Q&A: Clapping Your Hands

Q: I am aware that there are several teachings concerning clapping during tefilla in Likutei MohaRan. I was wondering if there are any specific times or prayers that the Chasidei Breslov clap for, and whether there are any times that are considered inappropriate to clap?

I’ve seen people clap during the Amidah, but I have taken to clapping during the first paragraph of Aleinu – would that be considered okay by Breslov standards?

A: Shalom Alex!

Ordinarily, there is no set or official time/place in the davening to clap. Whenever feels genuinely excited by what he’s saying and/or is so excited to be davening (!) is the place clap. Additionally, the clapping should be truly spontaneous, without thought like, “Look at how enthusiastic *I* am in my tefilah.”

Two exceptions. On R”H and Yom Kippur, when the chazan says (the word) “HaMelekh” before “Yishtabach” the tzibur claps. In the chazan’s repetition of Musaf on tose days, at the end of the *piyut* (additional prayer) that begins “Y’yehesayu” when the word “keter” is reached.

BTW: Because Rabbeinu zal calls clapping “kaf EL kaf” (palm to palm) it is customary to clap so that the fingers and palm of each hand align when they make contact (rather than fingers to palm clapping).

Hope this helped.

kol tuv.

Ozer Bergman

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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1 Comment

  1. the clapping does not have to be audible like applause or while dancing.

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