Daily Tanach, Wednesday: Shmuel 1 Chapter 1-Part 1-Shmuel is born to Channah

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 1: Shmuel is born to Channah

1.      Elkana and his wives:

  • Who was Elkana? There was a certain [Levite[1]] man from the hillside area called Ramasim Tzofim, which was within the mountains of Efraim, whose name was Elkana, the son of Yerucham, who was the son of Elihu, who was the son of Tochu, who was the son of Tzuf the Efrite [who was a descendent of Aviasaf the son of Korach[2]].
  • His two wives: Elkana had two wives, one named Channah and the second named Penina. Penina had children, while Channah did not [as she was barren].

2.      The annual pilgrimage to Shilo:

  • Elkana traveled from his city to an annual pilgrimage to the city of Shilo, in which he would prostrate to G-d and offer him sacrifices.
  • The high priests of that time: At that time, the two sons of Eily, Chafni and Pinchas, were the priests of G-d.
  • Dividing the sacrificial portions of meat: The day arrived, and Elkana brought the offerings [i.e. Karban Shelamim], and he gave his wife Penina and all her sons and daughters a portion of meat. To his wife Channah, however, he gave a most special portion, as he loved Channah, despite the fact that G-d had closed her womb.
  • Penina torments her co-wife Channah: [Penina], the co-wife of Channah, would annually torment Channah by the pilgrimage to the house of G-d in Shiloh [by asking her questions regarding her “children”[3]]. She would purposely cause her anger to boil, in order so she complain [to G-d of the fact that she is childless, and hopefully be blessed with a child[4]]. Channah would get very upset and cry and not eat.
  • Elkana attempts to comfort his wife: Channah’s husband Elkana would attempt to comfort her by asking her as to why she was crying and not eating, and as to why she is so bitter. He would say to her: Am I not better to you than ten sons [meaning do I not love you more than all the ten sons that Penina birthed for me[5]]?
  • Eily the Kohen: At that time Eily, the Kohen [was appointed as the leading judge[6] and he thus] sat on a chair near the entrance of Heichal Hashem.

3.      Channah goes to weep and pray before G-d:

  • Channah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh, and went with a bitter soul to pray before G-d. She cried profusely before Him.
  • The vow and promise: Channah made a vow to G-d and said that if Hashem Tzevaos sees the oppression of his maidservant and remembers her, to give her a child of men [of Tzadikim[7]], then this boy will be dedicated to G-d for his entire life and a razor will not be placed on his head [i.e. he will be a Nazir to Hashem].


[1] Rashi 1:1

[2] Rashi 1:1

[3] See Rashi 1:6

[4] See Rashi 1:6

[5] Rashi 1:7

[6] Rashi 1:9

[7] Rashi 1:11

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