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Using feminine form of verb when saying 13 principles


I live in Israel and speak Hebrew. When I daven I recently started saying the 6 zechirot and 13 ikarim after aleinu. Should I say “ani maamina” or “ani maamin” ? Since I speak Hebrew it seems wrong to me to say “ani maamin”.



Interesting point. Although grammatically what you are writing is correct, nevertheless, you should still say it the way the rest of Klal Yisroel is saying it. The reason being that when we start to deviate from the accepted custom, we can never know where it will take us. It will start off with something small like this, of changing the terminology of the ani maamin, and then the yetzer hora will find other things that would seem on the surface that should be changed. After that, the yetzer hora, will start saying, but this custom is not applicable anymore, and then this mitzva, and slowly it can cause a person to stop doing many mitzvos, because the person doesn’t understand them. Then the person will be creating his own version of Judaism, which can c”v resemble the Conservative or Reform, who pick and choose which mitzvos they find to be convenient and which ones they don’t like.

The Midrash (offhand I don’t remember where it is) says, that the Jews are compared to a pile of nuts. When one has a big pile of nuts, that are occasionally certain nuts, that are just a shell, without any actual nut inside. If someone were to pull out those nuts, what would happen to the whole pile? All of the good nuts are going to shift, and can start rolling all over the place. It is the same with our minhagim. Although there might be minhagim that were practiced for certain reasons, and they may no longer be applicable, nevertheless, we still keep them. Because if we start tampering with the customs, even if the person is technically correct, it is still dangerous, because of what it can eventually cause.

Best wishes


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1 Comment

  1. Okay. It doesn’t bother me if I say one sentence in masculine form, but it seemed wrong when saying 13 sentences. I wasn’t thinking of starting a revolution. I simply thought that the reason it doesn’t say to say “ani maamina” is simply that nobody thought about women reciting it when composing that tefila. I will abide by your ruling but I think the Rambam might have ruled differently.

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