On the day preceding Yom Kippur, afternoon prayer in the synagogue includes a public confession of sins called ‘vidui’, which is also an important element of prayers during the Day of Atonement. The table prepared for the meal is covered, just as on the Day of Sabbath, and there are Sabbath candles upon it. The special candle, large enough to last till the end of Yom Kippur, burns as well. As on every Sabbath, a mother blesses the light that is the Light of Reconciliation, and spreads it around the house so that the light reaches every corner.

Before sunset on Yom Kippur eve, worshippers gather in the synagogue. The liturgy starts. Men wear tallit (prayer shawls) in black or blue stripes. A cantor comes to the desktop, which is before the Ark. Two other cantors are close to him. Together they announce that the Day of Atonement commences and all people can come to the Lord with their prayers. The cantors recite a special formula three times. Then, the main cantor recites the Kol Nidre prayer:

" Lord! All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths!"

The last sentence is said by all believers. Later, the cantor blesses the people and preaches the sermon. The evening of Kol Nidre ends in front of the opened Ark with a common singing of the songs Yigdal, which includes 13 Articles of Faith. They also sing the song, ‘Adon Olam’ - Eternal Lord - which ends with these words:

"Into His hand I commit my spirit when I sleep, and I wake, and with my spirit, my body, The Lord is with me, I will not fear”.

To be continued.

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