Hebrew | Francais

Search


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Tetzaveh 5780

Ask the Rabbi: Parashat Zachor with Different Pronunciations

Rav Daniel Mann

Question: My shul has always read Parashat Zachor once, with our regular havara (pronunciation). Some people now complain that we do not follow other shuls and read multiple times with different havarot to fulfill the mitzva according to more opinions and to do the mitzva properly for Sephardim. Should we change our minhag?  

 

Answer: Let us start with those Ashkenazim who want to fulfill the mitzva according to as many havarot as possible. Is there some logic to do this for Zachor and not for any other lainings and mitzvot? Among lainings, this is the (almost?) only one with a Torah-level obligation, which may warrant more strictness (see Yabia Omer, VI, Orach Chayim 11).

It may be different from the common Torah-level mitzvot involving speech. Most of them may be recited in any language, including Birkat Hamazon, Kri’at Shema, and tefilla (Sota 32a). Reciting a text in lashon hakodesh (halachically recognized Hebrew) with a different, recognized pronunciation is no worse than doing so in a different language (Teshuvot V’hanhagot I:154). In contrast, there seems to be an open question whether kri’at haTorah (see Berachot 13a), and especially Parashat Zachor (see Tosafot ad loc.), may be done in any language or only in lashon hakodesh. Thus, perhaps we have to be more careful about pronunciation in Parashat Zachor than Kri’at Shema for example.

However, besides the possibility that Parashat Zachor does not require lashon hakodesh at all, there are other reasons for leniency. The Magen Avraham (685, accepted by some) , says that one fulfills the mitzva of Zachor by reading the story of Amalek’s treachery from Parashat Beshalach. If no exact text is required to fulfill the mitzva, it is likely that the mitzva does not need to be performed in an exact manner but in one that gets the idea across.

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe, OC III,5) brings a strong proof that there is fundamental flexibility regarding havarot for mitzvot. The recitations that are part of chalitza must be recited in lashon hakodesh (Sota 32a). If the “wrong” havara is not a valid recitation, then if a woman did chalitza, with, for example, a Polish pronunciation, then a man from another eida would not be allowed to marry her. We should then be required to train women to do chalitza in many havarot to secure her future. Since this idea is not found in the poskim or practiced, we must count all havarot as lashon hakodesh.

The logic is that if this is the way people pronounce the words, it is considered a legitimate expression of the language. It is similar to the halacha (Megilla 24b) that one may not appoint a chazan who does not distinguish between the letters aleph and ayin (like almost all Ashkenazim), but it is permitted for the whole community to pronounce it that way (Mishna Berura 53:37). The approach that one is yotzei with a havara unlike one’s own is accepted by the great majority of poskim (see Yechaveh Da’at VI:19: Igrot Moshe ibid.; Moadim U’zmanim VI:97; Halichot Shlomo, Moadim I, 18:1; Yashiv Moshe [in the name of Rav Elyashiv] p. 11).

Actually, many of these poskim recommend, as a chumra, to try to hear Parashat Zachor in one’s own havara. What they suggest, though, is to go to a shul of one’s eida, to make a separate Sephardi minyan in an Ashkenazi yeshiva for Zachor, and to make sure the ba’al korei conforms to the shul’s minhag. We do not find in writing a major posek suggesting doing multiple readings in the same minyan. Several (Teshuvot V’hanhagot ibid.; Halichot Shlomo ibid.; Aseh Lecha Rav VI:22) mention hearing of such a new practice and consider it strange. They reject it as being disrespectful to the tzibbur, to the rest of our lainings, and/or to past generations who did not do such things. I would not criticize a minyan that decides to do so anyway (some fine places do), and there are circumstances in which there is a stronger argument (e.g., there is no minyan in the area of other eidot), but it is wrong to criticize the normal minhag for not adopting this innovation.

Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9  5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

  

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19     5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

 R' Gershon (George)

ben

Chayim HaCohen Kaplan

z"l

Adar II 6

 

R' Yehudah ben Naftali Hertz

Cohen (Kamofsky)

Adar II 12

 

 Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.