I see nusach taiman has it starting with

למשומדים אל תהי תקוה 

I see the rambam has that too

Rambam (mechon mamre)

לַמְּשֻׁמָּדִים אַל תְּהִי תִקְוָה, כָּל הַמִּינִים כְּרֶגַע יֹאבֵדוּ, וּמַלְכוּת זָדוֹן תַּעֲקֹר וְתִשְׁבֹּר, מְהֵרָה בְּיָמֵינוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה, שׁוֹבֵר אוֹיְבִים וּמַכְנִיעַ זֵדִים.

but in another edition is not like that:

Rambam (Chabad)

למלשינים אל תהי תקוה וכל האפיקורוסין כולם כרגע יאבדו ומלכות זדון תעקר ותשבר במהרה בימנו ברוך אתה יי' שובר רשעים ומכניע זדים

Other nusachas I have seen do not have למשומדים

Someone told me that the original takono was למשומדים but because of censorship it was removed/changed (as usual).

Which is correct? Are there sources that the original one did not have למשומדים?

Any sources on subject appreciated

  • 1
    Everyone we know of has Lameshumadim until about 400 years ago. I'm not sure what "original takono" means exactly. – Double AA Nov 28 '16 at 1:10
  • @DoubleAA "The Talmud indicates that when Rabbi Gamaliel II undertook to fix definitely the public service and to regulate private devotion, he directed Samuel ha-Katan to write another paragraph inveighing against informers and heretics, which was inserted as the twelfth prayer in modern sequence, making the number of blessings nineteen." – hazoriz Nov 28 '16 at 1:14
  • @DoubleAA rambam teffila 2.1 "1 In the days of Rabban Gamliel, the numbers of heretics among the Jews increased. They would oppress the Jews and entice them to turn away from God. Since he saw this as the greatest need of the people, he and his court established one blessing that contains a request to God to destroy the heretics. He inserted it into the Shemoneh Esreh so that it would be arranged in the mouths of all. Consequently, there are nineteen blessings in the Shemoneh Esreh " chabad.org/920162 – hazoriz Nov 28 '16 at 1:18
  • 1
    Maybe he came up with some themes or something, but there's no evidence that anyone ever has an "original" nusach of Shemoneh Esrei. Chazal never gave us word counts or anything like that. The earliest texts you'll find are hundreds of years later and already vary significantly. – Double AA Nov 28 '16 at 1:34
  • 1
    BTW note Chabad there in the link in your comment to 2:1 has אפיקורסים but the original was מינים mechon-mamre.org/i/2202.htm . This is consistent with how the censor they quote handled מינים in the blessing as you cite in the question. – Double AA Nov 28 '16 at 3:05

I obviously can't comment about what is "original" or not, because we don't know what the "original" wording was, if there ever was such a thing. Chazal left us nothing of the sort.

What we do know is למשומדים is found in just about every surviving manuscript, from Yemen, to Ashkenaz, to Spain. The major article on the subject which you'll want to read is here. It's found in the Seder Rav Amram Gaon, Seder Rav Sa'adya Gaon, Machzor Vitri, Ri ben Yakar, Rambam, Avudarham, Rokeich, Rosh, plenty of other Rishonim, Tur, Kesef Mishna, as well as basically all the Siddurim we have from those times.

If you look some of those up in your printed editions you might not see למשומדים, but that just means your edition copied from a censored edition. The censors were often themselves apostates (ie. משומדים) and hence really worked to get rid of this word. We have old manuscripts from all of those listed above with למשומדים. As an example, here is the Rosh referring to the blessing by the title למשומדים, and here 80 years later it's "called" למומרים. Here is an early Tur with the word משומד, and here is a later edition with it literally just crossed out. Many times they'd change it to כופר, מומר, רשע or something like that. Go look on your shelf to see what made it to your edition.

R' Meir Melamed about 400 years ago (Shu"t Mishpat Tzedek 2:9) notes that some locations near him started printed למלשינים instead of למשומדים to avoid the eyes of the censors, but would still say it correctly in prayers (like a Keri/Ketiv). He was asked if a Chazzan who actually said למשלינים aloud needs to be removed as a suspected heretic, and is unsure but leans towards yes if he refuses to recite the traditional version even when asked to. This is quoted by the Keneset HaGedola who in turn is quoted by the Magen Avraham (126:1). The Magen Avraham, also quoting the Keneset HaGedola, further notes one community which, due to fear (Machatzit HaShekel), actually was forced to start saying למלשינים in prayers! Later authorities (see Shulchan Arukh haRav and Mishna Berura) rule that therefore the Mishpat Tzedek's question is now able to be answered in the negative because it doesn't look problematic to recite the fake version.

It should be noted the Magen Avraham too was censored (לכופרים is what you usually see printed there in current editions, which confused many later authorities such as Magen Gibborim and Arukh haShulchan, though Mekor Chayim (Bakhrakh) correctly understood the subtext) and even R Yaakov Emden in the 18th century still felt unable to print the old wording (though he noted it in his Luach Eresh).

Eventually nearly everyone forgot. Sad :(

  • 1
    Basically, "Lamalshinim" is as valid and/or silly as skipping "SheHeim Mishtachavim...". – Double AA Nov 28 '16 at 3:10
  • I didn't realise that ולמלשינים was originally intentional, rather than a censor's emmendation. One thing that I would critique with this answer is that it does not explore why many Sephardi siddurim today say למינים rather than the older למשומדים. – Noach MiFrankfurt Nov 28 '16 at 17:12
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt Why does the answer need to explore every way different people have been censored or have tried uncensoring things? In Spain they also used to say למשומדים. – Double AA Nov 28 '16 at 17:16
  • @DoubleAA, it just seems curious that the eastern Sephardim, who didn't need to put up with the censorship of their European brethren would censor their nusach, when they had no need to do so. – Noach MiFrankfurt Nov 28 '16 at 17:21
  • 1
    @NoachMiFrankfurt Regarding intentionality, his wording in the responsum on this point is a bit confusing so you should be hesitant to derive any very-conclusive particular historical claims. – Double AA Nov 28 '16 at 17:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .