Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #50-51

[adapted by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

In the first blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei we say that Hashem is “Our G-d and G-d of our fathers.” This doesn’t seem to be a logical order. Why do we first say He is Our G-d? First Hashem was our fathers’ G-d. Then He became our G-d.
In reality, though, the Amida is in the correct order. The Avot were, of course, holy individuals. But they are the Avot, fathers of Our Nation, because of their children - Bnei Yisrael. The Maharal notes that it doesn’t say in the Torah the Avraham was a Tzadik. This is because if we, his children, don’t live up to being Tzadikim, people might think Hashem’s choice no longer applies. But Hashem’s love of us, and choice of us, is forever. It doesn’t depend on anything. Just like we are our parents’ children, and they love us forever, no matter what we may do - we are Hashem’s children and the Chosen People forever, no matter what we do. Even if we are punished, that tie can never be broken. So the Torah doesn’t say that Hashem chose Avraham because he was a Tzadik. It says He chose Avraham. Period. And this special love and being His special people was passed to Yitzchak and then to Yaakov and then to Yaakov’s children. And it goes to us today. We are His special, individual Nation, and we have this relationship forever. Therefore, in the Amida we first say Hashem is our G-d, and only then do we mention the Avot.

In the first blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei when we say that Hashem is the G-d of our fathers, we also mention Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov individually. Each one of them had special talents and their own ways of relating to Hashem. Avraham Avinu was very public, outgoing and forceful. He was the one who went to Eretz Yisrael, conquered it, fought in wars, dug wells and publicly proclaimed Hashem’s Name. Yitzchak was more private and quiet. He even called the wells he re-dug by the names Avraham had given them. Yaakov was unblemished, complete and sat in tents. The Midrash says in the morning he sat in Avraham’s tent. In the afternoon he sat in Yitzchak’s tent. He learned from both of them and thus had the positive attributes of both his father and grandfather. Thus, all three of the Avot were somewhat different. We see from them that there are different positive approaches to serving Hashem.