Shemone Esrei: Putting Feet Together and Davening Quietly

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    What is the source and reasoning of putting ones feet together when davening shemone esrei? How close together must they be? And if one does not put his feet together (or properly) for S”E, was he yotzei S”E?

    And why must take three steps forward and back at the beginning and end of S”E? And why must one stand while davening it?

    And why must it be davened quietly? How quiet? Is he obligated to hear himself davening S”E?


    Are these Mareh Mekomos of your upcoming Shiur?

    YW Moderator-42

    Quietly enough that you don’t disturb the person next to you but loud enough to hear yourself. If you can’t hear yourself without disturbing your neighbor then ask your LOR what to do.


    quietly comes from chanah who davened her tefilah to HKB”H quietly which Eili, the reining Kohen Gadol at the time interpreted as a sign of gross intoxication.


    Your feet should be lined up and touching each other when saying Shemone Esrei.


    Is it okay to daven shemone esrei without putting your feet lined up exactly together with each other? (If not, why must the feet be together?)


    Shmoel: If it’s an incredibly uncomfortable position to do that (old, ill, injured) then it’s okay. The Aruch Hashulchan has a Chiddush that if someone cannot put their feet together they should stand with one foot directly in front of the other. R’ Moshe, however, pretty strongly says not to do this and just to stand with your feet side-by-side as close together as you can.


    Sam: What’s the reason and the source of putting the feet together? And *ideally* should they be perfectly aligned and touching each other from front to back?


    Shmoel: It’s based on a Passuk that the Malachim only have 1 leg. Ideally, it should look as much like one leg together as possible.

    The Frumguy

    We try to emulate the Malachei Hashareis during our tefillah. They are described in Nevi’im as standing on one foot.


    The haelige Admor of Shiputz, Moreinu v’Rabeinu HaGaon HaTzadik Shloimie Rosenbaum of Tzfas, shlita, davens while standing only on his right foot. He tells his many talmidim not to follow his example because they may hurt themselves if they fall over.

    The haelige Rebbe says HKB”H watches over him when he davens so that he doesn’t fall over, even at his advanced age.

    On Yom Kippur, the haelige Rebbe davens an extended amida during Ne’eila, so at that time a chair is placed under his left knee, helping to support him while he davens. This is the only time during the year this is done.

    May we all be zoche to emulate the Rebbe, shlita, and bring Moshiach quickly and speedily. Omein.


    Sam2 – I’ve always thought that pshat in the pasuk is pashut that the malachim stand with their feet together. (Otherwise, why don’t we amputate? Yeah, that’s a little drastic, but my point is what shaychis to anything that they have one leg? Mah she’ein kein if they b’davka keep their feet together I hear why we would try to emulate them, because they are obviously doing so for a purpose.)


    Is there any halacha prohibiting looking around while saying shemone esre (baal peh)?


    Yitay: I always thought P’shat was they have two legs connected but they have no hip or knee joints so they can’t separate them.

    Avhaben: Yes, the M”B quotes that one should Daven with his eyes closed if not looking in a Siddur. He goes so far as to quote that anyone who opens his eyes during Shmoneh Esrei (aside from looking in a siddur) won’t be Zoche to see the G’ulah.

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