Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Amidah - part 1 - Avot

The first blessing of the Amidah recognizes our ancestors.  It is titled "Avot", which means "Fathers".  This is the version I use, which includes the Matriarchs as well as the Patriarchs:

 Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, G‑d of Abraham, G‑d of Isaac and G‑d of Jacob, G‑d Sarah, G‑d of Rebekah, G‑d of Rachel and G‑d of Leah, the great, mighty and awesome G‑d, exalted G‑d, who bestows bountiful kindness, who creates (possesses) all things, who remembers the piety of the Patriarchs, and who, in love, brings redemption to their children's children, for the sake of His Name.

O King, (You are) a helper, a savior and a shield. Blessed are You Lord, Shield of Abraham and helper of Sarah.

I usually use this blessing to focus on a few things:
1.  How are the lives and struggles of the Patriarchs/Matriarchs reflected in whatever I am dealing with today?  How can I draw on their strength?
2. Acknowledging my own parents, their love to me and their contribution to the person I am today.
3. Acknowledging that the bounty of Creation is in evidence in spite of my temporary struggles, and that perseverance will be rewarded
4. That the man needs a "shield" while the woman needs a "helper" seems like role reversal, but actually rings true to me.  Men are reluctant to ask for protection, while women are reluctant to ask for help.  G*d is there to give us what we need, or at least to remind us to ask for it....

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