I am aware of this question asked about zimun, but my question is on mitzvot that require standing up. If one is in a squat position (not fully standing) or leaning over a shtender, is that sufficient for the requirement of standing up? This would apply to standing up for parents, elders, Rabbis, and all other mitzvot I didn't mention that require standing. I ask this because I have seen people who half stand when a Rebbi or Rosh Yeshiva walk by and got me thinking of other mitzvot as well. Please bring sources, thanks.

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    See YD 244:7-8 sometimes a partial standing for a rabbi is sufficient. If you'd just ask for a source for what you've seen instead of generalizing all the way it'd be easier to help address your question
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 20:22
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    @Rabbi Kaii like most of the time in Kol Hatorah ideas and Halachos are shared throughout many concepts spread around Shas. For example (in our case) Tosfos Zevachim 19b concludes that leaning is prohibited for the בעל קורא by קריאת התורה from the Halacha of Avoda in the Beis Hamikdash.. It Is definitely a legitimate question. Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 20:30
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    @shayachagigah good example. It has already demonstrated that the principle of standing is not a unified concept, because the mitzva of standing for a parent is based on a different principle to the mitzva of a בעל קורא for קריאת התורה. Once there is a halacha to stand, you stand, is not true. As DoubleAA's source brings, half standing is sometimes permissible for a good reason (admittedly controversial). Sometimes not. I would be very glad to see someone research and address every individual case of standing in halacha, I don't mean to be pedantic. Just want to make aware of MY standards.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 20:36
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    @Rabbi Kaii most definitely. What Avishai meant in my opinion is that there has to be a verdict in Halacha what the status of סמיכה is, either it's considered standing or it's sitting. This that we find maybe by other Mitzvos otherwise is only because that particular Mitzva doesn't require standing or sitting etc., but the Halacha of what is the nature of סמיכה is an absolute across the board. Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 20:46
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    @shayachagigah That's not obviously the case a priori. Many times in halacha we find similar constructs getting defined in different ways in different cases, and then we have to decide if a new third case is more analogous to case 1 and definition 1 or case 2 and definition 2. A famous example: we know there's a different definition of washing for yom kippur and avelut, but which one should we use for tisha bav?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


In the Gemara (Kiddushin 32b), it says that even though one must stand up to his full hight to honor a parent, teacher or an elderly person, however if he forgoes his honor, one is not obligated to do so, but must still do something to indicate a sign of reverence, and Rashi says he can do so by shifting slightly in his seat, and that would be enough.

The same would apply to a Talmid Chacham when honoring the elderly, or for elderly people and Talmidei Chachamim, when honoring one another, (Yoreh De’ah 244:7-8)

when it comes to performing the Mitzvos where one must stand, such as Tzitzis, Tefilin, Sefiras Ha’omer, blowing the Shofar, Netilas Lulav etc. one is forbidden to lean on something, unless he is in a position in which he would be able to remain without the support (Mishnah Berurah 585:1)

When it comes to the Ba’al Koreh, while reading from the Torah, as well as the one called up for the Aliyah, being that he must stand with awe and reverence, it is forbidden even in such a case, unless he is obese, old or sick (Ibid 141:1)

When it comes to the Ba’al Koreh, while reading the Megillah for the congregation, being that the reason why he must stand is only to show respect for the congregation, it is permitted to be leaning on something (Ibid 690:1)

When it comes to Shemoneh Esrei, there is an argument as to whether it is as stringent as a Ba’al Koreh while reading from the Torah, or if it’s like all other Mitzvos (Ibid 94:8)

When it comes to standing while reciting “Vayechulu”, which is considered a “testimony”, see Choshen Mishpat (17:1) regarding the dispute as to whether a witness is permitted to be leaning on something while giving testimony.

When it comes to the Cohen, who must stand while reciting the priestly blessings, being that it is likened to the service in the temple, see Tosafos (Zevachim 19:b) who paskens like the opinion that holds that the Cohen may not lean on anything while performing the service in the temple.

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    Thanks! but how do we know that for other mitzvot one must be in a position that he could remain without support? Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 20:39
  • I don't see anything in the Mishnah Berurah about standing in general.
    – shmosel
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 20:56
  • שלום, ישר כח@, thank you! Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 23:27
  • ברוכים תהיו! :) Is there anything in the answer that needs clarification?
    – שלום
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 23:29
  • Everything is clear, תודה Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 0:35

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