In a few days we will celebrate Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year. The holiday liturgy includes the story of Chana, as told in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible). Chana is disconsolate because she is childless, and, in a powerfully emotional scene, she pours out her heart in prayer to God.Chana’s Song is her prayer of thanksgiving to God after she has been blessed with a son. She names her son Samuel (The Power of Chana’s Prayer) and he becomes one of the greatest prophets in Biblical times.
A beautiful commentary on this reading considers the significance of Chana’s Song of thanks and how it relates to our understanding of the harmony of creation: “Nature is always ‘singing’, because, from the tiniest microorganism to the mightiest galaxy, everything acts and interacts as God intended it to. This is song . . . the most magnificent symphony conceivable . . . ” (Artscroll Chumash, Stone Edition. p. 1235). “. . . But man seldom sees this harmony,” the commentator laments. We are often too caught up in the mundane events of daily life to express thanks for the wonders and miracles all around us.
As the New Year unfolds before us, may we all merit to appreciate the beauty in our world and may we experience joy and fulfillment every day!
For an in-depth look at the story and song of Chana, see also: Why do we read the Story of Chana on Rosh HaShana?.