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  • Halacha
  • The Chazzan

Praying

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

1 Elul 5763
Question
Shalom. As a Spharadi Jew, is a common practice, for some Spharadi Jews to pray following the Ashkenazi rite and pray with an Ashkenazi congregation? Is it in anyway wrong to do such?
Answer
If you are praying with an Ashkenazi congregation, many Poskim feel that those parts of the prayers that you say aloud (even sometimes) you should recite like the rest of the congregation so as not to create a conflict. If you are the Chazzan, you should certainly pray according to the tradition of the congregation. The Shmone Esre that you say silently you should pray according to the custom of your forefathers unless you have become so accustomed to the Askenazi tradition that praying according to the Spharadi custom would interfere with the "Kavana"[=intent and devotion] of your prayers.
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