1 SAMUEL 2:1

“And Chana prayed: My heart exults in Hashem; I have triumphed through Hashem. I gloat over my enemies; I rejoice in Your deliverance.” (1 SAMUEL 2:1)

Chana’s prayer of thanksgiving, recorded in this chapter, is considered a model prayer. In her time, there was still no established liturgy, and there was not yet any concept of organized prayer among the Israelites. Chana’s prayer was a spontaneous expression of her deep spirit, after finally being blessed with the child for whom she had desperately longed. Over 3,000 years later, another Jewish heroine with the same first name would be born — Chana Senesh. Born in Hungary in 1921, she fulfilled her Zionist dream and immigrated to the Land of Israel. During World War II, she daringly volunteered to parachute into Nazi-occupied Europe to assist the British army and the Hungarian Jewish community. Tragically, she was caught, tortured and executed. Throughout her life, Senesh composed beautiful poetry; the most prominent one for which she is remembered is Eli (אלי) — ‘My God’, which she wrote on the shores of Caesarea. Like her biblical namesake Chana, the deepest expression of Senesh’s soul is her prayer: “My God, My God, may these things never end, the sand and the sea, the rustle of the waters, the lightning of the heavens, the prayer of Man.”