The Amidah (standing prayer) is Judaism’s most formal prayer. It’s also referred to as the Shemoneh Esrei (Hebrew for the number 18) as the weekday version originally contained eighteen parts.
Composed by the Anshay Kneses HaGedolah (Men of the Great Assembly) in the early years of Bayis Sheni (The Second Temple period) it has been continually recited at least three times a day since then. This makes it the oldest continually recited formal prayer in Human history.
This prayer is both the foundation and centre-point of all Jewish prayer services. There are several challenges of reciting this prayer with devotion; preventing it from become a by-rote experience.
This series is designed to give a greater understanding as to why it’s formulated the way it is, what it means, how to focus on its messages and how to interpret its themes in terms of our daily lives and individual needs. When one has a deeper appreciation of these ideas it will make this tefillah (prayer) come to life every day.
Rabbi Mordechai Goodman, of Jewish Education in Manchester (JEM), guides the listener through a variety of concepts and laws associated with the history and development of the prayer, and offers deep insights into its formulation, themes and meanings contained in each of its brochos (blessings).
We very much hope you gain from this series and develop your own appreciation of the most important, and frequent, prayer in Judaism.