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Q&A

Can one change the wording of davening?

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Note -- I am creating the hypothetical carefully so I can focus on an underlying halachic concept.

A Baal T'shuva learns to daven in a very eclectic minyan -- people from all over and with all sorts of particular nuscha'ot join this minyan. This person picks up a siddur and does what it says. As it is given as an option, he chooses (for lack of any particular minhag or direct instruction otherwise) to say "moreed hatal" in his Amida.

After many years of prayer, and continued learning, he reads of a community that historically said, in Birchat Hashanim, "v'tein tal livracha" during the summer months. For years, he had been saying "v'tein bracha" because that's what his siddur had in it. But upon reflection, he sees that he is already mentioning Tal in the beginning so acknowledging it in the middle makes sense to him.

Is he allowed (based on personal growth and learning) to change the nusach of how he davens or has his practice become (via a chazakah or some other mechanism) a binding practice for him that would require an annulment of some sort before he can alter it?

Can one alter a nusach of davening (in a subtle way) if the only reason one has a practice is because of an arbitrary choice initially? Does repeated practice of prayer make this random initial position into something of an obligation?

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