12 Tamuz 5781 / Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | Torah Reading: Balak
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Shmuel Hanavi    

Shmuel Hanavi

Many mothers prayed for righteous children, but Channa merited to have one of the most righteous. How does one merit to have a child like Shmuel the Prophet?


How does one merit a child like Shmuel (Samuel)the Prophet? During the days of Shmuel the Prophet when they suffered from wars with the Philistines, a Bat Kol (voice from Heaven) called out, "A son will be born. His name will be Shmuel and he will save Israel from the Philistines."  


All the mothers prayed that they would be the one to have a son that would save Israel, but only Channa managed to convince the Creator. 


Channa was barren and had hope to ever have children, but she succeeded in persuading G-d, as it is written: She prayed that the Creator should have a child who would bring gratification and who would be the messenger to help the nation of Israel. Channa stood and prayed, "Give me a son to fight the Philistines and he will save Israel." 


Eli the High Priest did not understand how Channa was praying. He asked Hashem by means of the Urim and Tumim (Breastplate of the High Priest). 


Hashem answered Eli, "Her prayer is fitting and she will be saved with a son who will enlighten the world and save my people from the hands of the Philistines." 


What is Channa’s secret that only she from all the mothers merited Shmuel the Prophet? Because Channa gave her son to God rather than use him for her personal needs. She promised G-d that if He would give her a son, she would dedicate that son only to His service. 
Shmuel the Prophet was born, and at the tender age of three was brought to the Mishkan, and Eli the High Priest who would be his Rav. 


Shmuel is on par with Moses and Aaron as the verse states: "Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Shmuel among those who invoke His Name" (Psalms, 99:6). He anointed both Shaul and David as King of Israel. 


Shmuel the Prophet died on the 29th of Iyar and is buried in Ramah. He is called the Guardian of the City because he is buried near the northern entrance of Jerusalem. Thus it is no coincidence that his yahrtzeit (anniversary of his death) falls out on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the day when Jerusalem was reunited and the State of Israel reclaimed the Western Wall. On his yartzheit, besides going to the Kotel and the other festivities around the city, many go to his gravesite and pray for mercy.   


Rabbi Arush says that all the prayers said at his gravesite go straight to Heaven, and that the Shechina always rests not only where he is buried, but on the entire hill surrounding him. For this reason, many people go to Shmuel Hanavi to do personal prayer. During the Corona crisis when people were not allowed to leave their city and Rabbi Arush could not get to his usual forest somewhere between Jerusalem and Bet Shemesh to do hitbodedut, Rabbi Arush went early every morning to Shmuel Hanavi instead.  


It is a special segula to say Channa’s prayer as well as a prayer for all of your descendants on the evening before Rosh Chodesh Sivan (Rosh Chodesh this year is motzei Shabbat, so say the prayer today, Erev Shabbat), who will be as righteous as Samuel the Prophet. 


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