Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chanah's tefilos

I know the minhag is for most Rabbis to say divrei hisorerus before tekiyas shofar, but I was thinking that if you read the news and have any idea what is going on the world and that is not me'orer you to daven and focus on Rosh haShana, then I don't see what a Rabbi can say in 10 minutes that will make any difference.  (Of course I guess if you are a practicing Rabbi I guess you have a right to tell me that I haven't heard what you can do in those 10 minutes... )

The navi tells us that after Chanah davened, "Va'teilech ha'isha l'darka vatochal u'paneha lo hayu lah od." (Shmuel I 1:18)  Chanah had some measure of comfort and she went back to being her normal self -- she ate, she looked okay, etc.  Practically speaking, nothing in Chanah's life had changed, yet she obviously looked at the world in a different way than beforehand.  What changed? 

The Chasam Sofer in his Derashos writes that it was not that Chanah was so confident that her tefilah would be answered.  Chazal (see Tosfos R"H 16b d"h iyun) frown upon a person who feels assured that his/her prayers will be answered -- there are no guarantees no matter how hard you pray.  Rather, what changed is that Chanah was now willing to accept her situation even if in the end she would not have a child.  A person has to make the maximum hishtadlus, including and especially tefilah, but once that hishtadlus is exhausted, a person has to surrender and accept whatever G-d chooses to do.  If after coming to the Mishkan on Rosh haShana and pouring her heart out Chanah still was not blessed with a child, she was willing to accept that that was the ratzon Hashem and live with it.

1 comment:

  1. Dovid HaMelech when his first child by Bas Sheva died.