body language

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(מא) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֖ה אֶל־יוֹסֵ֑ף רְאֵה֙ נָתַ֣תִּי אֹֽתְךָ֔ עַ֖ל כׇּל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃ (מב) וַיָּ֨סַר פַּרְעֹ֤ה אֶת־טַבַּעְתּוֹ֙ מֵעַ֣ל יָד֔וֹ וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֖הּ עַל־יַ֣ד יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיַּלְבֵּ֤שׁ אֹתוֹ֙ בִּגְדֵי־שֵׁ֔שׁ וַיָּ֛שֶׂם רְבִ֥ד הַזָּהָ֖ב עַל־צַוָּארֽוֹ׃ (מג) וַיַּרְכֵּ֣ב אֹת֗וֹ בְּמִרְכֶּ֤בֶת הַמִּשְׁנֶה֙ אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וַיִּקְרְא֥וּ לְפָנָ֖יו אַבְרֵ֑ךְ וְנָת֣וֹן אֹת֔וֹ עַ֖ל כׇּל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃ (מד) וַיֹּ֧אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֛ה אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף אֲנִ֣י פַרְעֹ֑ה וּבִלְעָדֶ֗יךָ לֹֽא־יָרִ֨ים אִ֧ישׁ אֶת־יָד֛וֹ וְאֶת־רַגְל֖וֹ בְּכׇל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃ (מה) וַיִּקְרָ֨א פַרְעֹ֣ה שֵׁם־יוֹסֵף֮ צָֽפְנַ֣ת פַּעְנֵ֒חַ֒ וַיִּתֶּן־ל֣וֹ אֶת־אָֽסְנַ֗ת בַּת־פּ֥וֹטִי פֶ֛רַע כֹּהֵ֥ן אֹ֖ן לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיֵּצֵ֥א יוֹסֵ֖ף עַל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

(41) Pharaoh further said to Joseph, “See, I put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” (42) And removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; and he had him dressed in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. (43) He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they cried before him, “Abrek!” Thus he placed him over all the land of Egypt. (44) Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh; yet without you, no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” (45) Pharaoh then gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him for a wife Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. Thus Joseph emerged in charge of the land of Egypt.—

אברך. כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ "דֵּין אַבָּא לְמַלְכָּא", רֵךְ בִּלְשׁוֹן אֲרַמִּי (נ"א רוֹמִי) מֶלֶךְ; בְּהַשֻּׁתָּפִין לָא רֵיכָא וְלֹא בַּר רֵיכָא, וּבְדִבְרֵי אַגָּדָה דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אַבְרֵךְ זֶה יוֹסֵף שֶׁהוּא אָב בְּחָכְמָה וְרַךְ בַּשָּׁנִים, אָמַר לוֹ רַ' יוֹסֵי בֶּן דֻּרְמַסְקִית עַד מָתַי אַתָּה מְעַוֵּת עָלֵינוּ אֶת הַכְּתוּבִים? אֵין אַבְרֵךְ אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן בִּרְכַּיִם, שֶׁהַכֹּל הָיוּ נִכְנָסִין וְיוֹצְאִין תַּחַת יָדוֹ, כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וְנָתוֹן אוֹתוֹ וְגוֹ':

אברך Render this as the Targum does: “This is the father (counsellor) of the king”. In Aramaic (some editions read in Roman i.e. Latin) רך means king (rex). Thus in the chapter beginning with השותפין (Bava Batra 4a) we have: “neither a noble (ריכא) nor the son of a noble (ריכא)”. In the Midrash (Sifré Devarim 1:1) Rabbi Judah explained: אברך is appellation for Joseph who was אב “a father” in wisdom and רך “tender” in years. Whereupon Rabbi Jose the son of a woman of Damascus said to him: “How much longer will you pervert for us the meaning of Scripture? The word אברך can only be connected with the word ברכים knees (i.e. “Bend the knee”), for all came in and went forth only by his permission, just as it states “and he set him [over all the land of Egypt]”.

(ו) וְיוֹסֵ֗ף ה֚וּא הַשַּׁלִּ֣יט עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ ה֥וּא הַמַּשְׁבִּ֖יר לְכׇל־עַ֣ם הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֲחֵ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף וַיִּשְׁתַּֽחֲווּ־ל֥וֹ אַפַּ֖יִם אָֽרְצָה׃

(6) Now Joseph was the vizier of the land; it was he who dispensed rations to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed low to him, with their faces to the ground.

וישתחוו לו אפים. נִשְׁתַּטְּחוּ לוֹ עַל פְּנֵיהֶם, וְכֵן כָּל הִשְׁתַּחֲוָאָה פִּשּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם הוּא:

וישתחוו לו אפים means THEY PROSTRATED THEMSELVES ON THEIR FACES— Similarly wherever various forms of this verb (שחה) in the Hithpael occur it implies stretching out the hands and feet when a person casts himself on the ground in the act of prostration (Megillah 22b).

(ה) וַיְהִ֡י מֵאָז֩ הִפְקִ֨יד אֹת֜וֹ בְּבֵית֗וֹ וְעַל֙ כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֶשׁ־ל֔וֹ וַיְבָ֧רֶךְ ה' אֶת־בֵּ֥ית הַמִּצְרִ֖י בִּגְלַ֣ל יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיְהִ֞י בִּרְכַּ֤ת ה' בְּכׇל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֶשׁ־ל֔וֹ בַּבַּ֖יִת וּבַשָּׂדֶֽה׃

(5) And from the time that the Egyptian put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, ה' blessed his house for Joseph’s sake, so that the blessing of ה' was upon everything that he owned, in the house and outside.
  1. to bless, kneel

    1. (Qal)

      1. to kneel

      2. to bless

    2. (Niphal) to be blessed, bless oneself

    3. (Piel) to bless

    4. (Pual) to be blessed, be adored

    5. (Hiphil) to cause to kneel

    6. (Hithpael) to bless oneself

  2. (TWOT) to praise, salute, curse

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

בָּרַךְ bârak, baw-rak'; a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason):—× abundantly, × altogether, × at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, × greatly, × indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, × still, thank.

In Islam, Barakah or Baraka (Arabic: بركة "blessing") is a blessing power,[1] a kind of continuity of spiritual presence and revelation that begins with God and flows through that and those closest to God.[2]

Baraka can be found within physical objects, places, and people, as chosen by God. This force begins by flowing directly from God into creation that is worthy of baraka. These creations endowed with baraka can then transmit the flow of baraka to the other creations of God through physical proximity or through the adherence to the spiritual practices of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. God is the sole source of baraka and has the power to grant and withhold baraka.

Baraka is a prominent concept in Islamic mysticism, particularly Sufism.[3] It pervades Sufi texts, beliefs, practices, and spirituality. Sufism emphasizes the importance of esoteric knowledge and the spiritual union with God through the heart. Baraka symbolizes this connection between the divine and the worldly through God's direct and intentional blessing of those that are most reflective of Him and his teachings.

Baraka is not a state, it is a flow of blessings and grace. It flows from God to those that are closest to God, such as saints and prophets. Those that have received baraka are thought to have the abilities to perform miracles (karamat), such as thought-reading, healing the sick, flying, and reviving the dead.[4][page needed] However, according to Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin Qushayri, a prominent Sufi mystic, the use of these miracles and the actual possession of these abilities are not indicative of a saint's status, however, the performance of these miracles by prophets is important to establish credentials.[4]

כׇּ֥ל־עַצְמוֹתַ֨י ׀ תֹּאמַרְנָה֮ ה' מִ֥י כָ֫מ֥וֹךָ מַצִּ֣יל עָ֭נִי מֵחָזָ֣ק מִמֶּ֑נּוּ וְעָנִ֥י וְ֝אֶבְי֗וֹן מִגֹּֽזְלֽוֹ׃
All my bones shall say,
“LORD, who is like You?
You save the poor from one stronger than he,
the poor and needy from his despoiler.”

Midrash Tehillim (12th c.)

With my head, I bend my head and bow down in prayer…And I also wear tefillin on my head. With my neck, I fulfill the precept of wrapping oneself in tzizit. With my mouth, I praise You, as it says: “My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord” (Ps. 145:21)…With my face, I prostrate myself, as it says: “He fell down on his face to the earth” (Gen 45:12)… With my nose, when I smell spices with it at the outgoing of Shabbat. With my ears, I listen to the singing of the Torah.

Quoted in Sefaria Source Sheet: The Body in Prayer By Jacob Fine

our search for neutral body

"It ain't no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones." I can't remember where I heard this, but it has stuck with me because of the incredible beauty and perfection of our bone structure. A good way to start finding your neutral stance is by exxamining a skeleton, whose natural alignment is perfect. Picture yourself as that skeleton with your bones hanging and your joints free....

Let your muscles melt away, so that when you move, you move with the least amount of energy. The shoulder blades slide around on your ribcage in response to your arm movement. Your thighs embed easily into the warn crevice of the hip socket, not resisting, but welcoming the head of the thigh bone like the water welcomes a fish after its leap through downward. The importance of releasing this joint for proper functioning was first explored in the Alexander Technique.

Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) realized that his bad postural habits were stronger than his will to change. He concluded he would have to re-pattern his mind in order to change these habits."From this realization he came to formulate the idea of psychophysical unity, a truly revolutionary idea that became the cornerstone of his work." Psychophysical unity is one of the key term here. The body's physical patterns are in direct correlation to emotional and mental patterns. In
order to change the body's habitual patterns, the mind needs to change. The payoff for the actor who commits to the challenging task of undoing bad habits is not only a more expresive acting vehicle, but actually being able to use released emotions.


Turn on some happening music, and dance around in your bones. Act like your muscles are missing, and the bones of your arms are heavy and swayìng. Only motivate movement from your center. You will look like a nut, but you should
start to feel more movement in the shoulders and hips. Make a weekly dance-off date with yourself. I advise being alone to
allow for utter freedom and ridiculous nmovements.

From Lucid Body: A Guide for the Physical Actor Paperback – October 28, 2008 by Fay Simpson

נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי תְּבַרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ, ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ, וְרוּחַ כָּל בָּשָׂר תְּפָאֵר וּתְרוֹמֵם זִכְרְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ, תָמִיד. מִן הָעוֹלָם וְעַד הָעוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל, וּמִבַּלְעָדֶיךָ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ גּוֹאֵל וּמוֹשִיעַ, פּוֹדֶה וּמַצִּיל וּמְפַרְנֵס וּמְרַחֵם בְּכָל עֵת צָרָה וְצוּקָה. אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּא אַתָּה. אֱלקֵי הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְהָאַחֲרוֹנִים, אֱלוֹקַּ כָּל בְּרִיּוֹת, אֲדוׁן כָּל תּוֹלָדוֹת, הַמְּהֻלָּל בְּרֹב הַתִּשְׁבָּחוֹת, הַמְנַהֵג עוֹלָמוֹ בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרִיּוֹתָיו בְּרַחֲמִים. וַה' לֹא יָנוּם וְלא יִישָׁן – הַמְּעוֹרֵר יְשֵׁנִים וְהַמֵּקִיץ נִרְדָּמִים, וְהַמֵּשִׂיחַ אִלְּמִים וְהַמַּתִּיר אֲסוּרִים וְהַסּוֹמֵךְ נוֹפְלִים וְהַזּוֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים. לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים.

אִלּוּ פִינוּ מָלֵא שִׁירָה כַיָּם, וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה כֲּהַמוֹן גַּלָּיו, וְשִׂפְתוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁבַח כְּמֶרְחֲבֵי רָקִיעַ, וְעֵינֵינוּ מְאִירוֹת כַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְכַיָּרֵחַ, וְיָדֵינוּ פְרוּשׂות כְּנִשְׂרֵי שָׁמַיִם, וְרַגְלֵינוּ קַלּוֹת כָּאַיָּלוֹת – אֵין אֲנַחְנוּ מַסְפִּיקִים לְהוֹדוֹת לְךָ, ה' אֱלקֵינוּ וֵאלֹקֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וּלְבָרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ עַל אַחַת מֵאֶלֶף, אַלְפֵי אֲלָפִים וְרִבֵּי רְבָבוֹת פְּעָמִים הַטּוֹבוֹת שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ עִם אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְעִמָּנוּ. מִמִּצְרַים גְּאַלְתָּנוּ, ה' אֱלקֵינוּ, וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתָנוּ, בְּרָעָב זַנְתָּנוּ וּבְשָׂבָע כִּלְכַּלְתָּנוּ, מֵחֶרֶב הִצַּלְתָּנוּ וּמִדֶּבֶר מִלַּטְתָּנוּ, וּמֵחָלָיִם רָעִים וְנֶאֱמָנִים דִּלִּיתָנוּ.

עַד הֵנָּה עֲזָרוּנוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ וְלֹא עֲזָבוּנוּ חֲסָדֶיךָ, וְאַל תִּטְּשֵׁנוּ, ה' אֱלקֵינוּ, לָנֶצַח. עַל כֵּן אֵבָרִים שֶׁפִּלַּגְתָּ בָּנוּ וְרוּחַ וּנְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּפַחְתָּ בְּאַפֵּינוּ וְלָשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתָּ בְּפִינוּ – הֵן הֵם יוֹדוּ וִיבָרְכוּ וִישַׁבְּחוּ וִיפָאֲרוּ וִירוֹמְמוּ וְיַעֲרִיצוּ וְיַקְדִּישׁוּ וְיַמְלִיכוּ אֶת שִׁמְךָ מַלְכֵּנוּ. כִּי כָל פֶּה לְךָ יוֹדֶה, וְכָל לָשׁוֹן לְךָ תִּשָּׁבַע, וְכָל בֶּרֶךְ לְךָ תִכְרַע, וְכָל קוֹמָה לְפָנֶיךָ תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, וְכָל לְבָבוֹת יִירָאוּךָ, וְכָל קֶרֶב וּכְלָיּוֹת יְזַמֵּרוּ לִשְמֶךָ. כַּדָּבָר שֶׁכָּתוּב, כָּל עַצְמֹתַי תֹּאמַרְנָה, ה' מִי כָמּוֹךָ מַצִּיל עָנִי מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנוּ וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מִגּזְלוֹ. מִי יִדְמֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יִשְׁוֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יַעֲרֹךְ לָךְ הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל, הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא, אֵל עֶלְיוֹן, קנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. נְהַלֶּלְךָ וּנְשַׁבֵּחֲךָ וּנְפָאֶרְךָ וּנְבָרֵךְ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשֶׁךָ, כָּאָמוּר: לְדָוִד, בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי אֶת ה' וְכָל קְרָבַי אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ. הָאֵל בְּתַעֲצֻמוֹת עֻזֶּךָ, הַגָּדוֹל בִּכְבוֹד שְׁמֶךָ, הַגִּבּוֹר לָנֶצַח וְהַנּוֹרָא בְּנוֹרְאוֹתֶיךָ, הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיּוׁשֵׁב עַל כִּסֵּא רָם וְנִשִֹּא. שׁוֹכֵן עַד מָּרוֹם וְקָּדוֹשׁ שְׁמּוֹ. וְכָתוּב: רַנְּנוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּה', לַיְשָׁרִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה. בְּפִי יְשָׁרִים תִּתְהַלָּל, וּבְדִבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים תִּתְבָּרַךְ, וּבִלְשׁוֹן חֲסִידִים תִּתְרוֹמָם, וּבְקֶרֶב קְדושִׁים תִּתְקַדָּשׁ.

The soul of every living being shall bless Your Name, Lord our God; the spirit of all flesh shall glorify and exalt Your remembrance always, our King. From the world and until the world, You are the Power, and other than You we have no king, redeemer, or savior, restorer, rescuer, provider, and merciful one in every time of distress and anguish; we have no king, besides You! God of the first ones and the last ones, God of all creatures, Master of all Generations, Who is praised through a multitude of praises, Who guides His world with kindness and His creatures with mercy. The Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps. He who rouses the sleepers and awakens the dozers; He who makes the mute speak, and frees the captives, and supports the falling, and straightens the bent. We thank You alone.

Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous song as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the breadth of the heavens, and our eyes as sparkling as the sun and the moon, and our hands as outspread as the eagles of the sky and our feet as swift as deers - we still could not thank You sufficiently, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, and to bless Your Name for one thousandth of the thousand of thousands of thousands, and myriad myriads, of goodnesses that You performed for our ancestors and for us. From Egypt, Lord our God, did you redeem us and from the house of slaves you restored us. In famine You nourished us, and in plenty you sustained us. From the sword you saved us, and from plague you spared us; and from severe and enduring diseases you delivered us.

Until now Your mercy has helped us, and Your kindness has not forsaken us; and do not abandon us, Lord our God, forever. Therefore, the limbs that You set within us and the spirit and soul that You breathed into our nostrils, and the tongue that You placed in our mouth - verily, they shall thank and bless and praise and glorify, and exalt and revere, and sanctify and coronate Your name, our King. For every mouth shall offer thanks to You; and every tongue shall swear allegiance to You; and every knee shall bend to You; and every upright one shall prostrate himself before You; all hearts shall fear You; and all innermost feelings and thoughts shall sing praises to Your name, as the matter is written (Psalms 35:10), "All my bones shall say, ‘Lord, who is like You? You save the poor man from one who is stronger than he, the poor and destitute from the one who would rob him.'" Who is similar to You and who is equal to You and who can be compared to You, O great, strong and awesome Power, O highest Power, Creator of the heavens and the earth. We shall praise and extol and glorify and bless Your holy name, as it is stated (Psalms 103:1), " [A Psalm] of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, His holy name." The Power, in Your powerful boldness; the Great, in the glory of Your name; the Strong One forever; the King who sits on His high and elevated throne. He who dwells always; lofty and holy is His name. And as it is written (Psalms 33:10), "Sing joyfully to the Lord, righteous ones, praise is beautiful from the upright." By the mouth of the upright You shall be praised; By the lips of the righteous shall You be blessed; By the tongue of the devout shall You be exalted; And among the holy shall You be sanctified.

(א) נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי תְּבָרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ.

The soul of every living being shall bless Your Name, Lord our God;

Nishmat is believed to have been composed in the early Amoraic era or earlier. In the Talmud, Rabbi Yochanan bar Nafcha (180-279 CE) states that Nishmat should be recited during the Passover Seder after Hallel.[18] This has been current practice at least since the Geonic period (c. 800-1000 CE).[19] While this is the earliest known reference to the prayer, there are opinions that it may be older.[20] The second part of the Nishmat prayer, from the words "If our mouths were as full of song as the sea...we could not sufficiently praise You O Lord our God" is cited as the text of a thanksgiving prayer for rain, attributed to Rabbi Yochanan, in tractate Berakhot (Talmud, b. Berakhot 59b).[21]

Nishmat became a standard part of the liturgy by the time of Saadia Gaon.[22] The earliest mention of it as part of the Sabbath morning service is in Seder Rav Amram written by Rav Amram Gaon in the ninth century CE.[23] In Mishneh Torah, Maimonides (12th century CE) states that it was recited on the Sabbath in Sephardic practice. Its use on Sabbath morning was controversial in Europe during the early medieval period. Several Ashkenazic rabbinic works explicitly defended its use, including Mahzor Vitry and Kol Bo.[24]

The exact author of the prayer is not known. Based on the acrostic arrangement in Befi Yesharim, some scholars have suggested that Nishmat was authored by a man named Yitzchak with a wife named Rivka, but others have dismissed this idea.[25]

Some scholars have suggested that the author's name may have been Shimon (שמעון, Simon) from an acrostic within the prayer, and have considered this could be Shimon ben Shetach or perhaps the Apostle Peter, whose Hebrew name was Shimon, which would place the date of authorship in the first century C.E.[26][27]

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishmat

A curious legend circulated in medieval France and Germany to the effect that Nishmat was composed by none other than the Apostle Peter, who is said to have built the Christian Church in order to remove Christians from the Jewish community, while believing himself that only Judaism is the true faith.

The legend has no basis in fact but was often repeated.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-nishmat-prayer/

דְּיוֹ אִלּוּ יַמֵּי וְכָל מֵי כְנִישׁוּתָא
Were the seas and all waters made of ink,

Kiddush Levana

Exchange greetings with three people:

שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם!

Peace unto you!

Shalom Aleikhem

עֲלֵיכֶם שָׁלוֹם!

Unto you peace!

Aleikhem shalom

The traditional ending to the Salat among all Muslims is:

"Al-Salamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatu". These words translate into: "Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you". This phrase is uttered twice at the conclusion of the Salat, once with the head turned to the right and once with the head turned to the left. see

The motion plays a critical role in Islamic prayer through a set of prescribed physical movements that make up raka’ats as well. These motions include standing, bending, kneeling, bowing, and prostrating. Specifc prayers accompany each of these movements. For example, while in prostration, the most humble and submissive position, a Muslim prays: “Holy is my Lord, the Most High.”

See: https://muslimsunrise.com/2018/10/01/jewish-and-muslim-prayer-traditions/

גּוּפַהּ: רַב אִיקְּלַע לְבָבֶל בְּתַעֲנִית צִבּוּר, קָם קְרָא בְּסִפְרָא. פְּתַח בָּרֵיךְ, חֲתַם וְלָא בָּרֵיךְ. נְפוּל כּוּלֵּי עָלְמָא אַאַנְפַּיְיהוּ וְרַב לָא נְפַל עַל אַנְפֵּיהּ. מַאי טַעְמָא רַב לָא נְפַל עַל אַפֵּיהּ? רִצְפָּה שֶׁל אֲבָנִים הָיְתָה, וְתַנְיָא: ״וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת עָלֶיהָ״. ״עָלֶיהָ״ אִי אַתָּה מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה בְּאַרְצְכֶם, אֲבָל אַתָּה מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה עַל אֲבָנִים שֶׁל בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. כִּדְעוּלָּא, דְּאָמַר עוּלָּא: לֹא אָסְרָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא רִצְפָּה שֶׁל אֲבָנִים בִּלְבָד. אִי הָכִי מַאי אִירְיָא רַב, אֲפִילּוּ כּוּלְּהוּ נָמֵי! קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַב הֲוַאי. וְלֵיזִיל לְגַבֵּי צִיבּוּרָא וְלִינְפּוֹל עַל אַפֵּיהּ! לָא בָּעֵי (ל)מַיטְרַח צִיבּוּרָא. וְאִיבָּעֵית אֵימָא: רַב פִּישּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם הֲוָה עָבֵיד, וְכִדְעוּלָּא. דְּאָמַר עוּלָּא: לָא אָסְרָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא פִּישּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם בִּלְבַד. וְלִיפּוֹל עַל אַפֵּיהּ, וְלָא לֶיעְבֵּיד פִּישּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם! לָא מְשַׁנֵּי מִמִּנְהֲגֵיהּ. וְאִיבָּעֵית אֵימָא: אָדָם חָשׁוּב שָׁאנֵי, כִּדְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר. דְּאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר: אֵין אָדָם חָשׁוּב רַשַּׁאי לִיפּוֹל עַל פָּנָיו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נַעֲנֶה כִּיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן, דִּכְתִיב: ״וַיֹּאמֶר ה׳ אֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ קוּם לָךְ [וְגוֹ׳]״. תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: קִידָּה — עַל אַפַּיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַתִּקֹּד בַּת שֶׁבַע אַפַּיִם אֶרֶץ״. כְּרִיעָה — עַל בִּרְכַּיִם, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר: ״מִכְּרוֹעַ עַל בִּרְכָּיו״. הִשְׁתַּחֲוָאָה — זוֹ פִּישּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״הֲבוֹא נָבוֹא אֲנִי וְאִמְּךָ וְאַחֶיךָ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת לְךָ אָרְצָה״. לֵוִי אַחְוִי קִידָּה קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי, וְאִיטְּלַע. וְהָא (קָא) גְּרַמָא לֵיהּ? וְהָאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר: לְעוֹלָם אַל יָטִיחַ אָדָם דְּבָרִים כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי אָדָם גָּדוֹל הֵטִיחַ דְּבָרִים כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה וְאִיטְּלַע וּמַנּוּ — לֵוִי. הָא וְהָא גְּרַמָא לֵיהּ. אָמַר רַב חִיָּיא בַּר אָבִין: חֲזֵינָא לְהוּ לְאַבָּיֵי וְרָבָא דִּמְצַלֵּי אַצְלוֹיֵי.

The Gemara cited an incident involving Rav, and now it returns to examine the matter itself. Rav once happened to come to Babylonia on a public fast. He stood and read from a Torah scroll. When he began to read, he recited a blessing, but when he concluded, he did not recite a blessing. Everyone else fell on their faces, i.e., bowed down on the floor, during the taḥanun supplication, as was the custom, but Rav did not fall on his face. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Rav did not fall on his face? The Gemara answers: It was a stone floor, and it was taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “Nor shall you install any figured stone in your land, to bow down upon it” (Leviticus 26:1), that, upon it, i.e., any type of figured stone, you shall not bow down in your land, i.e., anywhere in your land other than in the Temple; but you shall bow down upon the stones of the Temple. This is in accordance with the opinion of Ulla, as Ulla said: The Torah prohibited bowing down only upon a stone floor. The Gemara asks: If so, why was it specifically Rav who did not bow down? All of the other people present were also prohibited from bowing down on the stone floor. The Gemara answers: The stone section of the floor was only in front of Rav, as the rest of the floor was not paved. The Gemara comments: If so, Rav should have gone to where the rest of the congregation was standing and fallen on his face there. The Gemara responds: He did not want to trouble the congregation to make room for him. And if you wish, say the following: Rav would stretch out his arms and legs and fully prostrate himself on the ground, whereas the others would merely bend their bodies as a symbolic gesture but would not prostrate themselves on the ground. And this is in accordance with the opinion of Ulla, as Ulla said: The Torah prohibited bowing down upon a stone floor only when it is done with outstretched arms and legs. The Gemara challenges this response: Rav should have fallen on his face without stretching out his arms and legs. The Gemara answers: He did not want to change his usual custom of full prostration, and where he was standing he could not fully prostrate himself in his usual manner because there the floor was of stone. And if you wish, say a different reason as to why Rav did not fall on his face: An important person is different, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: An important person is not permitted to fall on his face in public unless he knows that he will be answered like Joshua bin Nun in his time, as it is written: “And the Lord said to Joshua: Get up; why do you lie upon your face?” (Joshua 7:10). It is a disgrace for a distinguished person to fall on his face and have his prayers unanswered. Consequently, Rav did not prostrate himself in public. Apropos Rav’s practice of prostrating himself, the Gemara continues with a discussion of different forms of bowing. The Sages taught in a baraita: The term kidda indicates falling upon one’s face, with one’s face toward the ground, as it is stated: “Then Bathsheba bowed [vatikod] with her face to the ground” (I Kings 1:31). Keria means bowing upon one’s knees, as it is stated with regard to Solomon: He finished praying and “he rose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling [mikkeroa] upon his knees” (I Kings 8:54). Finally, hishtaḥava’a, that is bowing with one’s arms and legs spread in total submission, as it is stated that Jacob asked, in response to Joseph’s dream: “Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow down [lehishtaḥavot] to you to the ground?” (Genesis 37:10). The Gemara relates that Levi once demonstrated the form of kidda that was performed by the High Priest before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. This bowing was especially difficult, as it involved bending from the waist until his head reached the ground, supporting his body with his thumbs, and then rising at once. In the course of his demonstration, Levi dislocated his hip and became lame. The Gemara asks: Was it this that caused Levi to become lame? Didn’t Rabbi Elazar say: A person should never speak impertinently toward God on High, as a great man once spoke impertinently toward God on High and he became lame? And who was he? Levi. The reason Levi became lame was because of the way he spoke to God (see Ta’anit 25a), not due to having performed kidda. The Gemara answers: Both this and that caused Levi to become lame. Since he spoke impertinently toward God, he was worthy of punishment, and he therefore suffered an injury while exerting himself to perform kidda. On the topic of bowing, Rav Ḥiyya bar Avin said: I saw Abaye [23a] and Rava, who would bend their heads and not actually prostrate themselves on the ground.

ת"ר קידה על אפים וכן הוא אומר (מלכים א א, לא) ותקד בת שבע אפים ארץ כריעה על ברכים וכן הוא אומר (מלכים א ח, נד) מכרוע על ברכיו השתחואה זו פישוט ידים ורגלים וכן אומר (בראשית לז, י) הבוא נבוא אני ואמך ואחיך להשתחות לך ארצה:

The Sages taught: The term kidda indicates falling upon one’s face...Keria means descending upon one’s knees...Hishtaḥava’a, this is prostrating oneself while spreading one’s arms and legs in total submission.

תניא אמר רבי יהודה כך היה מנהגו של רבי עקיבא כשהיה מתפלל עם הציבור היה מקצר ועולה מפני טורח צבור וכשהיה מתפלל בינו לבין עצמו אדם מניחו בזוית זו ומוצאו בזוית אחרת וכל כך למה מפני כריעות והשתחויות:

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda said: This was the custom of Rabbi Akiva, when he would pray with the congregation he would shorten his prayer and go up, due to his desire to avoid being a burden on the congregation. But when he prayed by himself a person would leave Rabbi Akiva alone in one corner of the study hall and later find him still praying in another corner. And why would Rabbi Akiva move about so much? Because of his bows and prostrations.

Karlin-Stolin Hasidim

the first assembly of the communal representatives and Rabbanim of neighboring White Russia was convened in Shklov, in White Russia. This assembly issued the first public anti-hasidic proclamation drawing the attention of the Gaon of Vilna, to the danger in the new movement. [18] From a letter written by R. Shneur-Zalman of Ladi to R. Avraham of Kalisk (Kolishki, in White Russia), we learn that this assembly took place in the winter of 1771 – 1772. [19] It was called primarily on account of the strange conduct of R. Avraham of Kalisk, on his return home from the beth midrash of Mezerich. His strange antics while praying ('turning repeated somersaults,' and the like) and his contemptuous and abusive attitude to talmudic scholars outraged not only the Rabbinim but even the Great Maggid himself. R. Avraham and his followers were popularly known as the Talk [=530] hasidim, with reference to the year 5530 [=1769 – 1770], when they first made their appearance in Kalisk. see

(ג) כתב רבינו הרמ"א דנהגו המדקדקים להתנועע בשעה שקורין בתורה, דוגמת התורה שניתנה ברתת. וכן בשעה שמתפללים, על שם "כל עצמותי תאמרנה...". עד כאן לשונו. והתורה נקראת "אש", והאש תמיד מתנועע. ובתפילת שמונה עשרה יש מתנועעים ויש שאינם מתנועעים. ותלוי לפי טבעו, דאם בהתנועע הכוונה יותר טוב אצלו – נכון להתנועע. ויש אדם שכוונתו יותר ברורה כשעומד בשווה לגמרי לא יתנועע. והכל לשם שמים. ובזוהר יש למה ישראל מתנענעים, עיין שם בפינחס דף רי"ח ע"ב טעם נכבד בזה.

R. Yehiel Michal Epstein (d. 1908)

And during the Amidah there are some who sway and some who don't and it depends on the person's nature. If by swaying, his kavanah improves, then he should sway; and a person whose kavanah is clearer when he stands perfectly still should not sway - and [either option] should be done for the sake of heaven...

Avram ben Maimuni (1186-1237), Responsum 62

1) Teach us, rabbi, if it is forbidden, or worthy to prevent (full prostration in prayer), lest he seems as if he is violating the laws of the sages, or whether one should not prevent (prostration) since it is the pathway of awe and service in extra intention (kavannah), and our sages didn’t prevent us from that. 2) From this you learn that anything that increases the intention (kavannah) of the heart in prayer is praiseworthy and esteemed. 3) The reason that the sages required bowings at the beginning and the end of the amidah was to say that one should not do less than this, but not to forbid one from doing more than this. Know that this was done in order to be lenient on the community which doesn’t have the strength to do more than this. 4) When (the baraita) says, “You teach him not to bow,” it means, you teach him that he doesn’t have to bow, lest he make a mistake and thinks that he must bow more. 5) If you claim that (prostration) is forbidden because the non-Jews or the Karaites pray this way, we respond by saying: The Christians pray toward Jerusalem, and that doesn’t forbid us from praying toward Jerusalem. The non-Jews stand in prayer, and we stand. They bow just like we bow.

שְׁמוֹנָה דְּבָרִים צָרִיךְ הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל לְהִזָּהֵר בָּהֶן וְלַעֲשׂוֹתָן. וְאִם הָיָה דָּחוּק אוֹ נֶאֱנַס אוֹ שֶׁעָבַר וְלֹא עָשָׂה אוֹתָן אֵין מְעַכְּבִין. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. עֲמִידָה. וְנֹכַח הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. וְתִקּוּן הַגּוּף. וְתִקּוּן הַמַּלְבּוּשִׁים. וְתִקּוּן הַמָּקוֹם. וְהַשְׁוָיַת הַקּוֹל. וְהַכְּרִיעָה. וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה:
A person who prays must be careful to tend to [the following] eight matters. [However,] if he is pressured, confronted by circumstances beyond his control, or transgresses and does not attend to one them, they are not of absolute necessity. They are:

1) standing;

2) facing the Temple;

3) preparation of his body;

4) proper clothing;

5) proper place;

6) control of his voice;

7) bowing; and

8) prostration.
כְּרִיעָה כֵּיצַד. הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל כּוֹרֵעַ חָמֵשׁ כְּרִיעוֹת בְּכָל תְּפִלָּה וּתְפִלָּה. בִּבְרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה בַּתְּחִלָּה וּבַסּוֹף. וּבְהוֹדָיָה בַּתְּחִלָּה וּבַסּוֹף. וּכְשֶׁגּוֹמֵר הַתְּפִלָּה כּוֹרֵעַ וּפוֹסֵעַ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּסִיעוֹת לַאֲחוֹרָיו. וּכְשֶׁהוּא כּוֹרֵעַ נוֹתֵן שָׁלוֹם מִשְּׂמֹאל עַצְמוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מִימִין עַצְמוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַגְבִּיהַּ רֹאשׁוֹ מִן הַכְּרִיעָה. וּכְשֶׁהוּא כּוֹרֵעַ בְּאַרְבַּע הַכְּרִיעוֹת כּוֹרֵעַ בְּבָרוּךְ וּכְשֶׁהוּא זוֹקֵף זוֹקֵף בַּשֵּׁם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּהֶדְיוֹט. אֲבָל כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל כּוֹרֵעַ בִּתְחִלַּת כָּל בְּרָכָה וּבְסוֹף כָּל בְּרָכָה. וְהַמֶּלֶךְ כֵּיוָן שֶׁשָּׁחָה בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה אֵינוֹ מַגְבִּיהַּ רֹאשׁוֹ עַד שֶׁגּוֹמֵר כָּל תְּפִלָּתוֹ:
Bowing: What is implied?
One praying bows five times in each and every Amidah:
In the first blessing, at the beginning and at the end;

in the blessing of thanks, at the beginning and at the end; and

upon completing the Amidah, one bows and takes three steps backwards while bowing. He takes leave from his left and afterwards, from his right. Then, he lifts his head up from the bowed position.
When he bows the [other] four times, he does so at [the utterance of the word] "Blessed" and straightens up when [reciting] G‑d's name.
To whom does the above apply? To an average person. However, the High Priest bows at the beginning and end of each and every blessing. A king bows at the beginning [of the Amidah] and does not lift his head until he completes his whole Amidah.
וְלָמָּה נוֹתֵן שָׁלוֹם לִשְׂמֹאלוֹ תְּחִלָּה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׂמֹאלוֹ הוּא יָמִין שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד פָּנָיו. כְּלוֹמַר כְּשֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ נוֹתֵן שָׁלוֹם לִימִין הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאַחַר כָּךְ לִשְׂמֹאל הַמֶּלֶךְ. וְקָבְעוּ שֶׁיִּפָּטֵר מִן הַתְּפִלָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּפְטָרִין מִלִּפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ:
Why should one take leave from the left first? Because one's left is to the right [side] of His countenance; i.e., just like when one stands before a king, he takes leave from the right of the king, and then afterwards from the left of the king. Thus, they established that one should withdraw from the Amidah in the same manner as he withdraws from before a king.
כָּל הַכְּרִיעוֹת הָאֵלּוּ צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּכְרַע בָּהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּקְּקוּ כָּל חֻלְיוֹת שֶׁבַּשִּׁדְרָה וְיַעֲשֶׂה עַצְמוֹ כְּקֶשֶׁת. וְאִם שָׁחָה מְעַט וְצִעֵר עַצְמוֹ וְנִרְאֶה כְּכוֹרֵעַ בְּכָל כֹּחוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ:
All these bows require that one bow until the vertebrae in his spine protrude and he makes himself like a bow.
However, if one bows slightly [to the extent that] it causes him pain and he appears to have bowed with all of his power, he need not worry.
הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה כֵּיצַד. אַחַר שֶׁמַּגְבִּיהַּ רֹאשׁוֹ מִכְּרִיעָה חֲמִישִׁית יֵשֵׁב לָאָרֶץ וְנוֹפֵל עַל פָּנָיו אַרְצָה וּמִתְחַנֵּן בְּכָל הַתַּחֲנוּנִים שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. כְּרִיעָה הָאֲמוּרָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם עַל בִּרְכַּיִם. קִידָה עַל אַפַּיִם. הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה זֶה פִּשּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם עַד שֶׁנִּמְצָא מֻטָּל עַל פָּנָיו אַרְצָה:
Prostration, what is implied?
After one lifts his head from the fifth bow, he sits on the ground, falls with his face towards the earth, and utters all the supplications that he desires.
"Kneeling" always refers to [falling to] one's knees; "bowing," to bending over on one's face; and "prostration," to stretching out on one's hands and feet until he is flat with his face on the ground.
כְּשֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה נְפִילַת פָּנִים אַחַר תְּפִלָּה יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה קִידָה וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה. וְאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה עַל הָאֲבָנִים אֶלָּא בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים. וְאֵין אָדָם חָשׁוּב רַשַּׁאי לִפּל עַל פָּנָיו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא יוֹדֵעַ בְּעַצְמוֹ שֶׁהוּא צַדִּיק כִּיהוֹשֻׁעַ. אֲבָל מַטֶּה פָּנָיו מְעַט וְאֵינוֹ כּוֹבֵשׁ אוֹתָן בַּקַּרְקַע. וּמֻתָּר לְאָדָם לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּמָקוֹם זֶה וְלִפּל עַל פָּנָיו בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר:
When uttering the supplication after the Amidah, there are those who bow and there are those who prostrate themselves.
It is forbidden to prostrate oneself on stones except in the Holy Temple, as we have explained in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim.
An important person is not permitted to fall on his face unless he is certain that he is as righteous as Yehoshua. Rather, he should tilt his face slightly, but not press it to the ground.
One may pray in one place and offer this supplication in another

רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, הָעוֹשֶׂה תְפִלָּתוֹ קֶבַע, אֵין תְּפִלָּתוֹ תַּחֲנוּנִים. רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אוֹמֵר, הַמְהַלֵּךְ בִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנָה, מִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלָּה קְצָרָה. אוֹמֵר, הוֹשַׁע הַשֵּׁם אֶת עַמְּךָ אֶת שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּכָל פָּרָשַׁת הָעִבּוּר יִהְיוּ צָרְכֵיהֶם לְפָנֶיךָ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' שׁוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה:

Rabbi Eliezer says: One whose prayer is fixed, his prayer is not supplication and is flawed. The Gemara will clarify the halakhic implications of this flaw. Rabbi Yehoshua says: One who cannot recite a complete prayer because he is walking in a place of danger, recites a brief prayer and says: Redeem, Lord, Your people, the remnant of Israel, at every transition [parashat ha’ibur], the meaning of which will be discussed in the Gemara. May their needs be before You. Blessed are You, Lord, Who listens to prayer.

וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הִשָּֽׁבְעָה֙ לִ֔י וַיִּשָּׁבַ֖ע ל֑וֹ וַיִּשְׁתַּ֥חוּ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עַל־רֹ֥אשׁ הַמִּטָּֽה׃ {פ}
And he said, “Swear to me.” And he swore to him. Then Israel bowed at the head of the bed.