Ask the rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • Conversion

Converts and Nusach


Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

16 Nisan 5765
Rabbi; I’m a convert (al pi halacha) and I am confused as to what I’m supposed to do with regards to selecting a nusach. My community is Chabad and is the only Orthodox shul in town, but due to their certain teachings (ie: Rebbe is Moshiach), I am reluctant to pick up their minhagim and thus associate with them. Since my family obviously has no nusach/minhagim, can I just randomly pick one and are there any issues associated with davening a different nusach than the congregation?
The halacha does not mandate a specific way of choosing minhag or nusach. You should aim with an identification with community (not necessarily the shul you doven in, but a wider community, whether Chassidic, Sepherdic, or what have you) which is halachically valid and will help you realize your spiritual goals. While total conformity with a particular community is not always possible, I think a sense of identification is important. I would certainly suggest that at the outset you do what feels right, while finding a competant Rabbinic guide to help you choose. If you tell me where you are we might be able to find someone close to home to work with. Much success!
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