What feelings do we experience as we turn the pages of our Machzor to the Amida for the Yomim Noroim? Do we think of the Text as a well trusted Mentor to guide us spiritually through the High Holy Days.? Or do we feel confronted with an unfamiliar Text that doesn’t speak to our souls?
Do we really feel a sense of “Pachad” and “Yiroh” , of Fear and Awe as we stand before our Creator? Do we consider ourselves among the “Zadikim” and “Yeshorim” , the Righteous and the Just, who rejoice in the learning of Thora and the performance of Mitzvos or are we fearful that we will be classified with the “Reshoim”, the Wicked” because of our sins?
Perhaps some insights into the construction, the history and the meaning of the Amida will help us to appreciate it better and in turn, enable us to experience a more meaningful Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
The basic Text for the Amida for the Yomim Noroim, for Maariv, Shacharis and Mincha , consists of six to seven printed pages. With the Vidui for Yom Kippur, about ten.
To be more concise, the text from the words “Uvichen Ten Pachdecho” until “Hamelech Hakodosh” , our subject for this article, consists of 142 Words.
It doesn’t seem like much. Yet how much deep content, how many Doctrines and examples of our Jewish Weltanschauung are packed into these words!