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

Email this article to a friend

Connected Feet

Prayer elevates us above and beyond the confines of this worldly existence. In fact, in the midst of Shemoneh Esrei we can achieve a level comparable to malachim. How do we express this in our Shemoneh Esrei?

"And their feet [of Heavenly Beings] are one straight foot" (Yechezkel 1,7). Unlike man, who can constantly reach new spiritual heights through performing mitzvos, malachim have a fixed spiritual level. Indeed, our Sages described malachim as having only one leg, i.e., they are incapable of movement. Therefore, we recite Shemoneh Esrei standing with our feet together, demonstrating our elevated angelic stature as we pray (Mishna Berura 95,2).

On Yom Kippur, many men wear a kittel, a white robe, a gesture which symbolizes our angelic status on this special day (Rema 610,4). Angels are generally portrayed as male, and because of this women do not wear a kittel on Yom Kippur Mishna Berura 610,16). This raises a question: Must women keep their feet together during prayer?

Some halachic authorities offer a different explanation for why we must keep our feet together. Locked legs is a symbol of our complete dependence on Divine assistance, since we cannot even move without Hashem's help at all times (Beis Yosef citing Mahari Abuhav). Because of this and other reasons, the accepted custom is that women also keep their feet together during Shemoneh Esrei (Toras Chaim 95,2).

A person suffering from physical pains or weakness might have difficulty reciting the entire Shemoneh Esrei standing with his feet together. Since this gesture is meant to enhance one's concentration and not undermine it, under such circumstances a person is not required to keep his feet together. Yet he should try to do so as much as possible (Igros Moshe 5,38).


Text Copyright 2009 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

The Miracle of Free Will
Rabbi Elly Broch - 5765

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

ArtScroll

Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

The Sign of the Olive
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Hashem's Promise
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

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

In a Heartbeat
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Miracles Can Happen Slowly
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Too Perfect
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

'Moment'ary Blunders
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Understanding the Faith of Noach
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

How To Need Nothing And Have Everything
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Taking the Initiative
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

The Ideal Way of Life
Shlomo Katz - 5768



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