It seems like (other than Chabad) most people do not say Al Tira at the end of davening - they finish with the end of Aleinu/V'Al Kein. Is this an error or is this intentional? If it is intentional then why do we skip it and why do the Sidurim print it?

  • Most people don't, perhaps, but certainly many of those who use nusach S'farad do. (I know I do, because my father does. But we do it before kadish, unlike nusach Haari which does it after.)
    – msh210
    Oct 29, 2010 at 3:46
  • Nusach Sefard says it almost universally, although I've seen that we tend to say it quietly rather than together as Chabad does.
    – yoel
    Nov 21, 2011 at 2:53

2 Answers 2


First you need to determine if the original custom was to say it at the end of Aleinu in the first place. There is an article on exactly this subject in Hakirah (Vol 10).


It is really hard to determine what is an error when dealing with an area that is primarily down to Minhag. For instance, in the case at hand, the oldest siddurim(those of Reb Amram HaGaon and Reb Saadia HaGaon) end with Aleinu, as does the siddur of the Mekubalim, and the actual siddur of the Arizal(which was recently published in photostat with facing pages in modern typeset but unfortunately currently found online).

However, for reasons not entirely clear, the Hida added the posuk of Shema Yisrael after Aleinu, and this was primarily adopted by Sephardim.

When exactly "Al Tira" was added to the Ashkenazi siddur, I am not certain. However, like Piyyutim and other things it would be more a matter of individual communal practice. Most modern Siddurim are no longer published by their individual communities, or for individual communities, most are not published to meet the largest possible population, and thus often include things normally excluded by some communities. For instance every Sephardi Siddur has Lekha Dodi as part of Kabbalat Shabbat, even though a large portion of the Sephardic population never says it.

It is not written(to my knowledge) in the Shulhan Arukh to say Al Tira, after Aleinu, so I am going to say that it is a minhag, and thus it is not an error to skip it, but neither is it an error for Siddurim today to be published for with inclusiveness in mind.

  • 1
    According to Dayan Raskin's notes on R' Shneur Zalman's Siddur, the origin of the custom goes back to R' Shlomo Alkabetz in Manos Halevi. It was actually added to the siddur by the Shaloh and R' Yaakov Emden.
    – Alex
    Oct 29, 2010 at 14:13
  • That is an interesting note to be sure. However, no Sephardim follow that minhag, and many of his additions(Lekha Dodi for example) were simply ignored by the mekubalim. Shlomo Alkabetz was by all means a Sephardi. So we have a source that a Rav made the initial leap 500yrs ago. When did it transfer to the Ashkenazim? Was it ever universally accepted? Oct 30, 2010 at 16:13
  • @mekubal: I have a siddur by R' Yaakov Hillel who mentions sources and minhagim among particular Sephardim (e.g. Provence) to say these paseukim.
    – Chanoch
    Oct 31, 2010 at 3:10
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    Siddur HaHida correct? The issue for me there is that Provence is now a district of France and was until just a handful of years before the French Inquisition a holding of Germany, and thus definitely Ashkenaz. The Jews that later resettled there were definitely Ashkenaz. Traditionally when speaking of Sephardim we speak of Spanish, Potugese, Recanati, Romaniote, North African and Edot Mizrah. Rav Hillel does point in the same note to two Recanati Rabbanim who tried unsuccessfully to institute the custom... but that does not make it Sephardi. Oct 31, 2010 at 3:52

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