Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have seen many people bow slightly when striking their chests in recitation of the sixth b'racha of sh'moneh esrei. Is this a custom? Is there a source for it?

Anyone whom I've witnessed doing this has only given me anecdotal information as the source of the practice.

share|improve this question
1  
There are definitely sources for doing so during vidui, but I can't think of any for סלח לנו. –  jake May 11 '11 at 15:09
    
Do you know that they do it intentionally? After seeing this question I paid attention to what I did this morning and found that I naturally bowed slightly while striking the chest. It wasn't an intentional act but it felt natural. So is the bow first-order choreography, or a side-effect? –  Monica Cellio May 12 '11 at 13:13
    
@Monica Cellio - Well, only in the cases when I've asked them afterward. I am assuming based on those people intentionality in the others. –  WAF May 12 '11 at 23:36
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Piskei T'shuvos (115:2), citing Maharil, writes that whist striking the chest during s'lach lanu, one should bow his head slightly forward.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It's an old minhag. I believe that the Mishna Berura mentions it.

share|improve this answer
2  
Welcome to Judaism.SE! Your answer could be improved if you could dig up and add the relevant M"B citation and quotation. –  Isaac Moses May 11 '11 at 18:13
add comment

I don't have the source for this, but I remember learning about vidui that it is a form of bowing your head in "shame", for the evil deeds.
I assume, as @jake said in a comment, that this is similar for סלח לנו.

share|improve this answer
1  
I was assuming the same and ascribing that logic to the people I've seen doing it. I just have never seen or heard it mentioned as an actual minhag. –  WAF May 11 '11 at 21:03
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.