Thursday, May 05, 2011

Variations in the Siddur - Cantor Goffin

MUSICAL NOTE by Cantor Sherwood Goffin

Variations in the Siddur

I have often been asked why one siddur uses one form of a word, and another siddur uses another form of the same word. For instance, we pronounce the phrase sho-ato hu, which is found in Modim and the paragraph after Sh'ma, whereas it is pronounced She-ato hu in a Nusach Sfard siddur. This often causes a Baal tefilla to pronounce the word incorrectly in our Nusach Ashkenaz services. Here, the difference is simply a matter of difference between the text of Sfard versus Ashkenaz. It makes no grammatical difference. However, one leading the services at LSS should use the version found in our siddur, so that the congregation will not think that he has made a mistake. Sometimes, within Ashkenaz siddurim, there are differences, such as the word Na-avo at the end of Mizmor Shir/Hashem Moloch in our De Sola Pool RCA siddur. The Artscroll siddur, however, writes the word as No-avo. Again, I counsel those leading the services to read it according to the way our siddur writes it. One of the most startling changes is that in the Adon Olam of the Chabad siddur, which writes the words Ye-tsur Nivra, instead of Ye-tsir Nivra which we know well. Sometimes the changes are because we follow the Vilna Gaon's customs, such as Yisga-dale instead of Yisgadal, etc. The best rule, generally, is to always read the version that is found in our siddur.

Daven Well, Don't Talk, and Sing Along!

© 2011 Lincoln Square Synagogue & Sherwood Goffin

1 comment:

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Most of the early Ashkenazic siddurim had she-ata; it's not an Ashkenaz~PseudoSfard thing.