Halachos of Standing and Sitting

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Is Leaning like Standing or Sitting?

  1. Witnesses need to stand for a din torah and leaning is considered standing.[1] Some say it is permitted for both the witnesses and the judges to be leaning at the same time, while others argue that it is forbidden.[2]
  2. Judges need to sit for a din torah and leaning is considered sitting.[3]
  3. For kriyat hatorah the one reading needs to standing and leaning is not considered standing.[4]
  4. Al Hamichya needs to be recited sitting and leaning is considered sitting.[5]
  5. Shofar needs to be blown standing and leaning is not considered standing.[6] Others argue.[7]


  1. Rama C.M. 17:1, Bach 17:2, Sama 17:6 and 28:64, Shach 17:5. Sama holds that it is a doubt whether it is considered standing or sitting and since it is only rabbinic to stand we're lenient to consider it standing or sitting. Tumim 17:1 argues that it is biblical for witnesses to stand. Bach holds that it is both sitting and standing for whatever you need it to be. However, Magen Avraham 141:2 and Gra CM 17:6 are strict. Magen Avraham holds that it is like sitting not standing, while Gra holds that it is neither sitting or standing.
  2. Bach 17:2 and 64:22 holds it is permitted even initially. Shach 17:5 and 64:32 quotes the Bach. Sama 17:6 and 28:64 thinks it is only permitted after the fact because it is a contradiction to simultaneously treat leaning as sitting and standing.
  3. Shulchan Aruch C.M. 28:26, Bach 17:2, Sama 17:6, Shach 17:5, and Magen Avraham 141:2.
  4. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 141:1, Magen Avraham 141:2
  5. Tzitz Eliezer 16:1
  6. Magen Avraham 585:1 citing the Maharil
  7. Pitchei Teshuva 17 cites Birkei Yosef who liked the argument of Rav Tzvi Ashkenazi that when standing is necessary from the torah leaning doesn't count, but if it is only necessary rabbinically it is acceptable. That's why, claims the Birkei Yosef, the Rama didn't quote the Maharil as the halacha, even though it is in the Darkei Moshe, since standing for shofar is only rabbinic.