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Old 03-20-2014, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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This article, which judging by the "safs" was clearly written by an Ashkenazi Jew, discusses the origins of the different pronunciations of Hebrew:

The Real Story of Hebrew Pronunciation - Jewish Action

What does everyone think?

Is it best to read the Torah in Modern Hebrew, Sephardic Hebrew, Yemeni Hebrew, or Ashkenazi Hebrew? Should one's pronunciation be based upon one's ancestor's minhag (custom)? What does the Torah say about which pronunciation we should use?

Personally I read the Torah in a Modern Hebrew accent, and when I lead services I switch to a Yemeni/Middle Eastern pronunciation when the prayer is in Aramaic, e.g. the Kaddish.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Should one's pronunciation be based upon one's ancestor's minhag (custom)?
Yes.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:30 PM
 
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Not sure there is a broad right vs wrong. I think the only thing that would be wrong would be to davka pronounce the words differently than your father.

We have a baal koreh in our shul who leins with a Sefardi accent. Nobody particularly likes it, but for complex reasons we have him lein anyways. It's not the end of the world.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:32 PM
 
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Usario, does your wife daven from the amud or say the brachos when she gets an Aliya with the same pronunciation as you?
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Yes, TFF, I do go to a non-Orthodox synagogue and thus my wife does get called for an aliyah sometimes. She uses what I call the typical "American Modern Hebrew" accent, which is basically Israeli Hebrew with an American English accent.

Glossary:
daven: to ritually pray
amud: page
brachot: blessings
aliyah: synagogue honor where a Jew gets to recite the blessing at the bimah (stage) before the reading of a Torah section.

I consider myself a baal teshuva because my mom was never big into her Jewish heritage, otherwise she probably wouldn't have married my non-Jewish dad. When I started getting Jewishly involved I picked my own Hebrew pronunciation because strictly speaking I don't have a tradition from my parents to follow.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Lake Worth, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usuario View Post
When I started getting Jewishly involved I picked my own Hebrew pronunciation because strictly speaking I don't have a tradition from my parents to follow.
I am in a similar situation. My family is of Ashkenazi descent (Although I have my Grandfather's Sephardic Siddur) but when I began my Hebrew studies, I focused on Sephardic/Modern Israeli pronunciation. It also seems to be what most Reform congregations are leaning to and if I wanted to live in Israel, it seems like it would be most beneficial.

It's always interesting when Pesach rolls around and I'm pronouncing all the Tavs as "t" instead of "s" during seder.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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My Hebrew comes out with the accent of Israeli (lightly Arabic-ish) Modern Hebrew.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Long Island
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It's an interesting question.

I don't have a tradition, as I'm the first Jew in my family.
My community is mainly Ashkenazi, but the rabbi I learned and converted under is Sephardic.
There are several men in my congregation who use Ashkenazi pronunciation for everything but reading Torah; that they do with a Sephardic pronunciation.

Personally, I use an (Americanized) Modern Hebrew pronunciation when I read/speak Hebrew; it is the most common one being taught.

I doubt God cares how any of us pronounces a tav.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB from NC View Post
I doubt God cares how any of us pronounces a tav.
Now that is emes!

Does anybody disagree with JB on this point? If not, this is the starting point of all posters refraining from correcting other posters pronunciations and usage of Yiddish, Aramaic, etc. yes?
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB from NC View Post

I doubt God cares how any of us pronounces a tav.
I'll bet he has to pull out his urban dictionary when there are too many "S" sounds used in a word.
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