The Mevlevi make up a sub-order of the Islamic branch called Sufism. There are many Sufi orders pertaining to the Mevlevi, but all of them believe in one God. They believe that through meditation, they can be closer to God. The Mevlevi pay special attention to music and dance. They created a ceremony called Sama, in honor of Mevlana Celeladdin Rumi. This type of music and dance sends the performer’s body into a physical state that exudes gracefulness.
The opening service of Yom Kippur starts off with “Kol Nidre,” which is a prayer. Just like the Mevlevi, Jews use this prayer to become closer to God. Through this prayer, they ask God for forgiveness. “Sama” and “Kol Nidre” are similar in that the people who follow these traditions perform “actions [that] reflect the ideal of surrendering one’s identity to the all-encompassing universalism of God” (263.) For example, in the Mevlevi video, the person in the middle of the circle is wearing headgear and a white skirt as a way of concealing his ego. Jews might not wear headgear when saying the “Kol Nidre” but they do perform it with an “austere melody” (270.) Instead of surrendering themselves to God with their egos intact and other luxuries, they are surrendering themselves with modesty, thereby, stripping themselves of their identities to try and become one with God, just like the Mevlevi.