The Alenu is part of our daily liturgy. It says:

It is our duty to praise the Master of all... who has not made us like the nations of the lands, nor placed us like the families of the earth; who has not made our portion like theirs, nor our destiny like all their multitudes.

What follows has been historically censored:

שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶבֶל וָרִיק וּמִתְפַּלְלִים אֶל אֵל לֹא יוֹשִׁיעַ -- For they worship vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god who cannot save.

Commentators have noted that "and emptiness" has the same gematria as Jesus; and "vanity and emptiness" has the same gematria as "Jesus and Mohammed". So Christian authorities forced Ashkenazic Jews to omit the sentence. In some editions, a blank line was left, so the missing line could be added by hand. Muslims didn't see it as offensive, and the line never left Sephardic siddurim.

I know that in some current Ashkenazic siddurim the line has been restored. Is restoring the line now the universal practice in new siddurim, especially in Israel? What does your siddur do?

  • 4
    I'm not sure your second to last sentence can be answered, and I'm not sure your last sentence is a proper question for this site.
    – Alex
    Aug 2, 2020 at 2:51
  • In Making of a Godol p. 781 it is reported that R. Yaakov Kamenetzky was asked about saying this line and he responded that R. Dovid Leibowitz as chazzan for Mussaf on Rosh Hashanah in Slabodka said it and thus we should certainly say it.
    – Alex
    Aug 2, 2020 at 3:00
  • 2
    @Alex Although from what I've seen (an admittedly small sample size), even places that don't say that line regularly during the year still include that line in the Yamim Noraim davening. Aug 2, 2020 at 3:33
  • @Salmononius2 Interesting, because it sounds like the question posed to R. Yaakov was about saying it regularly and yet he brought a proof from Rosh Hashana.
    – Alex
    Aug 2, 2020 at 3:38
  • 1
    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/86712/15256 Aug 2, 2020 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


As is known, artscroll has the line in parenthesis. This is true even in recent Israeli editions (e.g., their Ner Naftali siddur).

However five Israeli siddurim I consulted (Koren, Rinat Israel, the brand new Yachad Shivtei Israel, Eit Ratzon and the Tehilot Israel Hashalem) all have the line without parenthesis.

I remember asking the question 15 years ago to a Rav and being told to say the line.

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