SECTION 97 One should not Burp or Yawn while Reciting Shemoneh Esreh. (1-5)

סימן צז שֶׁלֹּא יְגַהֵק וְלֹא יְפַהֵק בִּשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּה וּבוֹ ה' סְעִיפִים:

1 [While reciting Shemoneh Esreh,] one should not burp, i.e., expel gas from his body through his mouth as he does when satiated, nor should he yawn, i.e., open his mouth as one does when he wants to sleep or awakes from sleep.1 If he burps or yawns intentionally, [that is a sign that] he is one of the vulgar. If one must yawn against his will, he should cover his mouth with his hand, so that his open [mouth] will not be seen.2

One should not place his hand on his chin, i.e., his lower jaw, while reciting Shemoneh Esreh, for this [too] is vulgar behavior. When chazzanim do so while singing, this is permissible, for their intent is not to be vulgar but to enhance their voices. While they are not singing, however, it is forbidden.

א לֹא יְגַהֵק,א דְּהַיְנוּב נְפִיחָה שֶׁאָדָם מוֹצִיא מִגּוּפוֹ לְפִיו מִתּוֹךְ שָׂבְעוֹ. וְלֹא יְפַהֵק, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁפּוֹתֵחַ פִּיו כְּאָדָם הָרוֹצֶה לִישֹׁן אוֹ שֶׁעָמַד מִשֵּׁנָה.1 וְאִם גִּהֵק אוֹ פִּהֵק לִרְצוֹנוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה מִגַּסֵּי הָרוּחַ.ג אִם צָרִיךְ לְפַהֵק מִתּוֹךְ אֹנֶס – יַנִּיחַ יָדוֹ עַל פִּיו שֶׁלֹּא תֵּרָאֶה פְּתִיחָתוֹ.ד,1

וְלֹא יַנִּיחַ יָדוֹ עַל סַנְטֵרוֹ,ה דְּהַיְנוּ לְחִי הַתַּחְתּוֹן,ו בִּשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא דֶּרֶךְ גַּסּוּת הָרוּחַ.ז וְחַזָּנִים הָעוֹשִׂים כֵּן בִּשְׁעַת הַזֶּמֶר – מֻתָּר,ח לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָם מִתְכַּוְּנִים לְגַסּוּת אֶלָּא לְהַנְעִים אֶת הַקּוֹל. אֲבָל שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת הַזֶּמֶר – אָסוּר:

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2 If a person spits in the midst of Shemoneh Esreh, it is as if he spat in front of a king.1 It is therefore forbidden to spit intentionally, not out of compulsion, even when one is in the midst of the supplications that follow She­moneh Esreh,2 for until he steps [back after Shemoneh Esreh], it is as if he is standing before the king. If, however, he must spit, it is permitted to do so, so that he will not be uncomfortable during his prayer and thus be distracted.

Nevertheless, he should not spit on the ground even if there are reeds or straw there1 that will cover the spittle.3 Instead, he should have it absorbed in his garment in such a way that it will be out of sight, e.g., in his lower garment. On his upper garment, where the spittle will be visible, this is forbidden. In places where a handkerchief is worn on one’s belt, it could possibly be permitted to have the spittle absorbed in it, even if it will be visible. Since it is made for that purpose, it is not considered disgusting.

If he is a fastidious person who is disgusted by having it absorbed in his garment or it is disgusting for him to leave it in his mouth until he swallows it (or it is an attractive garment and if he must have it absorbed within, that too would disturb him), he should spit behind himself,1 but not in front of himself, because when one is praying, he is facing the Divine Presence.4 In this context, the area to his sides is considered the same as in front of him. If he cannot spit behind himself, he should spit to his left and not to his right, because it is written,5G‑d is your protective shade at your right hand.” If one cannot spit anywhere but in front of himself, this is permissible so that he will not be distracted.

ב הָרָק בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ – כְּאִלּוּ רָק בִּפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ.ט,1 לְפִיכָךְ, אָסוּר לָרֹק לִרְצוֹנוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מֵאֹנֶסי אֲפִלּוּ עוֹמֵד בְּתַחֲנוּנִים שֶׁלְּאַחַר הַתְּפִלָּה,יא,2 שֶׁכָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא פָּסַע – הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹמֵד לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ. אֲבָל אִם צָרִיךְ לָרֹק – מֻתָּר, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִצְטַעֵר בַּתְּפִלָּה וְנִמְצָא טָרוּד.יב

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, לֹא יָרֹק עַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַעיג אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ שָׁם גֶּמִי אוֹ תֶּבֶן1 שֶׁיְּכַסּוּ הָרֹק,יד,3 אֶלָּא מַבְלִיעוֹ בִּכְסוּתוֹטו בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא נִרְאֶה, כְּגוֹן בַּבֶּגֶד הַתַּחְתּוֹן, אֲבָל בַּבֶּגֶד הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁהָרֹק נִרְאֶה – אָסוּר. וּבִמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁלּוֹבְשִׁין בַּחֲגוֹרָה חֲתִיכַת בֶּגֶדטז (שֶׁקּוֹרִין פציילט) – אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְהַבְלִיעַ בּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָרֹק נִרְאֶה, שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא עָשׂוּי לְכָךְ – אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם מִאוּס.

וְאִם הוּא אִסְטְנִיסיז שֶׁמָּאוּס עָלָיו לְהַבְלִיעוֹ בִּכְסוּתוֹ,יח אוֹ שֶׁמָּאוּס עָלָיו לְהַשְׁהוֹתוֹ בְּפִיו עַד שֶׁיִּבְלָעֶנּוּיט (אוֹ שֶׁהוּא כְּסוּת נָאֶהכ וְאִם נַצְרִיכֶנּוּ שֶׁיִּבְלָעֶנּוּ יַטְרִידֶנּוּ גַּם כֵּןכא) – זוֹרְקוֹ לַאֲחוֹרָיו,1 אֲבָל לֹא לְפָנָיו,כב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמִּתְפַּלֵּל שְׁכִינָה לְפָנָיו.כג,4 וּצְדָדִין הֵם כִּלְפָנָיו לְעִנְיָן זֶה.כד וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְזָרְקוֹ לַאֲחוֹרָיו – זוֹרְקוֹ לִשְׂמֹאלוֹ, אֲבָל לֹא לִימִינוֹ,כה מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:כו,5 "ה' צִלְּךָ עַל יַד יְמִינֶךָ". וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לָרֹק כִּי אִם לְפָנָיו – מֻתָּר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִטָּרֵד:כז

3 If one is bitten by a louse, he should ruffle his clothes to remove it1 so that his concentration will not be diverted. However, he should not remove it by hand, even if it is in a place where there is no dried perspiration6 (in which instance there is no need to wash one’s hands before praying, just as this is not required if one touches other impure creatures). Nevertheless, [touching a louse] would be disgusting and shameful even if one were being watched by a [mere] mortal; how much more so when one is standing in prayer before the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

When one is not reciting Shemoneh Esreh, he may remove a louse and discard it in a synagogue, just as it is permitted to spit in a synagogue.7 (Even if one touched dried perspiration,) it is sufficient that he clean his hands with earth [in order to be permitted] to utter G‑d’s name or to speak words of Torah, as explained in sec. 48 and in sec. 92[:6]. Alternatively, he should remove [the louse through the medium] of a cloth, because [to remove] the spirit of impurity that rests on hands that have touched a louse, [mere] cleaning is not effective. Washing with water9 is required, as explained in sec. 4.10

ג אִם כִּנָּה עוֹקַצְתּוֹ – יְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בִּבְגָדָיו לַהֲסִירָהּכח,1 שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְבַּטֵּל כַּוָּנָתוֹ,כט אֲבָל לֹא יְסִירֶנָּה בְּיָדוֹל אֲפִלּוּ הִיא בְּמָקוֹםלא שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מִלְמוּלֵי זֵעָהלב,6 (שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לִתְפִלָּה,לג כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ אִם נָגַע בִּשְׁאָר בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים טְמֵאִים), מִכָּל מָקוֹם מְאוּסָה הִיא וּגְנַאי הוּא אֲפִלּוּ אִם יִרְאֶנָה אָדָם – קַל וָחֹמֶר כְּשֶׁעוֹמֵד בַּתְּפִלָּה לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא.

אֲבָל שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת תְּפִלַּת י"ח – יָכוֹל לִטֹּל כִּנָּה וּלְזָרְקָהּ בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת,לד כְּמוֹ שֶׁמֻּתָּר לָרֹק בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת.לה,7

(וַאֲפִלּוּ נָגַע בְּמִלְמוּלֵי זֵעָה) – דַּי בְּנִקְיוֹן עָפָרלו לְהַזְכָּרַת הַשֵּׁם אוֹ לְדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ד'לז,8 וצ"ב.לח

אוֹ יִטְּלֶנָּה עַל יְדֵי בֶּגֶד,לט לְפִי שֶׁמִּשּׁוּם רוּחַ רָעָה שֶׁשּׁוֹרָה עַל הַיָּדַיִםמ הַנּוֹגְעִים בַּכִּנָּה – אֵין נִקָּיוֹן מוֹעִיל אֶלָּא נְטִילָה בְּמַיִם,9 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ד':מא,10

4 If one’s tallis slips — even if most of it falls — from its place [while he is reciting She­moneh Esreh], he may take it in hand and return it to its place.1 If, however, it falls off in its entirety, he may not enwrap himself in it again [during Shemoneh Esreh], [in order to avert] an interruption. ([If, however,] he is disturbed because [he would be praying without a tallis] and will not be able to concentrate, [he may enwrap himself]).11

ד אִם נִשְׁמַט טַלִּיתוֹ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ – יָכוֹל לְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בּוֹ וּלְהַחֲזִירוֹ,מב אֲפִלּוּ נָפַל רֻבּוֹ.מג,1 אֲבָל נָפַל כֻּלּוֹ – אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר וּלְהִתְעַטֵּף בּוֹ, מִשּׁוּם הֶפְסֵקמד (אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן שֶׁהוּא טָרוּד עַל יְדֵי זֶה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְכַוֵּןמה):11

5 [The following laws apply when one] is carrying a burden on his shoulders and the time for prayer arrives.12 [If it weighs] less than four kabin,13 he should sling it behind him and pray. He should not hold it on his shoulders while praying (so that while he is praying he will not be concerned about holding the burden on his shoulders with his hand and thus be unable to concentrate properly. Moreover, it is unseemly to stand before a mortal king in such a manner; how much more so [is this not befitting] before the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.) [If it weighs] four kabin [or more] he should not sling it behind him, because its weight would prevent him from concentrating. Instead, he should place it on the ground until after Shemoneh Esreh.

ה הַנּוֹשֵׂא מַשּׂאוֹי עַל כְּתֵפָיו וְהִגִּיעַ זְמַן הַתְּפִלָּה,מו,12 פָּחוֹת מִד' קַבִּין13 – מַפְשִׁילוֹ לַאֲחוֹרָיו וּמִתְפַּלֵּל, וְלֹא יֹאחֲזֶנּוּ בְּיָדוֹ עַל כְּתֵפָיומז (כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה טָרוּד בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ בַּאֲחִיזַת הַמַשּׂאוֹי עַל כְּתֵפָיו בְּיָדוֹ וְלֹא יוּכַל לְכַוֵּן כָּרָאוּי, וְעוֹד לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּשָׂר וָדָם אֵין עוֹמְדִין כֵּן – קַל וָחֹמֶר לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא). ד' קַבִּין – לֹא יַפְשִׁילֶנוּ לַאֲחוֹרָיו, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּבְדּוֹמח מוֹנְעוֹ מִלְכַוֵּן,מט אֶלָּא מַנִּיחוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַע עַד לְאַחַר הַתְּפִלָּה: