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Prayerbook Vocabulary Studies
P65–-Where We Are So Far
March 12, 2008
© Rabbi Jack Moline

You can tell by the number above how many of these brief teachings you have followed to reach this point. Given holidays, guests and vacations, it has been more than a year and a half of eking our way through the vocabulary of the siddur, and we have only just reached the end of the first three brakhot of the Amidah. In an attempt to highlight the forest after hugging so many trees, I present the interpretation of those brakhot drawn from our learning. It may or may not suffice as your words of prayer, but I hope it enhances your understanding of the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart.

Empowered are you, my Compassionate One
Our Judge, God of our ancestors
God of Abraham's identity
God of Isaac's fear
God of Jacob's strength
God of Sarah's recognition
God of Rebecca's fulfillment
God of Rachel's remembrance
God of Leah's noticing
The one God, of fulfilled potential, the Hero, who inspires radical amazement
God in the highest
returning our very best to us
claiming everyone and everything as God's own,
keeping vital our ancestors' loving kindesses
and bringing a redeemer to their children's children
for the very sake of it, with love.
Sovereign power who helps, rescues and protects.
Empowered are You, my Compassionate One, protector of Abraham.

You are our Hero always and ever, my Compassionate One, giving life to the dead.
You save us in many ways:
You sustain life with love;
You give life to the dead with great compassion;
You hold up the falling;
You heal the sick;
You release the bound;
You secure your faith with those who have abandoned themselves to the dust.
Who is like You, perfect in courage?
And who can be compared to You?
Sovereign who makes death and then makes life and then causes salvation to sprout from within. We can count on you to give life to the dead.
Empowered are You, my Compassionate One, who gives life to the dead.

You are holy,
Your essence is holy,
and each day those infused with holiness
ascribe You praise and light.
Empowered are You, my Compassionate One, God of sacred purpose.

Please note: I will take a hiatus from this sequence of teaching for an extended period of time. Over the next few weeks, the topic will vary, and then there will be an interruption from mid-May until late August during my sabbatical.

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