By Daphna Shapiro Goldberg
For many years, I have felt somewhat disconnected from the text at the end of slichot. As a woman, I feel a stronger connection to the prayers of the women in our history, and that the things I pray for - my family, my children, peace - align more with their historic prayers. In addition, why neglect the merit of half our ancestors when petitioning God?
I wrote a few lines to supplement the piyut "מי שענה לאברהם" to make it more meaningful to me. The women I chose to include are really the obvious choices. Hannah especially, since her tefillot are the model for the way we pray today. I also like that these women represent prayers at different times of life - Miriam watching over her younger brother, Ruth prior to her union with Boaz, Rachel and Leah praying for children, Rivka during her pregnancy, Sarah in her old age, and Devorah fighting for the security of her people.
מי שענה לשרה בעת זקנה הוא יעננו
I would love to hear from other women who have found ways to feel more personally connected to the language we use in our tefillot.