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Author:  SA
E-mail:  not available
Date:  6/13/2003 9:59:00 AM
Subject:  Prayer -- 3 steps
Message:  In Shulchan Aruch 95:1, Rama states that to begin the amida, we take 3 steps forward. Mishna Berura #3 quotes the Eliya Rabba that there is no need to first take 3 steps back (before the 3 fwd steps), but ends that the custom is indeed to take 3 back and then 3 fwd.

1a. Is this a question of custom or halacha;

1b. what is the proper practice?

1c. Which is preferable?

1d. Must one choose one practice and stick to it, or may he go "back and forth" so to speak (sorry for the pun)?

2. If one is accustomed one way (3 back, then 3 fwd), is there a reason to switch to the other (only 3 fwd)?

3. What do you/your father do?

Thank you.
Reply:  Before Amida/Shemona Esrey we don't need to take any steps at all. Afterwards, we take three steps back, ONLY. If one wants to go back to their original spot for whatever reason, they may, after waiting about a 5 seconds.

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