View as Single Page Single Page    Print this page Print this page

» Amen
properties of 
a prayer.

» Hebrew
the language of
our prayers.

» Ghostbusters
a real-life Jewish
ghost-fighting force.

» Abby Sher
blogs about
learning to pray.

August 4, 2011 


The word amen is Hebrew, dating back to the Book of Numbers–but it’s not only used by Jews. When theancient Greeks controlled the Land of Israel, the word entered the Greek language. From there, the little word made its way to other peoples and other prayers, and it continues to be used as a standard response in praying by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

For a four-letter word, it certainly packs a punch. One talmudic commentator 
believed that amen was an acronym (in Hebrew, it has three letters) for “el melech ne’eman,” or “God, faithful ruler.” Another rabbinic saying posits that someone who responds “amen” to a blessing is greater than the one who recites the blessing in the first place. The word is related to the Hebrew word emunah, which in the Torahmeans faithfulness. When you say amen it’s like you’re saying, “I can believe that” or “hear, hear!”

The talmudic sage Rabbi Meir says that a child merits the World to Come from the day 
he or she says amen for the first time. And it’s also believed that if someone says “amen” with all his or her strength, all the gates of heaven will blow open, and nothing can be refused to them.


                                                            Share this article on Facebook   Share this article                Forward this Email to a Friend   Forward to a Friend



History Parenting Recipes Kveller Weekly Torah

Jewniverse is an initiative andThe Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation.



Did you like this article? MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

View as Single Page Single Page   

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy