Immediately before we begin the Yom Kippur Eve Kol Nidrei prayer, a short paragraph is recited by the chazzan that ends with the following:
“anu matirin l’hispallel im ha’arvanim” — “we sanction prayer with the transgressors”
Rather than being a call for automatic forgiveness of all sins, it is possible that this prayer is meant to engender a stark recognition among all in attendance — that we each have what to work on, and perhaps it is only with this communal permission that our own personal sins do not hold us back from joining. There are many other explanations, but suffice it to say that we do not position a bouncer at the synagogue door asking for credentials; all who sincerely seek to reconcile with the Almighty are welcome.
The Passover Seder, almost an exact half year from Yom Kippur, presents a somewhat different approach. We open the maggid discussional with an invitation in Aramaic — historically the language of the common man — for all to join:
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