Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sefasai Tiftach

Musical Note By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
Chanting “Hashem Sfatai” and “Yihyu L'ratson” Audibly

As your Chazzan, why do I recite out loud the six words before the Amida: "Hashem Sfatai Tiftach, etc.," as well as the final ten words: "Yihyu L'ratson, etc."? It seems that most people do not do so. Indeed, according to the Magen Avraham, those verses should be recited "softly." Furthermore, the Shulchan Aruch says that they "need not be recited out loud."

However, as you know, early in our shul history we took upon ourselves many of the customs of the Vilna Gaon, as taught by Rabbi Joseph B.Solovietchik, the late, great Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, who ordained both Rabbi Riskin and Rabbi Berman. As the spritual guide for most "modern Orthodox" synagogues today, he followed the tradition of the Vilna Gaon (Minhag Brisk), that requires both of these sentences to be chanted audibly, because they are an integral part of the Amidah. Just as the Chazzan recites the Amidah out loud, he is required to recite these verses out loud as well. I encourage all our Baalei Tefillah to follow this minhag when conducting services at LSS. Of course, when in doubt you should consult with our present Rabbi Robinson on any issue of Halacha.
Daven Well and Sing Along!


Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

does that mean that they also scramble ותערב before dukhening and don't use the עשרת ימי תשובה ending for the end of the ‘Amida?

thanbo said...

Vete'erav - no, at LSS they do the printed form, ending with the bracha she'otcha beyirah naavod. At Yavneh they switch it around according to the Gra's nusach, which makes it, well, less Ashkenazic in a MarGavriel

I think at LSS they say Oseh hashalom, Yavneh doesn't seem to have a set policy - some guys do one, some do the other. Officially, we do what Meir W.'s copy of Rinat Yisrael says to do, but not every chazan davens out of that.

Litvak said...

As per the acclaimed siddur Eizor Eliyohu, the shita of the GR"A is to omit vise'erav entirely, not merely to slightly rearrange it. That is a mistake, not the real shitas HaGR"A.

For further clarification, see the note there in mussaf of yom tov.