Haftarah Rosh Hashanah
1Shmuel:1 And there was one man from Ramatayim-tzofim, from Mt. Efrayim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Yerocham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tochu, the son of Tzuf, an Efrayimi.
Rashi on 1:1 AND THERE WAS ONE MAN. It all follows the order, i.e., Moshe gave over the Torah to Yehoshua, and Yehoshua to the Elders, and each judge to his successor, until it reached ‘Eli, by whom it was given over to Shmuel, as we learned in the Mishnah (Avot 1:1): and the Elders gave it over to the Prophets.
FROM RAMATAYIM-TZOFIM. There were two hills, each visible to the other. Jonathan, however, renders ‘Tzofim’ of the disciples of the Prophets.
ELKANAH. Elkanah was a Levi of the sons of Eviasaf the son of Korach. Thus his ancestry is recorded in 1Divrei HaYamim (6:7, 12).
AN EFRAYIMI. Jonathan renders: on the mountain of the House of Efrayim. Midrash Aggadah (M.S. 1:16): Efrati, a palace dweller, a nobleman, an important person, like (the Talmudic word ‘aperion’, used in B.M. 119a): Let us extend ‘aperion’ to Rabbi Simon. An expression of favor.
1:3 And that man would go up from his city from appointed time to appointed time, to prostrate himself and to slaughter (peace offerings) to the Hashem, Master of Legions, in Shiloh, and there the two sons of ‘Eli, Chofni and Pinchas, were serving Hashem.
Rashi on 1:3 AND THAT MAN WOULD GO UP. This is the present tense. He would go up from one appointed season to another appointed season, to Shiloh. Midrash Aggadah (M.S. 1: 1,5,7): The route he followed this year he did not follow the next year, in order to publicize (his pilgrimage) to the Yisraelim that they should do likewise.
1:4 And when it was the day, and Elkanah slaughtered (peace offerings), and he would give to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters portions.
Rashi on 1:4 AND WHEN IT WAS THE DAY. And it was the festive day.
1:5 And to Channah he would give one choice portion, for he loved Channah, and Hashem had shut up her womb.
Rashi on 1:5 Manah achat apayim one choice portion: a portion which is fit to be accepted with a friendly countenance.
1:6 And her rival would frequently anger her, in order to make her complain, for Hashem had shut up her womb.
Rashi on 1:6 AND HER RIVAL. Her husband’s other wife, Peninnah.
FREQUENTLY ANGER HER. Anger after anger, always. Therefore, it is written: ‘frequently anger.’ She would say to her, “Did you buy your older son a cloak today, or your younger son a shirt?”
IN ORDER TO MAKE HER COMPLAIN. (Literally, to make her storm.) Our rabbis explain, “in order to make her storm” that she pray. And Peninnah had good intentions.
HER WOMB. Literally, opposite her womb, and so is every expression of the word be’ad
1:7 And so he would do year by year, as often as she went up to the house of Hashem, so she would anger her, and she wept and would not eat.
Rashi on 1:7 AND SO HE WOULD DO. I.e., Elkanah.
YEAR BY YEAR. He would give her a choice portion to demonstrate to her that he loved her and her rival would anger her more and more according to the affection which her husband demonstrated to her.
1:8 And Elkanah her husband said to her, "Channah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
Rashi on 1:8 BETTER TO YOU. Don’t I love you more dearly…than (I love)…
TEN SONS. that Peninnah has borne to me?
1:9 And Channah arose after eating and after drinking, and ‘Eli the Kohen was sitting on the chair beside the doorpost of the Temple of Hashem.
Rashi on 1:9 AFTER EATING. ‘After eating’ is a gerund. It is constructed like leachla (VaYikra 25:6) to eat.
AND ‘ELI THE KOHEN WAS SITTING ON THE CHAIR. The defective spelling denotes that on that day, he was seated on a huge chair, for he was appointed judge over Yisrael.
BESIDE THE DOORPOST, literally, on the doorpost.
1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said: to Hashem, Master of Legions, if You will look upon the affliction of Your bondswoman, and You will remember me, and You will not forget Your bondswoman and You will give Your bondswoman a man-child, and I shall give him to Hashem all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.
Rashi on 1:11 HASHEM, MASTER OF LEGIONS. Why was this Name designated here? (The answer is as follows:) She said before Him: O Master of the universe, You created two hosts in Your world. The heavenly beings do not multiply, neither do they die, while the earthly beings both multiply and die. If I am of the earthly beings let me multiply, and if I am of the heavenly beings let me not die. I found this explanation in the Aggadah of Rabbi Jose the Galilean. Our Sages in tractate Berachot (31b), however, expounded what they expounded: Until then there was no person who called the Holy One, blessed be He, “Legions/Hosts” (Why then, did Channah call Him by this Name?) But, so said she before Him: “O Master of the universe, from all the hosts which You created in Your world, do You find it difficult to grant me one son?”
IF YOU WILL LOOK. (Literally, if seeing You will see.) In tractate Berachot, our Sages expounded what they expounded.
YOUR BONDSWOMAN which is stated three times in this verse, corresponds to the three precepts which a woman is commanded to observe.
A MAN-CHILD. (Literally, seed of men, meaning) righteous men, as it is written (1Melachim 2:32): “Upon two righteous men.” anashim also means important men, as it is written (Devarim 1:13): wise and known men.
AND I SHALL GIVE HIM TO HASHEM that he be fit to be given to Hashem.
AND NO RAZOR SHALL COME UPON HIS HEAD. Jonathan renders: and the fear of man will not be upon him.
1:12 And it was, as she prayed long before Hashem, that ‘Eli watched her mouth.
Rashi on 1:12 WATCHED HER MOUTH. He waited for her to stop. Jonathan renders thus: and ‘Eli waited for her until she stopped.
WATCHED, an expression of waiting, as in (Bereishit 37:11) “and his father awaited the thing'” and (Iyov 14:16) “You do not wait for my sin.”
1:13 But Channah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, and her voice was not heard, and ‘Eli thought her to be a drunken woman.
Rashi on 1:13 AND ‘ELI THOUGH HER TO BE A DRUNKEN WOMAN for they were not accustomed to praying silently.
1:15 And Channah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, and neither new wine nor old wine have I drunk, and I poured out my soul before Hashem.”
Rashi on 1:15 NO, MY LORD. You are not a lord in this instance. You yourself have revealed that the holy spirit is not resting upon you, otherwise you would know that I am not intoxicated from wine.
I AM A WOMAN OF SORROWFUL SPIRIT like Sarah (who was childless) [old editions of Rashi].
1:16 Deliver not your bondswoman before the unscrupulous woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and my vexation have I spoken until now.
Rashi on 1:16 DELIVER NOT YOUR BONDSWOMAN. Considering the fact that she spoke harshly to him, she returned to appease him so that he deliver her not, unprotected and disgraced, at the mercy of her rival, the unscrupulous woman.
FOR OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF MY COMPLAINT have I spoken harshly before you.
MY COMPLAINT (literally, my speech.) In some instances, it is an expression of grief of heart. Another explanation is, according to the Targum, as follows: for out of the abundance of my provocation and my vexation, have I prolonged my prayer until now.
AND MY VEXATION which my rival vexes me.
DELIVER NOT. (Literally, do not give.) An expression of delivery, like, “deliver me not unto the will of my adversaries” (Tehillim 27:12).
1:17 And ‘Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the G-d of Yisrael will grant your request which you have asked of Him.
Rashi on 1:17 YOUR REQUEST. Hebrew: shelatech. The ‘alef’ is missing to expound in this word an expression of ‘children,’ as in Devarim 28:57: uveshilyata “and against her young, which came out, etc.”
WILL GRANT YOUR REQUEST. He announced to her that her prayer had been accepted.
1:18 And she said, “May your bondswoman find favor in your eyes.” And the woman went on her way and ate, and her face was not [sad] anymore.
Rashi on 1:18 MAY YOUR BONDSWOMAN FIND FAVOR to beg mercy for her.
AND HER FACE WAS NOT [SAD] ANYMORE. (Literally, and she no longer had her face, meaning) the face of anger.
1:19 And they arose early in the morning, and prostrated themselves before Hashem; and they returned and came to their house, to Ramah, and Elkanah knew Channah, his wife, and Hashem remembered her.
Rashi on 1:19 AND CAME TO THEIR HOUSE… AND ELKANAH KNEW. From here is deduced that a traveler is forbidden to have marital relations.
1:20 And it was, when the time came about, after Channah had conceived, that she bore a son, and she called his name Shmuel, because (she said), "I asked him of Hashem."
Rashi on 1:20 WHEN THE TIME CAME ABOUT. (After the seasons and the days.) The minimum of seasons is two and the minimum of days is also two. Hence, she gave birth after six months and two days. From here it is deduced that a woman who gives birth after seven months, can give birth after a fraction of the seventh month of pregnancy.
SHMUEL. E-l after the name of G-d, and in reference to the incident, he was so called, for I asked him of Hashem.
1:21 And the man, Elkanah and his entire household, went up to slaughter to Hashem, the sacrifice of the days and his vow.
Rashi on 1:21 THE SACRIFICE OF THE DAYS of the appointed seasons.
HIS VOW. The vows which he made between pilgrimage festivals, he would sacrifice on the following festival.
1:22 But Channah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "Until the child is weaned, then I shall bring him, and he shall appear before Hashem, and abide there forever.
Rashi on 1:22 UNTIL THE CHILD IS WEANED after twenty two months (other versions, twenty four), for that is the time of nursing a child.
AND ABIDE THERE FOREVER. “Forever” in the Levitic sense means fifty years, as it says, (BaMidbar 8:25), “and from the age of fifty years he shall return from the host of the work.” Figuring as follows, we determine that Shmuel’s lifetime was fifty-two years. ‘Eli judged Yisrael for forty years (see 4:18), and on the day of Channah’s prayer, he was appointed judge (See above v9). By subtracting the year in which Channah conceived Shmuel, there remain thirty nine years. Shmuel governed Yisrael from the time of ‘Eli’s death for thirteen years, figuring thus: On the day of ‘Eli’s death, the Ark was abducted, and it remained in the field of the Pelishtim for seven months (below 6:1). From there, it was brought to Kiryat-ye’arim, where it remained until David took it out of there after he had reigned seven years in Chevron over Yehudah, and all Yisrael had accepted him as their king. And it is written, “And is was, from the day that the Ark abode in Kiryat-ye’arim that the time was long, for it was twenty years, etc. (below 7:2). Subtract from them seven years which David reigned in Chevron. We find that from the time that the Ark was abducted until Shaul’s death, were thirteen years and seven months, and Shmuel died four months before Shaul.
1:23 And Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems good to you. Stay until you have weaned him, only, may Hashem fulfill His word." And the woman stayed and nursed her son, until she weaned him.
Rashi on 1:23 ONLY, MAY HASHEM FULFILL HIS WORD. Since you asked of Him seed of righteous men (above v11), and ‘Eli announced to you through divine inspiration: (above v17) “The G-d of Yisrael will grant your request,” may Hashem fulfill His word. This is according to the simple interpretation. The Midrash Agadah, however, explains thus: Rabbi Nehemiah said in the name of Rabbi Samuel, the son of Rabbi Isaac: Every day, a divine voice would resound throughout the world, and say, “A righteous man is destined to arise, and his name will be Shmuel.” Thereupon, every woman who bore a son, would name him Shmuel. As soon as they saw his deeds, they would say, “This is not Samuel.” When our Shmuel was born, however, and people saw his deeds, they said, “It seems that this one is the expected righteous man.” This is what Elkanah meant when he said, “May Hashem fulfill His word,” that this be the righteous Shmuel.
1:24 And she brought him with her when she had weaned him, with three bulls, and one efah of meal, and an earthenware jug of wine, and she brought him to the house of Hashem, to Shiloh, and the child was young.
Rashi on 1:24 AND ONE EFAH OF MEAL. I heard from Rabbi Isaac Halevi, that she brought one efah of meal, which is equivalent to three seahs, from which to extract three tenths of an efah of fine flour, which are required for one bull (BaMidbar 15:8), as we learned in the Mishnah (Men. 76b): The showbread was made of twenty-four tenths of an efah from twenty-four seahs; i.e., 1 tenth part of an efah of fine flour from a seah of wheat.
AND AN EARTHENWARE JUG OF WINE for a drink offering. Vehanaar naar and the child was young (after Jonathan).
1:25 And they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to ‘Eli.
Rashi on 1:25 AND THEY BROUGHT HE CHILD TO ‘ELI to see that his prophecy was fulfilled. And our Sages, however, expounded what they expounded, that he decided a point of law, that a Kohen is unnecessary for sacrificial slaughter, as it is stated in Tractate Berachot (31b).
1:26 And she said, "Please, my lord! As surely as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here with you, to pray to Hashem.
Rashi on 1:26 PLEASE, MY LORD! Take care of him that he become your disciple. And according to the Midrash of our Sages, not to punish him with death.
1:27 For this child did I pray, and Hashem granted me my request, which I asked of Him.
Rashi on 1:17 FOR THIS CHILD DID I PRAY. Do not say, “This one shall die and another one shall be given to you.”
1:28 And I also have lent him to Hashem; all the days which he will be alive, he is borrowed by Hashem." And he prostrated himself there to Hashem.
Rashi on 1:28 AND I ALSO HAVE LENT HIM TO HASHEM like a person who lends a utensil to his master, or lends him his son to serve him.
HE IS BORROWED, i.e., you have no right to punish him, for Hashem has become a borrower over him, since I have lent him to Him, and He must return him to me.
AND HE PROSTRATED HIMSELF. Shmuel, and some say Elkanah.
2:1 And Channah prayed and said, "My heart has rejoiced through Hashem; My horn has been raised by Hashem. My mouth is opened wide against my enemies, for I have rejoiced in Your salvation.”
Rashi on 2:1 MY MOUTH IS OPENED WIDE AGAINST MY ENEMIES - against Peninnah.
2:2 There is none as holy as Hashem, for there is none besides You; and there is no rock like our G-d.
Rashi on 2:2 AND THERE IS NO ROCK LIKE OUR G-D. There is no artist like our G-d, Who makes a form within a form.
2:3 Do not increasingly speak haughtily; let not arrogance come out of your mouth, for Hashem is a G-d of thoughts, and to Him are deeds counted.
Rashi on 2:3 DO NOT INCREASINGLY SPEAK HAUGHTILY. All those who are haughty when good fortune shines upon them. And according to the peshat, she is speaking for the benefit of Peninnah, who behaved haughtily toward her. According to the derash, however, we follow J’s translation.
ARROGANCE. (Literally,) strong speech. Others explain it as an expression of falsehood, something which is removed from the truth, like vayatek “and he moved from there to the mountain” (Bereishit 12:8). We, therefore, render: Let not falsehood come out of your mouth.
FOR HASHEM IS A G-D OF THOUGHTS. He knows what is in your heart.
AND TO HIM ARE DEEDS COUNTED. All men’s deeds are counted before Him. Hebrew: nik’nu - an expression of number, like: and the number (tochen) of bricks shall you give (Shemot 5:18).
2:4 The bows of the mighty are broken; and those who stumbled, are girded with strength.
Rashi on 2:4 THE BOWS OF THE MIGHTY ARE BROKEN. So is the custom of the Most Holy, blessed be He. He weakens the mighty, and strengthens the weak. He sates the hungry and starves those who are satiated.
2:5 Those who were satiated have hired themselves out for bread, while the hungry have ceased. While the barren woman has born seven, she that had many children, has been bereaved.
Rashi on 2:5 THOSE WHO WERE SATIATED and do not need to hire themselves out for any work, He starves them, and they must hire themselves out for their daily bread, while the hungry who would toil and weary themselves for food…
HAVE CEASED from their toil. While the barren woman has born seven, she that had many children has been bereaved and buries her children. Channah bore seven, as it is stated, “For Hashem remembered Channah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters” (2:21). When Channah bore four, Peninnah buried eight, and when she conceived and bore a fifth child, Peninnah prostrated herself at her feet, and begged for mercy. Consequently, they lived, and were therefore called on her name. This is Rabbi Nehemiah’s opinion. Rabbi Judah says: Grandchildren are considered like children, (and she saw Shmuel’s two sons).
2:9 The feet of His pious ones He will guard, and the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by strength will man prevail.
Rashi on 2:9 HIS PIOUS ONES. It is spelled chasidav, His pious one. It is read chasidiv, His pious ones, i.e., either a single one or many.
2:10 Those who strive with Hashem will be broken; upon him will He thunder in Heaven; Hashem will judge the ends of the earth. And He will grant strength to His King, and raise the horn of His anointed one.
Rashi on 2:10 UPON HIM WILL HE THUNDER IN HEAVEN. The spelling is alav, they have ascended, even if they have ascended to the heavens, He thunders upon and casts them down.
WILL JUDGE THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, will judge them.
Return to Parsha Rosh Hashanah First Day
Complete Tanach with Rashi CD