At sundown, on Friday, Oct. 7, observant Jews will flock to their temples and synagogues to hear the sorrowful chant of the “Kol Nidre.” The services will invoke the traditions of the ancient rabbinical courts. The Kol Nidre begins with a legal formulation, in Aramaic, which serves as the “All rise, the court is now in session....”
“In the tribunal of Heaven and the tribunal of earth, by the permission of God — praised be God — and by the permission of this holy congregation, we hold it lawful to pray with transgressors.”
What follows is a period of fasting and self-reflection within the communal setting of the congregation.
In that spirit, I finally got up the courage to read Jon Krakauer’s book on the death of Pat Tillman (“Where Men Win Glory”), which describes his death by friendly fire, followed by a massive coverup, Congressional hearings and a tie-in to the case of Jessica Lynch, the Army PFC who was injured, then captured by Iraqi forces and finally rescued in a Special Forces operation. In an effort to enhance public relations and to possibly silence the Tillman family, Pat Tillman was posthumously awarded the Silver Star based on false information.