In meseches Megillah (daf 24b):

אמר רב אסי חיפני (ובשיני) לא ישא את כפיו תניא נמי הכי אין מורידין לפני התיבה לא אנשי בית שאן ולא אנשי בית חיפה ולא אנשי טבעונין מפני שקורין לאלפין עיינין ולעיינין אלפין In my own translation- Rav assi said: the kohanim of Haifa and bishan (Beit she’an) should not duchan. The braisa agrees, and says: the people of Beit she’an, Haifa, and tivonin shouldn’t be shat”z, because they mistake ע and א.

According to this, most ashkenazi should not be allowed to be a shat”z, because they pronounce ע and א the same!
Does anyone know any heiterim, or sources that talk about this gemara?


1 Answer 1


The Halocho is to be found in Sh O, O Ch 53 (12) who paskens like the gemoro

אין ממנין מי שקור' לאלפי"ן עייני"ן ולעייני"ן אלפי"ן:

One should not appoint a person [to be leader] who reads "aleph"s like "ayin"s and "ayin"s like "aleph"s.

The Mishna Beruro (37) says {excerpt}

ואם כולם מדברים כך מותר להיות ש"ץ [מ"א בשם הרדב"ז]

And if everyone speaks in that way, then it is allowed to have such a person as prayer leader (Mogen Avrohom in the name of the Radba”z).

So the Mishna Beruro allows an Ashkenazi should be a Shat”z where there is no one around who can speak correctly. I have heard an Ashenazi who pronounces the Ayin properly.

  • While your reference directly relates to OP’s question, the premise to OP’s question is codified in 128:33 (where MB makes the same exception).
    – Oliver
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 12:32

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