Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The most solemn prayer in the Jewish liturgy, also known as the shemonah 'esra (‘eighteen blessings’). It is repeated thrice daily, sotto voce, while standing. The prayer is composed of eighteen short prayers and praises which treat principally of resurrection, the restoration of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Messiah. Nothing should disturb the pious worshiper while he is engaged in this prayer.
- From Hebrew תְּפִלַּת־הָעֲמִידָה (t'filát ha'amidá, "the standing prayer"). (Wiktionary)
“The Spanish language even has a verb, sabadear, which refers to praying on the Sabbath, for the unknowing Christian assumed that the swaying motion of the Jew during the Amidah was a special part of the Sabbath prayer.”
“A 19th prayer, V’lamalshinim, was added to the Shmone Esrei lit. 18, aka Amidah that prays for the demise of such folk.”
“The main prayer in our liturgy, the Shimon Esra, the eighteen blessings, that is part of every service, is also called the Amidah, the Standing, because we always stand to say it.”
“The holiest prayer in the Jewish prayer book is the Amidah -- the "standing" prayer -- in which we are in soul connection to God, so that we can praise our Creator for the beauty and bounty of the world, ask for peace, health and understanding and express gratitude for our lives.”
“The rabbis taught that the ideal way to achieve kavanah -- focus -- in prayer is to first say the shema and its blessings and then, immediately afterwards, to say the Amidah -- literally the "standing prayer.”
“No wonder in the liturgy after reciting the Amidah's birkot bakasha, blessings in which we overflow with request and need, that we immediately recite the birkot hoda'ah, the blessings of thanksgiving.”
“It was always during the Amidah, the climax of the Jewish liturgical service, when the congregation is standing together.”
“It is said of Hannah: “In her wretchedness [or: bitterness of soul], she prayed to the Lord” (v. 10), thus showing that one should stand up to recite the Amidah only in a reverent frame of mind (BT Berakhot 30b).”
“The addition of the Matriarchs to birkat avot in the Amidah may be seen as a continuation of a later midrash that Israel was saved from Egypt by the merit of the Matriarchs (and not that of the Patriarchs):”
“The words “I am the woman who stood here beside you” (v. 26) teach that Hannah prayed while standing, from which the Rabbis concluded that she recited the Amidah prayer (the Shemoneh Esreh).”
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