897. Annulling Vows, Kaddish

128:16 The practice is to annul our vows on the day before Rosh Hashana. An allusion to this is found in Numbers 30:3: the final letters of the words “He should not break his word at all” spell Elul. If one does not understand what he is saying in Hebrew, he must recite it in a language he understands.

129:1 In every kaddish that is recited from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur, the word “l’eilah” (“above”) is repeated, so that we say “l’eilah l’eilah” (“above, above” or, perhaps, “far above”). The vav prefix meaning “and” is not used so we do not say “u’l’eilah.” (This opinion is not universal. Mishnah Brurah 56:2 says “l’eilah u’l’eilah.”) Since kaddish must contain 28 words, the words “min kol birkasa” (“beyond any blessing”) are condensed to “mikol birkasa” to compensate for the additional word.