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Hannah Did Not Go Up

Hannah Did Not Go Up

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“And Elkanah with his entire household went up [to Shiloh] to offer his yearly sacrifices and vow to G‑d. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘[I will remain at home] until the boy is weaned, then I shall bring him.’"

Hannah had three choices:

1) To take Samuel with her to Shiloh and hire servants and nurses to supervise him and insure that the journey should not affect his health.

2) To leave Samuel at home with a devoted nurse and accompany her husband to Shiloh.

3) To remain at home and care for the child herself. She chose the third option, despite the rich spiritual rewards of a journey to Shiloh for one who was, after all, a prophetess.

There are women who strive to overcome a sense of inferiority and demonstrate that they are identical to men: able to hold a job, able to abandon the house early in the morning and return exhausted in the evening, and even able to join a minyan and be called up to the Torah. Such women should to take to heart Hannah’s declaration: “[I shall remain at home] until the boy is weaned, then I shall bring him”!

Contemporary society has embraced an ethic of giving supreme value to public life, especially the world of work. However, all vocations, no matter how status-conferring or “fulfilling” are secondary from the perspective that recognizes the importance of the life of the home, the principle site of the childhood development and the nucleus from which one’s Torah life radiates. As the foundation of the home, women have been given by G‑d something surpassing even a journey to Shiloh-the true eminence and greatness achieved by building a house on a Jewish foundation and educating children in Torah.

(Sichat 6 Tishrei 5734)

Excerpted from Days Of Awe, Days Of Joy. Published and Copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY 11213
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Rivka Philadelphia, PA September 13, 2009

Staying home from shul on Rosh Hashanah I am facing my first rosh hashanah after giving birth and trying to figure out what the best way to balance caring for my daughter and participating in the prayer service. This article reminds me that it's totally fine to stay home and pray as much as I can at home. I considered getting a non-Jewish babysitter so I could concentrate, but I don't think that's the best option. I might go late, as we do hold by the eruv, but if we don't make it at all, I will be happy too. :-) shana tova! Reply

gitta Montreal, Que. September 1, 2009

great article How sad that society gives so little value to child rearing. Mothers are relinquishing the most exalted job for the allure of the street and the children are suffering. No baby sitter or homecare giver or child care can replace the loving care of a mother. we need to turn inwards and see what s best for our child not the government or anyone else. Reply

zaz April 3, 2009

its very good Reply

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