Switching, Changing, and Praying: Nusah Tefillah

Question:

May I switch nuschei tefillah on a daily basis? For example, may I daven nusach Ashkenaz today, nusach Eretz Yisrael tomorrow, and nusach HaRambam the next day? I find that alternating nusachim helps me keep my tefillah fresh and directed towards Hashem. Answer: One may use a different nusach tefillah every day. The Avudrahim and Rashba are two Rishonim who support such a mode of conduct.



Question:

What authorizes a Rabbi to make a decision to use a nusah? Don't we need the Sanhedrin?


Answer:

Hazal never state precisely which words one must utter from beginning to end. This is true of Birkath haMazon, Tefilath Shemone ‘Esre, Birkoth Kriyath Shema etc. There are many clear proofs of this fact which I omit here.


The statements of the Hakhamim indicate that one must mention certain ideas in certain berakhoth, or that one must end (the hathima) must consist of certain words (see TB Berakhoth 48b-49a); otherwise, the overall text of the berakoth are a matter of personal choice and preference, which are a function of one’s command of Hebrew, knowledge of pesukim etc.



Question:

I live in Eretz Yisrael. Does it matter if I daven Nusach Eress Yisrael or one of the more common nuschaot?


Answer:

In principle, one may daven any nusah one wishes. One fulfills one's obligation with all nushaoth. For various reasons we encourage Jews everywhere, and particularly those privileged to reside in EY, to daven Nusah Eress Yisrael. A with many aspects of the Tora, NEY can only be truly appreciated by the practitioner as opposed to the theoretician. So be warned: Once you start davening NEY, you may find it difficult to stop!



Question:

If I am using nusach Ashkenaz is there a problem if I end the the last bracha of the shmoneh esre with the hatima?

Answer: There is no problem with using the hatima from nusach eretz yisrael in the final bracha of the shmoneh esre if you are davening one of the nuschei bavel.



Question:

If I am asked to be a shaliach tzibbur should I daven nusach eretz yisrael?


Answer:

One should only daven nusach eretz yisrael as a shaliach tzibbur if one is certain that doing so is acceptable to the tzibbur which is sending you as a shaliach.

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