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


 

ARTICLES ON TERUMAH:

View Complete List

Where Heaven Meets Earth
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Who Goes Hither, Freind or Foe
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

A Quantum Leap
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Are We Men, Or Are We Angels
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Rabbeinu Ephraim Expands On The Idea of
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5775

The Divine Expectation
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

> Giving or Taking?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

Biblical Fund Raising
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Intention Equals Value
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Love you Take
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Honesty Comes First
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Broken Measurements
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

ArtScroll

How Does One Perceive His Fellow Jew?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5764

What Life is Like in the Holy of Holies
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Feeling Inspired
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Seeing is Believing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763



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