Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Lifted Hearts

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

Elsewhere, Chazal state that one should look up while praying: “One who prays should lift up his eyes, as the verse implies [Eichah 3,41], ‘I shall lift up my heart in my hands, to G-d in the heavens.’” Halachah l’maaseh, where must one direct his eyes during prayer?

The Gemara reconciles these two seemingly contradictory statements. “A person who prays should lower his eyes and lift up his heart” (Yevamos 105b). By lowering his eyes a person internalizes his own lowliness before Hashem, and by lifting up his heart he recognizes how exalted Hashem is.

Lifting up one’s heart in his hands implies that his hands are linked to the act of elevating his heart. Since some people have the custom to lift up their hands to the heavens while praying, Chazal warn us that we should not be satisfied with this act alone. Rather, we should simultaneously lift up our hearts, in order that our prayers should be acceptable to Hashem (Rabbeinu Yonah, Berachos 22b).

Practically speaking, what does "lifting up one’s heart" mean? Since there is no physicality in the heavens, a person should consciously remove himself as much as possible from physical pleasures and matters of this world, in order to focus his mind solely on Hashem (Darkei Moshe 94,2).

Text Copyright © 2014 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



View Complete List

At Any Given Moment
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5765

Cover Up
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Look both ways
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Back to the Present
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Not The Same
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765


In the Wilderness
Shlomo Katz - 5768

What's For Desert?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Basis of Marriage
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

More Than Just Stars and Stripes
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Reality Testing
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Individual Attention
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5762

> Personal Acceptance
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

To Be Amongst The Counted
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Thunder and Lightning
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Everyone Loves a Parade
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information