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In Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 96) it is stated that one is not allowed to hold any object while davening because it will worry him that it may fall and take away from his kavana.

However one is permitted to hold onto something that is needed for the prayer itself (i.e. a Machzor or a Siddur, Lulav and Esrog) thus it will not take away from his kavana.

Fidget spinners have been marketed as toys that are helpful for the autistic and for children diagnosed with ADD. Supposedly, fidget spinners and fidget cubes are claimed to help with aiding the children's concentration during class. Many schools and teachers allow them in their class for this purpose.

If using a fidget cube/spinner helps one focus on the teffilah, may one hold/spin it while davening?

Are there any other factors beyond concentration that may allow or disallow their usage?

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    I think a question to ask here might be, "can one hold on to something that is helpful for prayer but not required"? – Tatpurusha May 16 '17 at 6:25
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    @Tatpurusha That is the 'hetter' to hold a siddur in a situation where it is not necessary, but still helps one concentrate. – user6591 May 16 '17 at 6:54
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    would this dovetail with another question -- "What if my doing something to enhance MY kavanah will detract from another person's kavanah?" Also, are there limits to what one can hold/do under the claim "it will help my kavanah" then? – rosends May 16 '17 at 10:16
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    Why am I getting downvoted for no reason. This is a completely valid and sourced question – Shoel U'Meishiv May 16 '17 at 20:11
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    Side note, it's not entirely clear that fidget spinners are indeed beneficial for concentration. And even those who say it is beneficial, it's mostly directed to those who have some sort of disorder that makes it difficult for them to concentrate, which may already remove the person from standard Halachos to the category of "Shoteh". – Salmononius2 May 17 '17 at 1:13
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Someone recently sent me a screenshot of a sefer. I have paraphrased it:

Someone had apparently asked הרה״ג רבי יצחק זילברשטיין שליט״א if he is allowed to use the "spinner" during Shemona Esrei since it is hard for him to concentrate, and according to the researchers he will be more successful at concentrating during the Tefilah.

רבי יצחק זילברשטיין responds that even someone who is suffering from "problems with concentration" would not be brazen to use a fidget spinner in front of the President of the USA, and therefore it is certainly forbidden to do so in front of The King of Kings.

The page within the sefer is titled ווי העמודים although I am unable to discern which volume, etc. it may be.

Page from Sefer

  • I think it was posted on matzav.com - can you post it here? – Shoel U'Meishiv May 29 '17 at 10:52
  • @ShoelU'Meishiv At first I didn't want to because of copyright. But I guess on second thought, it's probably fair use... – yydl May 29 '17 at 15:16
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    Shkoyach. It's fair use – Shoel U'Meishiv May 29 '17 at 15:16
  • Interesting that an Israeli rabbi is using the President of the USA as his standard for a king-like human and not the Israeli PM or President. – PopularIsn'tRight May 30 '17 at 4:05

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