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

Email this article to a friend

Big and Small Steps

The size of the steps that one takes backward depends on the reason for these steps. The first reason offered is that the person in prayer is like the kohen offering a sacrifice. According to this explanation, one steps backwards putting his toe behind his heel, since this was the way that the kohanim performed the Temple service (Darchei Moshe 123,2).

The second reason given for the steps is that the person in prayer is like a servant departing from his master. The Rema understands that, according to this reason, there is no minimum size of the steps, and even tiny ones are acceptable (Darchei Moshe ibid.). While we generally follow the first opinion, some halachic authorities rely on the other opinion and allow us to take smaller steps if there is limited space in the shul (Mishna Berura citing Bach).

Women did not participate in this service in the Beis Hamikdash; must they be careful about the size of their steps? Some authorities rule that women may rely on the second reason and take smaller steps (Ishei Yisrael 23,215 citing Orach Ne’eman 123,11). Others imply that the established halacha applies to men and women equally, and women must also be exact in the size of their steps (Magen Avraham 123,10).

The Rema warns that according to both views one should not take large steps backward (ibid.). Not only are these strides unfit for the Temple service, but they give the appearance that one is eager to run away from one’s Master (Mishna Berura 123,16). The Shulchan Aruch, however, implies that one may take larger steps back (123,3).


Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Art of the Deal and It's Impact
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Possessions Belong to People
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Don't Forget to Say Thank You
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Tzedakah vs. Charity: What is the difference?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

You're Being Followed by Mitzvos...
Shlomo Katz - 5759

We're Our Own Enemy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

ArtScroll

Be a New Person
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Parshas Ki Seitzei: Volume 26, No. 44
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Happy New Year!
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Looking to the Future
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Rosh HaShana - Of Creation and Our King
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

> Don't Take Advantage of People's Compassion
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

The Blessings We All Hope For
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Just Because they "Weren't Nice"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761



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