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 Hilchos Tefilla 94 (page 254)
 מסעיף ג עד סעיף ט

Davening While Traveling
Davening While Seated
Davening While Leaning

Davening while traveling
A traveler may daven while sitting on an animal (despite the poor level of focus involved in doing so) if the pressure from tarrying will disturb his kavanah for davening. Likewise, a passenger is permitted to daven in a car if he would not be able to concentrate on his prayers if he stopped.  People on planes, trains or intercity buses may daven while riding if they cannot get off. Passengers in all of these cases are allowed to daven while sitting.  If possible, travelers should stop at least for the first beracha, the four places to bow and the final three steps back.
( סעיף ד-ה וס"ק יג ו־יח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 10 ו־16)
Davening while seated
According to some poskim, if a traveler on a plane (or train, etc.) has not davened ma'ariv and will not reach his destination before midnight, he should daven on the plane/train even if that means he will have to daven Shemoneh Esrei seated. A second opinion holds that he should only recite Shema on the plane and complete the tefilla after the trip. If a person plans to be on a plane from before nightfall until after alos without being able to stand up forthe Shemnoeh Esrei of ma'ariv, he should preferably daven ma'ariv before shekia.
( ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 15)

Davening while leaning
Shemoneh Esrei, chazaras hashatz, birkas kohanim, Hallel and kriyas haTorah are to be performed while standing. If someone leans so heavily on something that he would fall if the item was moved, he is not considered to be standing. A person is required to stand in 'awe' for Shemoneh Esrei and kriyas haTorah, and all levels of leaning are forbidden. If necessary, the elderly and infirm can lean a little. When there is no other choice, they may even lean heavily, which is preferable to sitting.
( סעיף ח וס"ק כב-כד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 23-25)

  • When preparing to daven, a person should imagine himself standing in the Kodesh Hakodoshim of the Beis Hamikdash.
  • There is an ancient custom to place the Aron Hakodesh on the wall that people face when davening (the front wall) in order to face the Aron Hakodesh at that time. This wall has become known as the Mizrach (Eastern) wall because in the shuls of Western countries the Aron was on the eastern wall.
  • The Gemara teaches that facing south when davening helps in obtaining wisdom, and facing north helps in obtaining wealth. Some mefarshim explain that one should direct his body towards Yerushalayim and turn his head in the direction of his choice.


  • Must someone davening in bed keep his feet together?

  • Davening with one's eyes open

  • How to hold one's hands when davening



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.