Inside Israel 7:37 PM 3/8/2014
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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
I have a dream that our People will return from Exile.
I have a dream that we will walk freely and safely in our Land.
I have a dream that we will build new cities and rebuild our ancient ones.
I have a dream that pilgrims, ordinary Jews from all over the world, will return to Shiloh.
I have a dream that more Jews will sense the Ketoret, which still wafts here in Shiloh.
I have a dream that Shiloh will once again be a great city.
I have a dream that today's Channah will come in great numbers to beseech G-d, like the Channah of Old, for a leader of our people.
I have a dream that we will have a leader who will speak the words G-d tells him and obey the orders G-d gives.
I have a dream that our People will do what is right.
I have a dream that we will destroy our enemies, because only that will bring us Peace.
And in my small way, I've started bringing friends to pray at Tel Shiloh. We pray for our Nation, our People. I'm tired of going to Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb. Honestly, I don't think it's the right place for our National prayers.
There is a very crucial difference between the prayer/request of Rachel for children and that of Channah. Rachel wanted a child for herself:
א וַתֵּרֶא רָחֵל, כִּי לֹא יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב, וַתְּקַנֵּא רָחֵל, בַּאֲחֹתָהּ; וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל-יַעֲקֹב הָבָה-לִּי בָנִים, וְאִם-אַיִן מֵתָה אָנֹכִי. 1 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: 'Give me children, or else I die.' Genesis Chapter 30
Channah wanted to give birth to the man who would lead the Jewish People:
ט וַתָּקָם חַנָּה, אַחֲרֵי אָכְלָה בְשִׁלֹה וְאַחֲרֵי שָׁתֹה; וְעֵלִי הַכֹּהֵן, יֹשֵׁב עַל-הַכִּסֵּא, עַל-מְזוּזַת, הֵיכַל יְהוָה. 9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk--now Eli the priest sat upon his seat by the door-post of the temple of the LORD; י וְהִיא, מָרַת נָפֶשׁ; וַתִּתְפַּלֵּל עַל-יְהוָה, וּבָכֹה תִבְכֶּה. 10 and she was in bitterness of soul--and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. יא וַתִּדֹּר נֶדֶר וַתֹּאמַר, יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אִם-רָאֹה תִרְאֶה בָּעֳנִי אֲמָתֶךָ וּזְכַרְתַּנִי וְלֹא-תִשְׁכַּח אֶת-אֲמָתֶךָ, וְנָתַתָּה לַאֲמָתְךָ, זֶרַע אֲנָשִׁים--וּנְתַתִּיו לַיהוָה כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו, וּמוֹרָה לֹא-יַעֲלֶה עַל-רֹאשׁוֹ. 11 And she vowed a vow, and said: 'O LORD of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy handmaid, and remember me, and not forget Thy handmaid, but wilt give unto Thy handmaid a man-child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.' 1 Samuel Chapter 1
That's why she prayed to G-d; she didn't demand that her husband do something. The child she wanted was no for herself. After Shmuel (Samuel) was born, she had many other children, and according to the Bible, she then lived a full life. Rachel, on the other hand, died in childbirth, though she said that she would die if she didn't have children.
Our Nation, Our People, is in danger. It is time to return to Shiloh, as in the days of Eli, Elkanah and Channah, and pray to G-d to send us a leader and pray to G-d that we'll recognize our generation's Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel The Prophet.