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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Gevuros and History
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Window to the World
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Hashem's Promise
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Ideal Way of Life
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Can You Enjoy While Others Lack?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Language Barrier
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

ArtScroll

Unity and Conformity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

No Fear, No Fair
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

> The Miracle of Free Will
Rabbi Elly Broch - 5765

Noach's Lessons for Our Day
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Procreation: Creating Worlds
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Immorality Around Us
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

To Share in the Pain of Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758



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