Author Topic: Prostration during Prayer  (Read 5417 times)

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Offline Yochai

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Prostration during Prayer
« on: September 10, 2009, 06:47:03 PM »
There is a movement of people in Israel who call themselves Talmidei HaRambam, and some of them supposedly prostrate during prayer, based on the absence of a ruling by the Rambam.

Does anyone know anything about this practice, or can verify that it is true that there are people who do this?

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 06:54:53 PM »


This video by OmedYashar on youtube.  I believe he learned by them and is a Talmid Harambam.

Offline muman613

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 07:07:44 PM »
There is a movement of people in Israel who call themselves Talmidei HaRambam, and some of them supposedly prostrate during prayer, based on the absence of a ruling by the Rambam.

Does anyone know anything about this practice, or can verify that it is true that there are people who do this?

During Yom Kippur we do prostrate ourselves during our tefillah...

http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5762/beharbechuk62/specialfeatures_mitzvot.htm

http://www.torah.org/learning/rabbiwein/5764/yomkippur.html
Quote
In the Ashkenazic liturgy, the service of the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem is recreated in the Musaf service. Based on the talmudic references and descriptions of those services, which appear in tractate Yoma, the poets of Israel have woven a tapestry that gives the worshipper, centuries and continents removed from the Temple, a feeling of immediacy and of being, even now, a participant in those moments of spiritual grandeur. We bow and prostrate ourselves before the Lord in our synagogues as our ancestors did long ago in the courtyard of the Temple. We are at one with them at that moment. I may dare to state that the musaf service of Yom Kippur and its description of the High Priest's service in the Temple in Jerusalem did as much to keep alive and real the Jewish dream of returning to Zion as did the kinot of Tisha B'av and the daily prayers regarding the Land of Israel. For those who study and recite these prayers, the High Priest and the Temple become real and alive in one's innermost soul.

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Yochai

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 07:11:10 PM »
There is a movement of people in Israel who call themselves Talmidei HaRambam, and some of them supposedly prostrate during prayer, based on the absence of a ruling by the Rambam.

Does anyone know anything about this practice, or can verify that it is true that there are people who do this?

During Yom Kippur we do prostrate ourselves during our tefillah...

http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5762/beharbechuk62/specialfeatures_mitzvot.htm



Of course, but I am referring to those who do it during Amida.

Offline muman613

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 07:12:23 PM »
There is a movement of people in Israel who call themselves Talmidei HaRambam, and some of them supposedly prostrate during prayer, based on the absence of a ruling by the Rambam.

Does anyone know anything about this practice, or can verify that it is true that there are people who do this?

During Yom Kippur we do prostrate ourselves during our tefillah...

http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5762/beharbechuk62/specialfeatures_mitzvot.htm



Of course, but I am referring to those who do it during Amida.

Oh... I guess I am answering the wrong question...

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline muman613

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 07:13:55 PM »
http://www.torah.org/learning/beyond-pshat/5763/chayeisarah.html

Quote
5. The Meaning of Thankfulness

After Eliezer succeeded in his mission of securing the proper wife (Rivka) for Yitzchak, the Torah states, "So the man (Eliezer) bowed low and prostrated himself to Hashem. He said, "Blessed is Hashem G-d of my master Avraham, Who has not withheld His kindness and truth from my master..." Rashi cites Chazal, which explain that we learn from Eliezer's behavior that one must give thanks when receiving good tidings. What Chazal extrapolate from Eliezer's expression of thanks to Hashem seems to be understood as proper behavior. If a person receives a promotion that he has been working towards for his entire life, do we need to have a verse in the Torah to teach us that he gives thanks to Hashem? It seems obvious that when one is a recipient of anything good he expresses his thankfulness to Hashem. How do we understand this?

The Torah tells us that Eliezer not only thanked Hashem verbally, but he also bowed and prostrated himself on the ground to express his thanks to Hashem. The Halacha is that when one recites the Modim (prayer of thanks) in the Amidah (silent prayer) on must bow to the point of being even with one's midsection. The Gemara in Tractate Berachos tells us that one must bow to the point of stretching all of the vertebrae in his back during the Modim. What is the significance of the gesture of bowing and prostration?

When the Jewish people heard the Name of G-d pronounced by the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) in the Sanctuary of the Bais HaMikdash (Temple) on Yom Kippur, they all prostrated themselves on the ground. The prostration on Yom Kippur signified that one was totally negated in the Presence of G-d. Therefore when the name of Hashem was pronounced one prostrated himself. However, regarding the Modim or the behavior of Eliezer (when he offered his thanks to Hashem), what is the significance of bowing or prostration in the context of thanks? Why should Eliezer bow and prostrate himself when he gave thanks to Hashem for finding Rivka? He could have merely said, "Thank You Hashem for bringing me this good tiding."

As the Gemara tells us, standing upright is the posture of an arrogant person. An arrogant person believes that the world revolves around him and that he is entitled and deserving of all the good that comes to him. The arrogant person does not appreciate what he receives because he believes that he is only receiving what is rightfully his. When a person bows, which is an act if humility and submission, because of this humbling act, he has the capacity to appreciate the words of thanks that he is saying. Some people say "thank you" in a perfunctory manner without even feeling thankful. These words are only words of etiquette.

True thankfulness is an expression of feeling beholden because of what one receives. In order for one to truly appreciate and have the capacity to internalize the good that he receives he must be humble himself. Bowing and prostration are acts of humility and submission. This is what the Torah is teaching us from Eliezer's prostrating himself before Hashem to show his thankfulness.

Bowing while reciting Modim is intended to give a person a sense of humility so that he can be able to properly give thanks to Hashem in a meaningful manner. The Gemara tells us in Tractate Shabbos that covering one's head causes one to be humbled because one has a sense that there is G-d above him. The Gemara relates a story of a young man who was born under the sign of the Zodiac, which indicated that he would be a thief. His mother went to the rabbis to ask them what her son could do to control his inclination. The rabbis told her that as long as his head is covered, he will have a sense of G-d above him and this will cause him not to steal. The young man heeded the advice of the rabbis and he did not steal. However, one day his head-covering accidentally was removed and he immediately had an uncontrollable desire to steal fruit from another's orchard.

The Torah tells us that after Cayin (Cain) killed his brother Hevel (Abel), Hashem rebuked him. After being rebuked the Torah tells us that, "Cayin left the Presence of Hashem." Rashi cites the Midrash that explain that this verse indicates that Cain left the Presence of Hashem in a seemingly subdued and humbled manner; however, in truth Cayin's subdued behavior was only outwardly a posture of humility, but in his heart he believed that he was able to deceive Hashem.

A truly arrogant person could bow and say "thank you" but in his heart he has no true understanding of appreciation. Bowing is more than a physical act or a gesture of etiquette. The Nazis (may their name be obliterated) adhered to the principles of cultured behavior and etiquette. However, if they could, they would have destroyed the entire world to further their cause. When one bows in humility before Hashem one will feel in his heart the true sense of thankfulness.
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Yochai

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 07:14:17 PM »
There is a movement of people in Israel who call themselves Talmidei HaRambam, and some of them supposedly prostrate during prayer, based on the absence of a ruling by the Rambam.

Does anyone know anything about this practice, or can verify that it is true that there are people who do this?

During Yom Kippur we do prostrate ourselves during our tefillah...

http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5762/beharbechuk62/specialfeatures_mitzvot.htm



Of course, but I am referring to those who do it during Amida.

Oh... I guess I am answering the wrong question...



Well, the above video posted by KWR is quite interesting.  The person in it is clearly a follower of the Yemenite tradition, and I have never met anyone who does this every day.

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: Prostration during Prayer
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 08:36:30 PM »
Do they still call it the "amida" when they are prostrating themselves?  "Amida" means "standing".

LOL.