In Nusach Ashkenaz (and I assume Nusach Sefard as well as other nuscha'ot), there is a "hymn" said as part of the Musaph service on both days of Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur that has a refrain וכל מאמינים (Everyone believes).

One of the phrases says: וכל מאמינים שהוא בוחן כליות

Translating literally:

"Everyone believes that He (G-d) checks the kidneys"

I assume that the term בוחן כליות is a metaphor for "a person's intentions or thoughts". But, I am trying to get a sense that if that is what is meant, what is the connection of mentioning the kidneys and what does it mean to "check" or "investigate" them. Investigate what?

  • @GershonGold possibly, as you said. The metaphor may be similar, but, Hashem is a better doctor and biologist than you or I to know if these two parts of the body do similar actions, so to speak :-)
    – DanF
    Sep 2, 2015 at 16:10
  • 1
    Chazal famously believed that the kidneys contribute to thought (Cf. Berachos 61a). Accordingly, the connection to thought is perfectly clear.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 2, 2015 at 16:24
  • Very similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/56733
    – msh210
    Sep 2, 2015 at 16:24
  • @msh210 Thanks. I flagged for moderator assist on this. Since you are a diamond-guy, please refer to what I mentioned, there.
    – DanF
    Sep 2, 2015 at 17:31
  • This is not a duplicate as worded, but I'm closing as duplicate because of what was mentioned in the aforementioned flag.
    – msh210
    Sep 2, 2015 at 18:00


Browse other questions tagged .