These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

a Dvar for Hannah

Posted on May 27, 2013 by Andrea Wiese

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Sheryl and Hannah before the Chuppah!

Sheryl and Hannah before the Chuppah!

Relative to life, Hannah and I are new friends. Even though we knew each other before, we really met at the beginning of this year. I was lucky enough to room with her at the first Shabbaton of the year where I finally got the inside scoop on the engagement. (Eitan really couldn’t provide enough details for my needs.) And then I was invited to the Landes’ for Sukkot and well, let’s just say, I have been a Landes’ family groupie ever since.

If you haven’t been to the Landes’ yet for a meal, you’re missing out, but if you have, you know that the best part is coming over the night before to help prepare for the meal! You get to hangout with their family, chit-chat, laugh and feel the love that naturally bursts from their home. So I happened to be in this situation in their kitchen cutting up vegetables talking with Hannah and her mom, Sheryl. And I suddenly found myself in a very safe place, so safe that I started spewing my life story.

Not to confuse anyone, but I felt like Hannah from Tanakh, in the book of Shmuel. Just as Hannah poured out her heart to God, I too was pouring out my heart to Hannah and Sheryl, right there in their kitchen. As we know from Tanakh, Hannah was greatly misunderstood by Eli, the priest. He didn’t take the time to really understand what was happening right in front of his eyes and he even accused Hannah of being drunk. Luckily, in my case, the situation couldn’t have been more different, no one accused me of drinking, and both women listened with open hearts and deep understanding. Although, Hannah and I couldn’t have come from more different backgrounds, (Israel and Indiana) and different types of parents, (Rosh Yeshiva’s daughter, not Rosh Yeshiva’s daughter) different religious traditions, (Shabbat candles, succahs, matzah/ me pumpkins, Easter baskets, and Valentines)…she wholeheartedly listened and accepted me. We became real friends.

Maybe Hannah was born with this ability to not just listen, but truly comprehend what someone is saying and understand their needs. or maybe she learned it from her parents. Either way, becoming Hannah’s friend has been one of the best blessings I could have received from studying at Pardes.

In Mishlei lamed alef it states:
בָּטַח בָּהּ, לֵב בַּעְלָהּ The heart of her husband trusts in her.
It may sound familiar because we say it every Friday night in Eshet Chayl.

I know for a fact that Eitan feels this way about Hannah, but also, my heart trusts in her. What makes Hannah truly unique is that not only can her friends and loved ones trust and count on her, but also people who she just met or may not even know.

And so I hope that you always keep this ability to be open, honest, and trustworthy and that these midot bring even more blessings to your future together.

Mazal tov!!