Guest Posting From Chabakuk Elisha: Kol Nidre
There is a beautiful vort from R' Pinchas Koretzer that I repeat every year Yom Kippur time:
Yom Kippur evening we all come to shul; the chazan begins the prayer with such awe and trepidation - who is not moved when standing in shul at Kol Nidre? But, why do we begin the holiest day of the year with this prayer? Kol Nidre is simply an annulment of vows, and seemingly a strange way to begin this day of awe.
R' Pinchas explained, that throughout the year we are not careful with our speech. We routinely say things we shouldn't - and we say things we wouldn't want to say if we realized we were standing before G-d.
The power of speech is very potent. Hashem, in His great kindness, does us a favor by not scrutinizing our mindless speech. Although this is for our own good, there are times when we do want Him to listen closely to our words - so, Hashem gives us a mechanism to annul this speech once a year. With our annulment of vows at Kol Nidre, all the foolish things that have escaped our lips are wiped away and we undertake to speak properly from now on. On Erev Yom Kippur we are telling Hashem that we want Him to listen very closely as we pray for our future and repent for our past.
Recognizing our sincerity, G-d listens closely to every word.
May G-d's infinite mercy be expressed, and may all of Klal Yisroel be sealed for a truly good, and visibly good, year.