Abba, Amma, Adonai

While watching a TV New Year celebration, wondering why we stop playing football just because it’s midnight, a voice came from one chair in the room, “Is that a man or a woman?” A voice from the other chair responded, “Dear, this is 2022. We don’t ask questions like that.”

I drifted off to sleep pondering my need to put everyone in an “appropriately” labeled box. I awoke to a bright, bright sunshiny day, asking where my “Jesus, keep me simple” prayer was leading me. Specifically, can a revised prayer focus help me be more inclusive and more loving?

Jesus prayed to Abba. Chaim Bentorah said to use “the most endearing word for you toward a parent.” A travel journal by Alexis at the Koora Retreat Centre in western Australia, led by an Anglican clergy couple, recalled prayers that began with “Abba, Amma, Adonai…” (Translation: “Papa, Mama, My Lord,”)

Adonai” is literally “My Lords.” The singular is “Adon.” As invocation, “Abba, Amma, Adonai” combines familial intimacy with cosmic sovereignty. Maybe that’s enough. I’ll sleep on it.

From “Adonai,” a poem by Lisa Tremback, Boulder Jewish News, August 29, 2019

2 thoughts on “Abba, Amma, Adonai”

  1. Thank you, Kathy. I just finished tomorrow’s post, which wraps up an unplanned 5-post progression from a new year’s hope to a new breath prayer, after 30-years. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s