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By all means vote for this closed if it is not your experience (and therefore "opinion based") but why do shuls not announce which directions in which order we shake the arba minim according to the shul's nusach? Like we have a few announcements before shofar explaining the halachot as well as local Minhag, but when it comes to this i.e. Arba minim, it seems in all the dozens of orthodox shuls I've been to, there is no announcement but everyone still manages to collectively settle on a certain order together..

It's not something like a sefardi Ashkenazi divide that I am simply being "dyslexic" about either. I've been in many of both, and the nusach varies unpredictability even within these broad categories.

I somehow suspect this is a good "homework" question that might get some essays as answer (or not), either way I hope it's an interesting question to some degree! I am not really in the world of gabbaim and organising a service so if it's a very simple and clear answer I also won't be shocked!

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    In my experience it’s a divide between nusach ashkenaz on one side, and nusach sefard and sefardi/edot hamizrach on the other
    – Joel K
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 20:12
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    Happy to admit my memory and my attention are wanting but within these categories I've found unpredictable variation @JoelK
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 20:20
  • I see people doing lots of different things in the same shul.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 2:05
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    @JoelK Dunno, really. Some people seem to make a full turn of their bodies 360 degrees. Some turn their bodies to the sides, some just move the lulav... Then there's the issue of the order of the six directions which is I guess what you're discussing. I haven't actually paid enough attention.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 1:17
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    Perhaps because the shofar announcement (primarily, please don't talk) adds to decorum so shul rabbis are motivated to do it
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:14

1 Answer 1

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I think the simple answer is that the shuls mostly don't worry about which way people circle the lulavim. It would be similar to how the custom is developing/has developed on wearing tefillin Chol Hamoed. R' Moshe zt"l said (source?) that a shul needs a uniform minhag because of לא תתגודדו, but no one I know does it that way. The shul where I daven people just do it both ways, with the people not separated at all. The same is certainly true about davening Nusach Ashkenaz/Nasuch Sefard - people do whatever they do. In some places in Eretz Yisrael that even applies to the shaliach tzibbur.

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    The mishna sefaria.org/Mishnah_Sukkah.3.9 already reports different waving practices in a single shul
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:12
  • @DoubleAA Interesting example. Is that a kashya on Reb Moshe?
    – MichoelR
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:18
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    No. Tefillin is a halacha not a minhag. And it's not R Moshe but virtually all acharonim. The chasidim who tried to drop tefillin from the universal ashkenazi practice were not very welcome.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:21
  • @DoubleAA Talmidim of the Gr"a, what did they do?
    – MichoelR
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:31
  • MichoelR in Europe essentially nothing. In Israel the ones who came were able to pretty successfully adopt the practice of the local sefardi population. (There are many other sefardi practices that made there way into "common" Israeli ashkenazi practice (morid hatal, duchening, hoshanot after hallel, various tachanun days, omitting baruch hashem leolam, and many many more) and it's not very clear historically how conscious any of those changes were.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:48

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