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FW: kneeling (fwd)

Poster: "Atlow, Neal J" <nja10331@glaxowellcome.com>

	A while ago there was a discussion regarding kneeling. I forwarded
it off to my brother the Talmudic scholar and got the following response. I
thought some might be interested. If not, I apologize for dragging up a dead

In service,
	- Nikulai	

> -----Original Message-----
> Sent:	Thursday, November 26, 1998 10:58 AM
> To:	Atlow, Neal J
> Subject:	RE: kneeling (fwd)
> Sorry, I started an answer to this a long time ago, and never finished it.
> It got lost in the flood.
> The prohibition against kneeling is that one should not bow down on wood
> or
> stone, in such a way that the face and/or knees touch the wood/stone.
> This prohibition does not apply to matters of Jewish liturgy. For
> instance,
> in the Temple (the real one, not the Synagogue...), there are certain
> spots
> where one prostrates oneself. And during the Temple service on Yom Kippur,
> at certain times, the people would prostrate themselves as well (when the
> High Priest said G-d's name). As a remembrance of that, on Yom Kippur,
> when
> we read the description of the Temple Service, at those points, we also
> prostrate ourselves. To avoid problems, we make sure that our face and
> knees
> are on a towel, or paper, or something else.
> Furthermore, we see in the Bible that a number of people bowed or
> prostrated
> themselves. For example, Batsheva prostrated herself to David when D.
> proclaimed Solomon the heir. In general, respect due to kings is
> considered
> to include bowing to them.
> Why did Mordechai not bow to Haman? This question is actually asked by the
> Talmud, which concludes that Haman had an idol suspended around his neck,
> and M. didn't want to appear to be bowing to the idol. Whether or not you
> like this answer, it shows that M.'s _not_ bowing is a problem.
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