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When praying the Amidah, each Siddur I own mentions striking the chest at key points. However, neither tells how. I tend to make a loose fist and strike the left breast with a moderate force (not painful). Is this the proper manner?

How should I "strike the chest" in the Forgiveness Petition of the Amidah?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Kehot Annotated Siddur says (p. 47):

On days when Tachnun is said, gently strike the left side of your chest (over the heart) with a closed fist at the words חטאנו and פעשנו.

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@Yishai "On days when Tachnun is said" is confusing to me. Don't we still clop our chest in the month of Nissan and on Rosh Hodesh? That aside, the procedure description is spot on. – Mike May 1 '14 at 1:27
@Mike, the chabad custom is only when tachnun is said. Others may not distinguish. – Yishai May 1 '14 at 1:52
@Yishai, Minhagei Ashkenaz uPolin/Lita say that we always strike the chest at chatanu and pashanu. – Noach MiFrankfurt May 1 '14 at 3:21

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