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Open My Mouth: Getting Ready to Pray

September, 2012

The Amidah is the central prayer of Jewish worship services. And while many prayers and blessings are said to warm up to it, to stretch and prepare, one final line is said right before the Amidah.

Some synagogues have the custom of singing this line together in English and/or Hebrew, while others leave it to the individual to recite it silently.

A-don-ai s'fa-tai teef-takh u'fee ya-geed t'hee-la-te-kha.

O Lord, open my lips that my mouth may declare Your praise. (A traditional translation.)
Eternal God, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your glory. (An alternative translation.)

Practice on your own with the audio:

And download Before the Amidah (pdf), with the English, Hebrew and transliteration for the blessing.

Tefilat Amidah, Hebrew for "The Standing Prayer," is the central prayer of Jewish liturgy. It is recited during every prayer service. Traditionally it's recited individually in silence, then repeated aloud as a congregation; some congregations omit the silent recitation and/or abbreviate the repetition. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
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