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 Hilchos Tefilla 97 (page 257)
 מסימן צז סעיף ב עד תחילת סימן צח

Tefilla - Standing Before Hashem
Donning a Talis During Shemoneh Esrei
Spitting During Shemoneh Esrei

Tefilla - standing before Hashem
A person who is davening Shemoneh Esrei is considered to be standing before Hashem until he takes three steps back after the tefilla. (Although the Shechina does not come within ten tefachim of the ground, the concept of standing before Hashem is still relevant because the Shechina hovers above that height at the time of tefilla. Some mefarshim say that the Shechina is positioned to the person's right, as it says: " Hashem protects you from the right side.") From the time that someone recites yihyu l'ratzon until he takes three steps back, he is no longer considered "before Hashem" with respect to certain halachos.
( סעיף ב וס"ק ג ו־י; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2 ו־8)
Donning a talis during Shemoneh Esrei
A talis that shifts or tefillin that slide out of place may be repositioned during Shemoneh Esrei. A talis that slid entirely off may not be replaced, even if it hasn't yet fallen to the floor (e.g. he is still grasping part of it in his hand). If a person is unable to concentrate without his talis, he may complete whatever beracha he is in the middle of and then replace the talis (without reciting a beracha over it).  After completing Shemoneh Esrei, he can replace the talis and recite the appropriate beracha.
( סעיף ד וס"ק יד-טז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 12)
Spitting during Shemoneh Esrei
It is forbidden to spit during Shemoneh Esrei. If someone's mouth fills with spittle and he cannot swallow it or daven with it in his mouth, he may expel it into a tissue or something similar. If that is not possible, he may spit it out behind him. After he does either of those things, he must pause for the time it takes to walk four amos before continuing his tefilla. The purpose of this wait is to make sure that all the spittle has been removed, and also to avoid the appearance of being disgusted with what he is about to say.
( סעיף ב וס"ק ד-ז; וראה עוד שם; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 3-4)

  • 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.
  • 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 relevant sefer. If he cannot get help, he may walk -- in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei -- to get the object for himself.
  • 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.


  • Preparing the mind for davening

  • The pace for tefilla

  • Kissing one's children in shul



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.