Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Bowing

“When Rabbi Akiva would pray by himself, he would bow down with such vigor that he would start his prayers in one corner of the room and finish in another” (Brachos 31a). Physically lowering oneself before Hashem shows humility, and is an integral part of prayer. Although intense displays are not appropriate for most situations, our Sages established that one should bow down during Shemoneh Esrei.

“When bowing down a person should bend his body quickly and pick himself up slowly, in order to show that bowing is not a burden. While bending over he should make sure that he moves every vertebra in his spine” (Shulchan Aruch 113: 4,6). Our Sages were very specific about how we should bow down in order to express appropriate humility, since excessive displays can in fact be a sign of arrogance.

“A person should bow down four times during Shemoneh Esrei, twice at the start and twice at the conclusion. … A kohen gadol bows at the start and conclusion of each blessing, and a king bends down at the start of Shemoneh Esrei and does not raise himself up until he finishes” (Brachos 34a; Shulchan Aruch 113,1). The greater the Jew’s spiritual status, the more bowing he needs to do to humble himself before Hashem.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND PESACH:

View Complete List

Holy Mitzvah!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Pesach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

The Sandwich of the Future
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Focus of Our Attention
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Accountable for Our Priorities
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Of Death, Selflessness, and Service
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

ArtScroll

You and Your Sons
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

There's One in Every Generation
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

All Alone
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Understand the Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

The Great Shabbos
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Ordering Priorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> A Ritual Memory Transfer
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

The Sound of Silence
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Good Salesman
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Symbolism Over Substance
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information