Weekdays, by the repetition of the Amida, it is the Ashkenazik custom for the chazzan to say an abridged version of Birkat cohanim. The Artscroll siddur says the chazzan is to bow to the right side during the recitation of "Yevarechecha Hashem Veyishmerecha," to bow to the left hand side during the recitation of "Ya'er Hashem panev eilecha vichuneka" and to bow forward by the last verse of "Yisa Hashem panev eilecha veyasem lecha shalom."

When it comes to the end of the Amida, the Artscoll Siddur brings down that one should first bow to the left side during the "Oseh Shalom," then to the right by "Hu yaaseh shalom..." and finally forward during the conclusion.

Why the different order in each?

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    Sorry, maybe I am wrong, but don't you have this reversed?? I thought you would read that after the amidah is completed we bow first to the left by oseh shalom, then to the right by hu yaaseh shalom, then straight by v'al kal yisroel.. (by ending kaddish we would do it the opposite, right then left then straight). And I thought kohanim was right first then left etc. Could you check and tell me which artscroll says this? TY. :) Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 3:30
  • Edited - thanks David. Don’t see the reversal by Kaddish as you mentioned. It’s also left, right, center - similar to the amida Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 10:47
  • Start here: sefaria.org/… Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


I was taught (I’m sorry, but I don’t have the sources available at the moment), that in the mystical tradition we start to the left at the end of Kaddish, that is Hashem’s right as we face Hashem, because that is where the angel Michael, for mercy, stands; then to the right, Hashem’s left, where Gabriel, for judgment, stands; and finally to the center, directly towards Hashem, who unites mercy and judgement. Perhaps the difference for the Birkat kohanim would be a remnant of when the kohanim themselves would be facing the congregation, acknowledging the same attributes of mercy and justice, but from the congregation’s point of view.

  • Interesting, however, do Kohanim themselves do any bowing during their Birkat Kohanim, why should the chazzan? Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 20:21
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    The kohanim do swivel side to side when reciting the second-person plural words (lecha, etc.), to indicate that the entire congregation is included, but whether there was actual bowing at some point, I don't know.
    – Jon Glixon
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 20:31
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    I was taught to bow straight forward at the end of the Birkhat Cohenim (at "Shalom") and have seen Cohenim following Morrocan, Chabad, and Ashkenazi mesora do the same Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 22:53

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