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From Mars to Jerusalem

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Prayer, On Mars, Which Direction to Face

Jim Silver from Chicago, IL wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Assuming Mars is ever colonized and Jews live on Mars, will they need to pray UP to face Jerusalem? This question is based on the fact that the orbit of Mars is outside the Earth's orbit of the Sun.


Dear Jim Silver,

You've certainly asked your question to the right Rabbi: When I was in school, I took up space!

Even on Mars you wouldn't face upwards to pray because one should pray with his head slightly bowed and his eyes downward. Also, facing up towards earth might look like you were praying to a star. A Jewish no-no.

Of course, there may be other valid halachic views on this issue; therefore, when you get to Mars, ask the local Orthodox Rabbi.

    Sources:
  • Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 95:2
  • Mishna Berura 426:13

 
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