March 23, 2016 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #617453
A lot of people shuckle during the davening, but considering one is standing before Hashem, isn’t it disrespectful to stand other than straight as one would before a human leader? Any thoughts about the origin of shuckling and what is it exactly supposed to accomplish?March 23, 2016 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm #1143827
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To each his own. Rav Moshe zatzal, whose yartzeit is today, did not shuckle.
There are various reasons why people do it, including “All my limbs shall declare, Who is like you, Hashem?” (Get the whole body involved in davening).March 23, 2016 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1143829
I assume Reb Moshe zatzl knew ?? ?????? ???? ?? ?????, so why didn’t he shuckle? Do you shuckle? I don’tMarch 23, 2016 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #1143830
There are plenty of gedolim who shuckled who obviously felt it’s not disrespectful.March 23, 2016 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #1143831
There is a story where Rav Moshe had to appear before the Communists ym”sh and they forced him to stand ram-rod straight. He thought to himself that if that is the way one has to stand in front of creatures of flesh and blood, how much more so should one stand that way in front of the Creator.March 23, 2016 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #1143832
From Ohr Sameach Web site:
‘Shuckling’ – swaying back and forth during prayer and Torah study – is a legitimate custom. Several reasons are offered for this custom:
The soul is akin to a flame. Just as a flame always flickers and strives upward, so too the soul is never still, constantly moving and striving to reach upward towards Hashem.
Shaking allows you to pray with your whole body, as King David said “Let all my bones exclaim ‘Hashem, who is like You!'”
When we stand before Hashem in prayer, we tremble in awe of the King of Kings.
The book of the Kuzari gives a historical explanation for ‘shuckling.’ He explains that shuckling originated during a period when there was a book shortage, and several people needed to study from the same book at the same time. To allow as many people as possible to study from one book, they would sway alternately back and forth. This allowed each person to look into the book and read a little bit, and when he swayed back, another person could sway forward and look into the book.
A valid alternative to shuckling is to stand completely still, like a soldier standing at attention in front of the king.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zatzal, one of the foremost halachic authorities of our generation, was known to stand stock still during the silent prayer. He explained that, while living in Russia, he was once arrested for teaching Torah. One form of torture he experienced during his imprisonment was being forced to stand completely still facing a wall. The threat was that if he were to move he would be shot. It was on one of these occasions that Rabbi Feinstein was struck with the realization that if he could stand with such intense concentration for the sake of his captors, then he should afford at least the same respect when standing in front of Hashem.
Deciding whether to ‘shuckle’ or stand still depends on which one helps you concentrate better. In any case, a person shouldn’t move his body or contort his face in any way that will make him look weird.
Mishna Berurah 95:5,7March 23, 2016 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1143833
See the Magen Avraham in Siman… I want to say 50, but maybe it’s 49 or 51.March 23, 2016 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1143834
I remember a story I heard a long time ago explaining why R’ Moshe did not shuckle. I think when he was still in Russia before he came to the United States he was arrested by the secret police for some reason and he was forced to stand motionless for a number of hours (possibly while being interrogated). R’ Moshe said that he never felt fear like that in his entire life and he wanted to recreate that fear every time he stood in tefila before the Ribono shel Olam.March 23, 2016 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #1143835
Whatever the case, most rabbonim I have observed do not shuckle.March 23, 2016 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1143836March 24, 2016 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #1143837
A teacher suggested that possibly this behavior began as a result of the need people had to share seforim (too poor for everyone to have their own) and would sit together on a bench and take turns bending over to read a passage and then give the next person a chance.
Eventually, the behavior took on a life of its own.March 24, 2016 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #1143838
reb.yaakovMemberMarch 25, 2016 12:26 am at 12:26 am #1143839
It is not advisable to shuckle at maariv tonight. A calm disposition helps keep the shuls carpets clean.March 25, 2016 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #1143840
Why do some poster insist on making a joke of everything?March 25, 2016 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #1143841
Why do some posters insist on not appreciating a good joke?March 25, 2016 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #1143842
I like a good joke. Waiting to hear one. But joking about some of the topics that are presented seriously denigrates the issue.March 25, 2016 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1143843
I do not see how squeak’s joke denigrates the issue.March 27, 2016 2:19 am at 2:19 am #1143844
Squeak, keep it up ?March 28, 2016 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #1143845
Avram in MDParticipant
A lot of people shuckle during the davening, but considering one is standing before Hashem, isn’t it disrespectful to stand other than straight as one would before a human leader?
While one can draw lessons about proper service to Hashem through the way in which human leaders are respected, the analogy can only really go so far, since Hashem is not a human. Even among humans, there are many different ways to show respect. In the U.S., one stands when the president stands, and a proper greeting is to shake his hand. Soldiers will salute him, and not drop their hands until he salutes back. In Japan, it’s respectful to bow at the waist. In some cultures, kissing is considered respectful, but it would be awkward for me to bow in front of or kiss the U.S. president.
So, many Jews throughout the world shuckle when they daven to Hashem. It’s culturally accepted. Why would this inherently be disrespectful to Hashem?
Any thoughts about the origin of shuckling and what is it exactly supposed to accomplish?
I’ve heard similar things to mik5’s first response to you. For me, shuckling sometimes helps with concentration, and it provides a sort of rhythm to the words.March 28, 2016 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #1143846
One thing that drives me crazy are those who pace back and forth while davening.
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