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At the beginning of Kedusha, the Chazzan says v'kara zeh el zeh v'amar. I've seen three types of chazzanim with regard to bowing left at the first zeh and right at the second:

  1. bow left and right at vkara zeh... every time.
  2. never bow at vkara zeh...
  3. bow left and right at vkara zeh, but only on Shabbos.

Which is correct, if any? And if this bowing is correct, should a non-Chazzan also do it?

  • 1
    It's minhag: most Ashkenazim I know do 1, Chabad does 2, I don't know about everyone else. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 1 '14 at 1:38
  • Noach mi Frankfurt, do you bow at "v'kara zeh el zeh v'amar"? Is this a minhag or halachah? Where does it originate from and where is the source for it? – Chiddushei Torah Aug 1 '14 at 16:04
  • @ChiddusheiTorah, I bow, the rav of my schul does not. A Lubavitcher once told me that that is an issue of minhag Chabad differing from the mainstream Ashkenazi world. I don't know his mekor or I would post this as an answer. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 1 '14 at 20:59
  • @Noach and the Rav of your shul is chabad, ashkenazi, or other? Also, still need a sourced answer. – LiquidMetal Aug 1 '14 at 21:30
  • @LiquidMetal, the rav of my schul is Chabad. If I had a source, I would have posted an answer. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 1 '14 at 22:02
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. He also quotes from kabbalistic sources that the first קדוש corresponds to חסד, the second to גבורה and the last to תלמוד תורה. Then he adds that חסד corresponds to the right side and גבורה to the left so we bow in that way at this time.

It would seem that there is no difference between שליח ציבור and normal מתפלל, nor between שבת and ימי חול for this מנהג, should you choose to accept it. It is admittedly not particularly well sourced and that is why you see some not doing it. So I suggest, in conclusion to make a decision whether to do it or not, and if you decide to do it, do it consistently.

2

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, our left and then to the left of the Shechinah, our right. But over here, we are meant to be copying the malachim, and the malachim bow right first, then left according to the זוהר נח עא:‏.

So according to this, all three of those customs are wrong, but all should bow (the correct way) at all times.

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