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Is there any halachik problem with going through the knighting (or Damehood for women) process of kneeling etc?

The current ceremony does not contain many of the Christian or pagan overtones of the past. However it does include kneeling before the sovereign. Essentially the question then is may one participate in previously idolatrous ceremony that still contains some elements of the original ritual but has generally lost its religious nature?

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You kneel on a small bench and I do not believe that the Queen asked you to swear upon any holy grail. –  user1292 May 24 '12 at 16:17
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You could improve this question by adding whatever you know about the knighting process and what concerns you think might apply. –  Isaac Moses May 24 '12 at 16:20
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I'm reading your last sentence as saying that you're worried not about the kneeling qua kneeling but only about the kneeling as a remnant of a previously religious ceremony. Is that right? (If so, you might wish to make that more explicit in your question, lest you get answers that discuss kneeling qua kneeling.) –  msh210 May 24 '12 at 17:51
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Chief Rabbi Sacks was knighted in 2005. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4081534.stm –  Curiouser May 25 '12 at 2:22
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I feel like if you were knighted you should at least try saying "mah nishtana halayla haze" in hopes that the queen would say, "what makes this knight different?" –  Joel Spolsky May 25 '12 at 3:17

2 Answers 2

According to my professor, there are at least two orthodox Jews who were knighted with the consent of their rabbis, provided they recite a short prayer--"Blessed art thou G-d who shares his power with men," or something to that effect.

I don't think the precedent set by Mordecai should necessarily be interpreted as a law to be applied to all Jews in all situations.

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Noah, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for posting this answer! You could make it much more valuable by identifying the two knights, identifying your professor, or, to really make it great, following up with your professor to find out who the knights and their rabbis were, along with more detail about their rulings. If you can add any of this information, please edit it into the post. –  Isaac Moses Nov 27 '12 at 22:31

Depending on which knee, I think you would be yielding the sefirot of hod or netzach to said sovereign unto the third generation of your descendants. Of course this would be strictly prohibited to offer to an idol, but simply warned against even were the sovereign Jewish as noted by 1 Samuel 8:11. So basically, it might be politically expedient for you now but it will end up lousy for your kids and grand kids.

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