לזכות ידידי אהובי ר' צבי משה בן איתן אברהם הלוי לברכה והצלחה הוא וכל הנלוים אליו
3 opinions about how to stand for davening - Why no cross reference?
The mishna [Brachos 30] says that one may only daven with כובד ראש – seriousness [literally a "heavy head"]. There is another gemara in Yevamos [105b] also discusses how one must daven and quotes three opinions. 1] Your eyes should be focused downwards. 2] Your eyes must be focused upwards. 3] Your eyes should be looking down and your heart should be focused above.
The first opinion apparently holds that one must be submissive when davening. The second opinion holds that one must feel a sense of spiritual elevation and the third opinion merges the first two opinions and strives for both submission and elevation.
What is odd is that our gemara [in Brachos] doesn't mention that gemara [in Yevamos] and that gemera doesn't mention our mishna. Since they seem to be talking about the same issue it would be only natural to cross reference in one or both places. In fact, the Rif here does mention the gemara in Yevamos but our gemara omits it.
The gemara in Rosh Hashana [26b] also discusses a similar issue. There is an argument there whether the shofar should be bent or straight פשוט או כפוף . Rashi understands this to be a dispute as to whether one should daven on Rosh Hashana with one's face downward, in a submissive pose, or straight up with more confidence. Once again it would seem that this discussion would be germane to our gemara in Brachos, yet both gemaros neglect to mention each other.
[In the sefer Marbeh Amida הערה א the Gaon Hamechaber has a mehalech but I am looking for something that works for my brain…]
After writing this [on the 134 bus going to Binyanei Ha-umahJ] I found the sefer עין אליהו who writes that the machlokes in Yevamos is dependent upon two opinions found in Brachos. The opinion that says that one must daven with his eyes down is following the mishna that one must daven with כובד ראש. The opinion that one must daven with one's eyes upwards is following the opinion mentioned in the Braisa in Brachos that one must daven with simcha [are the two opinions necessarily arguing? That is apparently a Machlokes rishonim which we may or may not return to on these pages:-) - E.E.]. The conclusion of the gemara is that both are necessary. As far as the body is concerned one should be submissive, for the body comes from a putrid drop. Therefore, one should daven with one's eyes downwards. As far as the soul is concerned one should feel elevated and confident for the soul is a piece of Hashem כביכול [the language of the Tanya – חלק אלו-ה ממעל ממש!]. Therefore, the heart is focused upwards.
The Pnei Yehoshua in Brachos understands כובד ראש to mean that one should literally have a "heavy head" and bow his head down a bit while elevating his heart heavenwards, in order to fulfill the conclusion of the gemara in Yevamos [not like the עין אליהו we mentioned earlier who understands that כובד ראש precludes having one's heart directed upwards].
Either should be fine
The Turei Even asks [Rosh Hashana 26] that if the gemara in Yevamos concludes that one needs both submission and uprightness, why is there an argument on Rosh Hashna about whether the shofar must be פשוט or כפוף - bent or upright. Since you CAN'T have both, either should be fine?
Paroh Vs. Moshe
Rav Dov Hakohen Kook Shlita [עד שהמלך במסיבו עמ' ס"ג] contrasts the obligation to have one's heart directed above and his eyes below with a heavy head to the behavior of Paroh who had a heavy HEART [כבד לב פרעה] and an elevated head [מי לי בשמים לי יאורי ואני עשיתיני – "Who is to me in heaven, the river is mine and I created myself"]. The contrast to Paroh's arrogance is Moshe the quintessential humble person who also was [literally] in the heavens.
I hope that this discussion provokes yet more discussion....:-)