First Part | The Haftarot of Yamim Nora'im
The Haftarot of Yamim Nora'im
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המופע התקיים בתאריך
The Haftarot of Yamim Nora'im
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תמלול אירוע First Part | The Haftarot of Yamim Nora'im שהתקיים בתאריך 08/09/2019

with Rabbanit Shani Taragin
Welcom to Beit Avichai, please silence your mobile phones.
An opportunity for us in Rosh Hashana. A special tfilot, to move Hakosh Barach Hu from the thron eo judgement to that of kindness. Hazal have incorporated various readings to impres on, to provide us with a purpose, what we are going to focus on in this time. Thus it’s not going to be only Kriot Hatora, but rather the Haftara readings, respective works of the prophets we read during these days, to arouse our own sense of these days. We begin with the Haftara we are going to read, we begin as you see in your source sheets, with Tfilat Hana. These are not replacements for the Torah readings, but as commentary. Such as the Parshiot. And they aim to clarify the ideas that accompany us during the year. We’ll start with the Haftara of Hana for Rosh Hashana. This is going to serve as the basis for the prayers for Rosh Hashara. We’ll begin with a Brita of R. Yehoshua. They debate what are the calendarical days most important to the people of Israel. R. Eliazer is going to explain that the calaendar is not only tied to Israel’s relation to the Shem, it’s the world’s relation. R. Yehoshua is going to focus on Nizan, Eliezer reminds us – in Tishrey the world was created. Don’t forget that Israel’s relation to God is part of the world’s relation. But in Tishrey the patriarchs were born – this then, our own relation, begins our own relation. Also – in Tishrey died the fathers. It is the month of the strong ones, the patriarchs, the pillars of the Jewish people. They were born and died in Tishrey. When the angels come to reveal to Avraham and Sarrah a child, it would be in a year ahead. What time is that? Sarrah was preparing Mazot, so it’s pesach. Indeed, they would have to concede it’s in Pesach that Yizhak was born, but he died in Tishrey. But the conception of Rivkah and Sarrah was in Tishrey. But also – Yosef as released in Tishrey. The hallmark of Jewish history, is in the month of Nizan. But the seeds of redemption are in Tishrey, whether seen in Yosef’s release from incarceration, but also we stopped working the harsh labor from the plagues that began in Tishrey. Also, the initial Geula began, and R. Eliezer, insists, that the vicissitudes of Israel, will be, in Nizan, but the eschatological redemption is going to be in Tishrey. In Tishrey we ‘continue to be redeemed.” What is R. Eliezer’s basis for saying that the three basic barren women, the types of their kind, how does he know they conceived in Tishrey. Gzera Shava – from Rachel’s story – it says “God remembered Racherl,” this is also said of Hana. What is the most auspicious moment of the remmembrace of these women? Mostly – on the day of remembrance. With Sarah we don’t see a similar verb. Still, he says – just as we saw the association the words of Zikaron with Rosh Hashana, so we see – God ‘pakad’ or appointed Sarah, with her we see the same verb, pakad. She was not only ‘nifkeda’ – appointed to be remembered to conceive on Rosh Hashana. But it happened in Tishrey – for it happened in Yom Hazikaron. Who is the cog in the wheel which ties all three personalities together, of whom do we find both verbs – remembrance and pkida – Hana. She is the central personality, she will connect the other barren women to the date. She not only serves in her own right in this relation, but also Hazal are attributing special readings to various dates, the question is – what are we going to read at Rosh Hashana – the mosafim, in every date, the additional sacrifices, that highlight what’s unique, musaf, so the Tana Kama says – we’ll read the Korbanot of Rosh Hashana. And the Haftara? Let’s read Jeremaiah, the aristocracy is leaving the land, abandoning it. Some say – we don’t just read about the sacrifices and Rachel. But Sara, and Maftirim Be Sara, from the choice of prophets, we need to read Hana. This is good news for the Tanaim, now we have two days. What should be the resolution of the Gemorah. What should we read the first day? The first opinion – korbanot and Rachel, second day – haftarah and Hana. Now that we have two days, Yom ha-Kama, the true, the first way we enter Rosh Hashana, we should read the second opinion, in other words –Rosh Hashana should herald in the messages of the story of Hana, that’s the central reading, on the second day – and tomorrow, the story of Itzhak’s Akida, if anyone should ask anyone on the street – what’s the central reading? Yitzhak, that’s why we have the Shofar, but this seems almost an after-thought of what we should read. The prominent readings are those focusing on Sarah and Hana. But Hana is in her own right a persona. Not only a central theme we should be attentive to, but a basis for Yamim Noraim. Hazal wonders what’s the significance of Musaf Tfila, what is going to be the aspect of Musaf in respective days. Why is it we begin with the three Brachot, end with the thanksgiving, and in the middle, instead of the 12-13 pleas, we don’t find that on Shabat, there is rather one Braha, that constitutes the sanctity of the day. Why not more? In Brahot – it is asked, why do we have seven blessings, that are going to express the quality of the day – reminiscent of the seven times. Kol Hashem Shover Arazim, the omniscient power of God, God’s power over creation. When you’re davening, that’s what we are coming to remember on Shabat. Why do we have 9 Brachot on the Musaf of Shabat. There are the three blessings, together with the blessing of the day. Why nine and not ten Brachot? Why did Hazal, and we see this systematically in Brachot, that the number of blessings chosen has significance in and of itself. R. Yitzhak of Carthenage – the number of time Hana remembered God in her Prayer. The quality of the day, based on Hana’s prayer. Why Hana and Rosh Hashana – you already have sufficient information to answer. Hana was remembered in Rosh Hashana together with Sarah and Rachel. But why is the prayer based particularly on Hana? Well, one might say, she has only a prayer. But Hazal tell us that Sarah also prayed. Why Hana? Just to underscore the question all the more, we take note of the parallel expressions in the Jerushalmi? The reference is to Hana. Why is she chosen? Not because she is one of the three women remembered by God, but because Hana mentions God as a God of judgement, therefore it is her prayer that is chosen. But this is also confusing. If the parallel is that she mentions God as Law, there are many other such instances. You can open to almost any chapter of Jeremayah, etc., there are similar expressions. What are Hazal teaching us? Perhaps because she was remembered. But those are really peripheral explanations. If you want to see why her story is chosen, you must go to the story. That alone can explain why not only the story, or her personality, but her prayer – what that says not only about our daily service, but also the power of prayer in Rosh Hashan. Hazal told us, based on Baba Batra, the conception of Shmuel by Hana –who wrote it? Shmuel himself. Perhaps his mother shared the story as a bed-time story, but perhaps he’s going to expose us to certain nuances in the story to teach us the greatness of Hana. And we turn to the story. We are introduced to Elkana. A prophet’s exposition. The primary character – his father, he is showing him tremendous respect, but also the location – he lives near the Mishkan of Shilo. Here the political and religious infrastructure was based. And his genealogy is important. He is a Levi, but considered an Ephrati – because that is the central region of the time. Like today – you are cosmopolitan, if you go to your Shiurim in Beit Avi Chai. Also Elkana, we expect much from him. We read that Manoach from the tribe of Dan, is described in the same way, we expect him to be a hero in the story. Also – he is described by his accompanying secondary character. Elkana and his two wives. In the next Pasuk we hear of Eli and his two sons. So the big characters – Elkana and Eli. Elkana has more lines in the beginning, but Eli is active throughout
One has two sons, one has two wives. Elkana first married Hana, then later Pnina. We did he marry Hana, a beautiful chiastic structure. We understand why he married a second wife. He went to sacrifice in Shilo, and there Eli’s sons served as priests. Hana has the role of the driver in the story. She motivates Elkana, because she has no children, to try to appease the Kadosh Baruch Hu, from a long time ago, Elkana is going annually to sacrifice. People are going to alternate places of Worship, in Shilo, etc. But Elkana says – we are going to do it in the proper place in Shilo. There is where we are going to worship. Eli’s sons, Bnei Blial, they have no respect for those above them, their father, Eli, they have no ‘Eli,’ but sacrifice is how you serve God, you prostrate yourself before God, the day when he comes – The Day, Yom HaDin, but then, comes Rosh Hashana, he sacrifices, and provides Pnina and her children an appropriate ration of food, and Hana, a double portion. There is here a subconscious reference to Yaakov, who also loved his wife, and who is also refered to – Rachel, “God closed her womb,” but here too these words are used. Hana is post-menaupasal, she knows, but Rachel isn’t. She knows that the uterus can be opened by God. And what happens at all of these ventures. Every time the family goes to Shilo to sacrifice, her rival not only angers her, but anger is also connoting frustration. At the next page, why do we have to hear this extra frustration – Pnina aroused, taunted, but also angered. She was frustrated on her own, despite what Pnina was doing. Why? Because she really doesn’t know what else to do, she doesn’t know, her husband is no wonderful, bringing sacrifcies all the time. Why is Pnina going to be the foil of Hana. Elkana says every year – we are going to Shilo to prostrate, so that maybe this year Doda Hana can have a baby? They will say – really, we have to go, and eat Yshiva food, etc. This frustration only frustrates the aggravated feelings of Hana. This was an annual process. In P. 7, every year they did this, and every year Hana would be frustrated, so frustrated she would not be able to eat. This is done every year, routine. Do parents like routine. Is everyone following the jokes on the internet – start going to school a year in advance, etc. Parents love routine, why? Because without routine there’s chaos, ‘Balagan,’ we yearn for routine. It also helps provide perspective. This year the child is a little older, etc. Whereas last year we had to take her out for the Shofar blowing, next year? What happens if you don’t have children, if it’s the same old year after year, then the routine presses upon one the aggravation of constancy, of the law of your life, nothing had developed. This is only going to aggravate things. Elkana says – why won’t you eat? Am I not better, wonderful, as ten children. He is criticized –is he giving up? No, he says – I’ve been doing everything within my power, I’ve been engaging in everything, sacrifcies, etc. But he says – maybe God wants us to be complete at where we are. That’s very comforting, look for the good, as today’s psychologist say. Maybe we can go as a wonderful couple, Mekarvim others, we get people back to Shilo. Hana says – you’re right, I should just see the Brahot in my life, I am engaged in the work of God. Had anyone been critical of her if she accepted this? Perhaps, but then we would not have had the birth of Shmuel, or the anointment of Shaul or David, Melech Hamashiah. There’s a shift in perspective. Hana decides she’s not going to be content with the status quo, she ‘rises.’ Shmuel uses this term in a few places. In Shoftim, Dvora says to the general, God told you to wage war against Sisra. Barak says –I’ll go if you’d come with me. She could have said –that’s not my job. I’m a judge, but instead what happens? She gets up, from her passive state, and actively participates in one of Israel’s greatest victories. With Neomi too, we hear, what could we do? She could stay in Hutz Laaretz, but she gets up, and changes the entire trajectory, not only of her own redemption, but also or Rut, and ultimately, David. Here too there is a transformation of character. Elkana decides to be more passive, Hana is going to be an active one. After Shilo she eats and drinks. Eli was before the parallel primary character. Now the Navi tells us, new exposition, to appreciate the story – you need the background, we assume the hero is the head of the household, but here too, it’s Hana. We have to reexpose you to the main characters. Hana –and now Eli. She is bitter, and she prays – not to God, but
on God, she is going to argue over Godly issues. What is going to say in her prayer? We don’t know the contents of the prayer. But we are sure it went something like this – God please I want a child, but the prophet does not say this, he says how she said this – with Hutzpa, and tears. Eli thinks she is inhebriated, but no –she is embittered. What is so strange and ultimately iconoclastic about her prayer –what was Elkana doing every year? Submitting himself before God. Hazal explains what is real prayer –to stand before God. Hanna is standing, she is not surrendering, not submitting herself before God. Another thing. In the Mishkan, people prayed with the standard institutionalized Korban, and here, with regard to Hana –no sacrifice, she just brings her tears. What the prophet says – she utters a vow. At first glance, the direct translation of these words – if you provide your maidservant with a child, I would dedicate him to God as a Nazir. What does this mean? Isn’t it strange? God please grant me a child – I’ll give him back to you. Let’s turn to each one of the verbs. This was the proper methodology, to appreciate the nuance turn to the foregoing sources. Better not to utter a vow than to utter and not fulfill it. But in this period, vows were wonderful expressions of commitment to God. Jacob is the first, the exact same terminology. God told him he’s going to be the one to perpetuate the covenant. Jacob says –if you return me safely to my father’s home – then you’ll be my God or allow me to proclaim you as my God, I will turn this home into Beit Hamikdash. If you help me I’ll help you out. If Hahsem is going to corroborate his vow, shows us that something else is the case. Jacob says – I want to express my commitment to you at this moment, but my blood-thirsty brother is coming to get me. If you help me, by the time I come back here, I could perform my vow. Today the parallel is a credit card. I don’t have the money right now, but I am committed to pay you, I am committed, even if you don’t see the expression of my commitment right now. A nazir, is one who is committed to take a vow on himself. Before going to war, we say – we know all victories belong to you, if we win, all spoils belong to you. We already expressed our level of commitment with this vow. We know of another famous character. Yiftah, he is as committed to God, but what is his vow? Without even understand a single word of his vow, what did you hear a lot of? A lot of me, me? Before we were less selfish – kreplach, to you, today, IPhone, bisli. This me generation, as with Yiftah, he thinks of the possibility of victory, he wants to govern everyone. If you help me, not the nation, to win, what will I do – he doesn’t really commit himself? Like Jacob –I will build you a house, or become a Nazir. Or committing the spoils to the treasures of God. Yiftah says – what you decide will come out of my house, I will give to you. What was he anticipating will come out of his house – some kind of animal. But ‘latzet likrat’ usually refers to a person. He offers human sacrifice, little does he think his own daughter will come. Hana is so committed, she is going to be much more committed, I am going to fix the vows of the generation –I’m gonna make this about me committing everything that’s important in my life to you. If you give me a child, I’ll commit him to you. In a way she believes in human sacrifice – not in death but in life. But how can she do it? How can she accept a commitment upon a child? He is not yet born. And only a father is able to commit his child. Is Hana saying to God –if you give me a child I will commit him to you? No, she says – if you pay attention to your maidservant, and remember me, and do not forget me – three different statements. I want to be on your radar. How will I feel remembered by you. Then I know we have a relationship, then I will show you I really want the relationship, if you give me a child I will show how much I want it – if you give me a child I will commit him to you. Her extreme terms, are because of her state of stress. This is the season in which we annul all of our vows. At Yom Kipur, we annul our fulfilments. But then we also say – we annul our past and future commitments. Why are you thinking about your future ones? Even if ideally we shouldn’t be committing ourselves, but this is crunch time, new years’ resolutions, this is a natural expression. We want to turn to God and say – we really are committed. I’m going to Doven three times a day now. I will light the candles 15 minutes early. I am going to be more committed in my relationships to people. That’s why she is so committed. But Gemorah says, she is not only asking to be on God’s radar, but she is going to stand before God, I commit myself and my child to you, so you know how much I want my relationship, if I get it, then I’m o.k. devoting my child to you. She uses ‘Hashem Tzvaot,’ no person called him this before, but htat’s not true? But this appears in Shirat Hayam. She feels a belligerence with God, she says – I am here to make sure there’s not only a maintenance of a relationship but an investment of a relationship. She says before God – God, look at me, I am here, and I think you forgot about me, I look around, they have a lot of kids, but maybe you just forgot about me. To what is the thing analogous? A pauper starving, watching a feast for the king’s servants. The pauper asks the servant, but the servant says – it’s the king’s food. So he puts himself before the King – I don’t want a stake, but just some bread. She doesn’t ask for a king, a messiah, or a ben-torah, really – only the seed of man. I just want a child. I don’t want the child to be extraordinary, not too smart, not too stupid, just an average child. That’s what he gave her, but still perhaps we wouldn’t say the Shmuel is average. What’s the difference? His mother’s investment. That’s the difference of Shmuel. How do we know she speaks with Hutzpa. If you listen to me – maybe you’ll provide me with a child. If not – I’ll become a promiscuous woman, my husband will suspect me of adultery, and I would have to drink of the bitter waters, and what is the reward if you are not guilty –the blessing of children? Do you want me to do it? You will find yourself with a lot promiscuous women in society. She is speaking unto her heart. She is crying on her heart. She is expressing her innermost feelings, but she is talking to God about her physical heart, uses arguments. I need my heart to pump blood. I need eyes to see and ears to hear, but why did you give me a uterus or breasts, if I cannot even nurse a child. And Eliezer says – she threw things upwards. We don’t know exactly what she says, but even without a sacrifice I am going to talk to you. Even if only her lips move. She is showing to him how committed she is, even without speaking. Show me you didn’t forget about me. Show me you really do care. All I want is an expression of a relationship. Then I’ll be happy. All I want is the expression of the relation. Then we understand the subsequent psukim. We come back, after her vow. She continues to prayer. Eli is looking at her, and he thinks something is awry. It is not surprising to see someone utter words, not strange to hear a prayer in the Mishkan. You prostrate yourself there, and that sacrifice is accompanied by some prayer. What is strange about Hana’s prayer? This is very different to what Hana is doing. To see someone speaking, crying, not prostrating himself, standing, not making a sacrifice. He doesn’t see her speaking out loud, he thinks she is drunk. He says – Elkana is going to follow the rules. You can’t enter the Mishkan in a state of intoxication. Wait outside. Hana says – I understand why I would think so. He thought she was drunk, but really she is – as Sarah. This is just an expression of my emotions, I have not had too much to drink, don’t think I don’t have respect for the Mishkan like your sons, just because I am employing these iconoclastic ways, I am simply trying to relate to God, I don’t know what else to do. Eli understands this is a paradigm of prayer. He says – may God provide you with what you asked for, or perhaps, a placenta, what you asked for. Hana doesn’t know she’ll get what she asked for, but she knows she did all she could. And God remembered her, on the day of remembrance. God remembered her because Hana asked him. After some times she is pregnant, and has Shmuel. The name, at first glance, it’s clear – why does she name him Shmuel, because God heard my prayer, not so much my commitment, as my prayer. Then there is a Midrash Shem, not only did I ask this child, but borrowed him from God. As Bruria tells r. Meir when she sees her two sons have died, it’s like someone asked me to watch over a Pikadon. Perhaps every child in this country – we recognize our children are on loan, we don’t know for how long, as parents we want to take the best care of our children, dedicating their lives and not their deaths to God, we see that’s the greatest manifestation of her relationship with God. She will grow closer to God. As she borrowed her child from God, she is going to say to Eli, he is dedicated, in his life, to God. Elkana comes back to the story, he is going to continue sacrificing, Elkana also made a vow, perhaps also the same time, and he says –I’m going to perform my vow. The prophet says –whose vow was answered? Hana’s because of her prayer. Elkana probably promised a double sacrifice. Elkana says – I am going to maintain the instiutiton of prostration before God, Hana says – I’m not going to see God until I am going to fulfil my word to God. Elkana says – come on, you have to make sure your commitments are fulfilled. Now Elkana takes the driving force. We are reminded not only of Akedat Itzhak, but here Shmuel is almost part of the offering, in the next Pasuk the cow is sacrificed. How does she remind Eli of who she is? She is the woman who was standing, and how does she know that’s what would remind Eli who she was – the norm is to prostrate yourself before God. She says – I am the one who stood, I will serve as the daily model. We bow, but it is called – amida. Even if it is with a scream or a cry. I prayed for this boy. God answered me. He’s not only borrowed from God but to God. She will still continue with the standard way, of prostration, but she also knows how to stand. Think of how Hana appealed to God. Of course, as Hana made sure – Tshuva, etc. But she says –you can properly stand before God. But don’t just mutter your Tfila. This is going to serve as the basis for our daily prayer. What were Hazal referring to when they were speaking of this? They were referring not to prayer pre-child, but post partum, Hana’s second prayer. We don’t finish the story at his stage. The second chapter – Hana prays again, when she brings her child. I am exalted with God, I now have what to say against my adversaries, I am thrilled with your salvation. Why is this called a prayer? A prayer connotes supplication, but the prophet should have said – she is singing, this is a lauding. But how do his words end? She supplicates for an age of a prophet. But no – the entire prayer is a supplication. It’s true that the first pasuk is one in which Hana expresses her thanks giving to God, but immediately thereafter the tone changes – there is no ne like God our God, she transforms her personal salvation into a national anthem. She speaks not in the first person singular, but the plural. Thank you for saving me, for remembering me, showing a relationship between us. But now I know all the more – if you can save me, you can save everyone, who are in dire straits. Take any woman who has been infertile, and provide her with a child. I know you can bring from rags to riches. Don’t forget this woman and that woman, the suffering of all others. Hazal says – look at this prayer. She doesn’t stay in her state of satisfaction, she is not in the middle of her simha circle. At this time, she looks around – she offers another prayer and another prayer, turn. And hazal says –turn. Don’t just look at our own needs. Of course we pray for our personal requirements, necessities. But don’t lose sight of what’s important – look down the road, your own row of prayer. Who else needs help? Notice the malchiot, zichronot, shofarot, we speak in the plural even if we speak of individual salvation, because we remember Hana. The days of Awe, we are admonished not the be myopic. Look at what she says, she incorporates – malchiot, God remembers every single member, shofarot, God thunders from the skies, he judges over the expanse of the world, he lifts up the horn of salvation, God thank you for saving me and now it’s time to save everyone else. That’s the message, not only of the haftarah, but also the focus of our prayer. Albeit we call it the day of judgemnet, we know it’s a day in which we are supposed to be unified. Nehemia says – look at how lost we are, in Hutz Laaretz, we’ve become disengaged, but now – stop crying, eat and drink, and sent Mishlohei Manot, go and have potluck meals. Hedvat hasehm is with you. Seeing yourself as part of a community, as part of the Knesset of Israel, then the prayers will be all the more meaningful. Show we blow the ram of supplication to God, should it be warped, or opened? You’re going to be shriveled out in Rosh Hashana. Should we focus on our vulnerabilities, looking down, or looking up, at the greater world. Your eyes should be towards your heart, your experiences and needs, but your heart should face the world beyond. This Rosh Hashana, may we internalize the message of Hana’s prayer. May the faces of not only our family relatives, but all the children who are no longer here, may all the trouble – may we see them, but also look at everyone. And the 9 brachot, may they mirror Hana’s prayers. Then also – the horn of the messiah will rise.

מתוך האירוע:
with Rabbanit Shani Taragin
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