Shemoneh Esray

June 21, 2006

the “Eighteen” (actually the prayer evolved to a set of nineteen) blessings; also known as the Amidah, the prayer recited while standing. It is the classic prayer which is recited morning, afternoon and evening every day in the life of the Jew. Its structure follows the general principles of courtesy; namely, it begins with blessings whose theme is the praise of G-d, only afterwards does it continue with blessings in which universal needs of individuals are expressed, and it concludes with blessings which express gratitude to the Master of the Universe.

On Shabbat and the Holidays, a modified “Shemoneh Esray” is recited, where the number eighteen shrinks to considerably less due to the removal of the Section relating to Needs, and its replacement by a different Section called “Kiddush HaYom,” Holiness of the Day,” in which the unique quality of the particular Shabbat or Festival is described.