Avot v'Imahot

אָבוֹת וְאִמָּהוֹת

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Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu ve'elohei avoteinu [ve'imoteinu], elohei Avraham, elohei Yitzchak, ve'elohei Ya'akov [elohei Sarah, elohei Rivka, elohei Rachel, ve'elohei Leah]. Ha'el hagadol hagibor ve'hanora, el elyon, gomel chasadim tovim, ve'koneh hakol, ve'zocher chasdei avot [ve'imahot], u'meivi goel [geula] livnei veneihem, le'ma'an shemo be'ahava.

Melech ozer [u'foked] u'mosheea u'magen. Baruch atah Adonai, magen Avraham [ve'ezrat|u'foked Sarah].
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ [וְאִמוֹתֵינוּ], אֱלֹהֵי
אַבְרָהָם, אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב,
[אֱלֹהֵי שָׂרָה, אֱלֹהֵי רִבְקָה, אֱלֹהֵי
רָחֵל וֵאלֹהֵי לֵאָה]. הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל,
הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא, אֵל עֶלְיוֹן, גּוֹמֵל
חֲסָדִים טוֹבִים, וְקוֹנֵה הַכֹּל, וְזוֹכֵר
חַסְדֵי אָבוֹת [וְאִמָּהוֹת], וּמֵבִיא גּוֹאֵל [גְּאֻלָּה]
לִבְנֵי בְנֵיהֶם לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה.

מֶֽלֶךְ עוֹזֵר [וּפוֹקד] וּמוֹשִֽׁיעַ וּמָגֵן.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ,
מָגֵן אַבְרָהָם [וְעֶזְרַת|וּפוֹקד שָׂרָה].


Blessed art thou, O Lord our God and God of our forefathe​rs [and foremothe​rs], God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, [God of Sarah, God of Rebecca, God of Rachel, and God of Leah]. The great, mighty and revered God, the most high God, who bestowest​ lovingkin​dnesses, and possesses​t all things; who remembere​st the pious deeds of the patriarch​s [and matriarch​s], and in love wilt bring a redeemer [redempti​on] to their children'​s children for thy name's sake.

O King, Helper, [Remember​er], Savior and Shield. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the Shield of Abraham [and Remembere​r|Helper of Sarah].

Trans​​lation​ from the Authorize​​d Daily Prayer Book by Simeon Singer, published​​ in 1890 (now in public domain), with additiona​l language in brackets


These are the opening blessings of Amidah. The Amidah is the central prayer of the four prayer services (Shacharit - morning prayer, Mincha - afternoon prayer, Ma'ariv - evening prayer, and Musaf - additional prayer on Shabbat and holidays). The Amidah (so-called because the prayer is standing "omed" before the Divine) is also called the Shmonah Esrei (because of the eighteen blessings in the weekday version).

Jewish denominations have made changes to the traditional text of the Amida. The standard prayer books of both the Reform and Conservative movements list the names of the matriarchs as well as the names of the patriarchs.

Standard Conservative prayer books provide the option to add the word "ufoked" ("and remembering") into the phrase "melech ozer umosheea umagen," and then provide the option to add the phrase "ufoked Sarah" ("Rememberer of Sarah") to the end of the blessing. This echoes the Biblical verse "Adonai pakad et Sarah ka'asher amar, ve'ya'as Adonai le'Sarah ka'asher diber." (Genesis 21:1 - "The Lord Remembered (pakad) Sarah as the Lord had spoken, and did to Sarah as the Lord had said.") The Reform movement adds "ve'ezrat Sarah" (Helper of Sarah) after "magen Avraham."

The Reform prayer book adds the word "imahot" ("matriarchs"/"foremothers") wherever the blessing says "avot." Avot literally means "fathers"/"forefathers"/"patriarchs" but in context means "ancestors," since there is no gender neutral word in Hebrew for "ancestors." (E.g. "beit avot" = cemetery for both males and females.) The new Conservative prayer book, Lev Shalem, also adds the word "imahot" in brackets following the word "avot."

The Reform movement substitutes the word "geulah" ("redemption") for the word "goel" ("redeemer"), in order to not include a reference to a messiah.


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