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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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Chief Rabbi Sacks was knighted in 2005. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4081534.stm – Curiouser May 25 '12 at 2:22
    
@Curiouser I was just about to answer with that, and then I noticed you had already commented it. Do you want to submit it as an answer? – HodofHod May 31 '12 at 4:11
    
why it is good to be kighted? a jew probably should find a polite way to avoid that nonecence entirely. what is honorable in being a knight? knights killed jews wholesale during crusades. in russia, for example, knights are not considered seriously at all, because the beat them. – moshe Oct 30 '12 at 9:15
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And the Queen said when looking at the Jewish knight: "Why is this knight different from all other knights?" – mbloch Apr 6 at 3:34
  1. On only 1 knee is less than really kneeling.
  2. It's on a stool rather than on the ground or stone floor.
  3. It could be considered as a gesture to make it easier for a vertically challenged sovereign to pass the sword over his head – protecting his neck and ears.
  4. It is as more theatre than religious ritual.
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Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Note that, unlike some other sites you may be used to, this one is meant just for questions and answers; as this is an answer post, I've removed the stuff about Passover from it. If I've pruned too much, please feel free to edit it again. Please also edit in support/evidence for each of the distinctions you mention, (a) that it's true and (b) that it affects the halacha of whether one may kneel, which, after all, was the question. After all, we don't know who you are, so have no reason (with all due respect) to take your word for it unless you provide evidence. – msh210 Apr 5 at 20:34
    
Hello and welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for your first answer! If you haven’t done so already, you should take a look at the tour. Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting. I hope you'll look around and find other Q&A of interest and stay learning with us. – mbloch Apr 6 at 2:30

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
    
This Wikipedia list of "British Jewish nobility and gentry" looks relevant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Noam D. Elkies Apr 6 at 3:31
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The blessing is Baruch Atta A-d-o-n-a-i E-l-o-h-e-i-n-u Melech ha'olam shenoten mik'vodo l'basar vadam. (Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the Universe, Who gave of His glory to flesh and blood.) – mbloch Apr 6 at 3:34
    
l'vasar vadam (with an un-accented ב), right? – Noam D. Elkies Apr 6 at 14:15

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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protected by Shmuel Brin Apr 5 at 21:06

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