What is the proper Nussach to say in Birchas Hamazon: Harachaman Hu Yishbor Ol Galus Meial Tzavareinu or Ol HaGoyim Meial Tzavareinu?

What is the proper Nussach to say in Birchas Hamazon: Harachaman Hu Yishbor Ol Galus Meial Tzavareinu or Ol HaGoyim Meial Tzavareinu?[1]

In the Harachaman’s that are recited in Birchas Hamazon, some Siddurim[2] and Benchers contain the Nussach of Ol Galus Meial Tzavareinu. Other Siddurim[3] and Benchers contain the Nussach of Ol HaGoyim Meial Tzavareinu. Although some[4] claim that the Nussach of Ol Galus was forged by the censorship, and the true Nussach is Ol HaGoyim, nevertheless, in truth both of these Nusschaos can be found in the earliest of Siddurim and Hagados, and both contain a valid tradition.[5] The reason for this is because the Nussach of Harachaman’s said in the end of Birchas Hamazon were not established by Anshei Kneses Hagedola, and hence different customs spread amongst different communities.[6]

The Chabad custom: The Nussach printed in all the original Chabad Siddurim, and majority of modern available Chabad Siddurim, is Ol Galus Meial Tzavareinu.[7] This Nussach was established by the Alter Rebbe.[8] Nonetheless, the Rebbe replied to the author of Luach Kolel Chabad that in his opinion, the Nussach of Ol HaGoyim is to be used.[9] Practically, some Chabad Rabbanim[10] promote the use of Ol HaGoyim while others[11] promote the use of the original Nussach of Ol Galus. Practically, whatever one chooses has a source and basis.

Is a Hei recited by Ol Goyim or Ol Galus: Those who recite Ol Goyim recite it with a Hei, as Ol Hagoyim.[12] Those who recite Ol Galus recite it without a Hei.[13]

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[1] See Shulchan Menachem 1:120; Articles of Rav Baruch Oberlander and Rav Leibal Groner in Hearos Ubiurim Ohalei Torah Volumes 911, 912, 914, 915, 921; Seder Birchas Hamazon of Rav Raskin page 45 footnote 129; Shaareiy Tefila Uminhag [Rav Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi z”l] 46

[2] Siddur Reb Shabsi; Majority of Hagados; Tzelusa Deahron; Siddur Ish Matzliach [Mazuz]; See Hearos Ubiurim Ohalei Torah Volumes 911 for all citations

[3] Hagadas Chachmei Yerushalayim p. 1376; Hagadas Shaareiy Zevul p. 95; Custom of Shomer Emunim, brought in Halichos Kodesh p. 246; Chemdas Yisarel of Munkatcher; See Siddur Rav Shabsi p. 38 [old] 641 [new] in footnotes by publisher who lists many Siddurim who write Ol Goyim, including Siddur Yaavetz, and Hagadas Prague; Tzelusa Deavraham 2:544; See Hearos Ubiurim Ohalei Torah Volumes 911 for all citations

[4] See Siddur Reb Shabsi ibid in footnotes of publisher

[5] See Hearos Ubiurim Ohalei Torah Volumes 911

[6] See Rebbe Yehuda Ben Yakir in his Pirush Tefilos Ubrachos  2:34, and Abudarham, that by Harachaman each person says whatever he wants

[7] So is printed in the Siddur Torah Or; Siddur Maharid; Hagadah of Rebbe; Seder Brachos Utefilos in English; All old prints of Tehilas Hashem; New Siddur Tehilas Hashem Kehos NY; However in the new Tehilos Hashem of Kfar Chabad they changed the Nussach to Ol Goyim

[8] Koveitz Reshimos Sippurim of Temimim in Otvocks, published in Kfar Chabad magazine vol. 1159 p. 26: “Regarding the debate in whether one is to say Ol Goyim or Ol Galus, when I [i.e. Admur Hazakein?] came to Lita, I established to say Ol Hagalus, and therefore we say Ol Hagalus in Birchas Hamazon. However, in Shemoneh Esrei, Admur did not want to swerve from the accepted Nussach of Ushbor Ol Hagoyim.” See Raskin ibid that this statement was said by the Rebbe in name of the Friedeker Rebbe to the Temimim of Otvoks

The opinion of the Rebbe Rayatz: See Igros Kodesh Rayatz printed in Sefer Haminhagim p. 22 in footnotes, that the Rebbe Rayatz used the Nussach of Ol Galus when quoting the Harachaman’s, however after looking at the original letter of the Rebbe Rayatz printed in Igros Kodesh 1:202 it is evident that this wording was not used at all, and on the contrary, the wording supports the use of Ol Goyim more than Ol HaGalus. The quoted letetr in Sefer Haminhagim was basing it on the content printed in Piskeiy Hassidur, and not based on the original letter.

[9] Reply of Rebbe printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:120, Tzadik Lamelech 7:232; Pardes Chabad 16:25“Regarding your mentioning that in Birchas Hamazon one should say Ol Hagoyim and not Ol Galus, this is likewise my opinion.” In the Siddur Rostov, bound to the back of the Chumash which the Rebbe received from the Rebbe Rayatz, and the Rebbe used for Birchas Hamazon, the words Ol HaGoyim is written on the side [It is however unknown who wrote this gloss]

[10] Rav Oberlander; Rav Raskin; Rav Ashkenazi, as evident from their articles ibid

[11] Rav Leibal Groner [See Koveitz Hearos Ubiurim 912 and 915] claims that the original Nussach of Ol HaGalus is to be said as the Rebbe reviewed the Siddurim published and never mentioned to make a change in the Nusach. Rav Raskin writes that the editors of Kehos informed him that the Rebbe did not approve of them to change the Nussach to Ol HaGoyim

[12] So is Nussach in Abudaraham by Tefila; Siddur Chemdas Yisrael; Maaneh of Rebbe

Sources with Nussach without Hei: The following Siddurim record Ol Goyim without a Hei: Siddur Yaavetz; .

[13] So is Nussach in Siddur Rav Shabsi; Siddur Otzer Hatefilos; Siddur Torah Or; All Chabad Siddurim; Hagadah of Rebbe; Maaneh of Rebbe

Sources with Nussach with Hei: In the story recorded of the Alter Rebbe it states Ol Hagalus with a Hei.

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