In Yalkut Yosef OC 101:10 rules that a Sephardi who is davening in an Ashkenazi minyan should not daven Nusach Ashkenaz as shaliach tzibbur. He can only be shaliach tzibbur if the minyan agrees to let him daven in Nusach Edot HaMizrach, and if not he should refuse the honor.

Among the reasons for this is a very strong preference (for kabbalistic reasons) that Sepharadim should daven in their own nusach, and this overrides being the shaliach tzibbur. But aside from that it would seem that the shaliach tzibbur in any minyan should be proficient in the nusach of that minyan, and therefore "cross-davening" should be problematic even between Nusach Ashkenaz and Nusach Sephard.

Why are Ashkenazim meikil to allow the someone who usually davens Nusach Ashkenaz to be shaliach tzibbur in a Nusach Sephard congregation and vice-versa? And why are they meikil to allow one to daven in a nusach that's not their own in the first place?

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    Is it possible that the Ashkenazi Rabbi's disagree with HaRav Ovadia's ruling? Commented May 17, 2011 at 20:09
  • @Gershon: I'm interested in sources, or a brief history of how poskim got there.
    – Chanoch
    Commented May 17, 2011 at 20:12
  • doesn't the Yalcut Yose brings sources or the mahloket?
    – Avraham
    Commented May 17, 2011 at 20:50
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    in my experience ashekenazim don't let the hazan change the nusah, in the yeshiva I studied for example no matter who went up to be hazan he had to follow the nusah of the yeshiva (minhag hamacom).in any case in a shtiblach is like there's no minhag hamacom, so sometimes sefarad and sometimes ahskenaz, and sometimes even sefaradi, I once was hazan and they let me just use my nusah
    – Avraham
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 22:32
  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/30344 judaism.stackexchange.com/q/2997
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 7:24

3 Answers 3


One reason to be "meikel" is that according to R. Moshe (OH 2:29) the shatz must do his silent prayer like the tzibbur, in addition to the repetition. This serves as a rehearsal so that he will familiarize himself with the nusach that he will ultimately recite outloud.



It depends on how the makom is set-up. When I hold a Friday Night Minyan during the winter months at my home for the neighborhood, I have specifically noted in my bulletin the rules. And the rules are that like at the Kotel, the shliach tzibur davens his nusach. Now that may make some people a little uncomfortable who want it their way, I have clearly laid the guidelines out. So if you do not like it as a member of the minyan you are free not to daven at my home. Now most shuls set their minhagim, and guests should follow the minhag hamakom. I think that is fairly clear in our tradition. I have never heard that sephardi can just do whatever they like.

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    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 2:37

Keep in mind that the Yalkut Yosef consists of Rav Ovadia Yosef's rulings, which by definition mean they will always prefer Sephardic Minhagim over anything Ashkenazi. So I'm hardly surprised he issued that ruling.

However, I believe the general practice is that the Sha"tz davens whatever that community's (or shul) nusach is. My father (may he live and be well to 120) davens Nusach Sefard and anytime he has Yahrzeit or is asked to be the Sha"tz, he davens Ashkenaz because that's what his shul uses.

This is a major problem in Israel, especially where the established custom is to follow the Nusach of the Sha"tz. (I remember one week where the minyan was mostly Americans who daven Nusach Ashkenaz and the Shat"z for Musaf was a Moroccan and no one could follow his Nusach.)

  • what do you mean in israel people follow the shatz? in my experience each uses his own sidur
    – Avraham
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 22:34
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    Rav Elyashiv (a big posek in Israel) holds one may answer kedushah according to his own nusah.
    – Yahu
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 20:37
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    @Yahu And the Shulchan Aruch holds that there are no parts of kedusha which the congregation answers which have different nuschaot. he.wikisource.org/wiki/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 5:16

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