Shmuel 1 begins with the story of Hannah, who was barren and hurt terribly by the words of Penina.
Chapter 1:10: “She was feeling bitter, and she prayed to Hashem, weeping continuously. She made a vow and said “Hashem, Master of Legions, if You take note of the suffering of Your maidservant, and You remember me, and do not forget Your maidservant, and give Your maidservant male offspring, then I shall give him to Hashem all the days of his life, and a razor shall not come upon his head.”
Chapter 1:12: It happened as she continued to pray before Hashem that Eli observed her mouth Hannah was speaking to her heart – only her lips moved but her voice was not heard – so Eli thought she was drunk. Eli sad to her, “How long will you be drunk? Remove your wine from yourself”. Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of aggrieved spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, and I have poiured out my soul before Hashem. Do not deem your maidservant to be a base woman – for it is out of much grievance and anger that I have spoken until now.” Eli then answered and said, “go in peace. The G-d of Israel will grant the request you have made of Him.”
What have we been told thus far? Hannah was shamed and humiliated and feeling the terrible pain of being barren. She poured out her heart in hisbodidus to Hashem, emptying her heart of the grievance and anger, in the personal prayer beseeching Hashem to remember her with a boy.
Shmuel HaNavi was born and Hannah brought him to Shilo when weaned. This is her song of prayer:
Chapter 2:1-10: My heart exults in Hashem, my pride has been raised through Hashem; my mouth is opened wide against my antagonists, for I rejoice in Your salvation. There is none as holy as Hashem, for there is none besides You, and there is no Rock like our G-d. Do not abound in speaking with arrogance upon arrogance, let not haughtiness come from your mouth; for Hashem is the G-d of thoughts and men’s deeds are accounted by Him. The bow of the might is broken, while the foundering are girded with strength. The sated ones are hired out for bread, while the hungry ones cease to be so; while the barren woman bears seven, the one with many children becomes bereft. Hashem brings death and gives life. He lowers to the grave and raises up. Hashem impoverishes and makes rich He humbles and He even elevates. He raises the needy from the dirt, from the trash heaps He lifts the destitute, to seat them with nobles and to endow them with a seat of honor – for Hashem’s are the pillars of the earth, and upon them He set the world. He guards the steps of His devout ones, but the wicked are stilled in darkness; for not through strength does man prevail. Hashem may those who contend with him be shattered, let the heavens thunder against them. May Hashem judge to the ends of the earth; may He give power to His king and raise the pride of His anointed one.”
Shmuel HaNavi anointed two kings, Shaul and Dovid. Did Hannah make a prophecy or were her prayers a blessing that Hashem accepted?
The commentary says that Hannah made a prophecy.
The pain she felt, from being barren along with the humiliation and shame she endured, brought much kedusha through her. She chose to direct this to a vessel – a vow to raise a son for Hashem. She emptied her heart of the painful messages and took the kedusha and made a vow.
What happened? Hashem answers her prayer and Hannah praises Hashem and gives another prayer, to make Shmuel’s life one of blessing for the Jewish people forever.
The kedusha that we feel may come in painful packages. It is for us to know and return to our heart that Hashem is One, there is No Other. We are shown to know so that we may pray with the wisdom of Hannah – that whatever messages may be latching onto kedusha does NOT limit the kedusha to those messages. Our purging of our thinking, urges and impulses knowing that we are shown to know that Hashem is One, Who surrounds and fills all the worlds, is an act of mercy upon that kedusha Our willingness to recognize how kedusha may flow through convoluted channels and to hold steady breaks us out of the mould of our natural urges and instincts to break INTO a place of compassion. And in so doing, the kedusha may move to its Source and be revealed in a pure form of compassion.
We have real free will. We are shown to know. There is No Other. The clump of soil from which we are made and to which we return after 120 has no end in and of itself. It is what we do with it while kedusha flows through us that matters.
May we see the wisdom of hisbodidus, of daily relationship in personal prayer with Hashem, returning in every breath to its Source kedusha that may enter our hearts with messages that draw us to our self-interest, for this is a decoy, a lure, an attempt to hijack that kedusha for darkness.
May we realize how deeply our real free will runs and approach the work with love for Hashem and awe in how He is One and the relationship that He has designed for us. May we ask that kedusha be a merit, a blessing, a healing, a teshuva, a cancellation of gezeira, and a satisfaction of harsh judgments for the soul as it exists in ourselves, our families, klal Yisrael and mankind.
And may we soon see a revelation of His compassion in the world.