I remember reading somewhere that looking up during Shomnei Esreh improperly exposes the person to the Schechina and may cause blindness. Does anyone else remember reading that and know its source?

  • 1
    There's this
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 10 at 17:03
  • There’s also an idea brought by the Sefer HaChassidim that if you look at the ceiling during shemoneh esrei the angels laugh at you Commented Feb 11 at 0:07
  • Thank you. Not sure how to relate your source Msh with the question. Gut voch! Commented Feb 11 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


It's a Zohar Veschanan brought in Mishna Berura 91:6

(ו) משום הכון לקראת וגו' - איתא בזוהר ואתחנן מאן דקאים בצלותא בעי לכסויי רישיה ועינוי בגין דלא יסתכל בשכינתא. [והיינו בטלית של מצוה וכן נוהגין כהיום לכסות ראש עד עינים בטלית מצוה בשעת תפלת י"ח. פמ"ג] מאן דפקח עינוי בשעת צלותיה מקדים עליה מה"מ וכו' ועיין בסי' צ"ה במ"ב סק"ה:


Sam beat me to it but here's the source in full "In his book, Rav Hamnuna Saba said that whoever opens his eyes during prayer or does not lower his eyes to the ground, the Angel of Death hastens for him. When his soul leaves him [at the time of his death], he [who was accustomed to stare at the place of the Shechinah] will not see the light of the Shechinah nor die by a kiss. Whoever treats the Shechinah lightly is treated lightly when he needs Her. This is the meaning of, "for them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me [by staring at the Shechinah during prayer] shall be lightly esteemed." (I Samuel 2:30) " https://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/1580407/jewish/Daily-Zohar-Vaetchanan-Day-2.htm

Thank you.

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