Hannah’s Children: A Midrash

Lyssa Tall Anolik


The Story of Hannah–Summarized from 1Samuel 1:
A man named Elkanah, from Ramah, had two wives: Peninnah had children, while Hannah was childless. Elkanah went to the temple at Shiloh every year to worship and offer a sacrifice for his wives and children. Even though Hannah was barren, she was his favorite, but Peninnah taunted her and made her miserable. Hannah would not eat during the sacrifices, which worried her husband. One year, weeping, Hannah prayed silently to God: She asked Him to open her womb, and she vowed that if she were granted a male child, she would dedicate him to the Lord for all the days of his life. Eli the priest saw Hannah's lips moving, but heard no words. Believing she was drunk, he chastised her. Hannah explained her grief and desire and Eli sent her home with the blessing that she receive what she had prayed for. Hannah conceived and bore a son, whom she named Samuel. She brought him to the priest when he was weaned and “lent” him to the service of God for the duration of his life.

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