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I give thanks to You, living and enduring Sovereign, For returning my soul to me in compassion. Great is Your faithfulness!

a sunflower

The Sidur סִדּוּר  (prayer book for use on weekdays, Sabbaths and festivals) is among the greatest collections of human devotion to the Eternal One. In this remarkable volume, we find outpourings of gratitude, praise, petition and introspection—some drawn from the Hebrew Bible and others composed by rabbis, scholars and poets through the ages.

The root of the word Sidur - סִדּוּר is S, D, R - samech, daled and resh: ס, ד ר whose meaning is “order.”  In this case, it refers to the order of the prayers, originally set forth by Rav Amram, a 10th century scholar. Other instances of this root are found in  סֵדֶר - Seder, the order of the Passover ritual, and the infinitive form לְסַדֵּר  lesader, to organize or put in order.

The modeh ani (fem. modah ani) prayer is recited as soon as we awake. Our ancestors used to regard a night’s sleep as a prototype of death, and awakening in the morning as a prototype of the soul’s resurrection. By reciting this prayer, therefore, we express our gratitude to God for restoring our souls to us.

Because we have not yet washed our hands or brushed our teeth, we do not use God’s titles (Adonai, Eloheinu) in the Modeh Ani.

Listen to Susan Krasner sings Modeh Ani


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