The Amidah (Hebrew: תפילת העמידה, Tefilat HaAmidah,
"The Standing Prayer"), also called the Shmoneh Esreh (שמנה עשרה,
"The Eighteen", in reference to the original number of constituent blessings: there are now nineteen), is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy.
The Weekday Amidah Prayers
Before the prayer, utter the verse from the psalm
O Lord, open thou my lips;
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
The nineteen blessings are as follows:
1. The first blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
(Patriarchs), and offers praise to God as the God of the
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob."
Blessed are You, O Lord our God and God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the great, mighty and revered God, the Most High God who bestows lovingkindnesses, the Creator of all, who recalls the good deeds of the fathers and who brings a Redeemer to their children's children for his name's sake, in love. O king, helper, savior and shield. Blessed are You, O Lord, the shield of Abraham.
2. The second blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
("mighty deeds"), and offers praise to God as the ultimate Power in the universe as demonstrated by the resurrection from the dead.
You, O Lord, are mighty forever, You are the Reviver of the dead, You are greatly able to save.* You sustain the living in lovingkindness, You revive the dead with great compassion, You support the falling, heal the sick, set free the bound and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, O Master of mighty deeds?
Who compares to You, a king who puts to death and restores to life, and brings forth salvation?
And You are faithful to revive the dead. Blessed are You, O Lord, who revives the dead.
3. The third blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
("the holiness of the Name").
is also a technical term for
"sanctifying God's Name,"
which, in extreme cases, may require the giving of your life. The following is recited when you are by yourself, reciting the Amidah:
You are holy and your Name is holy, and your holy ones praise You every day. Blessed are You, Adonai, the God Who is holy.
4. The fourth blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
and functions as a prayer for understanding from the LORD. Note that this part of the Amidah is only recited during weekdays (the Shabbat and Holiday versions skip this prayer).
You show favor to a man of knowledge, and You teach understanding to a mortal man. Be gracious to us;
a mind of understanding and intellect is from You. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who favors us with knowledge.
5. The fifth blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
and functions as a prayer for return to the LORD and His Torah. Note that this part of the Amidah is only recited during weekdays (the Shabbat and Holiday versions skip this prayer).
Return us, our Father, to Your Torah;
draw us near our King to serve You. Restore us to Your presence in complete repentance. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who desires repentance.
6. The six blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
and functions as a confession of sin before the LORD. Note that this part of the Amidah is only recited during weekdays (the Shabbat and Holiday versions skip this prayer).
Forgive us, our Father, for we have sinned;
pardon us, our King, for we have rebelled;
for You are a pardoner and a forgiver. Blessed are you, Lord, the gracious One who abundantly forgives.
7. The seventh blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
and appeals to the LORD for redemption and deliverance.
Behold our affliction and champion our cause, and redeem us speedily for the sake of Thy Name. Blessed are You, Lord, Redeemer of Israel.
is the eighth blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD as the faithful and compassionate Healer.
Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed;
save us, and we will be saved, for the one we praise is You. Bring complete healing for all our sicknesses,
[* at this point, you may interject a prayer for one who is ill, see above], for O God, for You are our faithful and compassionate Healer and King. Blessed are you, Lord, the Healer of the sick of Israel.
(blessing of the years)
is the ninth blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD to prosper us for the year's needs.
Bless for us, Adonai our God, this year and its crops. Grant us a blessing on the earth. Satisfy us from Thy bounty and bless our year like other good years. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who blesses the years.
(gathering of exiles)
is the tenth blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD to return the Jews from the affliction of Galut.
Sound the great shofar for our freedom and raise a banner to gather our exiles and unite us together from the four corners of the earth. Blessed are You, LORD, who regathers the scattered of His people Israel.
(restoration of justice)
is the eleventh blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD to restore righteous rule upon the earth.
Restore our judges as at the early times, and advisors as there once were. Remove our sorrows and troubles: we want You, Adonai, to rule over us with kindness and compassion and to justify us in justice. Blessed are You, Lord, the King Who loves righteousness and justice.
originally the nineteenth of the Amidah, was instituted at the council of Yavneh sometime after the destruction of the second Temple, and was composed in response to the Essenes and early Messianic believers in Yeshua as Mashiach.
And for slanderers
let there be no hope, and may all the evil in an instant be destroyed and all Thy enemies be cut down swiftly;
and the evil ones uproot and break and destroy and humble soon in our days. Blessed art You, LORD, who breaks down enemies and humbles sinners.
13. The thirteenth blessing of the Amidah is called
and is an appeal to the LORD to show compassion and grace toward the righteous.
Upon the righteous, upon the pious, upon the elders of your people of the house of Israel, upon the remnant of their scholars, upon the righteous converts, and upon ourselves, may Your compassion arise, O Lord our God, and give good reward to all who sincerely believe in your Name. Include us with them forever, and let us not be ashamed, for we put our trust in You. Blessed are You, Lord, the stronghold and assurance of the righteous.
14. While in
(exile), Jews will never stop mourning for and praying to return to Jerusalem. This sentiment finds its expression in Zionism - the worldwide movement of the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland as the chosen people of God (Zionism comes from the word
one of the Jewish names for the holy city of Jerusalem).
Return in compassion to Your city, Jerusalem, and rest within it as You have said. Rebuild it speedily, and in our days, a structure forever. And may You establish the throne of David within Jerusalem speedily. Blessed are You, Lord, the Builder of Jerusalem.
15. Blessings ten through fifteen of the Amidah emphasize the LORD's redemption of national Israel. With blessing fifteen,
Malkhut beit David,
the appeal is made for the
"Branch of David"
to arise and bring about Israel's salvation
May the Seed of David Thy servant flourish speedily and may You exalt in Your salvation. For in your salvation do we hope all the day. Blessed are You, Lord, Who brings forth the Horn of our salvation.
16. Blessing sixteen of the Amidah prayer,
is an appeal to the LORD for pity, mercy, and acceptance of the foregoing petitions, and thereby closes the petitionary (middle)
section of the foregoing sequence of prayers.
Hear our voice, O Lord our God, and have pity and mercy upon us and accept in mercy and in favor our prayer, for You are a God Who hears prayers and supplications. Do not turn us away from before You empty, for in mercy You hear the prayer of Your people Israel. Blessed are You, Lord, Who hears prayer.
(worship, labor, service)
is the seventeenth blessing of the weekday Amidah and the fifth blessing of the Shabbat Amidah. According to the Rabbis of the Talmud, the Avodah prayer was said by the priests in the Temple just after they had offered the sacrifices (Mishnah Tamid 5:1).
Accept Your people, O Lord our God, and receive their prayer. Restore the most holy service of Your house and accept in love the offerings and prayers of Israel. May it please You always to want to accept the service of Your people Israel. May our eyes see You return to Zion in mercy. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who restores His Presence to Zion.
18. The eighteenth blessing of the weekday Amidah is composed of two parts: the
portion, expressing thanks to the LORD, and the concluding section.
means gratitude, and is considered the most basic of attitudes toward HaShem.
We thank You, for it is You alone Who is Adonai our God and the God of our fathers, forever and ever. You are the Rock and Shield of our salvation, You alone, from generation to generation. We thank You and tell of Your praise, for our lives are in Your hands and our souls are trusting in You. Every day Your miracles are with us: Your wonders and favors are at all times, evening, morning, and afternoon. O Good One, Your compassions are never exhausted and Your kindnesses are continual. We put our hope in You.
19. The final blessing of the weekday Amidah is called
and anticipates the birkat kohanim,
"May He grant you peace"
Grant peace, goodness, blessing, grace, kindness, and compassion upon us and upon all of Your people Israel. Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your face, for with the light of Your face You gave to us, Adonai our God, the Torah of life and love of kindness, righteousness, blessing, compassion, life, and peace. And may it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel at every time and at every hour with Your peace. Blessed art You, Lord, Who blesses His people Israel with peace.
May He who makes peace in His high places make peace for us, and for all Israel. And say ye, Amen.