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This post below first appeared on Frum Follies in 2012
The approach of Rosh Hashanah makes me think of Chanah, barren like Sarah. Before she could glory in her triumph she was misjudged as a nobody by Eli, the cohen gadol (high priest). He mistook her unvoiced words for drunkenness when they were actually a prayer full of pain and power. But she triumphed and bore a son who would eventually eclipse Eli.
In the meantime the sons of Eli was thieves and letcherers who abused the mishkan (tabernacle). Eli was a decent man but he wasn’t brave enough or determined enough to correct his sons. When a leader is meek it is not merely a failure; it is a disaster. Shmuel, the son of this modest woman foretold this new reality. He started out not being able to recognize the highest call. But then he heard the message and foretold the disaster to Eli. The house of Eli fell and Shmuel crowned kings.
Every year on Rosh Hashanah I am reminded by Chanah’s story that things don’t have to stay the same. The mighty can fall and the humble can rise. The scoundrels can lose their power and the just can replace them. The erlich ones who let corruption surround them cannot escape the awful consequences of their inexcusable meekness.
I wish all of my readers a year where justice will rule, where kindness will console the victims; where proud and haughty scoundrels will be brought down. Perhaps even a year in which the decent meek leaders can rise to their responsibilities. I believe that time will yet come, and those who help it come will be rewarded.
A kesivah v’chasimah tovah to all of you.