Monday, March 19, 2007

shmuel hanavi's me'il katan and a special thank you

The Navi tells us that Chanah davened for a son who became Shmuel haNavi, and after his birth, she brought him to the Mishkan to grow up. The Navi tells us, “U’me’il katan ta’aseh lo imo v’ha’also lo m’yamim yamima…” (2:19), Chana would make a “little coat” for her son and bring it to him every year. What is this “little coat” and why was it so important? The Koznitzer Maggid writes on the Mishna “Moshe kibeil Torah m’Sinai” that Sinai, the lowest mountain, exemplifies humility, which is the prerequisite for all learning – one cannot grow in Torah without first recognizing that there is more than where "one is holding" to aspire to. Explains the Koznitzer, this was the gift that Shmuel haNavi’s mother gave him – the me’il hakatan is the levush of katnus, this trait of humility and good midos which empowers and unlocks all learning and growth.
The seifa of the pasuk continues, “…ba’alosa es isha lizboach es zevach hayamim”, meaning Chanah gave the coat when she went up to offer the annual korban with her husband. Although in pshuto shel mikra the word “es” here means “im”, with, I think the Navi deliberately uses “es” and not “im”. The word “es” indicates a transitive verb – not going up, but bringing up, causing others to go up. I would like to suggest that Chanah did not just for make a me’il for her son, but “ba’alosa es isha”, she caused her husband to go up in ruchniyos and Torah as well.
My son got through is bar mitzvah with flying colors, and although there are many people who deserve thank you’s (more to follow), a special thank you goes to my wife, the one who fashioned the me’il katan which made the bar mitzvah boy what he is, and who “ba’alosa es isha” inspires me as well.


  1. Actually you get the credit for the meil -- not just the suits he wore, but the layning, the divrei Torah, and his good middos.

  2. mazal tov. Tizkeh legadlo latorh, lechupah ulema'asim tovim.

  3. Mazal Tov once again. Very sweet message too.

    mazal tov