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There are various t'fillot/b'rakhot/piyutim that make controversial or debatable claims or requests; for example:

  • Birkat hamazon includes the line na'ar hayiti, gam zakanti, v'lo ra'iti tsadik ne'ezav, v'zar'o m'vakesh lakhem ("[…] I have never seen a righteous man abandoned, his offspring begging for bread"); some communities perceive this as blaming the needy for their situation, and simply remove it.
    • For that matter, the first part is obviously untrue when recited by a woman, or by a young person.
  • The prayer for the State of Israel describes it as reishit ts'mikhat g'ulateinu ("the first sprouting of our redemption"); some communities avoid this claim by inserting shet'hei ("that it may be"), and I understand that some communities choose not to pray for the State of Israel at all.
  • V'khol ma'aminim makes a bunch of claims about what "all believe", which I think are unlikely to all be true unless the "all" we're referring to is unexpectedly narrow.

So, when we're praying with a community whose customs don't perfectly match our beliefs:

  • Should we skip things that we don't agree with, or aren't sure that we agree with?
  • If the answer is that we should skip things we're not sure about, then as a practical matter, what do we do in the very common (if non-ideal) case, among diaspora Jews, that we don't even understand a given passage?
  • If the answer is that we should recite even things that we disagree with, then what can/should our kavana be while doing so?

(Note: if the answer turns out to depend on multiple different factors, then I obviously don't expect an exhaustive listing; but some examples with explanations would be helpful.)

marked as duplicate by Double AA Sep 28 '18 at 16:53

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    "some communities perceive this as blaming the needy for their situation, and simply remove it." Which communities? – Orangesandlemons Sep 28 '18 at 16:26
  • I'd also point out that the prayer for Israel (in the many forms it exists) is as far as I am aware recited by the gabbai, not individuals. – Orangesandlemons Sep 28 '18 at 16:28
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    Related (if not duplicate): judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/2997/… – Alex Sep 28 '18 at 16:31
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    @ruakh Hi, +1, I liked your question and I do not think the other answers on MY properly answer your Q. If this remains a duplicate, I encourage you to re-ask your question by asking specifically about "Should we recite prayers (in private) we don't agree with when they are found in our siddur or minhag?" for example: Birkat hamazon includes the line na'ar hayiti...." as you can see, our site encourages this by saying: "If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question." Looking Forward should you feel like asking- – David Kenner Sep 28 '18 at 19:00

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