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The shatz in shul seems to have been taught a different pronunciation from what I learned. I learned that the word "קדוש" is pronounced ka-dosh and he said it as "kadoysh."

In fact, he inserted a yod after many vav (o) sounds (tish-ba-choys, shoychen). I understand that the people pronounce a tav/sav differently because there is a tradition that the two letters were pronounced differently in the old days and that distinction can be important.

What linguistic history necessitates the introduction of the Y sound? It sounded to me like the vestige of an Eastern European tradition borne from accent (which I have heard when people talk about "toiveling" and, only partially tongue in cheek, at 1:48 of this video), not the letters. But if that is so, isn't the shaliach tzibbur saying a different word?

If the davening text has the letters "כֹּה אָמַר ה'" and the shatz says "koy" he ends up saying "קוי" which refers to something else entirely. If his accent has him pronounce "elokeynu" as "elokiynee" he is creating a new word, not saying what the letters were explained to me as sounding like. I am not putting myself as the arbiter of pronunciation, but it seems like certain [affected] accented readings no longer reflect what the letters say.

Is someone still yotzei (or "yoytzei" I guess) saying the text of davening if he, (because of accent?) inserts other letters and ends up creating other words or non-words?

I see that there is some discussion online but no real solid answers (AFAICT).

  • According to R' Rallis Wiesanthal, this is a new (read last 200 years) phenomenon. He also brings the Chazon Ish who would not be yotzei for brachot in which the name was pronounced "adoy-shem". On the other hand, R' Mantel at Breuer's uses an oy for his cholam, so obviously it isn't that wrong. – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 7 '14 at 14:50
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt Thanks -- that is a stark division of opinions. Is there any underlying source which defends either side based in halacha? – rosends Sep 7 '14 at 14:53
  • @noach why is it obvious? – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Sep 7 '14 at 17:00
  • @MoriDoweedhYaa3qob, R' Wiesenthal is Jeckisch, as is Breuer's. If R' Mantel is not required to pronounce his cholam according to the Frankfurt minhag, then it should not be required that a sha"tz follow one's pronunciation to be yotzei. In many Ashkenazi communities each sha"tz uses his own pronunciation. If you're at a non-Teimani kehillah, are you not yotzei the sha"tz due to his pronunciation? – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 7 '14 at 17:11
  • @Danno, I know of no halachic basis, although I believe that the original source for the former is the GR"A. – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 7 '14 at 17:35
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Chacham Ovadia in Yechave Daas 6:siman 19 pg 110 writes that we are not makpid on accent pronunciation even for davening whether one is sefard or ashkanaz. However, when it comes to parshas Zachar and parshas Parah he writes one should listen from his style of pronunciation since its a d'orasia.

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In Kitzur Yalkut Yosef 271:13, Ovadya Yosef rules that when it comes to kiddush and havdallah, there is no need to be concerned (kpeida) about different accents. An Ashkenazi fulfills his obligation by listening to a sefardi's recitation, and vice versa.

  • 1
    What about for davening? – Scimonster Sep 7 '14 at 19:27
  • @Scimonster: Perhaps a Kal V'chomer. If Kiddush, which is a Biblical obligation, it doesn't matter, then the text of prayer, which is a Rabbinical obligation, shouldn't matter. – Menachem Sep 7 '14 at 20:32
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    @Menachem The text of Kiddush is not biblical either – Double AA Sep 8 '14 at 4:46
  • @DoubleAA: That would explain this: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/45216/603 – Menachem Sep 8 '14 at 20:17
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    Be aware that that R. O. Yosef is not the author is YY. – mevaqesh Jul 28 '16 at 22:27
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In siman 142 siff 1 the Ramma explaining the Michaber concerning someone who made a mistake while reading the torah says that if the mistake he made doesn't change the meaning of the word we do not make him re-read the right way. The Mishna Berurah in siff kattan 4 gives an example, such as someone who adds or leaves out a letter where the word stays the same, such as calling Aharon Haran with a pasach without an Alef (the Pri Migadim explains that reading it with a Kamatz, would change the meaning). Or he reads Mitrayim as Mitzri'im.

So even if you want to call the hassidic-yeshivish pronunciation a mistake, it definitely does not change the meaning.

Also take note that in siman 53 siff 12 the Shulchan Aruch says not to appoint a shliach tzibur if he pronounces an Alef as an Ayin or vice versa. The Mishna Berurah there also brings that if everyone there talks like that then its fine.

Again in your case there is a sizable community that talks like this so we all know what is being said and it should be fine.

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    What about או vs אוי? That changes the meaning. – Double AA Sep 7 '14 at 19:43
  • Ha! Thats a good point as far as the point from siman 142. But from 53 it should still be fine. And even from 142 I might argue that from the wording of the Ramma it could be context would help. So if the changed version makes no sense, it should still be fine. Even the example the M.B. brings, Haran with a pasach, there is no such word and by default we know what the reader meant. – user6591 Sep 7 '14 at 20:12

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