“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)