I have been trying to reconnect to my Gerrer roots. This is what I've discovered.
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