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Minyan praying, standing, at Jaffa

Amidah (Hebrew: תפילת העמידה, Tefilat HaAmidah, "The Standing Prayer"), plural form (Hebrew: עמידות, Amidot) also known as (Hebrew: שמנה עשרה, Shmoneh Esreh, "The Eighteen"[note 1][1]) is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy. The term "to be standing", is a reference to the fact that they say the prayer standing, having their feet together, looking in the direction of Jerusalem.[2]

This prayer is one of the prayers found in siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book. As long as the central prayer of Judaism the Amidah is often designated simply as תפילה, tefila, "prayer", in Rabbinic literature.

The tractate ברכות, Berakhot of the first order of Mishnah and Talmud, סדר זרעים, Seder Zeraim deals, among other topics, with the Amidah prayer. The obligation to pray three times a day, which was established by Ezra and codified in this treaty, is fulfilled by reciting the Amidah.

The Blessings

The Siddur of the Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), opened on the pages of the Amidah
Order Blessing Translation Description
1 אבות, Avot Ancestors Offers praise to God as the God of the biblical patriarchs. The God of history.
2 גבורות, Gevurot Powers Offers praise to God for His power and strength. He who raises the dead.
3 קדושת השם, Kedushat ha-Shem The sanctification of the Name Offers praise of God's holiness.
4 בינה, Binah Understanding, comprehension Ask God to grant wisdom and understanding. God is gracious giver of knowledge.
5 תשובה, Teshuvah Return, repentance Asks God to help Jews to return to a life based on the Torah, and praises God as a God of repentance. God is the one who delights in repentance.
6 סְלִיחָה, Selichah Forgiveness Asks for forgiveness for all sins, and praises God as being a God of forgiveness. God is the one who is merciful and always ready to forgive.
7 גאולה, Ge’ulah Redemption Offers praise to God as a rescuer of the people Israel.
8 רפואה, Refuah Healing Prayer requesting God to heal the sick.
9 ברכת השנים, Birkat Hashanim Blessing of the years Asks God to bless the produce of the earth. An appeal for a prosperous year.
10 גלויות, Galuyot or
קיבוץ גלויות, Kibbutz Galuyot
Diasporas Asks God to allow the ingathering of the dispersed Jews in exile back to the land of Israel.
11 ברכת הדין, Birkat HaDin Justice Asks God to restore righteous judges as in the days of old.
12 ברכת המינים, Birkat HaMinim The sectarians, heretics Asks God to destroy those in heretical sects, who slander Jews and who act as informers against Jews.
13 צדיקים, Tzadikim Righteous Asks God to have mercy on all who trust in Him, and asks for support for the righteous.
14 בונה ירושלים, Bo'ne Yerushalayim Builder of Jerusalem Asks God to to rebuild Jerusalem and to restore the Kingdom of David.
15 ברכת דוד, Birkat David Blessing of David Asks God to bring the descendant of King David, who will be the messiah.
16 תפילה, Tefillah Prayer Asks God to accept our prayers, to have mercy and be compassionate. God is the one who hears prayer.
17 עבודה, Avodah Service Asks God to restore the Temple services and sacrificial services. God is the one who restores the divine presence to Zion
18 הודיה, Hoda'ah Thanksgiving This is a prayer of thanksgiving, thanking God for our lives, for our souls, and for God's miracles that are with us every day
19 שים שלום, Sim Shalom Grant Peace This is a prayer for peace, goodness, blessings, kindness and compassion


  1. In reference to contain originally eighteen blessings constituents, and there are now nineteen, because one was added around 100 AD by Samuel ha-Katan directed by Gamaliel II, head of the Sanhedrin at Yavneh. The blessing that was added is the current 12th of 19


  1. Birnbaum, Philip (1979). Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts. Brooklyn, New York: Hebrew Publishing Company. p. 613. ISBN 0-88482-930-8. 
  2. Unterman, Alan (1997). Dictionary of Jewish Lore & Legend. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0500279847. 

External links