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Shemoneh Esrei 26: Communal and Personal G’ulah
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ראה בענינו, וריבה ריבנו, וגאלנו מהרה למען שמך, כי גואל חזק אתה Behold our affliction, take up our grievance, and redeem us speedily for Your Name’s sake, for You are a powerful Redeemer After having requested that Hashem assist us in t’shuvah and forgive our sins, to the point of restoring our father-son relationship, we […]
Shemoneh Esrei #6 – Selicha (Forgiveness)
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In the fifth blessing, we asked God to help us in doing teshuvah, turning away from our bad habits and mending our ways. As a consequence of that, we ask Him in the sixth bracha to forgive us for our transgressions and lapses in judgment. This prayer contains an element of vidui (confession) in that […]
Shemoneh Esrei 25: The Opportunity of Ameilus
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Before proceeding forward with the brachos of our requests, let us step back and contemplate the opportunity presented to us within these brachos.  One obvious opportunity is being able to stand before our Master, Who controls every aspect of our lives, and ask for our needs.  A second opportunity is to strengthen our emunah and […]
Shemoneh Esrei #5 – Teshuvah (Repentance)
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In the fifth blessing, we ask God to assist us in returning to His service as all of us have strayed to one degree or another from our responsibilities. (The word teshuvah, commonly translated as repentance, more literally means a return.) We ask God to draw us near to Him but whether or not we […]
Shemoneh Esrei 24: Again, My Son?
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סלח לנו אבינו כי חטאנו, מחל לנו מלכנו כי פשענו, כי מוחל וסולח אתה Forgive us, our Father, for we have erred; pardon us, our King, for we have willfully sinned; for You pardon and forgive The following anecdote illustrates the difference between a father-son relationship and a master-servant relationship: Generally, if a master asks […]
Shemoneh Esrei #4 – Binah (Understanding)
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There are several different mental faculties in a person: wisdom, knowledge, insight, etc. In this blessing, we praise God for the gift of wisdom, then we ask Him for the ability to evaluate things and come to appropriate conclusions. The Talmud in Brachos (33a) tells us that we can see how important understanding is from […]
Shemoneh Esrei 23: Total Reconciliation
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סלח לנו אבינו כי חטאנו, מחל לנו מלכנו כי פשענו, כי מוחל וסולח אתה Forgive us, our Father, for we have erred; pardon us, our King, for we have willfully sinned; for You pardon and forgive After petitioning for t’shuvah in the last brachah, we now ask Hashem to restore our closeness and relationship to […]
Benjamin
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Many have the practice to recite, in the prayer following Shemoneh Esrei, a verse that starts and ends with the same letter as their name, or that contains their name, or both. This is considered a source of merit. In this series, we will briefly analyze these verses. בָּרוּךְ ה’ אֱלֹקי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵהָעוֹלָם וְעַד הָעוֹלָם אָמֵן […]
Shemoneh Esrei #3 – Kedushos (Holiness)
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The focus of the third blessing is God’s holiness. We know that the Torah is holy, Israel is holy and God is holy, but what exactly is “holiness?” Kadosh, translated as “holy,” more specifically means that something is special and set apart from the herd. This specialness approaches uniqueness but God, Who is One of […]
Shemoneh Esrei 22: Oh! To Be One Unified Family!
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השיבנו אבינו לתורתך, וקרבנו מלכנו לעבודתך, והחזירנו בתשובה שלמה לפניך   Bring us back, our Father, to Your Torah, and bring us near, our King, to Your service, and influence us to return in perfect repentance before You.   We will briefly explain the first two phrases of this brachah while primarily focusing on the […]