrin 59a, Choschen Hamischpat 425.5,
Abodah Zarah 26b), can be led to death or not saved from death
(Choschen Ham. 425.5, Iore Deah 158).