Our hearts are located in the middle of our chests and extend slightly to the left side. I'm sure each person does as s/he sees fit, but siddurim often instruct us to beat the left side. Is there a reason for that?


1 Answer 1


My wife heard a drasha from a chasidic source that may apply. The left side is considered din and the right side is considered Rachamim. By banging on the left side of the chest we are "suppressing" din and asking for rachamim.

I checked the Art Scroll machzor, the Art Scroll daily (Hebrew only and with translation), and the Koren (Rabbi Sacks) daily siddurim. They all say

"Bang the left side of the chest with the right hand."

Apparently they hold that it does not involve where the heart is located.

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