Find a version of the Shabbat Amidah in Hebrew here , or consult a prayer book of your choice. Thus, every Amidah is divided into three central sections: praise, petitions and thanks. Originally, Jewish prayer was largely unstructured. Although the Rabbis eventually codified the format and themes of each of the blessings, it was initially left to the creativity of individual prayer leaders to generate the specific wording of the blessings. Individual communities in different countries began to settle on somewhat standard versions of the prayers over time.
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To be forgiven. To be redeemed from pain and strife. To be healed. Our produce should be good and plentiful. All Jews should be returned to Israel. The Jewish judges shall return to rule.
Our enemies should be defeated and annihilated this is the 19th blessing which was added during the Roman era. The pious should be rewarded. Moshiach should arrive. Our prayers should be heard and accepted. Gratitude and Thanks The Holy Temple and its service should be restored. We should have much peace and goodness in our lives. For the complete text of the Amidah in English, see here. Or, see a transliteration of the Hebrew text of the Amidah here.
The first three blessings correspond to our forefathers: 1. We must ask for wisdom before all else since, absent of wisdom, we cannot accomplish anything at all. After we have wisdom, we begin to recognize our faults and correct them. Therefore we pray for repentance after praying for wisdom.
Only after we have corrected our ways, we can ask for forgiveness for past wrongs; therefore we pray for forgiveness after praying for repentance.
After we have emerged from the greater difficulties, we realize the various particular ailments we have that need to be healed, and so we pray for healing. During illness there is no desire for food. So after praying for healing, we are ready to pray for abundance in produce and livelihood. After we ask for our basic needs to be filled, we begin to pray for greater and more general blessings, namely the gathering of all the Jewish people in Israel.
The gathering of the Jewish people will be followed by reinstating the judges who will punish the wicked, therefore the next two blessings are the requests for reinstating our judges and for punishing the wicked. This causes the exaltation of the righteous, which is the following request. Then we will resume the service in the Holy Temple. So here we ask that the service of the Holy Temple be re-established. When the Jews were in exile, however, their language became a mix of a distorted Hebrew and some of the other languages of the regions of their exiles.
Therefore Ezra and his rabbinical court established a set text for everyone to use. The Men of the Great Assembly who composed and compiled the prayers knew exactly which words and letters to use that would substitute for the sacrifices and bring about the same spiritual effect as the sacrifices would have. In our prayers we are not only praying for and affecting our own fate, but also that of the angels and spiritual spheres.
In saying the words prescribed by our sages, we connect to those spiritual energies alluded to on a mystical level. Rather, it is a time when we uncover and create deeper and holier feelings of which we may, as of yet, be unaware.
This occurs specifically through the liturgy that our sages have established with the help of Divine inspiration. Praising any entity implies the ability to judge and evaluate that entity. In other words, one who praises is expressing some degree of superiority over the praised one.
Rather we use the prescribed praises that our sages have composed, based on verses from the Torah. Requesting also implies at least some sense of entitlement and deservedness.
At the very least it shows that the one requesting has the right to speak to the one being asked. Despite all this, it should be noted that our sages throughout the generations have recognized and cautioned against the risk of the fixed liturgy becoming routine and absent of genuine feeling.
What Is the Amidah?
If one is unable to stand such as in a car or perhaps ill, you may sit. The rabbis add that this pose mirrors the vision of angels that Ezekiel had in which the feet of the angels appeared as one Ezekiel Because all prayers head tours the Temple Mount and then rise up. In many synagogues in the west, the ark is on the eastern wall of the synagogue for this reason. Remain standing with the feet together while reciting Shemoneh Esrei. It should be recited with quiet devotion and without interruption. O king, helper, savior and shield.
Audio of the Amidah
Jewish Prayers: Table of Contents Daily Services The Shema The Amidah is the central prayer of all four services: shacharit morning , mincha afternoon , maariv evening , and mussaf additional. The word Amidah literally means standing, because it is recited while standing. It is also known as Shemoneh Esrei, meaning eighteen, because it originally consisted of eighteen blessings, and as tefilah prayer because it is the most important Jewish prayer. The obligation to pray three times a day, which was established by Ezra and codified in the Talmud Berakhot 26b , is fulfilled by reciting the Amidah. In the 5th century B. The exact form and order of the blessings were codified after the destruction of the Second Temple in the first century C. The Amidah was expanded from eighteen to nineteen blessings in the 2nd century C.