Chapter: 21 – Nefillat Apayim and the Prayers of Supplication

01 – The Uniqueness of the Nefillat Apayim Prayer

After the conclusion of the Amidah, it is customary to “fall on one’s face” (Nefillat Apayim) and recite prayers of supplication (Tachanun) before Hashem. By doing so, we fulfill the mitzvah of prayer in all of its positions – Birkot … Continue reading

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02 – The Custom of Its Recital

Despite its great virtue, the Chachamim did not establish Nefillat Apayim to be an obligatory prayer, and they did not institute a set wording for it. Anyone who so desired would add prayers of supplication in prostration after reciting the … Continue reading

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03 – What Is Nefillat Apayim?

At first, it was customary to perform the Nefillat Apayim prayer by prostrating or by bowing down. Prostration means that the person drops his whole body to the ground, and spreads out his hands and feet. Bowing means that the … Continue reading

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04 – How to Perform Nefillat Apayim

As mentioned, according to the Ashkenazic minhag, and of some Sephardim, Nefillat Apayim is performed by lowering one’s head and leaning it on the arm. In the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch, one always falls on his left arm. According … Continue reading

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05 – The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

After Hashem forgave Israel for the sin of the Golden Calf, and even agreed that Israel would be favored among all the nations in its special connection with Him, Moshe Rabbeinu implored, “Please let me have a vision of Your … Continue reading

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06 – The Passages of Supplication and Nefillat Apayim

It is proper not to interrupt by talking between Shemoneh Esrei and Tachanun, because when the recital of the prayers of supplication is linked to Shemoneh Esrei, the prayers are more favorably accepted (Shulchan Aruch 131:1; Mishnah Berurah 1). Concerning … Continue reading

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07 – Days on Which Tachanun Is Not Recited

The Nefillat Apayim prayer is one that expresses sorrow concerning our errors and shortcomings, which prevent us from standing before Hashem. Instead, we fall on our faces. For that reason, it is not proper to recite it on days of … Continue reading

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08 – Chatan, Ba’alei Brit, and Other Ba’alei Simchah

Tachanun is not recited in a minyan in which ba’alei simchah (those celebrating a joyous mitzvah celebration) are praying. Therefore, Tachanun is not recited in a minyan in which a chatan (groom) within his seven days of festivity is praying. … Continue reading

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