SECTION 113 Laws Relating to Bowing during the “Eighteen Blessings.” (1-9)

סימן קיג דִּינֵי הַכְּרִיעוֹת בְּי"ח בְּרָכוֹת וּבוֹ ט' סְעִיפִים:

1 These1 are the blessings during which we bow: At the beginning and end of the first blessing2 and at the beginning and end of the Modim blessing.3 If one seeks to bow at the end or at the beginning of any other blessing, he should be instructed not to bow, lest this lead to uprooting an ordinance of the Sages, for people at large would conclude that whoever [bows] is being stringent according to his individual desire, and that there is no ordinance of the Sages to bow. This would lead to their being lax [and failing to bow] during the first blessing and the Modim blessing.

In the middle of any of the blessings, by contrast, one is permitted to bow. There is no need for concern that this will lead to the uprooting of an ordinance of the Sages, because they did not ordain that one should bow in the middle of any of the blessings.

א אֵלּוּ1 בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁשּׁוֹחִין בָּהֶן: בְּ"אָבוֹת" תְּחִלָּה וָסוֹף,2 וּבְ"הוֹדָאָה" תְּחִלָּה וָסוֹף.א,3 וְאִם בָּא לִשְׁחוֹת בְּסוֹף כָּל בְּרָכָה אוֹ בִּתְחִלָּתָהּ – מְלַמְּדִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁחֶה, שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לַעֲקֹר תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים,ב שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ כָּל אֶחָד מַחֲמִיר כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה וְאֵין כָּאן תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים כְּלָל לִשְׁחוֹת, וְיָבֹאוּ לְהָקֵל עַל יְדֵי כָּךְ בְּ"אָבוֹת" וּבְ"הוֹדָאָה".ג

אֲבָל בְּאֶמְצָעִיתָן מֻתָּר לִשְׁחוֹת,ד שֶׁאֵין לָחוּשׁ שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ לַעֲקֹר תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים עַל יְדֵי זֶה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁחֲכָמִים לֹא תִּקְּנוּ כְּלָל לִשְׁחוֹת בְּאֶמְצַע שׁוּם בְּרָכָה:ה

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (Kehot Publication Society)

The new layout – with the original text and the facing translation – provides a unique user-friendly approach to studying the Alter Rebbe’s work. An inclusive commentary provides insightful explanations and guidelines for actual practice.

2 Those who bow on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur when they say Zochreinu and Mi Chamocha4 must stand erect when they reach the end of the respective blessings. Even though one will bow [as ordained] at the end of the first blessing, one must straighten slightly at the end of the sentence beginning Zochreinu before reciting the [last] few words that precede Baruch Atah so that he can bow again when he recites the words Baruch Atah. The first bowing is not sufficient, because one must bend his knees when saying Baruch, as will be explained.5 Moreover, in this way it will be apparent that he is bowing again because of an obligation, whereas the first bowing was only a matter of choice.

By contrast, at the end of the sentence beginning Mi Chamocha one is not required to straighten himself until he reaches the words Baruch Atah. When reciting those words one should straighten slightly, so that he will not be making an addition to the ordinance of the Sages — that we bow when reciting Baruch Atah only in the first blessing and in the blessing that begins with Modim.

Similarly, those accustomed to reciting the entire Shemoneh Esreh of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur while bent over must straighten slightly at the end of every blessing and at the beginning of every blessing, so that they will not be making an addition to the ordinance of the Sages — that [one should bow] only at the beginning and end of the first blessing and of the blessing that begins with Modim.

ב הַנּוֹהֲגִים לִשְׁחוֹת בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם כִּפּוּר כְּשֶׁאוֹמְרִים "זָכְרֵנוּ" וְ"מִי כָמוֹךָ"ו,4 – צְרִיכִים לִזְקֹף כְּשֶׁמַּגִּיעִים לְסוֹף הַבְּרָכָה.ז וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּאָבוֹת כּוֹרֵעַ בְּסוֹף הַבְּרָכָה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם צָרִיךְ לִזְקֹף מְעַט בְּסוֹף "זָכְרֵנוּ"ח קֹדֶם שֶׁיֹּאמַר אֵיזוֹ תֵּבוֹת הַסְּמוּכוֹת לְ"בָרוּךְ אַתָּה",ט כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל אַחַר כָּךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִשְׁחוֹת כְּשֶׁיֹּאמַר "בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה", שֶׁלֹּא דַּי בַּשְּׁחִיָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִכְרֹעַ בְּ"בָרוּךְ"י כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר,יא,5 וְעוֹד כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה נִרְאֶה שֶׁחוֹזֵר וְכוֹרֵעַ מִשּׁוּם חִיּוּב,יב שֶׁשְּׁחִיָּה רִאשׁוֹנָה הָיְתָה רְשׁוּת. וּבְסוֹף "מִי כָמוֹךָ" אֵין צָרִיךְ לִזְקֹף, עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְ"בָרוּךְ אַתָּה"יג שֶׁאָז זוֹקֵף מְעַט, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא לְהוֹסִיף עַל תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְּנוּ לִשְׁחוֹת אֶלָּא בְּ"בָרוּךְ אַתָּה" שֶׁבְּ"אָבוֹת" וְ"הוֹדָאָה".

וְכֵן הַנּוֹהֲגִים לְהִתְפַּלֵּל כָּל הַתְּפִלָּה בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם כִּפּוּר בִּכְרִיעָה – צְרִיכִים לִזְקֹף בְּסוֹף כָּל בְּרָכָהיד וּבִתְחִלַּת כָּל בְּרָכָה,טו שֶׁלֹּא לְהוֹסִיף עַל תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְּנוּ אֶלָּא בִּתְחִלַּת אָבוֹת וְהוֹדָאָה וּבְסוֹפָן:

3 One who bows in the second blessing of the Grace after Meals6 and when offering praise in Hallel, i.e., when saying [the bracket of verses beginning] Hodu laA-donai ki tov, is reprehensible.7 The same applies to other expressions of gratitude — such as the statement, “To You alone, we give thanks”8 and “Now our G‑d, we offer thanks to You”9 — for one should bow when reciting Baruch Atah and when reciting expressions of thanks only at the places ordained by our Sages, i.e., at the beginning and end of the first blessing and at the beginning and end of the Modim blessing in Shemoneh Esreh. For the expression hodaah does not imply bowing at all, but grateful acknowledgment and praise. One who bows [whenever] he uses a form of the term hodaah is reprehensible; he is a fool and his bowing is an act of foolishness.

By contrast, he who bows while reciting various passages of praise or supplication, or because it appears to him for some reason that bowing is appropriate at a certain point, or because it is customary to bow as is the case during the recitation of Kaddish,10 or because of the ardor of his heart as he prays, is praiseworthy. He is not considered to be making an addition to the Rabbinic ordinance that applies to the expression of thanksgiving in Shemoneh Esreh alone. Rather, he resembles a person who bows in the middle of [any of] the blessings of Shemoneh Esreh, who [likewise] is not regarded as making an addition to an ordinance of the Sages, because they did not ordain that one should bow in the middle of any of the blessings, as was explained above.11 By contrast, he who bows when reciting any of the above-quoted expressions of thanksgiving, simply because a form of the term hodaah was used, is a fool.

It is similarly reprehensible to bow when reciting the words, “And all those who stand upright shall prostrate themselves before You,”8 because one’s reason for bowing is his mention of the term “prostration,” whereas in truth this is no reason to bow. [In the Aleinu prayer],12 by contrast, [one who bows when saying] “and we bow...” is acting desirably, for he is not speaking about himself but about the entire world that bows before G‑d, blessed be He.13 Similarly, during [the repetition by the sheliach tzibbur of] the Mussaf Service of Yom Kippur, the custom of kneeling [and prostrating oneself] when saying “And the kohanim and the people... would bend their knees [and bow down and prostrate themselves]”14 is also desirable, for in this instance as well, one is not referring to himself, but rather recalling what the kohanim and the people used to do in the era of the Beis HaMikdash. And we envisage ourselves in place of the kohanim. The same principle applies [again] during the description — in the course of [the repetition of] Mussaf of Yom Kippur — of that day’s service in the Beis HaMikdash.15 There, as we recite the words, “the Children of Israel16 have sinned, committed iniquity, and transgressed,” we envisage ourselves as those members of the House of Israel. Those who beat their hearts [when reciting these words],17 as is done when reciting [the confessional prayer] Ashamnu,18 are therefore acting desirably.

ג הַכּוֹרֵעַ בְּ"הוֹדָאָה" שֶׁבְּבִרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן6 וּבְ"הוֹדָאָה" שֶׁל הַלֵּל שֶׁהִיא "הוֹדוּ לַה' כִּי טוֹב וְגו'" – הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה.טז,7 וְהוּא הַדִּין בִּשְׁאָר הוֹדָאוֹת, כְּגוֹן "לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים",יז,8 "וְעַתָּה אֱלֹקֵינוּ מוֹדִים אֲנַחְנוּ לָךְ",יח,9 שֶׁאֵין לִכְרֹעַ בְּ"בָרוּךְ אַתָּה" וְלֹא בְּ"הוֹדָאָה"יט אֶלָּא בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים, בְּ"אָבוֹת" תְּחִלָּה וָסוֹף וּבְ"הוֹדָאָה" שֶׁבַּתְּפִלָּה תְּחִלָּה וָסוֹף,כ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלְּשׁוֹן "הוֹדָאָה" אֵינוֹ מִלְּשׁוֹן "הִשְׁתַּחֲוָאָה" כְּלָל,כא אֶלָּא מִלָּשׁוֹן "הַחְזָקַת טוֹבָה" וְ"הִלּוּל", וְהַכּוֹרֵעַ מֵחֲמַת לְשׁוֹן הוֹדָאָה שֶׁמַּזְכִּיר – הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה וְסָכָל הוּאכב וּכְרִיעָתוֹ סִכְלוּת.

אֲבָל מִי שֶׁכּוֹרֵעַ בְּאֵיזֶה מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁל שְׁבָחִים אוֹ תַּחֲנוּנִים,כג אוֹ מֵחֲמַת אֵיזֶה טַעַם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שֶׁנִּרְאֶה לוֹ שֶׁרָאוּי לִשְׁחוֹת בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם, אוֹ מֵחֲמַת הַמִּנְהָג כְּמוֹ הַכְּרִיעוֹת שֶׁבַּקַּדִּישׁ,כד,10 אוֹ מֵחֲמַת שֶׁנִּתְלַהֵב לִבּוֹ בַּתְּפִלָּה – הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח, וְאֵינוֹ כְּמוֹסִיף עַל תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְּנוּ אֶלָּא בְּ"הוֹדָאָה" שֶׁבַּתְּפִלָּה בִּלְבַדָּהּ, וַהֲרֵי זֶה דּוֹמֶה כְּמִי שֶׁכּוֹרֵעַ בְּאֶמְצַע בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁל תְּפִלָּהכה שֶׁאֵין בָּזֶה כְּמוֹסִיף עַל תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְּנוּ כְּלָל לִשְׁחוֹת בְּאֶמְצַע שׁוּם בְּרָכָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר.כו,11 אֲבָל הַכּוֹרֵעַ בְּ"הוֹדָאוֹת" הַנִּזְכָּרִים לְעֵיל מֵחֲמַת לְשׁוֹן הוֹדָאָה שֶׁמַּזְכִּיר – הֲרֵי זֶה סָכָל.

וְכֵן הַכּוֹרֵעַ בִּ"וְכָל קוֹמָה לְפָנֶיךָ תִּשְׁתַּחֲוֶה"כז,8 – הֲרֵי זֶה גַּם כֵּן מְגֻנֶּה,כח מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכּוֹרֵעַ מֵחֲמַת לְשׁוֹן הִשְׁתַּחֲוָאָה שֶׁמַּזְכִּיר וּבֶאֱמֶת אֵין לִכְרֹעַ מִפְּנֵי זֶה.כט אֲבָל12 בִּ"וַאֲנַחְנוּ כּוֹרְעִים"ל כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר עַל עַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא עַל כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ שֶׁמִּשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרַךְ13 – יָפֶה הֵם עוֹשִׂים. וּכְמוֹ כֵן מַה שֶּׁנּוֹהֲגִים לִכְרֹעַ בְּמוּסָף יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בִּ"וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָעָם וכו' הָיוּ כּוֹרְעִים",לא,14 גַּם כֵּן אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר עַל עַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא לְזֵכֶר מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָעָם בִּזְמַן בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְאָנוּ מְדַמִּים עַצְמֵנוּ בִּמְקוֹם הַכֹּהֲנִים – גַּם כֵּן יָפֶה עוֹשִׂים. וְכֵן מַה שֶּׁאוֹמְרִים בְּסֵדֶר עֲבוֹדָה בְּמוּסָף יוֹם כִּפּוּר15 "חָטְאוּ עָווּ פָּשְׁעוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל"לב,16 – אָנוּ מְדַמִּין עַצְמֵנוּ כְּאִלּוּ אֲנַחְנוּ אוֹתָן בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיָפֶה עוֹשִׂים אוֹתָן הַמַּכִּים עַל לִבָּם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשִׂיםלג בְּאָמְרָם "אָשַׁמְנוּ":לד,18

4 One who is praying must bow until all of the vertebrae in his spine are extended.19 He should not bow from the waist with his head remaining upright, but should also bow his head like a bulrush.20 He should not, however, bow so low that his mouth reaches the level of his belt, for to bow so excessively gives an impression of pride. As to an elderly or sick person who cannot bow until [his vertebrae] are extended, it is sufficient that he bow his head, since it is apparent that he would like to bow but [cannot do so because] it causes him pain.19

ד הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּכְרַע עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּקְּקוּ כָּל חֻלְיוֹת שֶׁבַּשִּׁדְרָה.לה,19 וְלֹא יִכְרַע מֵאֶמְצַע מָתְנָיו וְרֹאשׁוֹ יִשָּׁאֵר זָקוּף, אֶלָּא גַּם רֹאשׁוֹ יָכֹףלו כְּאַגְמוֹן.לז,20 וְלֹא יִשְׁחֶה כָּל כָּךְ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה פִּיו כְּנֶגֶד חֲגוֹר שֶׁל מִכְנָסַיִם,לח מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּיוּהֲרָאלט שֶׁשּׁוֹחֶה יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי.מ וְזָקֵן וְחוֹלֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשְׁחוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּקְּקוּ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִרְכִּין רֹאשׁוֹ – דַּיּוֹ,מא מֵאַחַר שֶׁנִּכָּר שֶׁחָפֵץ לִכְרֹעַ אֶלָּא שֶׁמִּצְטַעֵר:מב,19

5 One who is praying should bow21 when reciting Baruch and straighten himself [before reciting G‑d’s] name,22 [recalling the verse,]23 “G‑d straightens those who are bowed down.” Nevertheless, with regard to bowing at the beginning of a blessing, if one desired [to remain bowed and] not to straighten himself until shortly before its concluding phrase,24 he may do so. It is only that if he desires to straighten himself immediately, he should do so [before reciting G‑d’s] name. Similarly, as one bows at the conclusion of the blessing, when he is obligated to straighten himself immediately so that he will not be bowed at the beginning of the next blessing,25 he must straighten himself [before reciting G‑d’s] name. [The above-cited allusion that] “G‑d straightens those who are bent” does not at all imply a requirement that one straighten oneself after bowing, but if one straightens himself in any case, he must do so [before reciting G‑d’s] name, because of [the above allusion]. Accordingly, those who are accustomed to pray on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur while bowed need straighten themselves only at the end and beginning of each blessing, as explained above.26

ה הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל כּוֹרֵעַ21 בְּ"בָרוּךְ" וְזוֹקֵף בַּשֵּׁם,מג,22 עַל שֵׁםמד,23 "ה' זֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים".מה וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, בִּכְרִיעָה שֶׁבִּתְחִלַּת בְּרָכָה אִם רָצָה שֶׁלֹּא לִזְקֹף עַד סָמוּךְ לַחֲתִימָה24 – הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדוֹ,מו אֶלָּא שֶׁאִם רָצָה לִזְקֹף מִיָּד – צָרִיךְ לִזְקֹף בַּשֵּׁם. וְכֵן בַּכְּרִיעָה שֶׁבְּסוֹף בְּרָכָה שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לִזְקֹף מִיָּד כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא לִהְיוֹת שָׁחוּחַ בִּתְחִלַּת בְּרָכָה שֶׁלְּאַחֲרֶיהָמז,25 – אֲזַי צָרִיךְ הוּא לִזְקֹף בַּשֵּׁם, שֶׁמִּשּׁוּם "ה' זֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים" לֹא הִצְרִיכוּ לִזְקֹף מִכְּרִיעָתוֹ כְּלָל, אֶלָּא אִם מִבִּלְעֲדֵי כֵן הוּא זוֹקֵף, אֲזַי מִשּׁוּם "ה' זֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים" יִזְקֹף בַּשֵּׁם. וְלָכֵן הַנּוֹהֲגִין לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם כִּפּוּר בִּכְרִיעָה – אֵין צְרִיכִים לִזְקֹף אֶלָּא בְּסוֹף בְּרָכָה וּתְחִלָּתָהּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר:מח,26

6 When one bows, he should bow quickly, in one action.27 When he straightens himself, he should straighten himself deliberately, first his head and then his trunk, so that the bowing will not appear as a burden [as would be the case] were he to straighten rapidly.

According to the Kabbalah,28 one should bend his knees as he says Baruch,29 and when he says Atah he should bow until all his vertebrae are extended.

ו כְּשֶׁהוּא כּוֹרֵעַ – כּוֹרֵעַ בִּמְהִירוּת בְּפַעַם אַחַת,מט,27 וּכְשֶׁהוּא זוֹקֵף – זוֹקֵף בְּנַחַת רֹאשׁוֹ תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ גּוּפוֹ, שֶׁלֹּא תְּהֵא הַכְּרִיעָה נִרְאֵית עָלָיו כְּמַשּׁאוֹי אִם יִזְקֹף בִּמְהִירוּת. וְעַל פִּי הַסּוֹדנ,28 כְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר "בָּרוּךְ" – יִכְרַע בְּבִרְכָּיו,29 וּבְ"אַתָּה" – יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה עַד שֶׁיִּתְפַּקְּקוּ כָּל הַחֻלְיוֹת:

7 If a person is praying and a non-Jew approaches him with “a warp and a woof”30 in his hand, one should not bow [even when] he reaches a point in prayer at which one should bow. This applies even when his intent is directed to [G‑d in] Heaven, because of the impression that might be created31 that he is bowing to a false deity. (Whenever a prohibition was instituted because of the impression that might be created, it applies even in the most private of places.32) If the non-Jew is an officer or a ruler to whom people bow regardless, even without the cross in his hand, leniency can be taken even in a place where the encounter is visible to onlookers, as explained in Yoreh Deah, sec. 150.33

ז הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל וּבָא כְּנֶגְדּוֹ נָכְרִי וּשְׁתִי וָעֵרֶב בְּיָדוֹנא,30 וְהִגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁשּׁוֹחִין בּוֹ – לֹא יִשְׁחֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלִּבּוֹ לַשָּׁמַיִם, מִפְּנֵי מַרְאִית הָעַיִן31 שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּמִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה (וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָסְרוּ מִפְּנֵי מַרְאִית הָעַיִן אֲפִלּוּ בְּחַדְרֵי חֲדָרִים אָסוּרנב).32 וְאִם הַנָּכְרִי הוּא שַׂר אוֹ הֶגְמוֹןנג שֶׁאַף מִבִּלְעֲדֵי הַשְּׁתִי וָעֵרֶב שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לוֹ – אֶפְשָׁר לְהָקֵל אֲפִלּוּ בִּמְקוֹם רוֹאִים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּיוֹרֶה דֵּעָה סִימָן ק"נ:נד,33

8 One should not add to the adjectives used with relation to G‑d beyond “the great, mighty, and awesome G‑d.”34 For when one adds further terms and concludes his list, it appears that he has, [according to his conception,] covered all of G‑d’s praises. And who can declare all His praise?35 Indeed, we would not have used even these three epithets had they not been written by Moshe in the Torah36 and incorporated in the prayers by the Men of the Great Assembly.37 One should therefore not deviate from the text laid down by the Sages.38

When does the above apply? In the Shemoneh Esreh prayer. In one’s own supplications, requests and praises, by contrast, one may add as many terms of praise as he desires, because when he makes supplications in private and uses terms of praise, it is evident that he employs these epithets because they are the ones necessary for his request [to be granted]. This is not the case in the first blessing of Shemoneh Esreh. There, these adjectives serve only to relate the praise of the Omnipresent, for [at that point] we have not yet requested Him to fulfill any of our needs.

Certain authorities forbid [the use of such epithets] in any context, for nothing of what we mortals consider as consummate virtues exists within G‑d at all. Instead, they would all signify deficiencies. To explain by analogy: If a king who possesses a million gold dinarim is praised for [possessing a comparable quantity of] silver, this would be demeaning. (For praises and descriptive titles as a whole are not attributed to Him in a positive way, since His name is “exalted above all blessing and praise,”39 but rather in a negative way, to rule out the opposite [conceptions] concerning His name40 — as is known by those who comprehend His Oneness, which is absolutely simple.41)

Primacy should be given to the first opinion. Hence it is customary to recite the supplication beginning Aneinu,42 whose epithets and terms of praise are set forth in alphabetical order. And there are many similar prayers. Nevertheless, it is appropriate that one who desires to elaborate on the praise of the Omnipresent should do so by reciting verses [from the Tanach]43 and in that way satisfy all opinions.

ח אֵין לְהוֹסִיף עַל תְּאָרָיו שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יוֹתֵר מֵ"הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא",נה,34 לְפִי שֶׁכְּשֶׁאוֹמֵר יוֹתֵר מֵהֶם וּמְסַיֵּם – נִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ סִיֵּם כָּל שְׁבָחָיו, וּמִי יוּכַל לְהַשְׁמִיעַ כָּל תְּהִלָּתוֹ,35 וְגַם אֵלּוּ הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה כִּנּוּיִים אִם לֹא שֶׁכְּתָבָן מֹשֶׁה בַּתּוֹרָה36 וּבָאוּ אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה37 וְתִקְּנוּם בַּתְּפִלָּהנו – לֹא הָיִינוּ אוֹמְרִים אוֹתָם, לְפִיכָךְ אֵין לְשַׁנּוֹת מִמַּטְבֵּעַ שֶׁטָּבְעוּ חֲכָמִים.38

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּתְפִלַּת י"ח, אֲבָל בְּתַחֲנוּנִים אוֹ בַּקָּשׁוֹת וּשְׁבָחִים שֶׁאָדָם אוֹמֵר מֵעַצְמוֹ – יָכוֹל לְהַרְבּוֹת בִּתְּאָרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה,נז מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּשֶׁהוּא מִתְחַנֵּן בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין עַצְמוֹ וְאוֹמֵר תְּאָרִים נִרְאֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹמְרָם אֶלָּא לְפִי שֶׁאֵלּוּ הַתְּאָרִים צְרִיכִים לְבַקָּשָׁתוֹ,נח מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵן בִּתְפִלַּת י"ח שֶׁבְּזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא בָּאוּ בְּכָאן הַתְּאָרִים אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְהַזְכִּיר שִׁבְחוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם בִּלְבַד, שֶׁהֲרֵי עֲדַיִן אֵין אָנוּ שׁוֹאֲלִין שׁוּם צֹרֶךְ מֵאִתּוֹ.

וְיֵשׁ אוֹסְרִין בְּכָל עִנְיָן,נט לְפִי שֶׁכָּל הַשְּׁלֵמוּת שֶׁהֵם אֶצְלֵנוּ אֵין אֶצְלוֹ יִתְבָּרַךְ מִמִּינָם דָּבָר אֶלָּא כֻּלָּם חֶסְרוֹנוֹת בְּחֵיקוֹ יִתְבָּרַךְ, וְהוּא מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְס שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ אֶלֶף אֲלָפִים דִּינְרֵי זָהָב וּמְקַלְּסִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשֶׁל כֶּסֶף שֶׁגְּנַאי הוּא לוֹסא (שֶׁכָּל הַשְּׁבָחִים וְהַכִּנּוּיִים לֹא יֻחֲסוּ לוֹ יִתְבָּרַךְ עַל צַד הַחִיּוּב, כִּי שְׁמוֹ מְרוֹמָם עַל כָּל בְּרָכָה וּתְהִלָּה,39 אֶלָּא עַל דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלִילָה לִשְׁלֹל הַפָכָם מִשְּׁמוֹ יִתְבָּרַךְ,40 כַּנּוֹדָע לְהַיּוֹדְעִים עִנְיַן אַחְדוּתוֹ יִתְבָּרַךְ הַפָּשׁוּט בְּתַכְלִית הַפְּשִׁיטוּתסב).41

וְהָעִקָּר כַּסְּבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה.סג וְלָכֵן נָהֲגוּ לוֹמַר תְּחִנּוֹת עֲנֵנ[וּ]סד,42 הַמְּסֻדָּרִים בְּא"ב וְכָל אוֹת תֹּאַר וְשֶׁבַח בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ,סה וְכֵן הַרְבֵּה תְּפִלּוֹת דּוֹמוֹת לָזוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן נָכוֹן לְמִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה לְהַאֲרִיךְ בְּשִׁבְחֵי הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיֹּאמַר אוֹתָן בִּקְרִיאַת פְּסוּקִים,43 לָצֵאת לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל:סו

9 If one says in the course of his supplications, “May He Who had mercy on a bird’s nest have mercy upon us,” he should be silenced,44 for G‑d’s mitzvos are not [acts of] mercy,45 but rather decrees46 incumbent upon His people. [Their observance] makes it known that His people are His servants, and they observe His commandments, decrees, and statutes even with regard to matters which Satan and the nations of the word can dispute, saying, “What purpose does this mitzvah serve?”

Similarly, if one says, “For the good that You perform for us may Your name be recalled,” he should be silenced.47 For one is obligated to bless G‑d for bad tidings, just as he blesses Him for the good, as stated in sec. 230.48

ט הָאוֹמֵר בְּתַחֲנוּנָיוסז "מִי שֶׁרִחֵם עַל קַן צִפּוֹר יְרַחֵם עָלֵינוּ" – מַשְׁתִּיקִין אוֹתוֹ,סח,44 שֶׁאֵין מִצְווֹת הַמָּקוֹם רַחֲמָנוּת45 אֶלָּא גְּזֵרוֹת46 עַל עַמּוֹ, לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁהֵם עֲבָדָיו וְשׁוֹמְרֵי מִצְֹתָיו וּגְזֵרַת חֻקּוֹתָיו אַף בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לַשָּׂטָן וּלְאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם לְהָשִׁיב עֲלֵיהֶם וְלוֹמַר מַה צֹּרֶךְ בְּמִצְוָה זוֹ.

וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר "עַל הַטּוֹב שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה לָנוּ יִזָּכֵר שְׁמֶךָ" – מַשְׁתִּיקִין אוֹתוֹ,סט,47 שֶׁחַיָּב אָדָם לְבָרֵךְ עַל הָרָעָה כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמְבָרֵךְ עַל הַטּוֹבָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ר"ל:ע,48