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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 23:16:20 -0500 (EST) Subject: Reasons for BOWINGS During Amidah Moishe Friederwitzer in v31n69 writes >>> Someone recently asked why we don't bow during more of the Amida. In Parshas Tetzaveh Perek 28 Posuk 36 Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin Z"L in his Oznayim L'torah says that the greater one is the more he has to humble himself. For example a King must remain in the bowed position during the whole Shmoneh Esrei. >>> The exact law can be found in Rambam, Laws of Prayer 5:10 which is derived from Bracoth 34 that (a)an INDIVIDUAL bows at the beginning and end of the Prayer, (b) a HIGH PRIEST bows at the beginning and end of each blessing and a (c) KING bows at the beginning of prayer and remains bowed the whole prayer. It would appear to me that each of these laws is learned from approprate Biblical verses. Indeed the verse from which we derive the obligation of prayer says Ex23:25 "..and you will serve (literally 'be slaves') to God, your Lord'---since it is the nature of a slave to bow whem he enters and leaves his master it would follow that our behavior in prayer should be the same. (See the explicit comparison in Prayer 5:4,1:1) The Torah says explicitly about a King "..and he shall not let his heart be high (Dt 17:20)" What better way to symbolically implement this than to require that 'the king bow but never get up till the end'. Finally, regarding the additional requirement of the High Priest to 'bow at the beginning and end of each blessing'--it would appear to me that this is required because the high priest himself GIVES blessings (ie the blessings of the priest, Nu 6:22-27, part of our daily prayer). Hence, to emphasize that the priest does not actually give the blessing but is just a messenger (servant/slave) delivering God's blessings it was deemed proper to have the priest bow in connection with each blessing. Russell Hendel; Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/