Traditional Hebrew and Chinese

The Amidah and the San Zi Jing

The Intermediate section will continue with the central traditional Chinese and Hebrew texts. The Chinese texts are all found together in traditional Chinese almanacs (published annually), and also in numerous other editions, all available where Chinese books are carried. The Hebrew texts are versions found in many traditional Sefaradic (and Mizrakhi) Jewish Siddurs (prayer books).

After the Shma, the Amidah is the most important prayer in Judaism. While the Shma stresses the importance of remembering the lessons of the Jewish people, and the means for doing so, the 19 "blessings" of the Amidah summarize a number of central aspects of Jewish life and Jewish history. In this lesson we present the first three and the last three blessings, which never change in the Amidah. Later we will cover the rest of the blessings, which vary according to the weekly and monthly Jewish calendar.

We will also continue with the 2nd section of the San Zi Jing. While the first section discusses in general the importance of study (both moral and intellectual), the second section groups together and lists various works of Chinese sages, which are worthy of study.

Note for learners: At this point, our goal is to master the Chinese characters of the San Zi Jing and the Hebrew vocabulary of the Shma and Amidah, and to be able to read these two central Chinese and Hebrew texts. For the San Zi Jing, the radicals (in bold) and the proper names (in red) should be memorized and recognized during reading. For the Shma and Amidah, there are patterns and groups of words which are repeated in the prayers, as well as vowel points for the names of God which alternate for each blessing, which should be recognized during reading. We will discuss these patterns, and summarize some key systematic and memorization elements, in the fifth section.

Traditional Hebrew

PDF of the Amidah (First and last three blessings. Also includes the Shabbat blessing. Pronunciation and English translation.)

Audio (mp3) of the 1st blessing of the Amidah 2nd blessing
3rd from last 2nd from last final blessing of the Amidah

Traditional Chinese

PDF file for learning the San Zi Jing
MS Word file for learning the San Zi Jing

Audio (mp3) of the San Zi Jing
Another audio (mp3) of the San Zi Jing

Radicals and proper names in the second section of the San Zi Jing, and some main words and concepts in the Amidah: