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Rabbi Jonathan Blass30 Shevat 5763
274
Question
Shalom, I am in a bit of a dilema. I am S’fardi and I am looking to increase my Torah knowledge. There is no Torah teaching going on in my community so I have been searching for Torah teaching on the internet. All of the sites I have come across have been Ashkenazi. I have listened to some of the online shiurim and I am having problems understanding because of the different pronounciation. I know that we are all a part of Am Yisrael but I am concerned that I might loose some of my S’fardi minhagim. Is this a valid concern?
Answer
The most serious and pressing problem mentioned in your question is that you are living in a community with no Torah teaching. This probably means that there is no rabbi who can answer halachic questions on the spot. Often questions arise- as in the case of Shabbat observance or Family Purity- that cannot be put off. You should do what you can to rectify the situation. You should be able to access Israeli sites with Spharadi pronunciations (it is not difficult to adjust to any pronunciation). If a situation arises where you suspect that the Spharadi custom differs from that of the Ashkenazim, this can usually be clarified by addressing a question to the rav giving the Shiur (why not check out the options on this site both in Hebrew and in English and see if any can be of help to you?).
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