In the Aryeh Kaplan Reader (page 192) Rabbi Kaplan zt"l says, "Many people - during Shemonah Esrei - have the habit of swaying and bowing. However, the Shelah HaKadosh writes, such movements may actually interfere with kavanah. On a superficial level, swaying and shaking may make a person feel more emotional about the words he is saying, but drawing upon the deepest emotions often requires remaining perfectly still.

Where does the Shelah HaKadosh say this?


Rav Chaim of Volozhin ([#23] says that the only reason to purposefully 'shuckle' while praying is to avoid sleeping.

I cannot find this in the Shel"ah, but I did find where he says:

המתנועע בתפילתו גורם ביטול כוונתו, והעמידה בלא התנועעות כלל עוזר על הכוונה, ומה שאמר: 'כל עצמותי תאמרנה', היינו בשירות ותשבחות וברכות קר"ש ותלמוד תורה אבל לא בתפילה. הואם יש מי שאומר כן גם בתפילה נ"ל שאין לחוש לדבריו כי הניסיון מוכיח, שהעמידה בלי נענוע בתפילה גורמת לכיון הלב. וראה בעיניך: הישאל אדם שאלות ממלך בשר ודם, וגופו מתנועע כנוע עצי יער מפני הרוח?‏
One who sways during his prayer causes a lack of concentration and standing without swaying at all helps with concentration...for testing it shows that standing without swaying during prayer helps one concentrate. And see with your own eyes: would a man make requests from a king of flesh and blood while his body is swaying as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind? (my translation)

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