Hannah & Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah & Channah

This week we celebrate Rosh Hashanah. This Biblical Feast reminds us of creation, the giving of the Tora, the binding of Yitschak, the birth of Samuel, the return of Messiah. There is so much spiritual growth necessary in us in order to become the persons God wants us to be. It is like going to a wonderful banquet, like going to the wedding of the Lamb, the Bridegroom and the Bride.
How much pain and effort it costs to become a woman of valor we can read in the following text.

The reading for Rosh Hashanah has the text from 1 Sam.1:1-2:10. In this text we read the beautiful story of Chanah. “Chanah was married to a man named Elkanah, who had a second wife, Peninah. She had ten children, whereas Chanah remained childless for almost twenty years. Every year, Elchanan and his wives would go to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage holidays, where Chanah always felt anguished because she had no children. Even though her husband was a prophet, his prayers supplicating God to give her a child were not answered and she remained barren.

One pilgrimage holiday, Chanah realized that she could not depend on her husband or any other intermediary to beseech God on her behalf. She went to the holy Temple and prayed to have a son. She moved her lips in silent supplication and challenged Him: “Did you create me to be an angel or a woman? If I am childless because I am an angel, then I must be destined to live forever. However, since You created me with the body of a woman, why don’t You fulfil my purpose in having this type of body and give me a child?

Chanah prayed with tremendous fervor, and ended her prayer with the promise that if God would grant her a child, she would dedicate him to serve in the Temple. Not only were her prayers answered by giving birth to the prophet Samuel, but she subsequently had four more children as well. Something about her prayer so impressed the rabbis that when they compiled the most central daily prayer, they taught that we should pray as Chanah did. Tot this day, we pray the Shemoneh Esrai with our hearts dedicated to God, our lips moving, and with our prayers audible only to ourselves, in imitation of Chanah.” Lisa Aiken, page 101

From this we can learn that God wants us as women to completely to depend on Him. We do not need our husband, our rabbi or pastor to pray for our deepest needs. God hears our prayers if we are humble and sincere. Chanah had to wait and suffer 20 years. God waited for her that she came to a point of so much destress, that she knew that her only help was from the Lord. Her husband loved her, but he could not help her. Only the Eternal One was able to help and gave her the desire of her heart.

We must learn to pray as Chanah and persevere. Chanah waited twenty years and so do we have to wait sometimes 20 or more years to receive what we desire so much. Chanah is an encouragement for all those of us who feel suffering and desires in our hearts that are not met. We need to persevere and seek the Lord. May the God of Israel fill us with His desires so that our desires will be according to His will and He will answers our prayers.

Happy New Year!
May it be sweet enough to persevere like Chanah!

Used also from the book by:
Lisa Aiken, “How to be a Jewish woman” page: 101
ISBN 0-87668-609-9