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Amidah-Vaeira-Each Patriarch

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Exodus 6:3).” The reason God did not lump the patriarchs together but referred to each one by name is, that God’s relationship with each of the patriarchs was based on something unique to the patriarch in question. Abraham was unique in that he recognized his Creator without having had guidance from another human being.


If someone had foreknowledge of the existence of God and His power, he does not deserve special credit for conducting himself in line with such knowledge. Every intelligent being would choose good over evil once he possessed such knowledge. Abraham did not possess any of these advantages which would have acquainted him with God’s attributes. We have explained in connection with Isaiah 41:9, that the reason God called Abraham, “the one who loves Me,” was because his faith and morality was the result of his being a self-starter. He cleaved it to his faith in God and spite of the most demanding tests God subjected him to.

Isaac possessed another unique characteristics; he had submitted without question to his father’s request made in the name of God to give his life for that God. He did not even ask for an explanation of why he had to give his life.

Jacob was unique and not wasting a single drop of seed by producing offspring which was not worthy of him. All his children remained loyal to his teachings. (Ohr Hachaim haKadosh)

“Blessed are You, God, our Lord, and the Lord of our forefathers, Lord of Abraham, Lord of Isaac, and Lord of Jacob.” Reflect on the unique qualities of each of the patriarchs when reciting their names. Commit yourself to emulate each of them in their qualities.

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