The Art Scroll & Birnbaum siddurim Nusach Ashkenaz for both Rosh Hashannah & Yom Kippur state this ark / opening procedure during the cantor's recital of the Aleinu prayer during Musaph on these 2 holidays:

  • Ark is opened at start of the prayer
  • Ark is closed during recital of the phrase שלא שם חלקינו כהם - That he did not place our portion among theirs... (and for those that say it, שהם משתחוים *That they bow down...")
  • Ark is reopened at ואנחנו כורעים And we bow down

What is the reason for the multiple opening / closing, or why is the ark closed during the 1 or 2 sentences mentioned above?

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