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There is a paragraph said just prior to the על חטא section of the Yom Kippur service that begins:

אתה חופש כל חדרי בטן

A (fairly) literal translation would be, "You search all the chambers of the stomach"

Since this paragraph introduces the lists of sins and is followed by a request that G-d forgive our sins, I assume that there is some connection between the stomach and sins. Why is that connection? What is G-d "searching" for in these chambers?

  • בטן is probably more like "gut" than "stomach". Unlike cows, humans don't have multi-chambered stomachs. – Double AA Oct 11 '16 at 16:07
  • @DoubleAA humans don't have separate stomachs like cows. But the stomach does have "compartments" or "sections". Perhaps this is what is meant by the term חַדְרֵי. – DanF Oct 11 '16 at 16:12
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    The Arabic cognate seems very relevant--the word can have the sense of the interior of something, its depth, what is hidden and not revealed: books.google.ca/… – paquda Oct 11 '16 at 16:19
  • What with bochen kelayot valeva? – kouty Oct 13 '16 at 18:33
  • Chadrey are perhaps compartimento, peritoneale, extraperitoneal, digestive urinary – kouty Oct 13 '16 at 18:35
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This answer will shed light on your question:

The phrase, "חפש כל חדרי בטן" comes from Proverbs 20:27:

נר ה' נשמת אדם חפש כל חדרי בטן

"The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inward parts." (JPS 1917)

The word, בטן, is often used simply to mean "belly" (and is therefore associated with pregnancy), but in this context it means the innermost aspects of the human being. Thus, ibn EZra understands it to refer to the heart, writing "והוא רמז ללב שהוא חדר המחשבות" - "and this alludes to the heart, which is the chamber of thoughts".

(Credits: LazerA, paquda)

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