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Chana, prayer and our celebration of the Busch Babies' first birthday

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Her lips moved while praying but in silence.

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Patriarchal family dynamics have predominated throughout human history, with few if any exceptions-including the patriarchy of ancient Israel. Now, if that statement seems a generalization, I invite you to find an example of "whom, when and where" it did not apply.

Throughout post-Sinaitic Jewish history, Jewish law has excluded women from time-restricted mitzvot such as prayer with a minyan because their observance, requiring a shift in time, place and focus, would interfere with mothers' primary duties as mother, teacher and homemaker. Now, I am sure there will be those who'll object to my previous remark as inegalitarian, an astute characterization to which I'll not object. However, I will say in my defense that I never said it wasn't.

It's long been acknowledged that women embody a special spiritual status. As bearers of life, they are closer to G- d. The efficacy of prayer is a tenet of traditional Jewish belief because Torah teaches us that communication with and imitation of the Creator are positive attributes to be inculcated and passed along to the next generation. Yom Ha Shabbat, the Sabbath Day, is reserved for these two pursuits as a remembrance of creation.

Chana, a devout woman, was one of two wives of Elkanah whose second wife, Penina, had bore seven children. Chana, on the other hand, had born none for it was said of her that G-d “had closed off her womb".

Leila Bronner comments: "Chana is typical of the people of the Bible in that she turns to prayer in times of trouble, and typical of the women of the Bible in that her troubles are prompted by reproductive issues."

Now seems to me that G-d, Whom we fear, love and respect exceedingly, does not roll dice with our lives. Such belief would be tantamount to feeding our own children into the maw of human sacrifice and be inconsistent with the fact of our survival.

Chana wanted very much to bear a child whom she would devote to the service of G-d.

"O Lord of Hosts, if You will look upon the suffering of Your maidservant and will remember me and not forget Your maidservant, and if You will grant Your maidservant a male child, I will dedicate him to the Lord for all the days of his life; and there shall no razor come upon his head." (1 Sam. 1:11)

In several days, my wife Heather, family, friends and I will celebrate the first anniversary of the birthday of our now nearly one year old triplets: Guriel Shemtov, Hallel Jocheved, and Zmira Shoshana, born on the eighteenth of December, 2012.

What can you do?

1. Send well-wishes by clicking on Facebook "like".

2. Send to others, reminding them to do the same.

3. Leave a short comment in the comments section at the end of this article. Encourage others to do the same.

4. See number 2.

Heather and I wish to thank you all. We're hoping for big numbers! Help us :)



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