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Rav Ben-Tzion Mutzafi writes in his sefer שיבת ציון at שער ז' סימן ק"ו in the name of his father Rav Salamon Mutzafi zt"l who said that bowing to the left first is a mistake being carried over from when we bow by עושה שלום at the end of Shemonah Esrei. Over there, he says, we are facing opposite the Shechinah, so we bow to the right of the Shechinah first, ...


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I was also bothered where this all came from. The ספר מנהג ישראל תורה on סימן קכה of שולחן ערוך אורח חיים who quotes from a few sources some ideas: We say in a פיוט on יום כיפור that the angels are דמות ארבעה פנים לכל צד פונים אומרים קדוש, they are four faced, turn in every direction and say קדוש. He suggests that us doing this is symbolic of that. He also ...


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Every siddur I've seen has the Chazzan recite the first line, presumably to inform the kehillah of which piyut they are doing, followed by the chazzan repeating after the kehillah for the remainder of the piyut.



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