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The Amidah: Community and Quietude

September 19, 2016

In this enlightening interview with PBS’ “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly”,  Rabbi Shira Stutman, ’07, discusses the Amidah (standing) prayer. It is considered the central prayer of Jewish liturgy and is also known as Hatefilla (the prayer) and the Shmoneh Esray (18), for the 18 blessings that the traditional weekday version contains. Some Reconstructionists recite a largely traditional version of this prayer, with modifications for egalitarian sensibilities, such as gender language. Others in the movement use the Amidah portion of the service for quiet personal reflection.

“This is the moment of quietude,” says Stutman, senior rabbi of Sixty and I, a non-denomination, non-traditional congregation and cultural center in Washington, D.C. “And I think that how  most of us can understand that it is in those moments of quietude that we’re able to worry less about what the person next to us is doing and be more thoughtful about what we want to be saying to God, but also of course, to our own selves.”

In the interview, Stutman fields a series of questions such as “What is the Amidah?” and “Are there similarities between the Amidah and some Christian prayers?”

For nearly 20 years, “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” has provided, according to the show’s website, “distinctive, cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of national and international events in the ever-changing religious world.”

Check out the full interview on Youtube.

Check out this podcast interview she did with us last year.

This is the archival site for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. It is no longer updated.

For the new site, please visit https://www.rrc.edu.