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Poll

How do you bow on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?
I don't bow all the way down, but I bow deeper than usual.
 34%  [ 75 ]
I bow like I do for a regular bow.
 29%  [ 63 ]
Does not apply, I don't make it to shul.
 10%  [ 22 ]
Hu? I've never heard of anyone other than the Baal T'fillah doing this.
 6%  [ 15 ]
I bow all the way down each time.
 18%  [ 41 ]
Total Votes : 216


amother




OP


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 12:29 pm
Asking anon because this gives me anxiety every Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During Mussaf (the avodah part), do you bow all the way onto the floor?

At my shul its a mix. Some women do, others don't. At my old shul, all women did.

My husband says it's his minhag that women do not bow all the way down so I am relieved to have a reason not to.

And of course, I do me, you do you, and yes, I keep my eyes closed or in my machzor so I don't see everyone. I'm just curious.

FWIW, we are chassidish (not your typical chassidus) but daven in a just plain frum shul.

(ETA - I’m a BT and growing up, this was a big part if the chazzan’s “show” - only he bowed all the way down - so the whole feeling of it is very strange to me even now over 20 years later)
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amother




Burgundy


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 12:35 pm
In my BY type school I was sort of taught that it’s not tznius to bow all the way down, but I definitely see women in my (diverse) Shul doing so, but I don’t
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LovesHashem




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 12:41 pm
When the artscroll siddur says to get on the ground and bow, I do.
Been to many yeshivish shuls in my life and I've never heard of this being questionable.
I've never seen anyone not bow on the floor.
The only people I see not doing this are the elderly and people with medical issues.
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 12:46 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
When the artscroll siddur says to get on the ground and bow, I do.
Been to many yeshivish shuls in my life and I've never heard of this being questionable.
I've never seen anyone not bow on the floor.
The only people I see not doing this are the elderly and people with medical issues.


Take a closer look. In the Artscroll it says (maybe in the back of the machzor) that in many congregations the women do not bow. So there is room for not what I would call question, but variance in minhag.
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 12:55 pm
It's a yekkishe thing as far as I know, for the women to go all the way down. I did it growing up, but I don't since I'm married.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:03 pm
It is not our minhag for women to bow all the way (wasn't my parents' minhag, and not DH's family either) but we bow deeper/hold it for longer than the rest of the year. However, both in my shul growing up, and now, there are some women who have the minhag to do it all the way just as the men do.


OP, no need to have anxiety about this. You do whatever your minhag is (which is what your DH is telling you) with pride. No need to be self-conscious about it. No one is (or should be) looking at you. I respect all the women in my shul for whatever their minhag is.
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etky




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:08 pm
In our YI shul in the States, when I was growing up in the seventies, the women did not bow all the way down. Only the men did. I don't know what happens there now.
Here in Israel, in the DL shuls that I have attended, it has become the prevailing custom over the years for women to bow all the way down too although years ago this was certainly not the case.
I stick to the custom that I grew up with and just bow deeper than usual.
DH grew up Conservative and in his shul only the shliach tzibur bowed all the way down.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:13 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Take a closer look. In the Artscroll it says (maybe in the back of the machzor) that in many congregations the women do not bow. So there is room for not what I would call question, but variance in minhag.


Fascinating.
Right now I live in a large city in Central Israel; pick one of the 3: Beitar, Bet Shemesh, or Jerusalem and have gone to a few large standard yeshivsh shuls. Like I said - I've never seen anyone NOT bow by the womens section.

Perhaps I'm not looking closely enough as...I'm literally mostly looking at the floor at that point.

But yeah, this is just my experience...
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amother




Gray


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:14 pm
I do. I find it very humbling.
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mha3484




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:17 pm
In my younger years when I didnt really have a strong minhag I bowed all the way to the floor. There were towels on the tables so that you didnt kneel straight on the floor. Most of the younger women did also.

After a bunch of babies and older age if I bowed now I would not be able to get up so I just bow down as low as I can.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:25 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
When the artscroll siddur says to get on the ground and bow, I do.
Been to many yeshivish shuls in my life and I've never heard of this being questionable.
I've never seen anyone not bow on the floor.
The only people I see not doing this are the elderly and people with medical issues.


Interesting. I've davened in yeshivish shuls all my life and those bowing all the way down have usually been the minority.

Maybe it's different in the US. But I don't recall any difference when I was in seminary - though I davened in a shul with a largely American population.

I have brothers who live in E"Y and they daven in more Chassidish-type shuls. Their wives don't bow all the way down.
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amother




Cobalt


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:34 pm
This thread is the first time I heard that women do bow all the way down. In the shul I grew up in the men bow to the floor but the women just bow regular. (Chassidish)
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perquacky




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 1:53 pm
I do. The older I get, though, the harder it is to get back up again! (Especially on RH, when I was wearing heels and a very long dress . . .)
My only question remains whether I need to put something on the floor to kneel on if there's carpeting in shul. I was never clear on whether the barrier between your knees and the floor only pertained to stone floors.
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:12 pm
I don't bow. I have seen a few men doing stuff, but almost no women and definitely no majority. DEFF not yekke.
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BadTichelDay




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:27 pm
DL here - in our shul the vast majority of women bow all the way down, excluding elderly or pregnant or medical conditions. People bring something to put on the floor, like a small towel or a scarf or even just paper tissues. I think it gives a kind of special intensity to the day and I always try to imagine what it would be like to be bowing down in the Beit Hamikdash. Regarding tzniut - generally, people have skirts or dresses long enough to cover what needs to be covered even when bowing down. And even if something should slip up or down - it's in the womens' section. No man can see anything of it anyway, at least in our shul.
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:31 pm
OP I relate. It would also prevent me from going I think.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:34 pm
Ruchel wrote:
OP I relate. It would also prevent me from going I think.


Why?

You do you. Let others do themselves.

While many women do kneel all the way down at my shul (I do), hte shul police don't admonish those who don't. They don't even attack women who don't wear white.

Gmar chatima tov.
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amother




Green


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:36 pm
As a child in a Young Israel I never saw anyone bow with their head to the ground. Maybe men, but I wouldn't have known that.
It amazed me as younger girls coming back from seminary started bowing to the ground. I remember being curious the first time I saw it, wondering what they were passing paper towels around for.
And now, in Israel, it seems pretty common though most young girls and ladies still do not where I daven.
We do bow deeper and longer than usual, though.
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zaq




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:38 pm
By all the way down, do you mean kneeling on the floor? I have seen this only in recent years. In the litvishe shul where I grew up, women did not do this, ever. It wasn’t even a thought. Later on I read here and there that women don’t do this for reasons of tzniut. Maybe yes maybe no.

In my current shul, this was also never the custom even though its founders were primarily yekkes. But in recent years, since going to seminary became practically a mitzvah mideoraita, the girls coming back from seminary have adopted this practice, and so many of the older women have followed suit. Not I, though. I have no intention of changing my minhag even if sometimes I do remain, quite literally, the last woman standing. I don’t understand my counterparts who have switched in midstream , especially at an age at which this exercise is awkward and difficult. Those post-seminarians are no more correct than we are, just more ostentatious.
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amother




Cerulean


Post  Mon, Oct 07 2019, 2:41 pm
I learned that the towel or paper must go between your FACE and the floor. Not knees.

Anyone got more info on this?
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