Chacham Ovadiah: Sefardim Should Make Their Own Parshas Zachor, Ashkenazi Havarah is Wrong

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rav-ovadiah-yosefChacham Ovadia Yosef, head of the Shas party’s Moetzet Chachmei Hatorah and one of the most brilliant Torah minds of our generation, during his weekly drasha last night, discussed various halachos related to Purim. Rav Yosef stated that Sephardim in Ashkenazi yeshivos should make their own krias haTorah for Parshas Zachor rather than being yotzeh with the yeshiva’s minyan following the Ashkenazi minhagim and havarah (pronunciation).

According to many Rishonim, the reading of Parshas Zachor is a de’Oraisah.

Rav Yosef said that since reading Parshas Zachor is Min Hatorah, each person must do it according to the havarah of his own community.

Rav Yosef added that “The Sephardim’s havarah is the real one. Their accent is wrong. But they insist. They’re stubborn… They don’t want to change. Even their Ashkenazim testify that our pronunciation is the right one, the truth.”

{Yair Israel}


  1. if you look into it the sefardy havarah is the most acurate even the briskers have taken part of it
    of course on should not change his minhag bec when he comess uo after 120 he will be able to say this is what my father did but the point is probaly right

  2. The concensus of poskim (Ashkenaz and Sefard) is that Sefardi letter pronunciation may be more right (for example they differentiate between Aleph and Ayin more clearly and some differentiate between a Gimel with and without the dogesh, etc.),while the Ashkenazi nekudos are more correct (they differentiate between the patach and kometz, for example). Regardless, the shevotim each had their own havara and it is not mentioned that Revain could not be yotze with Shimon’s reading. People who lived in the Orai Miklot were certailnly yotze Parshas Zochor from the Leviim even if they themselves said ‘siboles’ and the Leviim said ‘Shiboles’.

    Additionally, according to the Chasam Sofer the written Sefardi letter Tzadi is posul. This would mean at the very least that an Ashkenazi could not be yotze with a kria from a sefardi sefer. Nevertheless, I was told by the Mirrer mashgiach, Rabbi Feldman, that after WWII Ashkenazi seforim were scarce, many having been destroyed by the Nazis and their cihirts, ym”s, and hundreds of Sefardi sifrei torah were imported and used, with none of the gedolim disagreeing. It would seem, then, that each sect can be yotze with the other sects halachos of this type as long as the conclusion was reached in a correct fashion.

    To say that either a Galitzianer or a Litvak or Ashkenazi or Sefardi is never yotze krias shma or parshas zochor is something new.

  3. It happens to be the halocho that one must hear parshas zachor in the havora that he is accustomed to.

    The debate about which havora is the most proper one, is an age-old one which is a very interesting sugya.

    It also happens to be that this is not the first time Rav Yosef has paskined that a Sefardi must adhere to his mesora. He paskins this even against minhag hamakom regarding kedusha, for instance. He says a Sefardi must say Nakdishach even though the Ashkenazi kehila is saying N’kadesh.

    The comments section, or any other venue for that matter, is certainly not the place to debate the veracity of the shitos of one of the gedolei hador.

  4. The Gedolim use Nusach Ashkenaz, and I would trust their judgement.

    Chacham Yosef is big Sefardic Rabbi, yet his rulings apply to his kehila. There is no reason for us to deviate from the nusach the Gedolei Yisroel of the caliber of the Chazon Ish, Brisker Rov, Rav Elyashev, Rav Kanievsky, Rav Shteinman, etc. use themselves.

  5. While I dont know much about the debate on this matter with regards to halacha because I am a woman but what I do know is that it really makes me cry when I see how sfardim are embarrassed with their minhagim and try as much as the could to blend in with ashkinazim and so its sad to see them dropping their minhagim which are way older and and there are so many more songs for every occasion wedding bar mitzvah yum tuv all this they ignore and are embarrassed from and many even change their havuru how sad and when confronted on this matter they say oh its not important how sad I cry when I hear this considering how old their traditions are. And even this matter of sfardim marrying ashkinazim is futile because the traditions get lost when this happens so I hope the sfardim listen to chacham ovadya and stop being mishtaknez because its their real masoret being thrown out

  6. the title is so incorrect. he said that for sfardim, the askenaz havarah is pasul, but he didn’t say they are wrong, that’s a whole nothet issue!!


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