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Shemonah Esrei Farting

shemona-esrei-farterPeople fart, its one of the facts of life, orthodox Jews probably fart more due to our unhealthy diets and lack of exercise. Whether or not we control our farts is another story. I was in shul tonight and a man in front of me farted in the middle of a violent shemona esrei, I have heard this shemona esrei farting thing done many a time – but every time I am disgusted and find myself in a middle of shul laugh.

I find that the older the man the more likely he is to ignore the fact that any sounds or contents were emitted from his ass. Us young folks will let one loose in the middle of shemona esrei and try to cover up by miming our disgust at the smell, the famous whoever smelt it dealt it comes into play quite frequently.

Farting is a famous pastime amongst single frum males, if any of you have ever attended any orthodox Jewish men’s only events you know exactly what I am talking about, at the oneg, shalom zachor, shiur or shaloshudos – mostly anonymous farting will come into play, but none is funnier and more ignored than the shemona esrei fart.

Please note that the picture chosen is obviously of a man who has just farted while davening and is trying to act like he didn’t, classic gestures like nose screwed up and hand over face to dispel the smell aren’t covering up the fact that he is guilty!

{ 62 comments… add one }
  • AH May 11, 2009, 9:20 PM

    Halachicly one is not allowed to fart during Shomeh Esrei…

    • Mike May 6, 2013, 1:53 PM

      Halochocly, one is not allowed to fart when wearing teffilin

  • Anonymous May 11, 2009, 9:26 PM

    This is the only time I laughed out loud at your website

  • Michal bas Avraham May 11, 2009, 9:35 PM

    I heard you have to start over if you fart. I’ve only farted once. I was home but, I was at the very end of a weekday amidah and it was back when my reading wasn’t this good so, I got some extra practice reading Hebrew.

    Just a slightly off topic interjection, Heshy, what do you think would happen if one were to light a fart on fire…


  • Frum Satire May 11, 2009, 9:41 PM

    Michal I think Mythbusters proved that it would work.

  • former baltimorean May 11, 2009, 10:05 PM

    shabbos minchah, post chulent, abdominal squeezing bows, are prime time for shemonah esrei farts, so here is a tip for all of you out there, stand in the back of your shul, with your back to the wall, unless of course you are in some obscure shteibel, because then, just join the hit parade!!!

  • yak May 11, 2009, 10:07 PM

    I don’t remember the halacha so well but from what I do recall I think the shulchan aruch says ur supposed to take 3 steps back, say a short prayer brought down there which is kind of an apology to Hashem, wait for the smell to clear and then go back and continue. and I think that’s what sefardim are supposed to do. but as far as ashkenazim I think it comes out that we just stop & wait for the smell to clear before continuing.

  • yak May 11, 2009, 10:11 PM

    but I may be wrong so check it up or contact ur l.o.r.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 11, 2009, 10:12 PM

    I actually think you’re right. I read something like that one time from a rabbi. I like the make him start over idea better, though.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 11, 2009, 10:38 PM

    I can NOT ask my rabbi that. I couldn’t even ask his wife to ask him… I do have seminary graduate kollel wive whose husband is studying to become a rabbi… I think I could ask her….

  • Chaim May 11, 2009, 10:39 PM

    I thought it was just that you had to stop until the smell went away, and then resume.

    I could check in a kitzur…. but its easier just to say… check with your LOR

    Hilarious though. And I know I did this once. Shuckling makes it hard to hold it in for such a while, especially if you’ve been waiting a while… lol…

  • yak May 11, 2009, 10:43 PM

    the kitzur will just give u the final ashkenazic psak

  • Leeba May 11, 2009, 10:51 PM

    Michal You have only farted once? Do you not eat enough fibre, dear? You really must!

    I find it hilarious when farting in a crowded line – my daughter and I have this thing we do. We look around and glare at someone behind us, as if we KNOW they were the ones who did it. We try not to laugh too much.

    We are Sephardi. We eat a lot of lentils and rice on Shabbos. Therefore, Saturday nights and Sunday days are quite musical when we are together.

    I love the picture that you used. I know that old people will also do ‘walking farts’ As they move along, they just begin cutting the cheese…often sounding like jet propulsion is helping to move them forward. Yet, I agree, the older they are, the less likely they are to note that they have just fumigated an entire block of apartments and even less likely to say something polite such as, “Excuse me”

    A little secret about the women’s side in shul. The older ones will actually lean over to one side and let one loose during a meal. Really funny when you are a teenager.

  • LilMissGer May 11, 2009, 11:03 PM

    Gee whiz…I’ll consult my favorite stupid question rabbi for this one. Now you’ve piqued my interest enough that I have to. Rabbis are going to wonder what kind of shmuck’s idea it was to send a bunch of people with these questions about inappropriate bodily mechanisms during dovening…

  • Leeba May 11, 2009, 11:12 PM

    yak I think you have that backwards. I am Sephardi. We take the three steps backward, bow, fart, then move ahead to get out of the way of the smell. We also pray that it doesn’t follow us forward.

    We eat a lot of lentils for our weekly cleanout on Shabbos day.

  • Former Teacher May 11, 2009, 11:19 PM
  • Leeba May 11, 2009, 11:21 PM

    Michal You have only farted once, honey? Are you sure you are eating enough fibre in your diet? πŸ˜‰

    I know y’all think the women’s side of the shul is filled with perfume and loveliness. However, not all those sudden horrid smells are from our babie’s diapers. I have seen some of the old birds actually lean over in their seats to let one rip during a kiddush! On the plastic seats it really resonates.

    As far as the elderly, I have noted that when walking, the length of the fart is in direct proportion to how far they need to travel. When one gets old, this extra propulsion is necessary to get one going in the right direction.

    My daughter and I have a good way to make sure nobody suspects that either of us would ever pass gas in public. If either one of us rips one off, the both of us will turn and glare accusingly at some random person, thus placing the blame on them with three or more witnesses present.

    You have to be quick on Shabbos day after eating our type of cholent. The witness sure take off in a hurry.

  • OPINIONATED May 11, 2009, 11:33 PM



  • Michal bas Avraham May 11, 2009, 11:34 PM

    Ok, First off, LOL for your first one.

    Secondly, only farted once during davening. I usually fart when I make tekia ketana.

    LOL at your old ladies. I bet they think people will think it’s the plastic on the seat and not them.

    LOL at you and your daughter pretending it’s not you guys.

  • Jackass May 12, 2009, 3:25 AM

    ever tried lighting a fire under someone’s fart

  • pooglespeak May 12, 2009, 6:21 AM

    The worst is when the guy who’s been cooking cholent Friday night comes in, clearly stuffed with beans and lentils, and sits in front of you, then lets one loose right at “v’anachnu korim” in Aleinu. Talk about kapparah.

  • Chris_B May 12, 2009, 7:05 AM

    Whats wrong with you people? In the non Jewish world the question of lighting your farts is settled by about 8th grade.

    (yes, they burn and I really dont advise trying it unless you have on jeans or similar thick pants)

  • Michal bas Avraham May 12, 2009, 7:25 AM

    Oh, you’ve tried this Chris B?

  • A May 12, 2009, 8:09 AM

    Where is your sense of humor?Get a life.

  • Leeba May 12, 2009, 8:24 AM

    A Um, A? I think Chris_B does have a sense of humour. If you had read up a comment or two, then you would have realised he was answering someone else.

    I believe Chris_B is correct about the lighting of farts. It is universal, obviously, as Chris, where are you from? Asia? (I forgot, sorry) I was formerly a teacher. Most kids have tried lighting their farts by the age of 13, unless they live in a cave.

    I never had to try, though. My younger brother did it for us. He got quite a flame on that long kitchen match. That was proof enough for us. Methane is gas…gas is ignitable.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 12, 2009, 8:30 AM

    Actually, there’s a bunch of YouTube video on it. There’s even one that I saw where someone actually wet farted instead (by accident, I’m sure…)

  • Leeba May 12, 2009, 8:39 AM

    Yea, a Wet One would definitely put a damper on things.

  • LilMissGer May 12, 2009, 9:06 AM

    My response from the rabbi:


    Not a stupid question at all! [I guess he means compared to some of my others XD ]

    You should stop your prayers until the smell leaves your presence.

    If you are afraid to lose your concentration, you can walk to the point where you don’t smell the bad air, and continue.”

  • MS May 12, 2009, 10:26 AM

    Hahaha, I am laughing so hard from this post and the comments that I had to stop in the middle because my co workers are wondering why Im laughing!!

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009, 10:34 AM

    I can usually hold my cheeks together very tight during shemona esrei, but when i take the 3 steps back at the the end it is very difficult to keep it together very tightly so it always comes out then (i make sure to ruffle my pants legs together, ruffle the pages together and take loud steps, so that it covers up the noise, if any) . luckily i am usually one of the first people to finish and i can go somewhere else before it starts to smell.

  • berylboy May 12, 2009, 10:36 AM

    one had an 80 year man let one loose and cleared out the entire chabad house!!!

  • humina humina May 12, 2009, 10:59 AM

    One time this older guy let a loud one loose when he did the crouch to pick up the torah for hagbah. Everyone tried to hold in their giggling to keep from embarrassing the poor guy, which only made me laugh louder.

  • offthederech May 12, 2009, 11:53 AM

    I love when people rush to take off their tefillin in middle of shachris. You know it’s time to skedaddle.

  • Chris_B May 12, 2009, 11:58 AM


    Of course I’ve lit em. My record for longest flame was about 11 inches, that was a beer fart if I recall correctly.

    To get a good flame you either want to be bent forward about 90 degrees, or to lay on your back and then flip your body so your legs are up or all the way back over to the ground if you can. You want the lighter about a half inch from the place where the gas will come from.

    Again, DO NOT try this in your underwear or with thin pants. I’ve seen cases where loose threads or thin fabrics caught fire from the “flame jet” or just holding the lighter too close.


    I’m an American living in Tokyo. Also you are right that wet ones dont make for good flames.

  • Modox May 12, 2009, 12:03 PM

    You take 3 steps back, wait for the smell to dissipate and offer a sort of apology prayer to haShem. I think it goes something like, “You created orifices, and our shame is before you” [Don’t quote me]
    If you can’t take the 3 steps back, then take 3 steps to the side and wait for the smell to go away.
    If you’re too embarassed to take the 3 steps [cuz it would be obvious, that you just let one loose] then you stop your shmoneh esreh, wait for the smell to leave and keep going.

  • Frum Satire May 12, 2009, 12:05 PM

    Its Modiim that kills my cheek holding abilities

  • amanda May 12, 2009, 12:35 PM

    ever farted while some was giving you anal?

  • MS May 12, 2009, 12:36 PM

    Frum Satire // May 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    “Its Modiim that kills my cheek holding abilities”

    Heshy you are so mean, I tried to read this post again and the second I read your comment I blew up in laughter infront of my whole office, they all think im nuts and im blaming you. that was just hilarious!!!

  • Michal bas Avraham May 12, 2009, 1:40 PM

    Chris, ahem YISRAEL,

    Oh, like in the videos. I never lit my own farts. However, I used to do hairspray fires until a mattress caught one time. We put it out right away but, I never did THAT again.

    Again, so glad I’ve never farted in shul while davening. Although, did have a super embarassing incident in 8th grade in study hall. It was DEAD silence. I mean you could hear a pindrop. I didn’t even have any warning and out of nowhere the loudest fart comes ripping out…. and I mean RIPPING. The room roared in laughter. I think the teacher was even laughing. In this tiny voice, I said, “excuse me?” and the girl next to me said, “that was you?” tiny voice and I”m sure bright red face, “ummm.”

  • Chris_B May 12, 2009, 1:50 PM

    BTW Its a scientific fact that girls lighting farts is 10 times funnier than guys doing it.

    Up to now I’ve never farted in shul. Might be because I dont eat a diet that promotes gas.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 12, 2009, 9:46 PM

    There’s a video where they put a mic in a girl’s butt to prove that women do fart. It Mythbusters again who did it.
    YouTube, mythbusters, fart

  • Phil May 13, 2009, 9:31 AM

    Scientifically proven, men fart more often, women’s are more concentrated.

    Farting in shul is unethical but unavoidable, especially after all the eating on 3 day yom tovs.

    I’ve seen old rabbis fart out loud in shul without even flinching. Least they could have done is gone outside.

  • yeshiva dude May 13, 2009, 10:16 PM

    Since when do woman fart?

  • Chris_B May 13, 2009, 10:27 PM

    yeshiva dude you obviously are not married.

  • Hornball May 13, 2009, 10:44 PM

    My wife never farts. And when she does, she blames it on the kids.

  • Homey May 14, 2009, 11:20 AM

    Yes Amanda, when I was in yeshiva I think it happened once.

  • Ken Lane May 14, 2009, 11:27 AM

    My father had 2 sisters and said he still didn’t think that women farted….*then he looks lovingly over to my mother*…”until I met your mother.” Aww.

    Yeah, aren’t you not even supposed to daven if you feel like you need to fart? Or is that just laying tefillin when you feel like you might later need to take the Browns to the Superbowl?

  • Bsamim Smoker May 14, 2009, 12:28 PM

    Ken Lane
    “Take the browns to the superbowl”major props dude you got me laughin so hard!!!

  • Michal bas Avraham May 14, 2009, 9:12 PM

    How about “droppin’ the Cosby kids off at the pool?”

  • Leeba May 14, 2009, 10:25 PM

    I’m originally from South Carolina – we simply say, “Excuse me. I need to drop the kids off at the pool”

    When I lived in the west on my dad’s ranch they would say, “I need to see a man about a horse” In Nevada, they used the dog as an excuse.

    πŸ™‚ Yay! Now we are on a peckel run!

  • Dirty Chick May 15, 2009, 6:00 AM

    Speaking about euphemistic expressions, have you ever seen chicks with names on the back of their sweat pants link “juicy” or “pink” etc..I guess they just like hinting to the guys there whores.You know what it should really say on those ass cheeks”high mileage” “damaged goods” or “excepts all major credit cards”,c’mon girls show your true colors!!

  • Leeba May 15, 2009, 8:58 AM

    Dirty Chick Yes, I have seen those on the back of sweat pants and worse, even. (Remember, i am a social worker in a homeless womens shelter.)I have even seen a hot red mustang with the words “Cheer Bitch” (for a cheerleader???) professionally lettered onto the back of it. Bitch? Oh yes – so datable.

    I agree with you. These girls should definitely carry around POS machines with them. It would make transactions run quickly and smoothly.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 17, 2009, 12:49 AM

    They made fun of the “juicy” butt on “Gilmore Girls” one time. The mother/grandmother tells her daughter, “what’s next? A brasiere with the word tasty on it?”

  • Dirty Chick May 17, 2009, 7:58 AM

    the best one would be”NO HOLES BARRED”

  • Leeba May 17, 2009, 11:55 AM

    No kidding Dirty Chick They might as well have the ground rules spelled out from the start.

    Michal I saw that episode. Hilarious.

  • Michal bas Avraham May 17, 2009, 1:07 PM

    I’m a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, you?

  • Leeba May 18, 2009, 5:26 AM

    Michal Yes. Spittin image of my life with my daughter….and my mother. Throw in 6 siblings that took off like me and one that stayed around for the moneys and you have The Gilmore Girls plus heaps more kids.

    Yep yep…it is that freaky. My daughter and I watch it together just to get frightened by Emily as she is so much like my mother.

  • Dirty Chick May 18, 2009, 3:07 PM


  • Leeba May 18, 2009, 4:07 PM

    Shemonah Esrei Farter Apply Within?

  • Stealth Bomber May 7, 2013, 10:21 PM

    My preferred tactic is to see if I can stave off the rippage of ass until the chazaras hashatz. If timed just so, the offending sound wave is canceled out by 100 old schmucks all yelling, “BAruCh HUU OOVARUCH ShemoooOO.” in unison.

  • Aaron Krause February 5, 2014, 10:01 AM

    Any teenagers here ever fart during a teen minyan?

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