Modeh Ani

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Modeh Ani or Modeh (Hebrew: מודה אני‎; "I give thanks," the first words of the prayer) is a Jewish prayer that observant Jews recite daily upon waking, while still in bed.

Text[edit]

  • Hebrew: מוֹדֶה (מוֹדָה) אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיךָ מֶֽלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּים. שֶׁהֶֽחֱזַֽרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמֽוּנָתֶֽךָ׃
  • Transliteration: Modeh (women: modah) ani lifanekha melekh chai v'kayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmahti b'ḥemlah, rabah emunatekha.
  • Translation: I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.

Tradition[edit]

Lamentations states that "The Lord's mercies are not consumed, surely His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22–23.. From this, the Shulchan Aruch deduces that every morning, God renews every person as a new creation. (Ch. 1, 2.) For this, it is taught that one should thank God, and that is the purpose of the Modeh Ani.

As the Modeh Ani does not include any of the names of God, observant Jews may recite it before washing their hands. According to the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, one should pause slightly between the words "compassion" and "abundant is Your faithfulness."

The tradition to recite Modeh Ani upon waking grew up after the Talmud. In Talmudic times, upon waking, Jews traditionally said the prayer Elohai Neshamah: "My God, the soul that You have placed in me is pure" (Berakhot 60b.). This prayer has been moved to the morning prayers.

Because of its simplicity, Modeh Ani has become a favorite prayer for small children.

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