On tisha bav it is forbidden to sit on a chair (until the afternoon). During shiva mourning sitting on a chair is similarly prohibited. What is a comfortable way to sit on the floor for a long time (without kneeling as per Jewish custom)?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about Judaism. There is no reason to assume a substantively different response from a Jew or non Jew on the topic.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 1, 2017 at 21:33
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    Have you tried googling "how to sit comfortably on floor"?
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 1, 2017 at 21:35
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    I assume non Jews would sit on a chair if the floor becomes uncomfortable. For a Jew reciting kinot the whole morning this is not an option. Also a Jew must take care not to kneel, not a concern for non Jews Aug 1, 2017 at 21:48
  • How about the old "criss-cross, applesauce" method aka "Indian style" sitting?
    – ezra
    Aug 1, 2017 at 22:14
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    Even if this is off-topic as asked, it can easily be brought on-topic by asking specifically about sitting for long stretches of time (like, many hours a day for seven days of mourning a relative), something I'm unaware of non-Judaism-adherents' doing.
    – msh210
    Aug 2, 2017 at 4:53

1 Answer 1


The Mishna Berurah in siman 559 writes:

ועיין באחרונים דמותר להניח תחתיו שק או כר קטן. וגם יוכל לישב על ספסל נמוך למי שקשה לו לישב על הארץ:

One may place a bag or a small pillow underneath themselves. Also if one finds it hard to sit on the floor, one may use a low chair.

This is basically the ruling presented in the Pri Migadim who found a middle ground between the Magen Avraham who seemingly allowed both low seats and cushions and Elya Rabba who disallowed both on the grounds that Maharil said one should not sit on the platform in front of the Aron Kodesh.

Aruch Hashulchan in that siman #4 rules leniently like Magen Avraham adding that when the Mechaber wrote to sit on the floor, this was not meant to exclude sitting on something else or a low stool.

ולאו דוקא על הארץ אלא מציעין תחתיו דבר מה או על ספסל קטן נמוך לארץ.

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    I think only the bench is if sitting is difficult. The other options are optimal as implied by Magen Avraham and Peri Megaddim whom he cites in Shaar HaTsiyun.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 1, 2017 at 22:45
  • In light of your comment I will more directly translate the M.B. block quote and let the reader deal with the issue of lichatchila. But before I do, please compare siman 552 M.B. # 17. Let me know what you think. (I will also add the A.H. who rules like M.A. in all circumstances bl'n.)
    – user6591
    Aug 2, 2017 at 12:13
  • @Mevaqesh I think I understand why m.b. is machmir in 552. That one has earlier sources as its brought in the Tur. Even though we can still wear shoes. Still needs some biur.
    – user6591
    Aug 2, 2017 at 14:14

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