Modeh Ani (redux)

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4 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    Modeh could also mean acknowledge. So then we’d be acknowledging these facts while in HaShem’s presence.

  2. micha says:

    I’m not sure Modeh does also mean acknowledge, outside of the overlap in meaning between the English words. R’ Hutner discusses modim al vs modim le-, and modim as in “agree” isn’t in the original Tanakhi Hebrew, it’s mishnaic idiom — possibly borrowed from Aramaic.

    But in any case, the general notion that there is a contrast between “Modim anachnu Lakh” and “Modeh ani lefanekha” raises a question that needs addressing. I am suggesting that in tefillah we can presume the closeness we are trying to achieve, while in tachanunim we express the distance we actually have.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    I was once reading the phrase “ulai yeracheim” in a selicha, and thought “wait a minute! can’t I address HaShem directly?” The phrase suggests a kind of distance that interferes somehow with direct communication.

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