Thought by Menachem Bluming… Yom Kippur had ended and the Chazzan, the cantor, was the last one out and about to lock the door so that he could go home to his family when an older man came rushing to the door. “Why are you locking the doors?” The man pleaded. “Let me in, I am here for Kol Nidrei!”
First the chazzan thought he was kidding but quickly realized how serious this man was. “Please let me in I have never missed a Kol Nidrei!” The chazzan patiently explained that the man must have mixed up the dates because Kol Nidrei was 25 hours earlier… The man looked away and broke into uncontrolled sobbing… “Woe is me… My father told me that as long as I hear the Kol Nidrei each year I will remain connected with the Jewish community and with being a Jew and what will I do now?…” he sobbed and cried.
The chazzan was touched deeply by this outpouring of Jewish connection and longing and so he told the man that he would not miss hearing the Kol Nidrei that year. “Come with me”, the Chazzan assured. In the large sanctuary sat this older man alone. The chazzan donned his tallit and chazzan hat and forgot his hunger. He gave that Kol Nidrei all that he had. The man listened and swayed and tears came to his eyes as this tune evoked memories and deep connection. When they finished, the man warmly embraced the chazzan so very grateful for this tremendous kindness and went on his way…
This is a true story that happened a few years ago… This is also the true story of so many of us…
Do you ever feel that you’ve missed the boat by a day? That it is too late for you to connect with your Judaism?
We must serve as the chazzan for each other… to assure each other that they are in! They have not missed the Kol Nidrei, never. They are so powerfully bonded and connected. We need them and they need us.
May you always remember that you have never missed it… you are in and we need you!
Menachem Mendel Bluming and Chabad.org