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    The Exodus & the Amidah – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why is the exodus from Egypt referred to in the Siddur just before the Amidah? Is there any connection?

    A. Jewish prayer and practice constantly refer to the exodus; it was a defining moment in Jewish experience and in the creation of Jewish identity. From it we learn two crucial lessons about prayer:

    1. A lesson about prayers of petition – for when the slaves in Egypt yearned to be free, their hearts expressed themselves in prayer and God responded. Hence the memory of the exodus assures us that prayer is heard.

    2. A lesson about prayers of praise – for after the people left Egypt they sang praises to God. Hence whenever we contemplate the blessings we enjoy, we should offer thanksgiving.

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