Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Who Am I?

Shuckling:from the Yiddish word meaning "to shake" (also written as shokeling) is the ritual swaying of Jewish worshippers during prayer, usually forward and back but also from side to side. This practice can be traced back to at least the eighth century, and possibly as far back as Talmudic times. It is believed to increase concentration and emotional intensity (Eisenberg 2004:360). In Chassidic lore, shuckeling is seen as an expression of the soul's desire to abandon the body and reunite itself with its source, similar to a flame's shaking back and forth as if to free itself from the wick (Tanya chapter 19).

Many Jews shuckel while engaged in anything requiring focus and concentration or extreme seriousness, even mundane activities.

The 12th century Jewish philosopher and poet Yehuda Halevi wrote that the habit began as a result of a shortage of books, forcing people to hover over a single codex laid on the ground, each one bending in turn to read a passage (The Kuzari, part II, para. 80).
Who Am I? Oh, yeah the most creative answer wins!



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