Minhag Hagra in Israel
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- This topic has 17 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 7 months ago by Neville ChaimBerlin.
October 31, 2015 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #616586yosefcolemanParticipant
Why is ashkenazi minhag in Israel based on minhag Hagra. Minhag hamakom was sefardi and then the chassidim came so why is minhag the minhag in Israel.November 1, 2015 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1110545
The Talmidei HaGra, all Ashkenaz, came to Eretz Yisroel not long after the Gra was niftar.November 1, 2015 3:59 am at 3:59 am #1110546147Participant
Minhag haGra does not apply to “Moreshes Ashkenaz” nor to “Sephardim” who already have well established Minhogim, and must not deviate 1 iota from them.November 2, 2015 9:37 am at 9:37 am #1110547
Yosefcoleman, your question is better than any answer you will receive. I’ll try to put things into perspective.
Before the ashkenazic influx, the minhagim were indeed sefardic, but in a loose way. Sefardim are less uptight than ashkenazim and throughout the ages were more amenable to minhagim of others (i.e., the Rosh after 1306 in Spain).Remember that the old yishuv was not technologically or communally advanced. The sefardim did not rule by central authority, which allowed for others to fill a vacuum.In addition, sefardic minhagim are not monolithic, there are many variations there too.
The chassidim who came with R’ Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk in the 1770s were concentrated in Zefat and Tverya and had a
minimal and uninfluential representation in Yerushalayim.
The first talmidei haGra , of the Rivlin family, came after 1809, followed by larger numbers in the middle of the 1800s. As proud bearers of the torch of the Gra, they exploited the vacuum to establish their way as the Ashkenazic way, and hence we have minhag haGra as minhag yerushalyim and by extension, minhag Eretz Yisrael. As Yerushalayim goes, so goes the country. As a historical quirk, all know that minhagei haGra were not accepted in Vilna, his hometown. They were only disseminated decades later and far away.
Needless to say, not all are happy with this system, and the current chassidim never accepted it. Here and there there are pockets of resistance from the yekkes, the Americans, and others who aren’t willing to let go of their old minhagim. We can debate who is right, but that’s irrelevant from a historical point of view.
editedNovember 2, 2015 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm #1110548
In what way, and in which particular customs, is minhag hagra the prevailing minhag in Yerushalayim or EY?November 2, 2015 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #1110549
Actually Minhag HaGra does not pertain in all of EY nor is it 100% even in Yerushalayim (except for the Zilberman kehila). For example, in the Galil the cohanim only duchan in Musaf on Shabbat andyamim tovim (Minhag HaGra is every day). Even in Yerushalayim almost everyone says “v’ne’emar” at the end of Aleinu (the Gra did not say it).November 2, 2015 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #1110550apushatayidParticipant
perhaps for a long time most ashkenazim were descendents of the talmidei hagra, as a result “nusach ashkenaz” based on the minhagim of the gra. certainly in the last 75 years more and more ashkenazim from places that had other minhagim arrived and established kehillos based on their own minhagim.November 2, 2015 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #1110551
There is a halachic concept of Minhag HaMokom.November 2, 2015 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #1110552
Um, no. A small minority of Ahkenazic Jewry were talmidei HaGra.
Furthermore, many minhagei HaGra are hearsay, the Gra never compiled a list of his customs. Curiously, there is no such thing as “Siddur HaGra” because the Gra never compiled a siddur, and no one knows (or even claims to know) from which siddur the Gra himself davened.November 2, 2015 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #1110553
Why is it so difficult establishing the nusach of the Gra? The Gra’s shul was standing in Vilna until WWII and surely his kehila where he davened, and was effectively the leader, continuously followed the same nusach as he did during his lifetime.November 2, 2015 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1110554
I think Joseph is starting to get at the answer to this with his last one-line comment. From what I’ve learned–correct me if I’m wrong–the Gra ruled on when Ashkenazim should defer to minhag hamakom in eretz Yisroel. For example, (again, correct me if I’m wrong) he held that Ashkenazim should not wrap tefillin on chol hamoed in eretz Yisroel as the prevailing minhag hamakom was not to (on account of the Sephardim). In short, I think those following minhag haGra in Israel would have different practices than those following it in the diaspora (can anyone confirm this?).
For the original poster: What specifically were you talking about when you thought of this question? In what cases do you find that Minhag haGra is followed by Ashkenazim in Israel (more so than it would be b’hutz).November 3, 2015 5:30 am at 5:30 am #1110555
Neville, you are wrong so I will correct you. The Gra held that Chol HaMoed is an ot and did not wear tefillin them. Those in Chul who follow his minhagim do not either. There are several questions where he simply agreed with the Bet Yosef such as how many berachotto say on tefillin and when to duchan.November 3, 2015 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #1110556zogt_besserParticipant
Avi is correct; see biur hagra orach chaim 31:2 where the gra spells this out.November 3, 2015 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1110557
There are plenty of places on the web to receive information about minhagei haGra, As has been correctly pointed out,there is tremendous variability in which minhagim are kept where, and to what extent.Almost all people who say they follow the Gra do not follow him to the absolute degree.
As an example, I know of no shul in Chutz La’aretz, and a very few here in Israel, that follow the Gra’s chalukat aliyot on Rosh Hodesh. Tukochinsky’s luach has this minhag as the proper way to lein, but almost no one does it.November 3, 2015 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #1110558
Thanks for the correction, Avi. I’m sorry for posting incorrect information here. This isn’t a subject I know too much about so I hope this thread stays alive; it’s very interesting.November 4, 2015 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #1110559
Hello Neville, I’ll try to keep it alive.
Here are two minhag haGra brachos that are universally said in Israel and not in chutz la’aretz (if there are exceptions, they prove the rule)
1. Shehecheyanu at every bris after the bracha lehachniso
2. Shir hashirim, Rut and Kohelet are read from a klaf with two brachot, al mikra megilla and shehecheyanu. Some read Eichah from a klaf with only al mikra megilla, most do not read Eichah from a klaf (no klaf, no bracha)November 4, 2015 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #1110560
Also Hallel in shul on leil Pesach, special shir hayom on moadim including Purim and Chanuka.November 4, 2015 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #1110561
Old Man: you mean they’re universally said in Israel by all following minhag haGra? Or by roughly all Ashkenazim?
Avi: Hallel in shul seems to be one of the most widely observed of the minhagim mentioned here so far. I know us Yekkes don’t do it because it goes against the Rema, but is the Gra really the main Ashkenazi proponent of it? I thought it was much more mainstream than minhag haGra.
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