Monday, July 7, 2014

How the amidah was born


"When the Jews were exiled among the nations during the time of evil Nevuchadnezzar, they mixed among the Persians, Greeks and other societies. Their children were born in the lands of the nations, and their languages were confused, the language of each a mixture of many languages. When one would speak, he could not recite all he needed to say in one tongue, but in a mixture of tongues…

"When Ezra and his court observed this, they enacted eighteen structured blessings. The three initial blessings praise  G-d, and the three closing blessings are of thanks. The intermediate blessings contain requests for all needs, as central blessings meant to include all individual and communal needs. This way, the prayers would be structured in the mouths of each person, and each person would learn the prayers, and so the prayers of these poor speakers would be complete, like the prayers of people whose command of the language is pure…"

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Prayer 1:4)

Have a great day,

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