From the Rav’s Desk: Saying Tachanun when Davening by a Minyan who does not say it

  1. Question: [Thursday 19th Iyar 5780]

I tend to daven sometimes in a Chassidishe Shteibel for Mincha where I believe their minhag is not to say tachanun by Mincha even on reg days, my question is if I should say tachanun quietly even though they don’t or should I follow the Tzibur and not say tachanun? Thank you again


Whenever you are Davening by a Minyan which is accustomed to not recite Tachanun on days that is not accepted according to your custom for Tachanun to be omitted, then you should try to recite Tachanun inconspicuously in a way that the congregants will not know that you are reciting it. If necessary, you should say it standing up and without Nefilas Apayim, and without hitting your chest. If you cannot hide the fact that you will be saying Tachanun, then you should not say it at all if the congregation had a legitimate reason according to their custom to not say it [and it wasn’t omitted by mistake due to halachic or factual error]. In such a case, you are not to say even after you leave Shul. In the event that the congregation is not saying Tachanun due to a personal event of commemoration relevant to the congregation, such as the day of the Yartzite or salvation of their personal Rebbe, then seemingly one should not say Tachanun at all even inconspicuously.

Explanation: As a general rule, it is forbidden for one to change from the custom of the community due to fear that doing so can cause discord and strife, and the entire Torah was only given to bring peace, and hence it is better for one to give up his custom which is not a biblical or rabbinical obligation then to take the risk of starting an argument. Accordingly, since Tachanun is merely a customary prayer therefore it should not be said within a minyan who is accustomed not to say it, if one cannot do so without arousing their notice of one’s saying of Tachanun. If, however, one can say it inconspicuously without arousing the attention of the congregants, then there is no reason why one shouldn’t say it. This indeed is the seeming understanding of the response of the Rebbe to this question. So is also the ruling of some Rabbanim, such as Rav Moshe Feinstein. This follows a similar ruling in the Poskim that one may say Viduiy in an Ashkenazi shul that does not say it. However, other Rabbanim, such as Rav S”Z Aurbach, was of the opinion that it should not be said under any circumstance as one should not change from the custom of the community. Practically, we ruled above that if the reason Tachanun is not said is related specifically to that Minyan or Shul, such as if a Chassidic shul omits Tachanun on the passing or redemption of their Rebbe, then one should also do so, in order to avoid any possibility of arousing discord. In addition, regarding the 19th of Kislev the Rebbe explicitly negated the saying of Tachanun in a Chabad Shul even by those Jews who do not follow Chabad custom, as one should not arouse severities in a synagogue in which Tachanun is exempt from being said that day, and in order to resolve a possible contradiction between the Rebbe’s answers, one can suggest that by a personal reason for omitting Tachanun, then it should not be said. Vetzaruch Iyun

Sources: Rabbanim who rule Tachanun should be said: Tefilla Kehilchasa 15 footnote 37 in name of Rav Moshe Feinstein [should say]; Yabai Omer 3:11 [should say]; Hiskashrus 3:20; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:24 footnote 144; Rabbanim who rule Tachanun should not be said: Beis Baruch on Chayeh Adam 32:191; Halichos Shlomo 13 footnote 7 [should not say]; See regarding the Rebbe’s response: Igros Kodesh 15:58, brought in Likkutei Sichos 29 p. 409, and Shulchan Menachem 1:255 “regarding your second question [of what to do when Davening in a Shul that does not say Tachanun on a Yom Hillula, unlike our custom, if to say Tachanun, which can on occasion cause arguments, or I should not separate from the congregation and should not say Tachanun] it is understood that sticking out from the congregation in majority of cases is not desired”; Hiskashrus 3:20; Koveitz Hearos Oholei Torah Gilyon 26 581:18; See in general regarding saying Viduiy in an Ashkenazi shul: Avnei Nezer 29 [may say Viduiy in Ashkenazi Shul]; M”B 131:6; Kaf Hachaim 131:39; Piskeiy Teshuvos 131:8

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