When I was in yeshiva, we'd get together ten guys and then one person would approach and say:

אם נתחייבתי בנידוי, הרי אני מבקש התרה ממעלתכם
If I have been liable of excommunication, I hereby request release from your excellencies

And they respond:

מותר לך, מותר לך, מותר לך
Released for you, released for you, released for you

But I haven't seen this in print, or anywhere other than yeshiva (and just one yeshiva, I think?) Does anyone know more about this practice?

  • 2
    Were there a lot of excommunications where you went to y'shiva?
    – WAF
    Sep 8 '10 at 15:37
  • One guy even said "If I have been liable of excommunication, Heaven forbid, ..."
    – Shalom
    Sep 8 '10 at 15:40
  • 1
    We did it in all the Yeshivos I went to and we do it in our shul as well.
    – Yahu
    Sep 8 '10 at 16:03
  • 2
    Yahu, I think that is an answer.
    – WAF
    Sep 8 '10 at 17:04
  • WAF, You are right so I posted it with more details below!
    – Yahu
    Sep 8 '10 at 20:59

We did it in all the Yeshivos I went to and we do it in our shul as well. I remember, as a small boy, seeing HaRav Baruch Milikovsky gathering men and students in T.A. to do Hataras Nidui. They also did it in Detroit by Rav Leib Bakst. I saw it done in Bais Yisrael as well as in the Mir (Yerushalayim). Common denominator between all these people and yeshivos: All students of the Mirrer Yeshivah, either in Poland or Eretz Yisrael.


Sefer Haminhaggim (Chabad) writes that the custom is to do Hataras Nedarim with 10 (probably because of Nidui)

  • 2
    I don't think that's it, since Minhag Chabad is also to not say the "Seder Nezifah" (which is hataras nidui under another name, essentially).
    – Alex
    Oct 8 '10 at 14:40
  • @Alex: What does Nezifah mean?
    – Menachem
    Jul 3 '11 at 21:49
  • 1
    @Menachem: something like "condemnation" (as in Avos 6:2, שכל מי שאינו עוסק בתורה נקרא נזוף). The Alter Rebbe's siddur does contain Seder Nezifah, and you can see there that it is used as a synonym for excommunication.
    – Alex
    Jul 4 '11 at 3:24

In the Alter Rebbe's siddur Alex linked to in a comment here, A similar idea, called "Seder Nezifa" (Order of Condemnation) is performed. It's is found in the Siddur of the Shelah and Arizal (see here for sources). In it, the person accepts condemnation upon himself, and then asks the Beis Din to remove the condemnation, which they do.

The Mateh Efraim, Avodat Hakodesh, and the Sha'arei Teshuva are quoted as saying (see here for sources) that many people don't do this now days, since we don't know if the people we are asking to release us from excommunication are fit to do it. The Avodat Hakodesh also quotes a Zohar that says someone who was condemned his prayers do not ascend to Heaven for 40 days.

Minhag Chabad is not to say the Seder Nezifah (see footnote 17 here).

All that being said, the nusach quoted in the question does not have the person accepting condemnation upon himself. Instead he is asking to be released from excommunication, should he need it. Perhaps that is different, although it would seem that the worry of the Mateh Efraim and the Avodat Hakodesh would still apply.

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