There is a principle called “Tadir v’she’eino tadir, Tadir kodem” - when presented with something commonly done and something less commonly done, the one that’s done more common takes precedence (Zevachim 89a et. al.).

What determines what is more common? For instance, on Rosh Chodesh Elul, do we say Barchi Nafshi before L’Dovid, since we say Barchi Nafshi during at least 11 months of the year, but we only say L’Dovid during 2? Or do we say L’Dovid first, since Barchi Nafshi is said on at most 20 days of the year, but L’Dovid is said on 51 days; alternatively, Barchi Nafshi is said at the conclusion of at most 20 tefillos, but L’Dovid is said at that of 102? In other words, if item A is more common than item B if you look at it one way, but item B is more common than item A if you look at it a different way, do we consider either one to take precedence, and if so, how to we determine which one?

  • Coulda sworn we had this question already, but I can't find it. – msh210 Aug 5 '18 at 3:40
  • Perhaps "Tadir" could better be translated as "consistent". – Menachem Aug 5 '18 at 4:47
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    Does this principle even apply to non-mitzvah-related situations? – magicker72 Aug 5 '18 at 5:02
  • I remember reading the Mishna Berura saying that Barechi Nafshi comes first because of תדיר ושאינו תדיר, which always struck me as odd for this very reason – b a Aug 5 '18 at 10:41
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    @Doniel I know. Barchi Nafshi is the Shir Shel Yom for Rosh Chodesh. Shir Shel Yom changes every day but the section of the service is always there. (Ledavid is just some sketchy possibly kabbalistic possibly sabbatean thing to do around now which caught on in the last 150 years. It's hard to even call it a part of traditional prayer, let alone identify which section it belongs in. Not even remotely comparable.) – Double AA Aug 5 '18 at 12:10

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