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 Hilchos Tefilla 91 (page 248)
 מתחילת סימן צא עד תחילת סימן צב

Wearing a Belt for Davening
Proper Attire for Davening

Wearing a belt for davening
The pasuk teaches, "Prepare for your Lord, Yisrael." Chazal explain this to mean that one must prepare himself for davening. One aspect of this preparation mentioned by Chazal is wearing a belt around one's waist when davening. According to some poskim, a belt is required at all times and in all places. Other poskim hold that this rule applies only at times and in places that it is normal to wear a sash throughout the day. According to this opinion, a belt is not mandatory today but it is praiseworthy to wear one. Nevertheless, many people do not wear a belt for davening nowadays because they feel that this rule applied only in times when people appeared that way before dignitaries; since it is no longer fashionable to dress this way, they hold that there is no benefit in the belt.
( סעיף ב וס"ק ד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 5 ו־9)
Proper attire for davening
When davening, a person should be dressed respectfully enough to be able to appear before dignitaries. People who generally wear hats and jackets should don them for tefilla. The contemporary poskim discuss whether it is worth missing tefilla b'tzibur for the sake of a hat and jacket. One should not daven in bed clothes, stockinged feet, house slippers, short garments or a swim suit. In places where people wear coats, gloves (worn to protect from cold) and scarves in the presence of dignitaries, it is permissible to it is permissible to wear them during davening. The contemporary poskim permit one who is bedridden to daven in bed clothes. When possible, he should put a robe over them.
( סעיף ה וס"' יא-יג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 13, 16, 18 ו־19; וראה שם, 18)

According to many Rishonim and Acharonim, it is forbidden to go bareheaded today, even for a short time. Doing so is especially problematic when mentioning Hashem's name or entering a shul, and it is most problematic when davening. There is a discussion amongst the poskim as to whether someone who davened without a head covering must repeat his tefilla, even if he was bareheaded due to an ones. The hand cannot adequately cover the head, but a sleeve or someone else's hand can be used to cover the head.
( סעיף ג-ד, ס"ק י, וביה"ל ד"ה ויש; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 10 ו־14)

  • One should not daven facing a mirror, even with closed eyes. When a person bows in the direction of a mirror, he may appear to be bowing to his own image. One should not face murals when davening, either, as they can detract from one's kavanah. If a person finds himself facing a painting when davening, he should close his eyes.
  • One should not recite Shemoneh Esrei within four amos of his rebbe, of the gadol hador, or of his father.
  • If waste was discovered while davening Shemoneh Esrei, it should be removed or covered in a manner which permits continued tefilla. If that is not possible, one should move to a place where it is permissible for him to continue davening.

  • Cleansing one's body for tefilla

  • Can someone who must use the restroom daven?

  • Can someone who must use the restroom study Torah?



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.