What Does "Amen" Mean?

Letters of the Hebrew alphabet spelling the word "amen".

The word amen is a liturgical response to hearing someone else recite a blessing or certain prayers. The Hebrew root of amen, aleph-mem-nun (נמא), is shared with the word emunah, meaning faith or belief. Reciting amen is thus an indication that the speaker affirms the truth of what was said, an indication reflected in its common English translation as “verily” or “truly”...

...As in other faith traditions, saying amen indicates the speaker affirms the truth of what was said.

The word amen is used in both religious contexts — as a response to a blessing or prayer — and sometimes to punctuate everyday declarations. Jews typically pronounce it ah-men rather than ay-men, which is more common in other faith traditions.

In everyday Jewish practice, amen is most commonly recited in response to hearing someone else recite a blessing. This is the case for blessings recited in the course of the thrice daily prayer services — for example, during the public repetition of the Amidah prayer, the congregation recites amen after each of its constituent blessings. It’s also the case for blessings recited in other contexts, including before and after eating and drinking. According to Jewish law, reciting amen with intention after hearing someone else say a blessing is akin to having actually said the blessing. It is through the power of reciting amen that one person has the ability to recite a blessing on someone else’s behalf.

The term itself originates in the Bible — specifically in Deuteronomy, where the word appears at the conclusion of each of twelve successive verses at the close of the 27th chapter, each declaring someone as cursed for violating a particular commandment. After each one, the text states: “And all the people shall say, Amen.” It also appears three times in duplicate (amen amen) in the Psalms, dividing that collection of 150 liturgical poems into distinct groupings or “books.”

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Passover 2023: Our Time of Thanks

Thank you!

You make it possible for us to move forward in our 27th year and for that we praise the Lord!

Each year we host a Passover Seder in our home. Nancy is the hero of this festival for all her creative work on this This year we gathered on Saturday, April 8th with family and friends.

Toi, Nancy’s daughter, invited some of her friends. Gabriella is a Jewish believer who is the only one in her family to come to faith at this time. It was her first Messianic Passover Seder and she couldn’t have been more thrilled as we read through the Passover Haggadah.

The dinner table at the Cohen house set for Passover 2023.

She spoke with me afterward and said it all fell into place for her. She has been attending a congregation in the Austin area which she really likes. But they do not interweave the historic Jewish roots of the faith so she finds herself conflicted. When she saw the symbolism of the Passover pointing to Jesus, especially in the bread and the wine, is was like – as Nancy says – the coin dropped. Please pray for her as she grows, especially that her family, which has not cut her off like mine did, would hear the Gospel and come to faith, too.

Donna also came to the seder. She was eager to tell us that her family’s Jewish roots, but that she did not realize that meant she was Jewish, too. I gave her a copy of my latest book, Jewish By Discovery, which helps explain that 100% of God’s covenant is transmitted 100% each time. She was thrilled to realize her heritage and blessed to see how the Passover brings clear focus to Jesus.

Please continue praying for our son, 43-year-old son, Micha, in hospice care battling Huntington’s Disease.

Micha Cohen, spring 2023.

Thank you for caring and sharing.

Nancy and Steve Cohen.

Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is the founder of Apple of His Eye

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