Does one wear a tallit to services the night of Yom Kippur (Kol Nidrei)?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell

In the book of Numbers (15:38-39), we read that the Israelites were instructed to "make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments…that they shall look at it and recall all the commandments of the Eternal and observe them..."

Over time, this garment became a tallittallitטַלִּיתPrayer shawl; plural: tallitot . Since the instruction is to observe the fringes, the custom developed to wear a tallit at services taking place during daylight hours. The tallit is therefore worn during morning services and not at night. The exception to this rule is the night of Yom Kippur, commonly known as Kol NidreKol Nidreכָּל נִדְרֵי"All Vows;" prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar; . The tallit, often made of a white fabric, has come to represent the sincerity of our repentance. So, yes one can wear a tallit to services the night of Yom Kippur. And, it is customary for those who wear the tallit to wear it throughout Yom Kippur, for all prayer services.