Monday, April 24, 2017

Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:24

Behold it is known that all the people of Poland, Hungary, and Russia...are children of Ashkenaz even Chasidim. And until Chasidus spread they all prayed with nusach Ashkenaz. However, the Chasidic leaders lead them to pray in a different nusach with various changes...They changed the customs of their ancestors and our great rabbis of Germany and France. The reason for the change is not clear nor how they permitted a change from the established nusach....If one desires to change back and pray in nusach Ashkenaz, since it is the nusach of our ancestors and rabbis, he is permitted as he is returning to what once was.


  1. This teshuva is as famous as much as it is sensible. Nevertheless, I'm not sure why it is worth beating this drum. TIDE is a way of life that enables Jews to properly engage with the world, and if lived properly, can enlighten the masses and serve to solve many problems in our communities. R. Hirsch likely intended for his hashkafa to he practiced by all who can benefit from it; namely all who do not live in a gehtto. As such, TIDE is definitely something worth spreading. People's minhagim, on the other hand, are generally not causing much strife to our society. A person's nusach or approach to machine matzohs do not inherently impede on his avodas HaShem and outlook of what avodas Hashem is. So let him be.

    1. This teshuvah is all about minhag ashkenaz, nothing to do with TIDE. And not everybody knows about the teshuvah. I know that because many times I have told people about it and they hadn't heard of it and were thrilled to see it. This blog is more for the masses than the professors. If information is new to most people I'm happy to share it even if the experts yawn. Now there are people who keep minhag lita or sefard and are attracted to minhag ashkenaz and didn't know they are permitted to switch non other than by Reb Moshe. Side note, I don't see what's not sensible about it. His message is pretty clear.

    2. To clarify, by "is famous as much as it is sensible" I meant that it is very sensible just as it is very famous. It certainly makes sense to say that of the possible reasons to be hesitant to switch to Ashkenaz, mesora is not an issue, as at some point your ancestor likely davened Ashkenaz as well. Sorry for not being clearer. My point essentially was that I don't understand why some adherents of TIDE try to go so far as to preach minhag Ashkenaz to others. As you said, the two are not inherently related. The teshuva is interesting though, thank you for sharing.

    3. Oh my bad. I misread your words. I have read so many sarcastic comments on the internet I have come to see it where is isn't I guess.

      I had no idea that TIDE people were pushing minhag ashkenaz. Most of the MA people I know in Israel aren't TIDE even though they respect Hirsch.

      Most of the hardcore MA people I know would be happy to see Yekkes keep MA, and by Yekkes I mean people with grandfathers from Germany.

      I often feel like an intruder keeping MA, my grandparents coming from Ukraine and my last name not sounding German at all.

      Yes, TIDE is independent of MA. As Rav Humburger once told me, you could be a Yemenite and be interested in TIDE.

      I don't think that I preach MA. I just love it and talk about what I love. I do feel as well that MA enhances TIDE because MA like TIDE is very balanced, practical, and beautiful.