Prayer Facing East

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17 November

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Prayer Facing East
« on: November 06, 2011, 01:41:07 PM »
The prayer traditions of the ancient Christian Church and virtually all Eastern Christians has always been done facing East.  East has primacy over all directions because this direction both symbolizes the direction of God, and it is also the direction from which the God-Man Jesus Christ will return to the earth.

Canonical Churches are constructed facing east.

Byzantines and early Christians used prayer rugs facing East from the time of Jesus Christ.  This tradition is kept alive among others by Russian Old Ritualists who retain many traditions that were part of the East Roman Cristian Empire and early Christian Russia.

(Website in English Translation from Russian)

In the link,the tab entitled "About" has an informaive article about this tradition.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 05:38:52 PM by 17 November »



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Re: Prayer Facing East
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 07:38:03 PM »
As a rule, Jewish halakhah has prayer oriented towards the Temple Mount or Har haBayit. The Baba Bathra records another tradition related:
Quote from: Baba Bathra 25b
R. Isaac said: He who desires to become wise should turn to the south [when praying], and he who desires to become rich should turn to the north. The symbol [by which to remember this] is that the table [in the Tabernacle] was to the north of the altar and the candlestick to the south.
R. Joshua b. Levi, however, said that he should always turn to the south, because through obtaining wisdom he will obtain wealth, as it says. length of days are in her [wisdom's] right hand, in her left hand are riches and honour.
But was it not R. Joshuah b. Levi who said that the Shechinah is in the west? [He means that] one should turn partly to the south. Said R. Hanina to R. Ashi: Those like you who live to the north of Eretz Yisrael should turn to the south. How do we know that Babylon is to the north of Eretz Yisrael? From the scriptural verse, Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

This refers to offsetting one's prayer to the appropriate portion of the Beit haMikdash (or Temple): The menorah (which represents Wisdom in all Abrahamic religions) in the south.

For what it's worth.
"Never think you can turn over any old falsehood without a terrible squirming of the horrid little population that dwells under it." -O.W. Holmes "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne.."