Davening with a Minyan That Uses a Different Nusach

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General - Lo Titgodedu


See the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah Siman 68 for an essay that has much value for Ashkenazim in these situations.

  1. One who is shaliach Tzibbur should pray according to the established nusach of the Minyan. In complicated circumstances, such as if someone wants to lead the Minyan as Shaliach Tzibbur but himself uses a different Nusach other than Ashkenaz, some say it's best for the tizbbur to be mochel and allow a Shaliach Tzibbur to pray in a different nusach. This avoids violating the Torah prohibition of engaging in Machloket and is especially true when doing so could bring people closer to Torah and Mitzvot and the opposite could distance people from Torah and Mitzvot.[1]

Praying with Nusach Sephard

Praying with Edot HaMizrach (Sephardim)

Sephardim Praying with Ashkenazim

Pronunciation (Havara) & Nusach

  1. One may not change his pronunciation of the words to that of the Ashkenazim. The Sephardic tradition has roots going back generations and should not be shirked, even when praying with Ashkenazim;[2] Ashkenazim may, however, choose to pray in the Sephardi pronunciation.[3]
  2. The Chida writes how the Sephardic Nusach is laden with more Kabbalistic secrets than the Ashkenazi one, and, according to the Arizal, has more routes to Heaven. Therefore, Ashkenazim can switch to Nusach Edot HaMizrach.[4]
  3. In general, one should have a separate Minyan for Sephardim to pray according to their tradition, especially for Yamim Noraim.[5]
  4. One who does have to pray with Ashkenazim should recite the Sephardic Nusach as he usually does,[6] even on Yamim Noraim.[7]


See Tzitzit: Tuck In or Out


  1. According to the Arizal and Sephardi Poskim, one should cover his head with his Tallit for the entire Tefillah. In contrast, Ashkenazi Bachurim mostly don’t even wear a Tallit, let alone cover their heads, so the Sephardim will definitely stand out. Therefore, some recommend Bachurim not be machmir and observe Minhagei Ari that draw attention to them as a Yachid among a Rabbim, even though in this case it might even be appropriate according to Halacha, as well.[8]


  1. One should still put on his Tefillin Shel Yad as normal, even though Ashkenazim stand for both Shel Yad and Shel Rosh.[9]
  2. If one hears an Ashkenazi recite the Beracha of Al Mitzvat Tefillin on Tefillin Shel Rosh (without having talked after putting on the Shel Yad), he should not answer Amen, but it's praiseworthy to answer in one's thoughts.[10]
  3. One should not don Tefillin written according to Ashkenazi custom. If he has nothing else, he should still not recite a Beracha on them. However, Chabad Tefillin may be worn with a Beracha.[11]

Seder HaTefillah

  1. Some say that a Sephardi should try to daven Pesukei Dzimrah and Birchot Kriyat Shema the nusach Ashkenaz when davening in an Ashkenazic shul his deviation won't be noticeable in the event that he davens aloud. If he can't he should use the Sephardic nusach quietly.[12] However, Sephardic poskim allow saying the Sephardic nusach quietly.[13]
  2. One should daven the silent Shemona Esrei according to his own nusach.[14]
  3. According to Sephardim, one recites Kedushah according to the Sephardic Nusach, not the Ashkenazi one.[15] According to Ashkenazim, the introduction to kedusha which people say along with the chazzan should be said according to the nusach of the congregation. Saying one's own nusach isn't considered kedusha with a minyan.[16]
  4. Since the Rambam considers it a Beracha Levatala, one may not answer Amen to the Berachot recited by Ashkenazim on Hallel on Rosh Chodesh.[17]
  5. One need not recite the 13 Middot (with the trop) each time during the long Tachanun on Mondays and Thursdays. He should suffice with just the first time after Vidui and at all subsequent locations finish the paragraph of El Melech with "וכן כתוב בתורתך".[18]
  6. Ashkenazim recite Berikh Shemeh whenever they take out the Torah, while Sephardim only recite it on days when Mussaf is recited. If one is in a part of davening in which he may interrupt, it's worthwhile for him to stop and join the Ashkenazim in Berikh Shemeh.[19]
  7. One should read the Haftarah himself with the Sephardic pronunciation and not let the Ashkenazi Shliach Tzibbur do it for him.[20]
  8. Ashkenazim recite Aleinu after Uva LeTzion, before Shir Shel Yom, which is not the order accepted by Sephardim Kabbalistically. Therefore, one should continue praying as usual when the Ashkenazi Minyan he's in recites Aleinu and not change the order, which is firmly rooted in Kabbalah. If the entire Tzibbur is standing, then he should stand and bow appropriately, too, so he doesn't stand out by sitting.[21] Some say that one should recite Aleinu with them, then continue as usual, and then recite Aleinu again at the right location.[22]
  9. One should arrive a few minutes early to Mincha in order to recite Lamnatzeach and Pitum HaKetoret. If time is short, one can skip Ashrei and say it afterwards.[23]
  10. If given Shelishi at Mincha on a fast day, one may accept the Aliyah and read the Haftarah with the Berachot.[24]
  11. One should make an effort to hear Parshat Zachor in the Sephardic pronunciation and from a Sephardic Sefer Torah.[25]
  12. Regarding Selichot, see Chodesh Elul, Selichot With a Minyan that Uses a Different Nusach

Shaliach Tzibbur


  1. One who is in mourning and wishes to lead the Tefillah in an Ashkenazi Minyan should first seek the approval of the Ashkenazim to pray Nusach Edot HaMizrach. If they do not acquiesce, according to some he should not be Shaliach Tzibbur.[26]
  2. If one is Shaliach Tzibbur in an Ashkenazi Minyan, he must recite all parts said aloud according to the Ashkenazi Nusach, but parts said quietly should be said according to the Sephardic one.[27]

Other Parts of Tefillah

  1. One may recite Hodu after Baruch She'amar.[28]
  2. One may not recite the Beracha on Hallel on Rosh Chodesh but must rather allow one of the congregants to recite it for everyone instead.[29]


Reciting Mourner's Kaddish

  1. The Sephardic Kaddish is recited with all of its highlights and nuances, except one may shorten "Yehe Shelama Rabbah" if reciting Kaddish with Ashkenazi mourners so that they conclude together.[30]

Sitting During Kaddish and Barechu

  1. It's proper to stand for Kaddish and Barechu so that one is not sitting between all those who are standing.[31] IF there are people sitting, though, such as elderly individuals, then one may also remain seated.[32]


  1. One should answer "Amen" to "Brikh Hu" as usual.[33]

Further Reading

  • Banim Chavivim by Rav Eli Yanai
  • Shu"t Marot Yesharim (vol. 1 Siman 3) by Rav Yehia Teboul, Av Beit Din of Lyon, regarding standing for Aleinu and general practices for when praying with Ashkenazim.


  1. See Rav Moshe Rosen's Nezer HaKodesh veShut Siman 12. The Lubavitcher Rebbe agreed with his conclusion. (Zichron Moshe by Rav Hillel Litwack page 41)
  2. Chazon Ovadia (Yamim Noraim, page 83), Yalkut Yosef 56:25, 101:4-5, Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2 Perek 5 Teshuvah 11, Perek 7 Teshuvah 38)
  3. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 101:12, see Shalmei Moed page 36
  4. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 101:7
  5. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 582:1. It's recorded in the name of Rav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul that one should pray where he will have more Kavanna and Hitlahavut. (Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 4 Perek 4 Teshuvah 5))
  6. Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2 Perek 5 Teshuvah 11)
  7. Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 4 Perek 4 Teshuvah 5)
  8. Shu"t Vayashov HaYam vol. 1 Siman 5 Ot 5. There, Rav Yaakov Hillel gives a general advisory to Sephardi Yeshiva Bachurim learning in Ashkenazi Yeshivot: Don’t get caught up in attention-seeking endeavors, making a big deal out of small differences to get self-fulfillment and a false sense of success instead of investing further in their learning. Also, other Bachurim get drawn into this through peer pressure, like a little brother copying his older brother, and then they get broken from being weaker. The purpose of Yeshiva is to build a lasting foundation for his spiritual future, through learning, Yirat Shamayim, Tikkun HaMiddot, and Kiyum HaMitzvot, and nothing more, like his friends. Anything else that distracts him from this goal is a ploy of the Yetzer Hara. When one gets older, he can observe the praiseworthy Minhagim and more the Minhagei HaMekkubalim behiddur. The Chida says the Ikar Avodah is to keep the Ikarim and be mosif, not degrade the ikkar and keep the extra.
  9. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 25:70
  10. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 25:54, 422:4
  11. Shu"t Yechave Da'at (vol. 4 Siman 3), Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2 Perek 3 Teshuvah 7)
  12. Igrot Moshe OC 2:23
  13. Yalkut Yosef (Tefillah v. 1 pp. 399-403), Yabia Omer O.C. 6:10
  14. Igrot Moshe OC 2:23
  15. Yalkut Yosef 101:10
  16. Igrot Moshe OC 2:23
  17. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 422:4
  18. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 134:"Seder vehu Rachum":4, Halacha Berurah 131:19. See Igrot Moshe OC 4:34 who writes that a Sephardi may not do vidduy with hitting one's chest in an Ashkenazic minyan since it is noticeably different.
  19. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 134:"Seder Hotza'at veHagbaat HaSefer Torah":6
  20. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144:2
  21. Shu"t VaYashov HaYam (vol. 1 Siman 5, note how he concludes that one's goal in Yeshiva is to grow in Talmud Torah and Yirat Shamayim, not take small differences and grab everyone's attention by making a big deal about them), Shu"t Birkat Ephraim (Ben Porat, vol. 1 Siman 5), Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 132:20, Halacha Berurah 132:15
  22. Shu"t Ohr LeTzion vol. 2 page 78 in the footnote
  23. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 233:12
  24. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144:23. There's either more room to be stringent and try to avoid the situation on Tzom Gedaliah or a contradiction in Yalkut Yosef. See Yabia Omer (vol. 10 Orach Chaim 44) and Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 601:4
  25. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 685:12
  26. Yalkut Yosef 101:11
  27. Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2 Perek 5 Teshuvah 11, Perek 7 Teshuvah 38)
  28. Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2 Perek 5 Teshuvah 1)
  29. Yabia Omer (vol. 1 Siman 29:6-9, vol. 4 Siman 9:6, vol. 8 Siman 23:11), Yechave Da'at (vol. 4 Siman 31), Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 422:3
  30. Yalkut Yosef (Tefillah 56:25, Yoreh Deah 30:57), Shu"t Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2 Perek 5 Teshuvah 11)
  31. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 56:11
  32. Ohr LeTzion 2:5:9
  33. Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 30:48