SECTION 91 One should Gird his Loins and Cover his Head during Prayer. (1-6)

סימן צא שֶׁיֶּאֱזֹר מָתְנָיו וִיכַסֶּה רֹאשׁוֹ בִּשְׁעַת תְּפִלָּה וּבוֹ ו' סְעִיפִים:

1 What is meant by [preparing] one’s clothing?1 Needless to say, one’s nakedness must be covered,2 and one’s heart should not see his nakedness.3 [In addition,] even if a garment is tied around one’s waist to cover his [body] from the loins downward and he makes a separation with his garment over his loins so that his heart does not see his nakedness, he is forbidden to pray until he covers his heart,4 for the reason explained in sec. 74[:7].5 If he did not cover his heart, or due to forces beyond his control he did not have [a garment] with which to cover himself, since he covered his nakedness [while] praying, he has fulfilled his obligation.6

א בְּגָדָיו כֵּיצַד?א,1 אֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁתְּהֵא עֶרְוָתוֹ מְכֻסָּהב,2 וְלֹא יְהֵא לִבּוֹ רוֹאֶה אֶת הָעֶרְוָה,ג,3 אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ אִם הָיְתָה טַלִּית חֲגוּרָה לוֹ עַל מָתְנָיו לְכַסּוֹתוֹ מִמָּתְנָיו וּלְמַטָּה,ד וְחוֹצֵץ בְּטַלִּיתוֹ עַל מָתְנָיוה שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא לִבּוֹ רוֹאֶה אֶת הָעֶרְוָה – אָסוּר לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַד שֶׁיְּכַסֶּה לִבּוֹ,4 מִטַּעַם שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר סִימָן ע"ד.ו,5 וְאִם לֹא כִּסָּה אֶת לִבּוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱנַס וְאֵין לוֹ בַּמֶּה שֶׁיִּתְכַּסֶּה,ז הוֹאִיל וְכִסָּה עֶרְוָתוֹ וְהִתְפַּלֵּל – יָצָא:6

2 One must wear a gartl7 during prayer,8 even though he is wearing a belt that prevents his heart from seeing his nakedness, because it is written,9 “Prepare to greet your G‑d, O Israel.” However, one is permitted to recite other blessings without [wearing] a gartl, since he is wearing a belt [supporting] his trousers and his heart does not see his nakedness.10 This also applies even if he is not wearing trousers, provided his clothes are lying directly on his abdomen and separating his heart from his nakedness.

A person who goes about throughout the day without wearing a belt is not required to wear one during prayer.11

ב צָרִיךְ לֶאֱזֹר אֵזוֹר7 בִּשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּהח,8 אֲפִלּוּ אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ אַבְנֵטט שֶׁאֵין לִבּוֹ רוֹאֶה אֶת הָעֶרְוָה, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:י,9 "הִכּוֹן לִקְרַאת אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל". אֲבָל בִּשְׁאָר בְּרָכוֹת מֻתָּר לְבָרֵךְ בְּלֹא חֲגוֹרָה,יא מֵאַחַר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אַבְנֵט בַּמִּכְנָסַיִם וְאֵין לִבּוֹ רוֹאֶה אֶת הָעֶרְוָה,יב,10 וְהוּא הַדִּין אֲפִלּוּ בְּלֹא מִכְנָסַיִם אִם בְּגָדָיו מֻנָּחִים מַמָּשׁ עַל בִּטְנוֹ וְחוֹצְצִים בֵּין לִבּוֹ לָעֶרְוָה.יג וּמִי שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ כָּל הַיּוֹם בְּלֹא חֲגוֹרָה – אֵין צָרִיךְ לֶאֱזֹר בִּשְׁעַת תְּפִלָּה:יד,11

3 It is forbidden to utter G‑d’s name12 bareheaded.13 Some authorities maintain that one should protest against anyone’s entry into a synagogue bareheaded. It is pious conduct14 not to walk [even] four cubits bareheaded, even outside a synagogue, as was explained in sec. 2.15

ג אָסוּר לְהוֹצִיא אַזְכָּרָה12 מִפִּיו בְּרֹאשׁ מְגֻלֶּה.טו,13 וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםטז שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִמְחוֹת שֶׁלֹּא לִכָּנֵס לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת בְּגִלּוּי הָרֹאשׁ. וּמִדַּת חֲסִידוּת14 הוּא שֶׁלֹּא לֵילֵךְ ד' אַמּוֹת בְּגִלּוּי הָרֹאשׁ אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת,יז כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ב':יח,15

4 Hats of woven straw are considered as a head-covering, but placing one’s hand on his own head is not.16 The rationale is that the hand and the head are [parts of] the same body and one [part of a] body is not considered as a covering for that same body. If, however, another person places his hand over one’s head, there is room for leniency (for Rashal17 rules leniently altogether), [and maintains that covering the head with one’s own hand is acceptable].

ד כּוֹבָעִים הַקְּלוּעִים מִקַּשׁ חֲשׁוּבִים כִּסּוּי, אֲבָל הַנָחַת יָדוֹ עַל רֹאשׁוֹ אֵינָהּ חֲשׁוּבָה כִּסּוּי,יט,16 לְפִי שֶׁהַיָּד וְהָרֹאשׁ גּוּף אֶחָד הֵן וְאֵין הַגּוּף יָכוֹל לְכַסּוֹת אֶת עַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אַחֵר מַנִּיחַ יָדוֹ עַל רֹאשׁוֹ – יֵשׁ לְהָקֵלכ (כֵּיוָן שֶׁרש"לכא,17 מֵקֵל לְגַמְרֵי):

5 A person should not stand in prayer wearing [only] his undershirt,18 nor with uncovered feet19 if the practice of the people of that locale is not to stand before distinguished persons unless they are wearing socks.20 If their practice is to stand barefoot even before [such people] as is the custom in Arab lands, it is permissible to pray barefoot.

In these countries, one should not pray in linen leggings unless socks are worn over them, for it is disgraceful to stand before men of distinction in linen leggings alone. This certainly applies when wearing slippers,21 where the heel is exposed. (If one is wearing socks, he may pray even when he is not wearing leggings, since [either] he is wearing a belt that makes a separation between his heart and his nakedness,22 or his clothes are lying directly on his abdomen, as explained in subsection 2.)

In this spirit, one should not wear gloves while praying like travelers do.23

ה לֹא יַעֲמֹד אָדָם בִּתְפִלָּה בַּאֲפוּנְדָתוֹ,כב,18 וְלֹא בְּרַגְלַיִם מְגֻלִּיםכג,19 אִם דֶּרֶךְ אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁלֹּא יַעַמְדוּ לִפְנֵי הַגְּדוֹלִים אֶלָּא בְּבָתֵּי רַגְלַיִם.כד,20 אֲבָל אִם דַּרְכָּם לַעֲמֹד יְחֵפִים בִּפְנֵי הַגְּדוֹלִים כְּמוֹ בְּאֶרֶץ הָעֲרָב – מֻתָּר לְהִתְפַּלֵּל יָחֵף.כה

וּבִמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ אֵין לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּבָתֵּי שׁוֹקַיִם שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן אִם לֹא יִלְבַּשׁ עֲלֵיהֶם אַנְפִּילָאוֹתכו (שֶׁקּוֹרִין זאקי"ןכז), שֶׁגְּנַאי הוּא לַעֲמֹד בִּפְנֵי הַגְּדוֹלִים בְּבָתֵּי שׁוֹקַיִם שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן בִּלְבַד, וּמִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן כְּשֶׁנּוֹעֲלִין סַנְדָּל21 (שֶׁקּוֹרִין פאנטאפי"לכח) שֶׁהֶעָקֵב מְגֻלֶּה (אֲבָל בְּאַנְפִּילָאוֹת מֻתָּר לְהִתְפַּלֵּל אַף בְּלֹא בָּתֵּי שׁוֹקַיִם, מֵאַחַר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אֵזוֹר לְהַפְסִיק בֵּין לִבּוֹ לָעֶרְוָה,22 אוֹ שֶׁבְּגָדָיו מֻנָּחִים מַמָּשׁ עַל בִּטְנוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסָעִיף ב').

וְכֵן אֵין לִלְבֹּשׁ בִּשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּה בָּתֵּי יָדַיִם כְּדֶרֶךְ עוֹבְרֵי דְּרָכִים:כט,23

6 It is the practice of sages and their students to pray only when wrapped [in a tallis].24 It was the custom of the Sages of the early generations that when the world was at peace, they would adorn themselves with beautiful garments and pray,19 in the spirit of the charge,9 “Prepare [to greet your G‑d],” which implies that in His presence one must enhance one’s appearance. In times of [Divine] fury, they would stand before Him as a servant before his master, who casts off his cloak so that he will not appear pretentious and clutches his hands with his fingers, out of the dread and fear of his master — he clasps the fingers of one hand with the fingers of the other, like a person who cracks his knuckles in sorrow. There were Sages who would [hold their hands] in this manner even in times of peace.8 Nevertheless, it is desirable to be careful not to clasp one’s fingers at a time of peace, because doing so evokes Heavenly judgment on oneself. Instead, one should close one hand over the other, as will be explained in sec. 95[:4].

ו דֶּרֶךְ הַחֲכָמִים וְתַלְמִידֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יִתְפַּלְּלוּ אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהֵן עֲטוּפִים.ל,24 וּמִנְהַג הַחֲכָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִיםלא כְּשֶׁהָיָה שָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם הָיוּ מִתְקַשְּׁטִים בִּבְגָדִים נָאִיםלב וּמִתְפַּלְלִים,19 מִשּׁוּם9 "הִכּוֹןלג כו'", כְּלוֹמַר הִתְנָאֶה לְפָנָיו.לד וּבְעֵת הַזַּעַם הָיוּ עוֹמְדִים כְּעֶבֶד לִפְנֵי רַבּוֹ שֶׁמַּשְׁלִיךְ אַדַּרְתּוֹ מֵעָלָיו שֶׁלֹּא יֵרָאֶה כְּחָשׁוּב, וְחוֹבֵק אֶת יָדָיו בְּאֶצְבְּעוֹתָיולה מֵאֵימַת רַבּוֹ וְיִרְאָתוֹ,לו דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁחוֹבֵק אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו שֶׁל יָדָיו זֶה בְּשֶׁל זֶה כְּאָדָם שֶׁשּׁוֹבֵר אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו כְּשֶׁמִּצְטַעֵר.לז וְיֵשׁ מֵהַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹשִׂים כֵּן אַף בְּעֵת שָׁלוֹם.לח,8

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, טוֹב לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לְחַבֵּק אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו בְּעֵת שָׁלוֹם, כִּי בָּזֶה מוֹרִיד דִּין עַל עַצְמוֹ, אֶלָּא יָנִיחַ יָדָיו זֶה עַל זֶה כְּפוּתִין,לט כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן צ"ה:מ