Jewish prayer is the heartbeat of Judaism. In the very center of its elaborate liturgical experience lies one prayer that stands out among others – the Amida, literally, “the standing”. The main idea behind its name (“standing”) is the worshiper’s entrance into the presence of the “seated” Heavenly King. God has granted the ultimate audience to the humble worshipper. There is no one greater to meet.

Therefore, while other prayers are extremely important, it is Amida that deserves our closest attention. There is much that can be said about its current form and the history of its development. Together, we will consider those things slowly, step-by-step as we move through it, experiencing its beauty and admiring its depth of devotion.

Final preparations

Even though much preparation for this divine audience occurred in previous prayers, there is one more additional request that is uttered before God, right before the rest of the Amida can be prayed.

  אֲדנָי שפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ

(Pronounced: Adonai sfatai tiftach upi yagid thilatecha)

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise.”

The worshiper states that his mouth will announce God’s praise, only if God Himself will grant His permission by opening the mouth of His otherwise silent and submissive servant. Many prayers and praises were uttered prior to this, but none in the actual presence of the King of Kings in His own throne room. The time has come to meet Him and final approval from God to speak in His own presence is requested.

It is presumed that God, in fact, grants this humble request and the Jewish worshiper begins his serenade of praise, petition, and thanks to his Heavenly King and Father.

Blessing #1 (FATHERS)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלהֵי אֲבותֵינוּ. אֱלהֵי אַבְרָהָם. אֱלהֵי יִצְחָק. וֵאלהֵי יַעֲקב

(Pronounced: Baruch ata Adonai elocheinu valohei avoteinu. Elochei Avraham, Elohei Itzhak vElochai Yakov).

“Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob.”

The standard blessing of “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe…”, found in most Jewish prayers, is dramatically and purposely exchanged in Amida for “Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers”. The worshiper establishes his familial right and, therefore, justified privilege to address God in this special and intimate way. Although the God the Jewish worshiper stands before is, in fact, the God of all Nations of the earth, it is this personal family connection with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that establishes the right and the privilege of Amida. We will soon discover why.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

82 COMMENTS

  1. Lovely. I would say God of Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David,The Prophets, and Yeshua. Shalom

    • Dolores, you high lite the fact that this God is also the God of all other Biblical heroes. The difference here is that what is mentioned here is not only the fact of He was their God too, but that it is with ABRAHAM, ISAAC and JACOB that foundational redemptive actions of Covenantal proportions took place.

      • PERFECTLY explained. I love the way Abraham was father of faith, Isaac accepted to go to cross in submission to His father -Jesus let your will be done- and Jacob – Israel the physical church

        • No ,Ya’acov was not the physical church .Y’Shua is a Jew .He worshipped and served as a Jew .All of His talmidim and emissaries were also Jews .Jews Wrote the Word of G-d .Salvation is from the Jews .Pope Constantine in 313 CE /AD was the originator of the ” Church ” not Y’Shua ! Constantine persecuted the Jews because they would not deny Shabbat ( Saturday ) worship .Constantine changed the Sabbath to Sunday /sun-god day of worship .

          • I would encourage you to read the actual law that Constantine wrote.
            On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.
            Codex Justinianus, Vol 3, Title 12, 3
            March, 321 CE

          • Get your facts right Jo Ann. Do not believe in all these propaganda against Christianity. Of course, Jesus founded the Church, namely the Roman Catholic Church when he gave Peter the keys of heaven and from then on his successors to the Pope. Not Constantine who was the first Emperor to Christianised Rome meaning Christians were already there beforehand and the Churches visited by Paul. So that the Church are the members per se.

          • Any dispute can be quickly simplified by clarifying terms. The definition of “Christianity” carries a lot of baggage. So, Did Peter “create” (or would he approve of) what Christianity has become? Probably not. Peter was a Jew that held Jerusalem as the Holy City of his faith, not Rome. Have you examined the hypothesis that Simon the Sorcerer (Simon Petras) actually was the originator of Roman Catholicism?

          • AU
            The first day of the week was called "The Lord's Day" by Christians right from the resurrection. Look up the early writings Justyn Martyr etc. It was already established when Constantine made it law

            The first day of the week was called “The Lord’s Day” by Christians right from the resurrection. Look up the early writings Justyn Martyr etc. It was already established when Constantine made it law

          • Unfortunately many comments on here are putting emphasis on the created rather than the creator. The “church” ekklesia was created on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and gave them the promised gifts Jesus had promised as recorded in John chs. 12-16. Col 2:18-19…

          • And what about the ekklesia of the Septuagint that had been around hundreds of years before that?

          • Celia Check this “”The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbat Sunday was chosen because certain people Count Fri to sun as 3 days when it was 72 hour Nissan 15 to 17 Peter not Pope

        • No ,Yisrael is not the physical church .This is false doctrine .Y’Shua is a Jew .He did not start churches and He has not forsaken His people the Jews .Please read Acts 10 and all of Acts and Romans chapter 11 .

      • It was through the righteousness of Abraham, his belief of God that was counted to him for righteousness, that every nation would be blessed. Whereas he was promised a father of as many as the sand(in the physical), much more is he the seed of many stars. So he manifested what Adam were unable to do in Eden…Belief in God & not dogma. Abraham is the pillar of our faith by whom we hav the promise of a Son,Christ. Unto us a son is given Rev12:5.Messiah is come to Zion. Gentile dispensation is over, the Gospel is returning to Jews.

  2. the term Jew… comes from word Yehudi… can it be said that it refers to the tribe of Judah? so I’m trying to understand something about finding my roots. most people I try to ask the question, “are all the tribes Jewish”, and they say yes. and if Jew comes from just one tribe, how can the others be Jewish? Ive researched the tribes, and many sources say that the 10 northern tribes didn’t obey God and that’s why they went into captivity first, but eventually the 2 southern tribes did later. Then it gets added that Benjamin is also Jewish and was in the 2 southern tribes along with Judah. So the reason I’m asking all this is that I was informed through a prophet that I had direct ties with Israel, and when looking at the torah code that was done for me, it says I am interconnected to 3 tribes. Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh. I’m looking at the possibility in moving to Israel, but you have to prove you are “Jewish” and my birth mother was adopted, and all the files were sealed. She is alive but to this day does not know who her birth parents were. So outside of my dad’s side being of German descent, I have no clue who I am. and in articles mentioning how some are making aliyah back to the homeland, some actually take a dna test. but this test really only covers about 40 percent of the Ashkenazi realm. I have done 2 separate tests, and according to their database knowledge, it says I have no connection to the Jewish outline. am I in error on the tribal realm?

    • Shalom, Glen! While original meaning of the word Jew or Yehudi was in fact descriptive of the tribe of Judah alone in time and because of the tribe of Judah’s leadership over entire Israel this description was extended to all Israel (especially that now it is not possible to tell who comes from what tribe in most cases). I trust this helps you. Do read my book the Jewish Gospel of John (you also have it as a course) I deal there with a lot of issues like that.

  3. My grandfather would tell me that our original family name was Israel (today it’s Rael) and that we were conversos (converted Spanish Jews). I grew up in the San Luis Valley of south Central Colorado, U.S.A. Part of my family has been in this region since the late 1600’s and the other half has been here even longer. There have been articles, studies and some books about what is known as “the hidden Jew” which refers to the conversos and the SLV is home to many families. I had a DNA test done and it basically told me the same thing my grandfather spoke about – I am 60% Iberian Jew, 9% Ashkenazi, 31% Native American (my great-grandmother was Ute). One day if the Lord allows me, I would love to visit Israel. It has been a life long dream of mine.

  4. I must acknowledge that in pray, I have taken for granted that our God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is always there ready to hear my request in Yeshua’s name. I see the respect and honor due to the Almighty God in requesting an audience with Him, asking for His presence. This is a blessing for me. Please pray for me, believed to be Sephardic who’s Jewishness was lost with tons of more due to the persecution of our Jewish linage from Spain, etc.. Robert Robles Flores

  5. Shalom Dr. Eli This pray is what we use when we are taking the Communion at Church. We say to our selves because the Church is a Christian Church and don’t know that blessing. But people behind see us doing it. But we have not had anyone ask us about yet. My husband believes that when he says it that he is blessing the Church with it when we take communion.

    • The Communion that churches practice is not of the Jewish practice .The communion many churches use comes from the Roman Catholic Church and so its not the same thing as the ” Amida ” or the Jewish practice .

        • Jo Ann, I don’t mean to be rude but I would suggest you read what the Bible says about communion. The new testament and to be precise: 1 Corinthians 11: 23-28…I would read the whole chapter because it would give you better understanding. There are other scriptures as well but this is a nice teaching.

          • There was no communion .What you are referring to is the Passover Seder meal .The Communion is an invention of the catholic church and Adonai Himself does not honor it .

      • I would say the communion practised by the church ( which I would say is all believers in Jesus as the Messiah, whether Jew or Gentile) is a remembrance of His body and blood, given for us, enabling us to be seen as righteous before the Father. As He told His disciples to do, in scripture. “Do this, in remembrance of me”This practise reminds us also to examine ourselves, to see if we are in right relationship to our Father and to man, the two great commandments. love God, love your neighbour. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

    • It is an overstatement, but what is true is that it certainly has roots in Jewish Liturgical Tradition of which Amida is both a part and a later development.

  6. Sometimes I wonder how we miss this very significant text on who is a Jew.. One thing that happens when you are adopted is you are given the persons last name and as a child you begin to conform to your parent’s character & likeness. It is rooted in the blessings of God to make us all Jewish, regardless of the color of our skin…or the language we speak… I think that is one reason for the gift of speaking in tongues gift.

    With that said, Romans 2:29 reads- He is a Jew, which is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not of the letter.

    Moses gave us the law but grace & truth came through Jesus Christ.

  7. I did some cursory research and noticed that the Amidah originates both before and after 70 CE, during the mishnaic period. Is this partially correct? Unless it’s an older prayer, how can it originate before and after 70 CE? Is the prayer part of an older one that later changed after the destruction of the second Temple?

  8. I attended a Messianic service which included a lengthy Hebrew liturgy; English shown also. The majority attending came out of Christianity. Only a few were fluent in Hebrew. Later it accured to me that Formerly Catholic Church services were done in Latin even though the majority did not understand it. If done in Italy; fine but why make it hard for English speaking Catholics? To me the same is true of English speaking believers today who are interested in their Hebrew roots, why make it difficult? I did not fit in as they did small bowing, touching Torah scroll. Etc.

    • A Jewish service is a lot different than the average church service. It takes time to learn why everything is done just so.

  9. Dear Dr. Eli,
    Are we praying to the Eternal God or to the God of Abraham, Yithak and Yakov? we read in the holy Torah that Avemalik prayed to the Eternal without adding his name ” the God of Avimalik”. we read in the holy Torah that Hagar, after being dismissed from the household of Abraham, cried out to the Eternal, and the Eternal responded to her. we read in the holy Torah that the Eternal saved the people of Ninewah when they cried out to him for forgiveness and the Eternal forgave them. are we praying to the Eternal?

  10. The word “YaHudi (YaHudim, plural) literally means a person who give praise/ thanks to YaH (YHWH). So, in principle anyone (Jew or gentile) who gives worship/thanks/praise to YHWH, is a YaHudi.

  11. Dear Celia Camara, Jesus asked his disciples, who do people say that I am? He asked Peter, who do you say that I am? Peter said, thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus said, Blessed are you Simon Bar Jonah, Flesh and blood did not revealed this to you but my Father in Heaven. And, upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not stand against it. What is the rock? It is not Peter, rather the revealed truth that Jesus is the son of the living God!

    • Yes, 1 Corinthians 10:4……the rock was Christ. It seems this is how Paul sees it. I agree and believe the church is built on the recognition of who Jesus is, those who put trust in Him and are loyal to Him as King.

  12. Amida – first time I come across this word. Can someone enter this into Wikipedia? Is it spelt right? Not Amidah? Hew is it written in Hebrew?

  13. I thank you for this teaching.
    The most beautiful part for me is the “coming”to the Throne Room and the knowing…that I enter into the presence of The Heavenly King…Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross…

  14. Would you discuss the “additional section [that] was added” after 70 AD? Last year, at Sukkot, I purposely avoided the Birchat Kohanim at the Kotel because, try as I might to understand, I remain confused about the Birchat ha’Minim. Although done silently, it makes me very uncomfortable.

    • Birkat haKohanim is blessing all Israel; it’s straight from scripture. The Amidah, standing prayer, has 19 benedictions, the 12th of which was added to curse the minim, heretics, which became a nickname for Jewish believers in Yeshua.

      • OK, thank you. It sounds like I have 2 separate topics. Topic 1 (actually, off-topic for this page) Birkat haKohanim, specifically at the Kotel at the end of the feast, does not include the Amidah. Do I have that correct? (I hope so!)

        • Topic 2: You briefly addressed Birkat ha’Minim, which includes you and much of your staff. I also understand that some written copies exist specifically cursing the notsrim or the non-Jewish followers of Jesus. Since it is on-topic for the page, would you elaborate on this “blessing” ?

          • It was the last benediction written around 90AD by Shim’on haQatan. The version of the benediction in today’s prayer-books prays for wickedness to perish and enemies to be destroyed (which is Biblical enough), but an old version from the Genizah Fragments prays for Christians and heretics to perish instantly. Plenty of Jewish believers simply skip over this latest benediction.

  15. Thank you Dr for the enlightenment. But if we are the New Testament believers in Yeshua, is it not simpler to call God “Father” as Yeshua Himself said it in Jn.20:17….”touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say unto

  16. them I ascend unto my Father,and your Father; and to my God and your God”? Calling God Father I think explains better the sonship relationship. What do you thnk

    • It is the first part of the Amidah prayer which dates to the time of Ezra. It comprises almost exclusively scriptural passages, and Jews have been praying it over 2200 years.

  17. My gosh is this interesting and informative. Wish I had enough smarts to really understand all of it. Thank you so much Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

  18. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg, I’m hoping you can help me, I know this is off the subject that you’re on now. I just hope that you could tell me who owned a slave, and paid the slave to learn the Torah, and had the slave teach him! I can’ Remember,

    • Not sure, Joseph. The Talmud (b.Ketubboth 28a) actually says that a slave is not permitted to learn Torah (unless he is doing it of his own desire).

      • so too is how salvation is obtained , only if one believes in his heart and then confesses that believe. not by belonging to some region or church

  19. Biblical (New Testament) Christianity does not have a pope, past, present, or future. Jerusalem (the entire city), AND NOT ROME is the City of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

  20. I would prefer Jews praying in Christian manner, not vice versa.
    Jesus himself gave a prayer – just as good example.
    By the way: Jesus avoided the name of the jewish god, Yahweh, he spokeonly from the “father”…

  21. Lately, God has laid it on my heart the importance of recognizing, as with the Amidah, that when we WORSHIP we are to behave reverentially, knowing, as you said, we are in the presence of the seated Heavenly King. Western Christianity has lost its sense of awe. Thank you.

  22. As a gentile connected to the God of Abraham, Isacc and Jacob through Jesus, I find the Amida a blessing and whoa, what a way to go before God..Thank you Dr Eli.

  23. Well narrated, Lord’s Prayer background to Jew prayer. My search was Lords prayer viza viz John the Baptist taughts as disciple asked Jesus to teach them.

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