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 Hilchos Tefilla 95-97 (page 256)
 מסעיף ד עד סימן צז סעיף ב

Holding Things While Davening
Changing Locations While Davening
Keeping One's Feet Together for Kedusha

Holding things while Davening
While davening, one is forbidden from holding sefarim and other holy objects, weapons/dangerous materials or fragile objects that could be damaged if they drop. Holding such objects would distract him from proper kavanah, preoccupying him with concerns about their falling and getting damaged or causing harm. Some poskim extend this rule and prohibit holding any item. According to some poskim, this rule is to be applied during kriyas Shema and pesukei d'zimra as well as Shemoneh Esrei. Ideally, one should not hold these items for any part of tefilla, including Yikum Porkan and Birkas Hachodesh, unless grasping them will help arouse kavanah or aid in the acceptance of the tefillos [this would still be prohibited during Shemoneh Esrei].
( סימן צו, סעיף א-ב וס"ק א-ה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 6; ובמצוין שם לסי' תיז)
Changing locations while davening
If someone began Shemoneh Esrei without a siddur but in the middle of davening realizes that he needs one (e.g. he forgot what to say next, he needs to check a halacha pertaining to the tefilla, etc.), he should signal someone to bring the siddur or sefer. If he cannot get help, he may walk -- in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei -- to get the object for himself. If he cannot decide the halacha on his own, he may ask someone else for the answer. Likewise, he may relocate if something that is beyond his control in the area is disturbing his kavanah.
( סימן צו, ס"ק ז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 9, 11 ו־13)

Keeping one's feet together for Kedusha
Kedusha opens with the phrases "...as they sanctify His name on high" or "...the eloquent speech of fiery angels." It is proper to emulate the angels by keeping one's feet together when reciting Kedusha just as one does during Shemoneh Esrei. The feet should be kept together until the completion of Kedusha. According to some poskim, Kedusha [with the attendant posture] ends after Yimloch. Other poskim hold thatit continues until the words HaE-l hakadosh at the end of the beracha, particularly in the case of Minhag Ashkenaz, which concludes the Kedusha with L'dor vador whereKedusha is mentioned ("...and forever and ever we will speak of Your holiness").  
( סימן צה, סעיף ד וס"ק ח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 18)

  • When standing before Hashem to daven, a person should emulate the angels, whose thoughts pertain only to the service of their Creator. Towards this end, the physical posture of angels is adopted for tefilla.
  • To help with focus, a person should look towards the Heavens before beginning Shemoneh Esrei, and at intervals during the prayer if necessary. But for the bulk of the tefilla a person should keep his eyes down, and according to the Zohar they must be kept closed.
  • A person must stand respectfully when davening as if he were standing before the rulers of his time. In some places it was customary for a person to stand before his superiors with his hands folded over his chest, and according to the Arizal this is the proper posture for davening.


  • Tefilla - standing before Hashem

  • Donning a tallis during Shemoneh Esrei

  • Spitting during Shemoneh Esrei



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.