In many places in Talmud Bavli (e.g. Brachos 30b) Tannaim and Amoraim are described as putting their heads between their knees when praying for something, usually miraculous, which then occurred. This position does not occur in the standardized service, and to my knowledge it isn't the minhag of any community today.

Why did the Tannaim do this? Was it just to minimize distractions or is there another reason?

  • I heard very recently from a big torah scholar that this position facilitates the highest level of beseaching Hashe-m. The point that its "not done today" would just mean were not on that level as the gemara says in Megillah 22b I'll try to get the source. – R. Mo Aug 12 '14 at 14:52

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