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Shuckling: Why Jews Sway During Prayer

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Shuckling: Why Jews Sway During Prayer

Why do some traditional Jews sway while they pray or study?
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Minhag, Prayer

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Anonymous February 20, 2021

What was shared regarding Prophet Muhammad PBUH was incorrect. He told Muslims (who stand still) not to put their hands together at their naval as the Jews did (who also stood still). This was about Muslims holding their hands higher. Reply

Kevin Ennis Highlands Ranch, Colorado January 31, 2021

This is my favorite explanation of Schuckling:

"The soul of man is a candle of G‑d" (Proverbs 20:27). The candle's flame constantly sways and flickers as it attempts to tear free of its wick and ascend on high. Our soul is also engaged in a constant effort to escape the corporeality of this mundane world and cleave to its G‑dly source. This is especially true in the course of prayer, those islands in time when we concentrate and focus on our relationship with G‑d. Our body mirrors this effort as it sways back and forth like a flame."

Beautiful! Reply

Eric McDowell Indianapolis, IN April 6, 2019

You know, it is interesting that I did this when I was a young man (and even now, sometimes - 62yo), ... and found it interesting to see Jewish people do it during prayer/meditation (at a later point in my life). Myself, I am a Protestant Christian, ... early on Lutheran, in particular. But I too found myself rocking back and forth naturally, with no intentional desire of doing so, ... it just happened. I found that intriguing. Reply

Marjorie California April 25, 2015

Shuckling I am not a Jew but since I have trouble concentrating I decided to try it when I say my prayers and it has helped me focus more. Reply

Anonymous Hollywood, FL April 24, 2015

Shuckling During Prayer & Learning Concise, Informative & to the point! To do or not to do? Opinions differ. Eg:
Rama M'Panu; "Asara Mamoros"; Perek 'Eim Kol Chai'; 33; disallows it.
Shaloh Hakososh; emphatically states that it interferes with 'kavanah'.
Mogen Avraham; Orach Chaim; siman 49, takes the stand of: "ovad k'mar, ovad, v'ovad k'mar ovad; as long that the 'kavanah' is there.

On a personal note, & as you mentioned: Years ago I daavened with the Rebbe's N'E "minyan", in 770; no, he did not "shuckle". Reply

Anonymous NYC April 6, 2018
in response to Anonymous:

I found footage of The Rebbe shucking when he was younger. It could be that he no longer needed to do it so vigorously and "evolved" Reply

Anonymous Tennessee April 18, 2015

Shuckling I also find it transcending, spirtually it enables me to totally focuse on my prayers, blocking out distractions even though our Synagogue is reform.שלום יוסף Reply

Anonymous April 17, 2015

I can relate This happens to me involuntarily as well. I am grateful that this was covered and I will work on remaining more still like the Rebbe, especially in times of highly important prayer and service. Thank you Rabbi Taylor Reply

Elliot April 17, 2015

Fascinating explanations. Thank you. Reply

marian carol kessler Philadelphia April 16, 2015

Very informative and interesting and learned a lot. Thank you. Reply

Anonymous April 15, 2015

Shuckling This happens to me when I pray and it happens when I transcend into a deeper realm where my spirit is connecting to the energy that is radiating down on me. It is as if an electric cord is attached to my head and the energy is moving down into my body, I am not physically doing it, it is very relaxing and I feel a surge of very pleasant energy. It happens when I am in a deep realm of prayer, and it stops when I conclude my prayer.

Thank you for addressing this. Reply

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