עמידה | An Amidah for associating blessings with memory by Rabbi Dr. Oren Steinitz


אֲדֹנָי
שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח
וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ
Adonai,
open my lips,
so my mouth will be able to praise You.

Let us remember all who came before us, each seeking their connection to the Divine in their own way.
Let us remind ourselves that while our ways of approaching the Source of Life may be different from the ways of our parents’, their ways were different from the ways of their parents.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מָגֵן אַבְרָהָם וּפוֹקֵד שָֹרַה
Blessed is the One who defended Abraham and Approached Sarah.

Let us remember the great strengths of the Universe, turning around situations that seemed irreparable.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מְחַיֵּה הַמֵּתִים
Blessed is One who brings back to life.

Let us remember the Holiness of the Eternal One. The kind of Holiness that even the holiest creatures are always in attempt to capture.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ הָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ
Blessed is the Holy One

Let us remember the Source of our knowledge and wisdom.
Let us remind ourselves that no matter how much we learn, there is a limit to how much we will understand in our lifetimes.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ חוֹנֵן הַדָּעַת
Blessed is the One who grants us knowledge.

Let us remember to avoid self-righteousness.
Let us remind ourselves that we are not perfect and have a natural tendency to transgress.
Let us remind ourselves that the gates of t’shuvah are always open.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ הָרוֹצֶה בִּתְשׁוּבָה
Blessed is the One who desires our repentance.

Let us remember that forgiveness is possible.
Let us remind ourselves that we have to ask before receiving it.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ חַנּוּן הַמַּרְבֶּה לִסְלֹחַ
Blessed is the Merciful One, who often forgives.

Let us remember our People, and their grievances.
Let us remind ourselves even in times of joy that redemption is not yet here.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ גּוֹאֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל
Blessed is the One, who redeems Israel.

Let us remember to take care of ourselves and of the people around us.
Let us remind ourselves of those who are not well, and wish them a speedy recovery.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ רוֹפֵא חוֹלֵי עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל
Blessed is the One who heals the ill.

Let us remember the earth and how unpredictable it can be.
Let us remind ourselves of all those affected by natural disasters, those wishing for more rain this year and those who could use a little less.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מְבָרֵךְ הַשָּׁנִים
Blessed is the One, who blesses the years.

Let us remember that some of us are still in exile.
Let us remind ourselves that some of us may physically be in Zion but are spiritually exiled.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מְקַבֵּץ נִדְחֵי עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל
Blessed is the One, who gathers us from our exile.

Let us remember that justice is yet to be restored.
Let us remind ourselves of those who are transparent to our legal systems and those wronged by it.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מֶלֶךְ אוֹהֵב צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט
Blessed is the One, who loves justice.

Let us remember those who betrayed us and have enabled our enemies.
Let us remind ourselves that not everyone who seems to have betrayed us actually has, but that sometimes evil does exist.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ שׁוֹבֵר אוֹיְבִים וּמַכְנִיעַ זֵדִים
Blessed is the One, who crushes our enemies and surrenders the evil.

Let us remember those who joined our Family from their own free will, and the hardships that they sometime encounter.
Let us remind ourselves how lucky we are to have them in our lives and how crucial their presence is.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מִשְׁעָן וּמִבְטָח לַצַּדִּיקִים
Blessed is the One, whom the righteous can rely upon.

Let us remember the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Let us remind ourselves of its beauty, its diversity, and also of its divisions. May it truly become a City of Peace swiftly and soon.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלָיִם
Blessed is the One, who builds Jerusalem.

Let us remember that this is not yet the end of history.
Let us remind ourselves that there are always better times ahead.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן יְשׁוּעָה
Blessed is the One, who brings forth salvation.

Let us remember that sometimes prayers are answered.
Let us remind ourselves to keep asking.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ שׁוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה
Blessed is the One, who listens to prayers.

Let us remember to keep looking for better ways to serve the Eternal One, and avoid the temptation to remain set in our ways.
Let us remind ourselves that at times, sacrificing animals seemed to be the ultimate form of Avodah.
Let us remind ourselves that we can do better – in Zion and everywhere else.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן
Blessed is the One, who returns Shekhinah to Zion.

Let us remember to be grateful.
Let us remind ourselves that more of our prayers have been answered than we might be willing to admit.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ הַטּוֹב שִׁמְךָ וּלְךָ נָאֶה לְהוֹדוֹת
Blessed is the One, who deserves our thanksgiving.

Let us remember that Peace is not yet at hand.
Let us remind ourselves to keep pursuing it, no matter how unattainable it may seem.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ הַמְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּשָּׁלוֹם
Blessed is the One, who blesses us with peace.

יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִי וְהֶגְיוֹן לִבִּי לְפָנֶיךָ. ה’ צוּרִי וְגוֹאֲלִי
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your eyes, my Rock and my Redeemer.

As powerful a practice as a standing meditation may be, reciting the familiar words of the Amidah with intention can prove to be a major challenge. The words may become rote, and the davvener may wonder if the ancient formulas are even meaningful to them. In this adaptation of the Amidah, Oren Steinitz treats each B’rakhah as a prompt to remind ourselves what we are praying for and shares his own thoughts as an example. Rabbi Steinitz originally wrote the “Memory Amidah” in 2013, during the Davennen Leadership Training Institute cohort 7, and revised it for sharing here through the Open Siddur Project in 2016.

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