Laws for Lefties (Part II)
- When reciting the Shma, the custom is to cover the eyes with the right hand.
Lefties follow this custom and use their right hand.
- The practice of placing the right hand over the left hand against the heart
while reciting the Shmoneh Esrai is practiced by lefties as well, because the
gesture symbolizes subduing the yetzer hora, which is suggested by the left
- At the conclusion of the Shmoneh Esrai we step back. Since most people would
naturally step back with their right foot, this step is made with the left foot
to suggest that it is difficult for us to step away from the Presence of G-d.
Accordingly, the Magen Avraham holds that a person who is left-footed should
step away with his right foot. The Taz disagrees, and does not distinguish between
people who are right-footed and left-footed in this matter. The poskim hold
like the the Magen Avraham. When stepping back, we look to the left, which is
the right of the Divine Presence. In this, the leftie follows the accepted practice.
- When saying vidui, a person strikes the left side of his chest over his
heart with his right fist. Lefties do the same.
- In Shacharis, when doing nefilas apaim, a rightie, who places his tefilin
on his left hand, rests his head on his right forearm. The leftie who places
his tefilin on his right hand, rests his head on his left forearm.