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Prayer Posture, Preparations, Time and Place
This is explained in a Chassidic Discourse by the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, titled "Basi Legani" (5710).
The following is quoted from the translation published by Kehot, ch. 5, with some explanations from our director added in brackets:

...we find a prophet referred to as a madman, as in the verse, "Why did this madman come?"
For during the revelation of [open] prophecy a person has to divest himself of materiality; he has to step beyond his understanding and emotions, and to attain a level of self-nullification beyond all limits of reason.

For this reason too, [some] prophets [who had not yet developed a deeply internallized level of self-nullification] would remove their clothing [involuntarily!] during prophetic revelation.
Thus we find, "Shaul also removed his clothes and prophesied."
[I Samuel 19:24 - "And he [Saul] too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel, and he fell naked all that day and all the night. Therefore, they say, 'Is Saul also among the prophets?'" These prophets who stripped naked during their prophecy were beginning-level students in Samuel's academy for the training of prophets.]

The need for clothes first came about as a result of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Before the sin "[Adam and his wife] were naked, and they were not ashamed."
After the sin, man's feelings [hitherto instinctively good] comprised both good and evil -- indeed, this is the core of their sin -- as is implied in a later verse, "They knew that they were naked." At this point they first felt the need for clothes.

The ultimate source for the experience of feelings comprising both good and evil is one's awareness of his own intellect and emotions.
Prophecy thus demands "divesting oneself of one's clothes," i.e., divesting oneself of this awareness of one's own intellect and emotions, and nullifying one's own faculties and sensibilities.

Thus Rambam writes in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah [Laws of the Foundations of Torah]:
"It is one of the fundamental tenets of the [Torah] faith to know that G-d grants prophecy to men [and women]. Prophecy will rest only on a man [or woman] who is wise and courageous, who overcomes his[/her] desires, and whose desires never overcome him[/her] in any matter."

Such conduct, which entails a deviation that transcends the accepted norms of reason and understanding, is called folly [in the realm of holiness, as opposed to folly in the realm of unholiness].

Regarding prophets who were on a more advanced level of internalized self-nullification, we find that when G-dliness was openly revealed to them, they didn't involuntarily remove their clothing, but they lost voluntary control of their bodies. For example, some were unable to remaining standing:

Ezekiel 3:23 - "So I arose and went out to the plain and behold, there the glory of the L-rd was standing, like the glory that I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face."

Moses our teacher was on the highest level of internallized self-nulification of any prophet who ever lived, or who ever will live. When receiving the direct Divine speech, he was able to maintain his normal concious sensibility, so that at any time, without any preparation, he could speak directly with G-d "face to face," meaning in a state of full composure, like a person who is speaking with his friend.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Prayer Posture - by Director Michael - 09-12-2007, 04:03 AM
RE: Prayer Posture - by James7 - 10-06-2007, 09:18 AM
RE: Prayer Posture - by Director Michael - 10-07-2007, 06:08 PM
RE: Prayer Posture - by Mattityahu ben Noach - 11-05-2010, 05:14 PM
RE: Prayer Posture - by Director Michael - 01-01-2010, 02:26 PM
RE: Prayer Posture - by brandynpublic - 12-06-2011, 12:31 PM
Re: strange behaviors of the prophets? - by Director Michael - 11-09-2010, 10:38 AM
prostration in Genesis - by noahidecanada - 12-18-2008, 03:42 AM
RE: prostration in Genesis - by rabbiyitz - 12-18-2008, 07:29 AM
Prayer after exercise - by Johnzo - 04-25-2010, 10:34 AM
RE: Prayer after exercise - by Director Michael - 04-25-2010, 03:02 PM
Praying around secular friends? - by NoahideBrah - 11-28-2011, 06:02 PM

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