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One of the lines in Avinu Malkeinu reads אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ נְקוֹם לְעֵינֵינוּ נִקְמַת דַּם־עֲבָדֶיךָ הַשָּׁפוּךְ:

This seems to be based on the passuk in Tehillim 79:10 that says לָ֤מָּה ׀ יֹאמְר֣וּ הַגּוֹיִם֮ אַיֵּ֪ה אֱ‍ֽלֹהֵ֫יהֶ֥ם יִוָּדַ֣ע בגיים [בַּגּוֹיִ֣ם] לְעֵינֵ֑ינוּ נִ֝קְמַ֗ת דַּֽם־עֲבָדֶ֥יךָ הַשָּׁפֽוּךְ׃

Some siddurim don't contain the word לְעֵינֵ֑ינוּ and others do. It seems to depend on the printer more than the nusach: Ashkenaz vs Sefard. I am trying to find more information as to why we would not say לְעֵינֵינוּ even though it says it in the passuk.

Is it because we don't want to traumatize ourselves seeing the bad befall our enemies? If the passuk says it, why would we change it in the Tefillah?

The siddurim that I saw that have the word לְעֵינֵינוּ are Otzar HaTefillos and Artscroll (Ashkenaz and Sefard).

The siddurim that I saw that don't have the word לְעֵינֵינוּ are Ishei Yisroel (GR"A), Rav Yaakov Emden's Siddur, and Siddur Chabad.

It is interesting that when I searched sefaria, I found that Metsuda siddur has the word לְעֵינֵינוּ and the machzor doesn't.

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  • Censors didn't want to be attacked anytime soon. Kinda funny that the censors didn't mind doing the censoring but were afraid if the Jews prayed for their downfall it would happen.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 4:25
  • @DoubleAA Well they didn't have to fear it'll happen to be offended by calls for their demise.
    – shmosel
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 4:37

1 Answer 1

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Harav Avraham Chaim Naeh, in his sefer קונטרס התפלה, notes that according to old Chabad siddurim and others, the authentic nusach is with the word לעינינו. However, the word was taken out in newer siddurim because of censorship.

Furthermore, he highlights this omission by the Shachris prayer "Av Harachmim" on Shabbos as well, quoting the Siddur Avodas Yisroel to the same effect.

[It's worth noting that the Siddur Avodas Yisroel offers a different explanation for the absence of "לעינינו" in the prayer "אבינו מלכנו." Instead of attributing it to the censor, he says he came across an old siddur which omits the word "לעינינו." He suggests due to a "טעם ידוע למבין."

In the introduction of his work, the Avodas Yisroel also mentions that there are individuals who, in order to align with the age of Yitzchak, remove the entire stanza, reducing the count to 37.]

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  • Note in Av Harachamim the original uncensored version is נקום בימינו לעינינו נקמת דם עבדיו השפוך, and thus had two words censored.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 4:28

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