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From what I have seen, other than tachanun (nefilat apayim) the chazzan stands for the entire davening. Why is this so? Why not sit for things like krias shema?

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My guess is practical -- between needing a place to put that chair and needing to be visible/audible to the kehal enough for people to know where he is, it's probably easier to just stand. Assuming he does sit down for leining, it's not that long to just stand for most services. –  Monica Cellio Jun 23 '13 at 4:39
See perhaps Megillah 21a –  Double AA Jun 23 '13 at 8:06
They don't call it an "Amud" for nothing. –  Menachem Jun 23 '13 at 19:50
Kabvod hazibur would be my guess. BTW I have seen Chazzonim with health issues sit during parts of the Chazzoras Hashatz on Yomim Noraim. –  Danny Schoemann Jun 24 '13 at 9:26
Are we specifically talking about Ashkenazim? –  WAF Nov 19 '13 at 12:22

2 Answers 2

one possible reason is that tefila is b'makom korbanot (in place of the temple service. this is written all over the Tur in hilchot tefila) - and it was forbidden to sit in the temple except for Davidic Kings. we are lenient for the tzibur but not for chazan perhaps since he is our emmisarry and represents the tzibur.

another reason could be out of respect. Like we find that it was forbidden to sit in the temple area except for a king. So too, it is not proper for a servant of a king to address his king while sitting down. all the more so for adressing the King of kings. hard to find a source for this because it is obvious.

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With a source, this would be a good answer. Without it, though, just because it is b'makom korbanot doesn't imply standing any more than it implies the chazan has to be a Kohen. –  Yishai Nov 19 '13 at 14:44
@Yishai nobody interprets tefila b'makom korbanat to mean only a kohen can pray, but you're right would be alot better with a reliable source –  ray Nov 19 '13 at 19:51
Of course not. My point was only that if it is just your idea from the Tur, then it isn't really compelling as being the reason. We can't just get that from the Tur. If however it is sourced by someone saying this is the reason for the custom, then it would be an answer that deserves an up vote. As it stands, it reads like speculation, although it may, in fact, be completely correct. –  Yishai Nov 19 '13 at 20:08
On the second reason, why is that not equally applicable to everyone? –  Yishai Apr 20 at 18:53
@Yishai because he is the emmisary. also can't ask everyone to stand all the time. too much for the tzibur. –  ray Apr 21 at 19:25

He is the the Shliach - the emissary - to the King, so to speak, and a emissary always stands before a king.

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Interesting... A source would improve the quality of this answer. –  Danny Schoemann Jun 8 at 8:18

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