Take a Bow (Part I)

Rav Chaim Pilajee (Kaf HaChaim 15:38) writes (in the name of the Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah) that when bowing in Shemonah Esrei, a person should invoke within himself feelings of yirah, awe and fear of God. As he rises, one should invoke a deep trust in God, that He will be helpful in all his affairs. He notes that this is indicated by the verse (Proverbs 14:26), “In ‘fear of God’ there is a stronghold of trust.”

Rashi on that verse cites Avraham Avinu as an example. In the aftermath of passing the test of the Akeidah (Binding of Isaac), God’s angel says to Avraham Avinu (Genesis 22:12), “Now I know that you are a God-fearer.” The Torah goes on to report God’s promise (ibid. v.17), “I will bless you greatly, and increase your offspring like the stars of the sky…Your offspring shall inherit their enemies’ gate.”