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For Gerer Chassidim (Polish Chassidishe Dynasty), what minhagim do they follow concerning these things:

  • Tefillin

Do they use Ashkenazi, Sephardic, or nusach Ari? Do they wind the retzuos inward or outward from their body?

  • Tallis and Tzitzis

Two holes or one on a tallis katan? One hole on a tallis? Black stripes or white stripes? Ashkenazi or Ari tzitzis?

  • Nusach

Nusach Ashkenazi or Ari?

  • 1
    I strongly recommend you edit his down to one of your three groups of questions and ask the other two separately. That way, each will get the attention it deserves. – msh210 Jan 26 '16 at 8:00
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    Gerrer was the #1 mainstream Chassidic movement (at least by population) in Poland. So today's "generic chassidic" practices will be very close to Ger. The siddur text is "Nusach Sfard." Ari is actually a version of Nusach Sfard with kabbalistic tweaks. (So they're very close.) Definitely black stripes on the Tallis, with a gold "crown" for the shabbos Tallis. Ksav is Ksav Ari; Tefillin wind "sefard style", i.e. inward. – Shalom Jan 26 '16 at 12:47
  • @Shalom sefard style for tefillin is inward? Why do most ashkenaz davening people wind inward and most sefard davening people (chasidim), wind outward. But you are correct that Ger winds inward. – Shmuly Jan 26 '16 at 17:13
  • @Shmuly: Then does that mean they also daven Ashkenaz and wear Ashkenazi tefillin? – ezra Jan 26 '16 at 21:55
  • @Shalom I'm pretty sure they daven sefard. I happened to have noticed this in shul last week. I asked the guy if it's just his minhag or all of Ger winds their tefillin that way. He said it was a ger minhag. I'll ask him about the rest. – Shmuly Jan 27 '16 at 22:54
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I have been trying to reconnect to my Gerrer roots. This is what I've discovered.

Tefillin:

They are standard size, not oversize like Chabad. The parchments are k'sav Beis Yosef (source: a Gerrer who related that to me with a story from his yeshivoh days). The laying of Rabbeinu Tam tefillin is added from marriage.

They are wrapped standard nusach Ashkenaz as opposed to nusach S'fard that some other Chassidim wrap or Nusach Chabad. Nusach Ashkenaz is wrapped inwards towards oneself, one on the upper arm, seven on the forearm, shin on the hand, three wraps on middle finger. I have seen some Ashkenazim that add a wrap from the ring finger to the middle finger but have not yet seen that done in Ger, although some still might.

Interestingly, I have noticed that Gerrer Chassidim wrap the straps of the shel rosh around their gartel but I am not sure why.

Both Nusach S'fard and Nusach Chabad wrap outwards.

Tallis: Tallis is tied exactly the same as Nusach Ashkenaz. The tallis itself is traditional black and white. I have not seen the practice as mentioned above of having a gold crown for a Shabbes tallis. I have only ever seen the standard white ashkenazi atarah (neck/head piece).

Tzitzis: The strings themselves once again are tied exactly like Nusach Ashkenaz however where it adjoins the garment, rather than having one hole like ashkenazim, there are two holes (a tzeirei) that are flat unlike that of Chabad which are diagonal. This is not done on the tallis because it would appear haughty but the Mishna Berurah (11:39) allows it on a tallis kottn because it is not worn quite so publicly.

The nusach for the siddur is nusach S'fard which was introduced by the Ari. This is very slightly different to Nusach Ari, the Chabad nusach, which is the Alter Rebbe's version of Nusach S'fard.

I am still researching Gerrer minhogim with the desire to reconnect with the Yiddishkeit of my great grandparents. If you find anything interesting, please contact me.

Tag: Chassidei Ger | Chassidei Gur | Gerrer Chassidim

  • on Shabbat Mincha they say in the order Tsid... Emet -->Ubehama Toshia H' as in nussacha ashkenaz. They dont say mizmor 20 after Ashrey when there is no Tachanun, as Sefaradim make. – kouty Jun 20 '16 at 4:22
  • @Noach is that what you hear or what Chaimy heard? It could be there are different customs among Gerrer Chasidim (for all I know). No need to put things in other people's mouths. – Double AA Dec 11 '16 at 4:59
  • @DoubleAA, sorry, I didn't think it was sufficient to be my own answer. If you disagree, I can roll it back and post a more indepth version tomorrow ב”נ – Noach MiFrankfurt Dec 11 '16 at 5:00
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Gur Tefillin:

Square knot (edit: some wear single dalet) , Shel Yad Ashkenaz, Wrapping also Ashkenaz way, Brachos on both must be said standing.

Ksav: Ari Zal with Shin of Beys Yosef which is called a Polnisher Shin.

Ratzuos from shel rosh goes down, and behind the gartel then we wrap once and going "outside" way

Gartel must be tight high, on the level of stomach and elbows. Both ratzuos and gartel way of wearing is a reflection of Cohen Gadol garment,

Rekel black, Bekishe Black, No tish Bekishe

Hat: Round felt, High but not as high as "Kova" Hats at Boro Park, Top of the hat flat ! Hat should be made of rabbit fur.

No Strimel, Spodik is in use and there is no exception to this.

Pants are tucked in black knee high socks, no white socks in use. Now many people wear regular pants and socks and tuck on Shabbos. Again it's a lot about tradition, community you live in etc, etc.

I see a lot of "They do..." SO I'm one of "They" :) Just ask and I'll help as best as I can !

  • >No Strimel, Spodik is in use and there is no exception to this. Gerrer Chassidim don't wear a spodik on Shabbos? – Shmuel Brin Feb 2 '18 at 16:52
  • Spodik is used instead of Shtrimel.Shabbos, Yom Tov, special occasion – Eliyahu Yosef P Mar 26 '18 at 1:13
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Ger tfilin -- the shel yad is Ashkenaz (winds in toward the body) but the shel rosh has a Sfard knot at the back of the head (3 box knot)

Ger tallis -- no silver or other ornamental headpiece

  • WBK, what do you mean by a "3 box knot"? – Noach MiFrankfurt Dec 11 '16 at 4:54
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt - He most definitely means a dalet knot. – ezra Mar 7 '17 at 0:47
  • @ezra, I'm not sure, most of the Gerrers I've seen have a square knot – Noach MiFrankfurt Mar 7 '17 at 22:16

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