Chapter: 06 – Nusach: Wording of Prayer

01 – The Differences in Nusach

Following the exile from the Land of Israel, and the scattering of Jewish communities, distinctions were created among the diverse ethnic groups (eidot) regarding the wording of the prayers. In the main prayers, those instituted by Anshei Knesset HaGedolah, such … Continue reading

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02 – No Nusach Should Be Considered More Preferable than Another

The Chida writes in the name of the Ari that the Sephardic nusach ascends through all twelve gates. Therefore, in his opinion, Ashkenazim are permitted to switch to the Sephardic wording of prayer (see Yabia Omer 6:10; Yechaveh Da’at 3:6). … Continue reading

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03 – In What Cases Is One Permitted to Change His Nusach?

As we have learned, one must maintain his family’s minhag. The Chachamim based this statement on the verse, “Al titosh torat imecha,” meaning, “Do not abandon your mother’s teachings” (Proverbs 1:8). However, this custom is no more important than other … Continue reading

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04 – Immigrants and Communities that Migrated

In the past, when the distance between communities was great, Ashkenazim lived in Ashkenaz, Sephardim in Spain, and Yemenites in Yemen. Any person who moved to another place would adopt the minhag of his new place and practice the customs … Continue reading

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05 – Praying in a Minyan Conducted in a Different Nusach

Some poskim say that when a person who is accustomed to one nusach goes to pray in a minyan held in a different nusach, he must pray according to the nusach of the minyan he is attending, because the individuals … Continue reading

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06 – Preserving Minhagim versus Strengthening the Community

The preservation of minhagim, in addition to maintaining the nusach of the prayer, entails upholding the pronunciation of the prayers. Each community – the Yemenites, the Sephardim, and the Ashkenazim – pronounces the prayers according to its own particular dialect. … Continue reading

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07 – Those Accustomed to a Different Nusach

Sometimes the question arises regarding how a person should practice when his father, who is a member of one ethnic group, becomes accustomed to praying in a nusach of a different ethnic group. Should he pray in the nusach in … Continue reading

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08 – Ashkenazim Who Pray with a Sephardic Pronunciation

A similar question arose among Ashkenazic immigrants from the dati-leumi (national-religious) community. Approximately three generations ago, with the beginning of the gathering of the exiles, a need was felt to consolidate the Diaspora communities and to restore the Jewish nation … Continue reading

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09 – Members of Different Ethnic Groups Praying Together

In many places, members of all the different ethnic groups pray together. That is the accepted practice in many yeshivot, so as not to cause a daily schism between the students, as well as in small communities which do not … Continue reading

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