Kol Nidrei Prayer
Tzaddikim Conversations, Tzaddikim Deeds and Conversations, Warsaw, 5784
Once, on the night of Yom Kippur, a number of important people and Torah students gathered at the home of Rabbi Meir of Premishlan z”l and waited for him to read Kol Nidrei, but he did not come.
Finally a man came and stood in the doorway, looked at the crowd, and said, “See, everyone has gathered to me, believing that Meir will say Kol Nidrei. Even if you stand until morning, Meir will not say Kol Nidrei. Yom Kippur atones for sins between man and G-D but not for sins between man and his fellow (end of the Yoma Tractate) Rabbi Meir therefore wants you to forgive each other.”
Everyone immediately shouted, “We forgive each other.”
The tsaddik still stood in the doorway and said, “Do you believe that Meir understands nothing. Now you forgive each other, but after this holy day, anyone who owes a debt to another, anyone who can pay but not immediately, will have the time extended, and anyone who cannot pay, what will be taken from him – his soul?”
There were men from Lvov present who knew that this matter touched on them. They immediately went to the rabbi and told him, “Rabbi, we obey. We obey.”
He immediately went to the Ark and said, “Lord of the Universe, said, ‘Jews, know that if you listen to my words you will have a good, blessed and sweet year. Whoever does not listen to my words, he will find out at home what awaits him.’”
He then began the Kol Nidrei.