Volume 57 Number 18 
      Produced: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 17:20:17 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Main vs. sub minyan 
    [David Ziants]
Nusach Achid (2)
    [Eitan Fiorino  Menashe Elyashiv]
Soda machines on Shabbat 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
    [Martin Stern]
Variety of minhag (was Main vs. sub minyan) 
    [Martin Stern]
Western Ashkenazi siddurim 
    [David Ziants]


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 20,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

I made a posting in response to Ken Bloom, but for some reason some of 
the posting became truncated, although this was quoted in Ken Bloom's 
second response.

Since I bring up some other relevant issues, I am reposting this, and 
summarizing what was already published.

First I drew attention that there are two separate issues, (a) a truly 
ad-hoc minyan in a shopping centre, bus-station etc. ; (b) A 
neighbourhood shul which allows flexibility - possibly with certain 
constraints - that the nusach [prayer rite] is according to the sha"tz 
[prayer leader].

My story, of course, appertained to situation (a), but issues that crop 
because of situation (b) are also worthy  of debate, and I continue my 
posting relating to aspects that can also be relevant to situation (b). 
Ken Bloom's response to this, in issue 2009-14,  can then be read again.

Ken Bloom wrote:
> The halacha for people who daven nusach Ashkenaz (as I have been told)
> is to daven whatever nusach the shul around them davens, and only switch
> to Nusach Ashkenaz for Shemonah Esreh.
> This is not the case for Sepharadim (and presumably also Chassidim who
> daven nusach Sephard). Their poskim are pretty explicit that they should
> daven everything according to their own nusach (see, for example, Yalkut
> Yosef ch. 101).
Of course, one cannot put all non nusach ashkenaz people in the same 
basket. Nusach sepharad (whether chassidic or not) is very much an 
ashkenazi nusach, and it was called "sepharad" because of certian bits 
and pieces that were taken from the sephardi rite.  Although many 
ashkenazim sometimes rely (especially for leniences; whether correctly 
or not) on the rulings of Rav Ovadia Yoseph (the author of Yalkut 
Yosef), I doubt this with ashkenazi chassidim, and don't think they 
would use this as their source for any halachic issue. They might just 
see their nusach as superior as they claim it is based on kabballa thus 
do not see a need to conform to another shul's custom. Since every 
chassidic court has its own nuance who decides which is the true 
kabbalistic version?

> This is true even if they are saying kaddish. The only leniency in that
> case is to shorten their somewhat longer "Yehe shlama raba" to maintain
> synchronization. But they must say "v'yatzmach purkaneh v'kareiv
> mishechei"
And what if the community cannot tolerate, or does not know how to 
handle kaddish sayers saying "v'yatzmach...". It happened that I was in 
a shul (nusach ashkenaz with many anglo-saxons) when I was on holiday, 
and me trying to give a break in case there was a kaddish sayer who 
wanted  to add "v'yatzmach..." caused a loss of synchronisation with the 
other kaddish sayers who were oblivious to this issue.

> I haven't seen any indication that sepharadim have a chiyuv to add
> barechu when the shaliach tzibbur doesn't, even though the second
> barechu is generally said by one of the mourners who said kaddish, and
> not the shaliach tzibbur himself. (But I may just not have read it.)
At least from what I have seen, the sephardim tend to be pretty 
fanatical about the bar'chu at the end. In their own shuls they often 
all say it together (not sure because it is a specific minhag or it is 
difficult to allocate one man only to say). In my shacharit minyan, as 
chiyuv, I tend to lead only from ashrei onwards (my own personal choice) 
even if no other chiyuv. I thus also like to do the bar'chu at the end 
especially if no other chiyuv saying kaddish. I have had to direct 
non-chiyuv kaddish sayers that in this place, only one person does 
bar'chu, and they are happy to accept to do it on Monday and Thursday, 
when I do not and there is no other chiyuv who does.

>> > b) When I am in a shul, which is a nusach to my own, I try and not make 
>> > a show of doing my own thing...
> ... According to Yalkut Yosef, Sepharadim are supposed to stand in
> a Nusach Ashkenaz minyan, but in general we understand that Ashkenazim
> won't sit when in our shuls.

I came to the conclusion on this politeness after hearing many shiurim 
over the years on the necessity to conform in these issues. It took me a 
lot of nurturing to manage to follow this through in practice. Even 
then, I still sometimes falter. This is probably why the Yalkut Yossef 
asks its followers to be tolerant to those ashkenazim who have not yet 
reached the stage in self education (let's call it) that they cannot 
bring themselves to sit down when kaddish is being said.

>> > c) The people there could have stayed to do 13 middot after the official 
>> > minyan had finished, and before the next minyan.
> My (sepharadi) rabbi has told me to do 13 middot in their proper place,
> and if my tachanun takes longer than it should then I should finish it
> after kaddish...
13 middot neads a minyan . Without a minyan this cannot be said (maybe 
read  in tune to the torah reading but that is completely irrelevant 
here as it could only apply to an individual doing it privately). Here 
we thus have someone who succeeded in sussing out that there were at 
least 10 people saying vidduy and thus he had the authority to lead into 
13 middot. This though, was not the nusach that was being used for this 
minyan, and the group involved were obviously well aware of this.

> I suppose we should do it quietly, but I haven't seen that written
> anywhere. (Of course, I haven't even read the Yalkut Yosef Kitzur
> Shulchan Aruch cover to cover, so my confidence about the matter is way
> too low to say that it isn't written anywhere.)
>> > e) If the table is turned and it was an aidot hamizrach sha"tz and there 
>> > were ashkenazim in the minyan who wanted something that they do not 
>> > usually do - an example I can think of now is haphtora [reading from 
>> > prophets] on a ta'anit tzibbur [public fast day] - then would they allow 
>> > this easily?
> Probably not, for precisely the same reasons I gave to answer question (a).
If I was in the kaniyon on taanit tzibur, I would wait for ashkenazi 
minyan that does say haphtora. Alternatively, I would join this minyan 
and listen to the keriah again, with haphtorah at subsequent minyan.
>> > In any case, by the fact that there was compliance after tachnun (could 
>> > have had a barrage of "lamnatzaiach" people ...
> Lamnatzeich isn't a problem. Let's assume the sepharadim finished
> tachanun before the Sha"tz said kaddish titkabal. They'll say
> lamnatzeich (hopefully quietly) at the same time you say Aleinu, then
> they'll say Aleinu after kaddish, just like they're supposed to, with no
> kaddish at the end. Sepharadi minhag is to say Kaddish before, but not
> after Aleinu, so this shouldn't ever cause a fight about an additional kaddish.
The issue here is not whether an individual adds lamnatzeiach or not. 
The issue is, whether the ashkenazi shatz is allowed to finish alainu 
and say kaddish without someone else trying to take over.

Again, the rule of the place is that the nusach that should be used for 
any particular minyan is according to the sha"tz of that minyan. This 
rule was no doubt set by the owner of the kanyon in order to prevent 

> So you probably wouldn't have given in to anarchy. The only issue is
> just that they need a little more time. So perhaps you can take your
> time, focus on the words you're saying a little more, and know that when
> you're done there are no more other minhag clash issues like this one.

Also tircha d'tzibura [keeping the congregation waiting] is an issue. 
There might have been a non-vocal substantial number of ashkenazim who 
specifically joined this minyan because they heard it was nusach 
ashkenaz, and felt more comfortable with this.
>> > Has anyone written anything extensive on this anthropological issue 
>> > among our communities?
> Who needs anthropology when reading the appropriate poskim will suffice?
> What more do you want out of this issue?
I call it "anthropology" because I think it  is all about group social 
behaviour (whether of myself or anyone else) in different situations and 
also bringing different cultures together. Rav Goren tzatz"al tried to 
create "Nusach Achid" to solve this issue (especially in the army), but 
this never really took on, even in situations where it could be useful.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 25,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Nusach Achid

Batya Medad wrote:
> What a depressing bunch of replies to an attempt to unify our people.

Not sure exactly what Batya finds so depressing about the discussion.  I don't
think there's been much nit-picking; in fact, I don't recall seeing any
substantive discussion of any particular aspect of nusach Achid.

I think the the entire conversation about which nusach is "correct" and which is
THE one single nusach that should be used by all Jews, or at least all Jews in
eretz yisrael, can only occur in the absence of knowledge of the history of
tefila.  There is no historical evidence to suggest there was EVER, at any point
in Jewish history, a single "nusach" prayed by all Jews (and if you are going to
tell me about the beit hamikdash, I am going to ask you, what were Jews praying
when they were not at the beit hamikdash?).

Moreover, there is extensive evidence from tanaitic and amoraic sources that
prayer was in fact incredibly fluid and variable.  The writings of the geonim,
sources like masachet soferim, and the Cairo geniza material only make it more
evident that at no time have the Jewish people been unified by a common nusach.
 Indeed, the fact that there are only a handful of nusachot in use today is
largely an accidental consequence of the printing press, which had a
homogenizing effect on many regional variations in tefila.

So, if Jews have never had a single nusach, why exactly is it important or
necessary now?

Moreover, the extant nusachot reflect the thousands of years of heritage of
Jewish communities, their halachic approaches, and their Jews.  In my opinion,
the very concept of asking people to abandon their siddurim, laden with emotion
and cultural history, to adopt some foreign nusach, is preposterous. 
Particularly when it is driven by an ill-informed notion that all Jews ought to
pray the same way, which has never been the reality of Jewish existence, inside
or outside eretz yisrael.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 26,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Nusach Achid

David Ziants wrote:
> The explanation there is that "Nusach HaAri" is the Chabad version of 
> "Nusach Sepharad".
This is true, because the Ari (R.Y.Luria), was not from Habad, but from 
Egypt, and he prayed in the local synagogues.

R. Goren's Nusah is almost completely Nusah Sefarad. The Nusah never 
caught on, even in the army. I state that as a 30 year veteran reservist.
OTOH, most state religious schools adapted Nusah Sefarad as their binding 
Nusah. I think that many Nusah Ashkenazers changed their Nusah because of 
that. However, this backfired by the Sefaradim.  At first, they saw it as 
part of the "melting pot".  But over the years, many Sefardim left the 
Religious Zionist camp and became Shasnikim. I have seen synagogues that 
have substituted Tahanun for Hallel on Independance day...


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 4,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Soda machines on Shabbat

I've noticed that in the waiting room of the Shaarey Zedek Hospital in
Jerusalem they disconnect all soda and sandwich machines before Shabbat.
This hospital is used to a large extent by Jews, but there are also many
Arabs who come to it.

Is this the Halachah, or is it a Chumra (stringency) not to offend religious

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 4,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Tachanun

Yisrael Medad wrote:
> And since the Mechaber doesn't mention the
> 12 non-Tachanun days of Sivan, what is the Ashkenaz/Ashkenaz custom?

The custom in Ashkenaz (Germany and surrounding lands) is to say tachanun
after issru chag [day after the holiday --MOD]. We do not know of any such thing
as "the 12 non-Tachanun days of Sivan".

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 25,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Variety of minhag (was Main vs. sub minyan)

On Monday, August 24, 2009, David Ziants <dziants@...> wrote:

Subject: Variety of minhag (was Main vs. sub minyan)
> With respect to Nusach Ashkenaz in Israel, as you no doubt know, all
> Nusach Ashkenaz communities use (or should use) according to the
> minhagei haGr"a. 

I don't think there is any obligation on any community that so wishes to
preserve its traditional customs despite being classified as Ashkenazim
since that term covers many who are not from Litta [Lithuania --MOD] nor have
any connection with the minhagei haGr"a [customs of the Vilna Gaon --MOD].

> I mention this because it has been told to me that there is a group of
> people who are trying to introduce the chu"l [outside of Israel] version
> of Nusach Ashkenaz in certain new communities in Israel and this is now
> being endorsed by some chareidi Rabbanim. Do you know anything about this?

There is a movement to re-establish the West German, specifically Frankfort,
minhag which has established several synagogues including that at the
Ma'ayanei Yeshua hospital in B'nei B'rak and Kahal Adass Yeshurun in Ramot.

Unlike those of a totalitarian tendency who wish to impose a Nussach Achid,
I see this flowering of variety as adding to the total Jewish experience
that should be encouraged.

But then my views should come as no surprise to readers since I have been
personally subject to persecution when my "Yekkish" shul was taken over
[snip] as I have described previously in mail-jewish.

Martin Stern


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Western Ashkenazi siddurim

Thank you very much Eitan for your explanation which I find very 
interesting, and with your example I recognise what you are referring to.

It seems that this "new" vocalisation  is really now across the board in 
all variations of nusach ashkenaz that are used today (even those used 
in hareidi quarters such as "Tephillat Kol Peh" of Eshkol publishing).

An exception that I can think of this is in the selichot: "aseh l'maan 
amitach, aseh l'maan b'ritach,...". This is how it appears in my Rinat 
Yisrael Selichot, Minhag Polin [Polish Rite]. Ironically an old "Minchat 
Yerushalayim" Siddur as well as "Tephilat Kol Peh", whose fast day 
selichot are also no doubt based on Polish custom (as Polish is almost 
the standard in Israel among all ashkenazim), use the Biblical vocalisation.

All these years, I thought the option of saying "aseh l'maan amitach, 
aseh l'maan b'ritach,..." rather than "aseh l'maan amitecha, aseh l'maan 
b'ritecha,..." was a time saver as the less one syllable in each phrase 
adds up. :-)

Question: If second person masculine possessive sounds like (what is 
normally) feminine, then do we have any examples of second person 
feminine possessive in our liturgy, and does this sound any different?

In addition to the masculine possessive vocalisation you presented, do 
you know of other changes because of this vocalisation issue?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


End of Volume 57 Issue 18