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


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 a drasha last year before Purim 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. WADR to the Chacham, even in the time of Tanach there were different Havarot.

    Eilu v’eilu Divrei Elokim Chayim. Literally.

  2. Moshiach is coming soon and we will finally hear how he speaks. Somehow I doubt that a patach and a kometz will sound the same, though the sefardi letters are likely more authentic.
    This is not my psak, I’m not capable, but our Ashkenazi brothers shouldn’t be frightened by this psak, the discussion is old and extensive.

  3. I never heard that either sefardi or ashkenazi was correct , the Munkatcher zya said the yemenite was most correct – although there is more than one yemenite way – but still each should follow their own community’s way. Also the israeli way is not the real sefardi way

  4. IMHO It is very important that whatever havoroh one has received from his/her family, to be CONSISTANT. In a our age of Global Judaism, it happens frequently that one might hear every possible pronunciation in just one sentence, “Burich atah …. mailech HoOylom”!

  5. As is well known, the Askenzim have a better Mesorah than the Sefardim, as they were thrown around less in Golus (see Intro to Sidur Vilna, quoting Tur, et al, as well as Yam Shel Shlomo intro to Bava Kama, as well as many other sources). The Askenazim were in the same geographic area from Churban Bayis Rishon until the Second World War, wereas the Sephardim have moved from place to place.

  6. Churban Bais Rishon? Have you started Purim early? Ashkenaz is France/Germany, not Poland and Russia. The French and Yekkes do not say Burich Ati, so which one is it?

  7. To: Proud Litvak – u really have to learn history i am serious wow im shocked! Sephardim have moved around like Ashkenazim yet who were the authors of Talmud Bavli not Talmud Germany, and the story of Purim was in Iran its endless. Please i beg you get your head out for a few hours before u start making historical statements.

  8. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe Orech Chaim 3:5) says that it could be that none of the current pronunciations is the original but that any pronunciation used by a tzibbor in Am Yisrael has a chazaka of being Lashon HaKodesh. He prove this from the fact that a
    woman can say the nusach of chalitza in nay pronunciation and does not have to say it several times. Even Chacham Ovadia admits that those Sepharadim who are not, in his words, “medakdakim” and do not differentiate between the kamatz and the patach are pronuncing Hebrew incorrectly (Yabia Omer 6:11).

  9. #15:
    Its incredulous how incorrect you are. It is well known that the Sefardic tradition and mesorah is older and more authentic that that of the Ashkenazim. That is irrelevant to the argument about pronunciation because even those Ashenazim who do research realize and admit that the Sefardic haavara is the correct one. The Sefardic halacha is also more correct, and that is why many Ashlenazic Gedolim (Aruch Hashulchan, R Chaim Ozer, etc) have paskened often like Sefardim. Dont let your own ignorance blind you from the emet.

  10. The steipler once wrote against the sefardi haavara. Rabi meir mazuz wrote a lengthy teshuva effectively disproving his claim, and pointed out the many instances where ashkenazim severly butcher tefilla by their lack of distinguishing between alef ayin, chet, chaf…

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