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Hoda’ah: Maharal of Prague

Just as the first blessing of the Amidah, Avot, is the development of existence from God, Blessed is He, so, too, is the blessing of Modim an expression of gratitude for all existence that derives

from the Creator.

There are two concepts. There is the father who is the source of his child. The child is not the servant of his father despite the fact that he derives his existence from his parents. There is also the servant, who bows to his master who owns him.

We speak of God as, “Your father, Who owns you.” (Deuteronomy 32:6)

God is our Father, the Source from which Israel derives its existence. He is also Our Owner, for all we have comes from Him.

In Modim we acknowledge that we derive from God, and that we cannot exist without Him. We speak of our souls and our lives.

We only bow for these two blessings, Avot and Modim. However, although we bow as individuals for Avot, we all bow as a community for Modim, the Modim D’Rabbanan, for as children we are individuals, but as servants, we are all connected as a community. (Netivot Olam – Netiv Ha’Avodah 10)

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