In Kol Nidrei, one says

All vows, and prohibitions, and oaths, and consecrations, and konams and konasi and any synonymous terms, that we may vow, or swear, or consecrate, or prohibit upon ourselves, from the previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement and ... from this Day of Atonement until the Day of Atonement that will come for our benefit. Regarding all of them, we repudiate them. All of them are undone, abandoned, cancelled, null and void, not in force, and not in effect. Our vows are no longer vows, and our prohibitions are no longer prohibitions, and our oaths are no longer oaths."

[Emphasis mine].

Does this mean that I am allowed to make a false (future, and not-interpersonal) oath nowadays?

The Wikipedia article says that many were opposed to this prayer for this reason. Yet, now that we do say it, why does one have to keep any not-interpersonal vow nowadays?

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/20295/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 4:05
  • 1
    Not everyone includes the line "from this one to the next one" so for them the prayer is only about the past. (Your question still applies to some groups; I'm just pointing out not all have this issue.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 4:07
  • @DoubleAA that makes sense. Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 4:08

1 Answer 1


Quoting from the Artscroll Yom Kippur Machzor:

There is a dangerous and erroneous misconception among some people that the Kol Nidre nullification of vows - whether past or future, depending on the previously discussed opinions - gives people the right to break their word or to make insincere promises that will have no legal force. This is not the case. The Kol Nidre declaration can invalidate only vows that one undertakes on his own volition. It has no effect on vows or oaths imposed by someone else, a court, or a gentile.

Also, the invalidation of future vows takes effect only if someone makes the vow without having in mind his previous Kol Nidre declaration. But if he makes the vow with Kol Nidre in mind - thus being openly insincere in his vow - the vow is in full force.

  • What about a voluntary vow to do or give something to another person (i.e. not imposed by another)? Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 19:24

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