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Inspired by this question, this question and this answer, what I am looking for is an early source that makes reference to people no longer prostrating themselves after tefillah. If the source gives a reason as to why "we" no longer do this, so much the better, but for the moment I would be happy with a text that simply records this being the case.

By an "early source", I am ideally looking for something prior to the 18th century, but certainly prior to the late-19th. Alternatively, if there is a text that demonstrates that the custom of not prostrating oneself originates after the 17th century, that would be excellent too.

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i think zohar says something about that i am not sure bout the source though. it is not a source for me lol – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 20 '14 at 1:58
also the reason why teimonim dont do it anymore is because they want to be "politically correct" and not be different than other jews and because the other jews called them muslims for being so dark and the way they dress and how they pray. so they are stopped many of halochoth because of this. – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 20 '14 at 4:15
also there is a letter from the cairo ganiza that is written by the opposition of rabbeinu abrohom ban ha rambam zl to the muslim supreme court in egypt stating that rabbeinu abrohom zl invented a new form of prayer with prostration and genuflection and that he copied this from the muslims. i forgot the group that was against him, but he wrote in defense of himself and his father on this topic in hamasiq la3obdei hashem. – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 20 '14 at 4:19
he says they are 3amei ho ora9eem and if they learned torah and jamoro then they wil lsee that it is in there as well and not only muslims do this. he also says muslims took it from our nabee'eem and that we are in the wrong for leaving the ways of our nabee'eem. unfortunately most of the book is lost except a a few certain parts. however i do have the letter if you want to see it – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 20 '14 at 4:21
i think ramo also says not to do it anywhere even if there is a separation from the stone floor and your face, however we see ashkanazim not holding so since they do prostration on yom kippur and rosh hashono – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 20 '14 at 4:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Shulchan Aruch HaRav records that ועכשיו שלא נהגו ליפול על פניהם ממש אלא בהטיית הראש וכיסוי הפנים בלבד. This was written in the mid/late 1700's (when he was around 26 years old). So that doesn't hit your ideal, but it is prior to the late 19th century.

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Thank you, Yishai - that's very helpful. I am leaving this question open for now, in order to encourage more responses, but +1. – Shimon bM May 21 '14 at 2:11

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