Avot V'Imahot

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Avot V'Imahot - this prayer translated as "Forefathers and Foremothers," or "Ancestors," appears in the beginning of the Amidah, the "standing prayer" during which we approach God in a more personal way as individuals and as a community. It asks God to remember the merits of all those who have come before us, calling by name our Biblical forefathers (avot): Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as our Biblical foremothers (imahot): Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel. As our Biblical ancestors are mentioned, we also think of all the people who have come before us and who have shaped us into the individuals that we are today. In the Amidah, we approach God with a "referral," saying "Please remember the merits of our ancestors and be kind to us, their children, on their behalf."

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