Must one bow to the left first, then bow to the right...or can one bow to the right first, then to the left when saying the Oseh Shalom Bimromav? Also, is there a difference regarding the direction one turns first between the Sefardim and the Ashkenazim? Yemenite? Can someone provide source(s) for either question?


2 Answers 2


The Babylonian Talmud (Yoma 53b) states that one should bow to one's left first:

המתפלל צריך שיפסיע שלש פסיעות לאחוריו ואחר כך יתן שלום ואם לא עשה כן ראוי לו שלא התפלל ומשום שמעיה אמרו שנותן שלום לימין ואחר כך לשמאל שנאמר מימינו אש דת למו ואומר יפול מצדך אלף ורבבה מימינך מאי ואומר וכי תימא אורחא דמילתא היא למיתב בימין ת"ש יפול מצדך אלף ורבבה מימינך רבא חזייה לאביי דיהיב שלמא לימינא ברישא א"ל מי סברת לימין דידך לשמאל דידך קא אמינא דהוי ימינו של הקב"ה
One who prays shall take three steps backwards and then pronounce ‘peace’. And if he did not do so, it would have been better for him not to have prayed at all. In the name of R. Shemaya they said: He should pronounce ‘peace’ towards the right, then towards the left, as it is said: At His right hand was a fiery law unto them, and it is also said: A thousand may fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand.... Raba saw Abaye pronouncing ‘peace’ first towards the right and he said to him: Do you mean that your right hand is meant? It is your left hand, which is the right of the Holy One, blessed be He. (Translation from Soncino)


You turn left first. Then right, then middle.

  • 1
    A source would improve your answers greatly. Otherwise, we have only your word to go by, and, no offense, but none of us know you.
    – msh210
    Mar 6, 2014 at 4:58

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