First Blessing 19: Avot
We have explained the words “Elokainu V’Elokei avoteinu” as “The Power who is charge of the details and all of history”. What can we gain from that idea? This is the place where history and my life meet.
The name of this first blessing is “Avot”. Avot means that when we speak to God, we don’t for a minute presume that we create our own relationship with God from scratch. But we understand that when we speak to God, we have a sense of history and are empowered by our parents. That’s like applying to USC, when both your parents are graduates of USC. It makes a difference. Similarly, when you are applying for a conversation with God, you do so as part of a family, which has a long relationship with Him.
If you ever sense a great connection through your parents or your grandparents, in that they had a greater connection than you have, you should recall those memories before you begin this blessing. You remember what it was like to go to your grandparent’s house, or what it was like to see your grandparents pray, and then you say the blessing of Avot. In this way, you are actually building on your grandparents.