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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?

marked as duplicate by Gershon Gold, msh210 Sep 2 '15 at 18:01

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  • @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 '15 at 16:10
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    Chazal famously believed that the kidneys contribute to thought (Cf. Berachos 61a). Accordingly, the connection to thought is perfectly clear. – mevaqesh Sep 2 '15 at 16:24
  • Very similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/56733 – msh210 Sep 2 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 18:00

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