If someone finds it a good way to have a concentration in pray while on his knees, can it be done? (Not talking about Amida/Sidur prayers, but talking with the creator.)

  • This is how Solomon is said to have prayed (1 Kings 8:54): קָ֞ם מִלִּפְנֵ֨י מִזְבַּ֤ח יְהוָה֙ מִכְּרֹ֣עַ עַל־בִּרְכָּ֔יו
    – b a
    Oct 12, 2018 at 13:06
  • IIRC meforshim on Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 178 talk about this.
    – yO_
    Oct 14, 2018 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Since praying on their knees is a distinct sign of Christianity (is it?), it is forbidden to resemble non-Jews in their conduct.

See Rambam Avodah Zarah 11:

"אֵין הוֹלְכִין בְּחֻקּוֹת הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וְלֹא מִדַּמִּין לָהֶן לֹא בְּמַלְבּוּשׁ וְלֹא בְּשֵׂעָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן"

"It is forbidden to follow the customs of the idolaters, or to imitate them neither in dress nor in hair-trimming and like customs, for it is said: "And ye shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I cast out before you" (Lev. 20.23), and it is also said: "And in their customs shall ye not walk" (Ibid. 18.3), and it is, moreover, said: Then take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them" (Deut. 12.30)—all of which pertain to one subject admonishing them not to be like unto them. Forsooth an Israelite shall be separated from them, and be recognized by his clothes and in his conduct as he is different than they are in education and tendencies. For even so it is said: "And have set you apart from the peoples, that ye should be Mine" (Lev. 20.26)."

PS: Thanks YaacovDeane: The practice of praying on the knees is mentioned in the Scriptures. BUT It is important to stress, that even the practices that were "originally" Jewish and later adopted by other religions are forbidden to follow

  • 1
    Not sure about this
    – SAH
    Oct 12, 2018 at 12:34
  • Besides, for Modeh Ani, some chasidim hold their hands in a gesture very very reminiscent of Christian prayer, lehavdil. It's not only allowed but is the minhag
    – SAH
    Oct 12, 2018 at 12:35
  • 1
    @SAH Mentioned in the Talmud as the practice of Rava: רבא שדי גלימיה ופכר ידיה ומצלי (Shabbat 10a)
    – b a
    Oct 12, 2018 at 13:08
  • 1
    @ezra we might, and in fact arguably that already happened. arguably the bowing we are supposed to do is the on the floor kind but it was stopped when Muslims took it on so we fake it nowadays.
    – Double AA
    Oct 13, 2018 at 23:45
  • 1
    @DoubleAA I actually seriously doubt that we stopped bowing to the floor because of the Muslims. It might have everything to do with the fact that people don't bow to the floor before kings anymore, especially in Europe. Kind of like how some people used to remove their shoes before the king in the Middle East, but in Europe wearing shoes before a king was crucial.
    – ezra
    Oct 14, 2018 at 2:00

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