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Flash2001
2nd Jun 2014, 00:43
I have seen many times on the telly pictures of Muslims or Orthodox Jews rocking in a vertical plane while studying sacred texts or, perhaps, praying. Does anyone know what this motion is called and what purpose it serves?

After an excellent landing etc...

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 01:00
No idea what it is called Flash but I suspect that like chanting or the repetitive and rhythmic recital of prayers in the christian tradition its purpose is to aid concentration and immersion in the act of prayer. Acts of repetition are common in most forms of religious meditation.

John Hill
2nd Jun 2014, 01:08
The rocking motion is reputed to aid in memorising the words and may be especially useful when memorising sounds rather than words, i.e. memorising verse in a language the student does not understand.

Hydromet
2nd Jun 2014, 02:03
I once watched a rhinoceros caged in a zoo rocking in the same way. I assumed it was from boredom.

G-CPTN
2nd Jun 2014, 02:24
I watched a polar bear in a very small enclosure in a zoo in Denmark swaying - a distinct sign of distress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igrMVWqiAio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhmv8Ya5jZE

500N
2nd Jun 2014, 02:26
Agree re the animals.

Luckily most zoos have moved on from bland concrete enclosures !

Espada III
2nd Jun 2014, 07:05
In Hebrew prayer, or more specifically Ashkenaz (Jews from European backgrounds) Jewish prayer, it is called shokelling, which is likely to be a Yiddish term, typically onomatopoeic, to describe rocking back and forth. Some people do it some dont. It has no religious significance, but does aid concentration.

G-CPTN
2nd Jun 2014, 07:26
The Meaning of Shokeling (http://people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/891201_Shokeling.html)

acbus1
2nd Jun 2014, 07:51
does aid concentration
Upon what? I've never identified anything worthy of even the slightest concentration when praying, all of which was enforced when I was too young to stand up for myself.

If we're ever invaded by aliens (hey, more likely than there being a 'God'), they'll p!$$ themselves laughing.

fujii
2nd Jun 2014, 08:22
It's symbolic of banging your head against a brick wall when no one listens. Like asking children to tidy up their room.

vee-tail-1
2nd Jun 2014, 10:25
It probably indicates that the person's brain has gone into standby mode, with the facilities of logic and reason switched off. :rolleyes:

Keef
2nd Jun 2014, 10:47
I've heard lots of reasons, none of which involve turning off the brain - in fact, very much the opposite.

I suspect "shokelling" is the Yiddish variant of the German "schaukeln", the verb behind Schaukelstuhl = rocking chair.

I used to sit on my rocking chair in the window of our place in North Wales, to contemplate the beauty of the creation below (and sometimes the jets from Valley as they blatted past beneath us). I found rocking very conducive to contemplation.

tony draper
2nd Jun 2014, 10:50
Plus it takes much less energy than those Whirling Dervish folks expend.:rolleyes:

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 11:34
Upon what? I've never identified anything worthy of even the slightest concentration when praying, all of which was enforced when I was too young to stand up for myself.

If we're ever invaded by aliens (hey, more likely than there being a 'God'), they'll p!$$ themselves laughing.

So it doesn't work for you then acbus1 but you are ready to condem the weight of humanity. Well balanced view.:=

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 11:43
I've heard lots of reasons, none of which involve turning off the brain - in fact, very much the opposite.

I suspect "shokelling" is the Yiddish variant of the German "schaukeln", the verb behind Schaukelstuhl = rocking chair.

I used to sit on my rocking chair in the window of our place in North Wales, to contemplate the beauty of the creation below (and sometimes the jets from Valley as they blatted past beneath us). I found rocking very conducive to contemplation.

Agreed, you also see that with students preparing or sitting exams - like you say the repetitive motion is conducive to contemplation. Most folk adopt, what appears to the uninitiated as silly rituals as they prepare for a task of some significance. Athletes, pilots, students, even the habit of humming has teh same effect (annoying though it is).

cattletruck
2nd Jun 2014, 13:39
Could have enlisted the services of Sammy Davis Jnr to spruce up the dance when they had the chance.

They're already in their dinner suits.

MagnusP
2nd Jun 2014, 14:15
Can we merge the Oscillation and Free the Nipple threads? Just a thought.

acbus1
2nd Jun 2014, 14:36
...you are ready to condem the weight of humanity.
Without hesitation. If I don't agree with something, weight of opposing numbers is irrelevant.

Got any logical proof that a God exists, have you? :suspect:

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 14:45
Without hesitation. If I don't agree with something, weight of opposing numbers is irrelevant.

Got any logical proof that a God exists, have you? :suspect:

Nope, but I will resit the reciprocal to your question.:p

AtomKraft
2nd Jun 2014, 14:48
In a previous life, I used to look after teenagers in a children's home.

One kid, who I'll call Billy, as that was his name, used to habitually rock back and forth. The other kids nicknamed him 'Rockabilly'.

He was a pleasant enough lad, and didn't seem too bothered by the ribbing.
The more anxious he was, the faster he went. It was always when sitting, and he only went between a normal sitting position, and forward of same.

I hope he's stopped by now as he must be about 35.

MagnusP
2nd Jun 2014, 14:54
Putting aside my earlier facetious comment, is it not the case that repetitive motion can release endorphins? I know that walking long distances in the country has a calming effect, and you often see grieving mothers after terror atrocities rock while they are keening.

acbus1
2nd Jun 2014, 15:17
I will resit the reciprocal to your question.
Could I stand a resit, I wonder. ;)

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 15:21
The more anxious he was, the faster he went. It was always when sitting, and he only went between a normal sitting position, and forward of same.

I hope he's stopped by now as he must be about 35.

He must have drawn some comfort or security from it. Doesn't this type uncontrollable repetitive rocking often start as a "one off" action and then develop into a habitual habit - almost OCD like.

Magnus P, maybe you are on to something - when I stub my big toe or stand on pin I often jump up and down in a repetitive manner - I'm guess I don't release enough endorphins though cause it still hurts.:E

AtomKraft
2nd Jun 2014, 16:44
Tom
I wish I knew.
We tried to get him to stop, but he seemed unwilling even to try. It was clearly related to his anxiety, but how it affected him I know not. We didn't try very hard to stop him, and soon gave up completely.

Just remembered that I bumped into him long after both of us had left the children's home, and there was no sign of it. I got the impression though, that he still rocked when un observed. He hinted at it.
Only kid I ever saw do the rocking thing.

FLCH
2nd Jun 2014, 16:54
The frequency of ones rocking increases as the urge to pee increases !!

Flash2001
2nd Jun 2014, 18:14
Thanks for all the info. I wonder what the madrassa inmates call it. Surely not shokeling!

After an excellent landing etc...

Coffin Dodger
2nd Jun 2014, 18:45
I don't post much here on PPRuNe although I do read a fair amount. Quick link to this just for folks info.

Stimming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimming)

TomJoad
2nd Jun 2014, 19:15
Must admit my wife does the knee rocking thing - drives me crazy. Sitting watching the TV and out of the corner of you eye you see this knee bumping up and down.

Blues&twos
2nd Jun 2014, 19:27
Had that knee bouncing thing once whilst trying to reverse a dustcart out onto a main road (should have reversed in....I was young...). Problem was I couldn't see if any traffic was coming. This raised the stress level and my foot started bouncing on the brake pedal, the wagon rolled in jerks backwards, which increased the stress level....
I eventually had to park it and went for a quick stroll to relax and loosen my muscles, so repetitive motion not very calming for me.

G-CPTN
2nd Jun 2014, 19:38
First time I climbed my new extra-long ladder I developed a 'knee-trembler' that made it difficult for me to go either up or down.

That was just shy of 40 years ago, after which I learned to cope, however it has been many years since I have needed to use a ladder until very recently when I found my knees trembling again - so I have paid a chap to clean out my guttering.

Comes a time when it pays to pay for continued survival. My brother died aged 72 after falling off a ladder (though he might have collapsed rather than simply falling).

AtomKraft
2nd Jun 2014, 19:53
Just to add accuracy....

Just remembered that our 'Rockabilly' kid ( and William -G, if you read this, it's your 'uncle Simon' , and I wish you well) also used to to do- in fact, it was his main rocking thing, from the standing position.

Funny how memory works.