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Nusach Ashkenaz


Rabbi David Sperling

Tishrei 19, 5780
Whats Nusach Ashkenaz? Thank you.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. In short, Nusach Ashkenaz refers to the version (“nusach”) of the prayer service used by (many) Ashkenazi Jews (those from European background). Over the course of our long diaspora, different communities introduced slight variations to the three daily prayer services. Even though the main features of the service remained common to all communities (saying the Shema, the silent devotion (Amidah) and Torah reading), slight changes to the wording and order of the different prayers came to be part of each communities worship. The two major customs – although there are tens of sub-types – are Ashkenazi and Serphadi or Adut HaMizrach. These represent two main sections of the Jewish world. The Ashkenazi version itself was later sub-divided by the raise of the Hassidic movement who started to use their own version of the prayer book, called today Nusach Sephard (as opposed to Sephardi, or Adut HaMizrach), which is mostly standard Nusach Ashkenaz, with some changes taken from the Serphadi version. I hope this is of help to you - Blessings.
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