Changing to a different nusach

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    Here’s my story in short: I’ve davened nusach ashkenaz my whole life. I went to Lakewood for pesach and went to a shul which davened nusach sefard, and I happened to really like it. I went back to Lakewood again this year for Rosh Hashana and davened at the same shul, and again felt a connection for some reason. I’ve talked my feelings over to parents and since they are baalei teshuva, they don’t care what nusach I am davening as long as I’m davening so here’s the question for you: Should I make the switch and why or why not? Any help I can get is very much appreciated.


    Well, I know people who made a switch from one nusach to another, but I honestly don’t know how they did it, or what’s the correct procedure if there is a procedure…. Best of luck to you!


    You need to ask a sheila before switching. I believe R’ Moshe paskens that because there is a stronger Mesorah for Nusach Ashkenaz it is muttar to switch from sefard to ashkenaz, but not the other way around.


    the arizal suggested switching from ashkenaz to sefard. so you would be in good company following the arizal.


    But for your information harri & torahlishma613, you would be in even better company Davening Nusach Ashkenaz, especially that you grew up with Nusach Ashkenaz, so don’t even contemplate changing Nusach, let alone for actually changing Nussach.

    I should also bring to your attention torahlishma613, that just about all the special prayers recited on Rosh haShono are identical in both Nusach Ashkenaz and Sefard, & just about all the differences are within the prayers also recited throughout the year.

    So harri:- Retain your loyalty to Nussach Ashkenaz. You will be better off for it.


    I remember learning that you could switch from sfard to ashkenaz but not the other way around. However perhaps this question is best for your rav.


    Anonymous1000: What you learned is correct, but that you may change from Sefard to either Ashkenaz or Sephardi, since these 2 Nuscho’ous are so authentic, both having been around for millenniums.

    However Sefard is so recent & has so many different variants, that it is wishy washy and unstable, and should be absolutely avoided.


    It is my impression that such a switch requires hataras nedarim by a chacham



    Your question must be addressed to a Rav,; not to your parents (although it was kind and proper for you to include them in the discussion) and not to the CR.


    I changed nusach (from Ashkenaz to Sfard) when we made aliyah, as there are no nusach Ashkenaz shules where we live. The Rav told me to get permission from my father (who didn’t care) and then I said hatarat nedarim. Then we had to slowly begin to switch all the siddurim and machzorim over.


    I know of a Rov who personally davened ashkenaz. When he took up a position in a shul where they daven sefard he switched: “Hashem understands all nuschaois, so I may as well daven the same as everyone else and not get confused”

    Overheard: Some say baruch she’amar before hoidu, others say hoidu before baruch she’amar, but they all say Yehi Chevoid le’oilam in the same place, I.E The main thing is we give kavoid shamayim and do it lishma!!!!!!

    GG yekke

    Yaff80: it could be he only switched b/c of Minhag Hamokem.

    Anonymous1000: i suppose it depends on who you are.

    Those who daven Ashkenaz are the ones who say you can switch from Sefard to Ashkenaz but not the other way round, whilst those who daven sefard will tell you that you can change from Ashkenaz to Sefard.


    i switched from sfard to ashkenaz my rav told me to ask my father who didn’t really care


    I recommend you read the Noam Elimelch at the end of his sefer in one of the letters,it is a very powerful message on nusach sefard.Rav Moshe holds that to switch to ashkanaz is never a problem,but he does mention that those who daven sefard must be allowed to and not assur.Rav Henkin discusses this un Gevuros Eliyahu,will look it up.


    nem621:- You are an absolute Tzadik Gomur for having embraced the most incredible & wonderful Nusach Ashkenaz. Kol haKovod!


    “I know of a Rov who personally davened ashkenaz. When he took up a position in a shul where they daven sefard he switched: ‘Hashem understands all nuschaois, so I may as well daven the same as everyone else and not get confused'”

    My teacher taught me that one should daven properly and try to choose a consistent pronunciation, taf or saf. But she also said that since many of us have a problem that we learned, for instance, krias shema ba’al peh in one pronunciation, then began the practice of davening in the other pronunciation, sometimes we get confused and end up using both during davening. (I frequently have this problem because my day school taught me to use taf but my husband uses saf, so I have been trying to retrain myself and it’s not completely internalized yet). She said that one should really try to be consistent, but if we accidentally stumble and say both pronunciations, not to worry because Hashem will understand us anyway.


    harri – I could be wrong but my understanding was that while nusach sefard is based on additions from suggestions of the Ari, the nusach itself was actually formulated quite a while after he lived.

    With the exception of Musaf on Yom Kippur which he davened Ashkenaz, all the other tefilot of the year I believe he davened Sefardi (i.e. Edut Mizrach) and explained his kavanot according to that nusach. My teacher told me two possible explanations of this – some say that the Ari held that the Sefardi nusach was actually more correct, and others say that since the main reason his neshama came into this world was to teach Torah to Rav Chaim Vital (who was Sefardi) he taught according to Rav Vital’s nusach.


    I conduct services as a chazzan in an Ashkenazic shul, and as such, I do everything, even my own personal Amidah, in that nusach (which I happen to personally enjoy very much). An interesting thing about our shul is this: our rabbi, a talmid of Rav Soloveitchik, zt”l, told me that on Yom Kippur, I should say the Avodah, which is said silently, in Sefard, since the Rav preferred this. Also, we open Neilah with El Nora Alilah. I asked him why the shul includes this very Sephardic piyut, and he said that because the shul used the Silverman machzor many decades ago, and this machzor includes this very Sephardic piyut for Ashkenazim, it became beloved to the congregation over time, and the minhag stuck. Interestingly, I find that our Ashkenazic rabbi mandates that many piyutim be skipped over in the high holidays davening, and no piyutim are inserted into the Amidah during the year at all, although I don’t know how many Ashkenazic places nowadays still include the Krovetz l’ Purim and whatnot).

    While I use Sephardic havarah when I speak about torah and whatnot, I do daven (for the amud) in Ashkenazic havarah. I just feel that if I’ve taken the time to learn proper Ashkenaz nusach hatefillah, than I should pronounce the prayers in the Ashkenazic manner, and I also feel that from a musical and phraseology perspective, the nusach “flows” more smoothly and just works better when Ashkenaz havarah is used.

    Regarding “suf” and tuf”: I heard a story about a kid who was personally very frum/yeshivishe-style (and involved in NCSY) but whose parents sent him to a coed community day school that was very Modern. Whenever the kid would read out loud, the teacher would correct his sufs with tufs (i.e. Shabbat, not Shabbos). The kid one day said to his teacher out loud, “I’ll tay it how I want to tay it.”

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