[Avodah] mixing nusach hatfila

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 21:00:51 PST 2018

R' Joel Rich asked:

> Strange to me: In Shtiblach I’ve gotten used to the nusach being
> determined by the Shatz. Since the psak I follow is R’Moshe, I
> sneak a peek at the Shatz’s siddur to determine what kedusha to
> say. I’ve gotten used to the eidot hamizrach folks saying their
> own kaddish no matter what the shatz does, but today I was really
> surprised. At mincha, the shatz was ashkenaz but said the 13
> middot! I asked him afterwards and he told me this was the shul,
> minhag due to shalom bayit. [BTW – I’m told that R’OY held bnai
> eidot hamizrach should say the 13 middot privately with trop at
> an ashkenazi minyan.] Is anyone aware of halachic sources that
> deal with the question of mixed nusach?

When I read this, I found myself wondering what Rav Moshe Feinstein
might have said about such minyanim, so I decided to use the Yad Moshe
of listmember R' Daniel Eidensohn to review R' Moshe's psakim on this

As it turns out (and I would not have known this without the Yad
Moshe), there *is* a teshuva which speaks directly about minyanim of
mixed nusach. Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim vol 5 Siman 37, is a
collection of several teshuvos addressed to Rav Moshe's grandson, Rav
Mordechai Tendler. It is dated 17 Marcheshvan 5781 (autumn 1980). The
fifth of those teshuvos is titled "If there is a kepeida [i.e., should
one be makpid] not to daven in a tzibur that the minhag there is that
each one davens in another nusach." I will try to translate it for

"So, there are two places before you to go to daven. One is many shuls
[all together] in a large building, where there is no established
Nusach Tefila. Rather, whoever goes up to the amud, davens in the
nusach he is used to, and all the daveners act as they want, each one
according to his habit. The second [place] is an established shul,
where they daven in the nusach of the chassidim from Poland and
Hungary, but all of them the same. It is pashut, in my opinion, that
the small differences which exist between the nuschaos, are not
considered anything in halacha [lo nechshavin l'dina klum], and one
can daven in the first tzibur, and it does not constitute Lo
Tisgod'du, because everyone knows [yadua l'kol] that there's no
halachic distinction in them. And especially, because everything, each
individual doesn't raise his voice so much that others would know what
he's davening, and the Shmoneh Esreh is said silently. The words of
Kedusha, that this one says Nekadesh and that one says Nakdishach,
since there's no real need for the congregation to say this at all, as
found at the beginning of Siman 125, there's definitely no Lo
Tisgod'du, nor any fear of machlokes, even though it would certainly
be best to use the wording that the Shliach Tzibur is saying.
Therefore, there is no difference, in my opinion. (And see what was
written in Igros Moshe Orach Chayim volume 2 Siman 24, beginning "Umah
Shehatefilin", and Siman 104, that in a place that does have an
established nusach, one has to say whatever is said out loud in the
nusach of the congregation.)"

Please note that the last section, which I put in parentheses, appears
in the Igros Moshe in parentheses and also in a smaller font. If I
remember correctly, that means it was not in the original teshuva
written by Rav Moshe himself, but was added by the family members who
edited the volume.

In addition to the two teshuvos mentioned in that last section, I
would also add Orach Chayim vol 2, Siman 23. Another interesting one
is OC vol 4 Siman 33, which does not discuss how to daven in a
different-nusach shul, but it does discuss acquiring membership in
such a shul.

Akiva Miller

More information about the Avodah mailing list