We’re dedicating new Siddurim on the first day of Shavuot. In honor of this wonderful occasion, we’re using the counting of the Omer to learn about the siddur.
Enjoy today’s siddur related question and answer, which was provided by Stacey V..
Were any of the prayers in the siddur composed by non-Jews?
However! Etz Hayim’s Chief Gabbai found a tangential link to this idea in an article that I’ll briefly sum up here. There are three lines in the morning brachot that were originally written as truly cringe-worthy proclamations: “Blessed are you O God, King of the Universe, Who has not made me…” and conclude, respectively, “a goy [Gentile],” “a slave,” and “a woman.”
The article describes the non-Jewish inspiration for these so-called blessings. “From the third century B.C.E., we find written record of a quip, ostensibly attributed to Socrates, that expresses gratitude for having been born human and not a brute, a man and not a woman, Greek and not barbarian.”
The article can be found at: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/three-blessings/